A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney. Box No.4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone: JW 1462.
|Editor||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208).|
|Business Manager||Jack Gentle.|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Dot Butler.|
|At our July Meeting||Alex Colley||1|
|Paralyser, 1956||Jim Brown||3|
|Club Membership - Letter to the Editor||A.Colley||10|
|Federation Report - Annual Meeting & July Meeting||12|
|Walks Report for June||13|
|The S.B,W. Light Opera Co. (Notice)||14|
|Attention Lady Members (Easter Tour Programme, 1928)||15|
|Sink or Swim with the Admiral||Dot Butler||16|
|Ghastly Impressions||Dawn Askew||21|
|Who'd be a Prospective||Vivienne Willis||22|
|Leica Photo Service||3|
|Hattswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||5|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||7|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||9|
|Hand-made Italian Boots (Paddy's Advt.)||24|
- A.G. Colley
The meeting opened at 8.30 with the President in the Chair and about 40 members present. The first business of the evening was the welcoming of two new members - John Scott and Frank Barlow.
Miscellaneous item revealed by correspondence were:- That the Canoe Club plans a celebration on the Nepean downstream from Penrith on Oct. 20th and 21st. That the Youth Hostels Association plan a hostel at Kiandra with shares at £5 each. That our rent has increased from 25/- to £2 a week. That Tom Kennyroyal has resigned as Federation Delegate, and Jean Wilson has resigned from the S.B.W. Committee. That the Epping group of Boy Scouts would like a bushwalker to volunteer as Scout Master - previous experience not essential. That Boomerang Hangover Tablets are Safe and Effective.
In reply to a question, the Treasurer said that 55% of subscriptions were now paid - a little better than last year, but not as good as it should be - and that he did not think, on his recollection of last year's figures, that any immediate action was necessitated by the rise in rent.
The President drew attention to the Annual Magazine of the Tasmanian Walkers - “Skyline” - copies of which are for sale in the Clubroom. Apart from the interest of these to visitors to Tasmania, the help Club members had received in their trips down there could be acknowledged in a practical manner by support of the magazine.
The Social Secretary reported that the Annual black and white Photographic Exhibition had been a success with 105 exhibits - better than last year.
Frank Rigby, in a verbal report from the Club's publicity panel, said that the panel was seeking publicity in the A.B.C., the week-end press, magazines such as “Walkabout” and “Outdoors,” and perhaps later would consider movie films and colour slides. A letter was being written to the A.B.C. proposing a series of short weekly talks on the bushland and walking activities. Negotiations were in progress with the Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald. An article was being drafted for “Walkabout”. The panel wanted to keep bushwalking constantly before the public eye. Tom Moppet said that the Federation would recommend the same approach. He moved that delegates be permitted to say that the S.B.W. publicity panel would be willing to operate on behalf of the Federation and accept assistance from all Quarters, and the motion was carried with one dissentient.
the Secretary appealed for notification of changes of address by members.
Malcolm McGregor announced that the “Walks Directory” was now in being. Seventy-seven walks had already been recorded and he was willing and ready to receive details of further trips.
(Names to add to your list of Members issued at the end of Jan.)
Mr. Frank Barlow, 38 Moruben Rd., Mosman. XM.4252, JF.1227 (B).
Mr. Garth Coulter.
Mr. Bernard Hall, 6 Billong Av., Vaucluse. FU.1882 XBO41 Ext.240 (B).
Mr. John Scott, 44 King St., Manly Vale. XJ.5137.
Dr. Bob Binks, 385a Millers Rd., Cammeray.
Miss Valmai Brady, 17 Frederick St., Killara.
Mr. Ron Knightley, C/- O.T.C., G.P.O. Box 7,000, Sydney.
Change of address
Mr. Kevin Ardill, C/- “Pine Trees”, Lord Howe Island.
Mr. Frank Young, 25 Cuba St., Randgate. LW2284.
For sale: A pair of Paddy's boots, Size 5. Absolutely new! - £2/10/- (Cost £3)
- Hanna Lemburg. (Apply to Dot Butler)
You press the button, we'll do the rest!
Finegrain Developing. Sparkling Prints. Perfect Enlargements. Your Rollfilms or Leica films deserve the best service.
Leica Photo Service.
31 Macquarie Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
- Jim Brown
In “South Col” the writer, Wilfred-Noyce, offers a sub-title “One man's adventure on the Ascent of Everest 1953,” and without prejudice I could fairly dub this “one man's recollections of Paralyser, 1956” - You see, by noon on Sunday we were so widely scattered no one could hope to tell the story of all the parties and sub-parties and strays and individuals (of which I was one of the last named.)
I daresay we should have realised it was going to be 'one of them trip's' when the leading locomotive stumbled over some debris carelessly knocked off an overhead bridge and did in its right semi-lunar cartilage. The second engine made valiant bids to lift back the crippled “pilot” plus train on the 1 in 35 grade near Woodford, gave it away after some fine fireworks with slipping wheels and showering sparks and cinder-charged smoke, and we settled down to wait almost two hours for succour.
The Admiral and the others, to a total of six who had gone forward in the Madden car, were still sitting or sleeping in our tourist bus outside Katoomba station, where we dragged in at 11.45 p.m., 5 1/4 hours out of Central and pursued by sundry Mails - almost as though our hussy of a train were Marilyn Munroe.
The coach trip out to Morong Creek was, as you must know, singularly uneventful. Some dozed fitfully and a nearly full moon silvered the frosty landscape, and the head-lamps wheeled ahead on a succession of white posts and avenues of quivering foliage. Up the hill past Jenolan we began to see patches of snow, and at the Oberon Road junction it was lying thickly in sheltered places. A quarter to three it was when we shuffled out into the tingling air at Morong Crk. and I had just enough time to pitch my tent hastily before my fingers became quite helpless. The pain of circulation returning after I was in my sleeping bag kept me awake long enough to hear the leader's final threat to “move off at seven o'clock.”
Of course we didn't. No one stirred until about seven, and the overcast morning with some ground mist wasn't exactly inspiring. To think our lovely moonlit night had degenerated into this! At least it was fairly mild, and once the Admiral, by great exertions, had his party moving, they managed to be on the road at 8.30. The formula was 1.7 miles back along the road, then north-east on to the ridge and then east. There was plenty of icy, crystalline snow in places - as though a giant had carelessly sprinkled the landscape with his salt-shaker - and when we left the road and took to the scrub I soon found my sneakers were icing up.
For about a mile the terrain was fairly flat, and so damnably featureless. The Admiral dashed around out in front, wending a compass and curbing those who were persistently swinging away to the north. Knowing there were a few others who had “Paralysed” in previous years I thought they were being tough on the Admiral and withholding counsel. Only later I realised that the 1954 and 1955 Paralyser expeditions had also found a measure of strife in picking up the spur - so probably no one knew anyway. Half an hour off the road came the crucial moment. Ahead our “ridge” dipped into a small saddle. To the 1eft a creek was forming which appeared to flow north-east; to the right another gully deepened to the south. “Damn the torpedoes!” quoth the Admiral in effect. “I'm too cold to linger. Full speed ahead!” And we walked plumb on to the Paralyser spur just like that.
There's a rough-ish road for some three or four miles. It springs from the mazed timber-cutters trails near the Kanangra Road and takes you out over the low scrubby tops and past the wooded saddles to within a couple of miles of Cyclops. We scurried along it with only one brief halt. As the Admiral said, it was too cold to stop now we were out on the exposed spur, with a chilly draught from the south-east breathing through the mists. Despite the lack of scenery - the lack of promise in the weather - we were all fairly jubilant. Here we were well on our way - might even be at Paralyser before noon. A pity we'd see nothing, of course!
Well, we weren't there by noon. Once we left the trail our pace slackened, the race-horses forged ahead, the decrepit, the inexperienced and the leader dropped back, and it was just after twelve when we all assembled on a high point, said to be Paralyser by some. It was Cyclops, of course, and it took just over half an hour to negotiate the bushy saddle which separates the two tops. Paralyser is surrounded by scrub some fifteen or twenty feet high, so there's no view from the trig point anyway.
To this point everything was going blissfully and with the big drop down to Kanangra River before us it looked as though the trip was in the bag. It was the same big drop down which almost ruined everything! First there was a bit of ridge-hopping, when it was decided we were on a spur too much to the left, then after a slow traverse around to the “correct” ridge the signal was transmitted up to us - “We're on the wrong ridge - it's back to the left - further than we were before.”
Whilst all this halloo-ing and moving about went on between Snow and the Admiral I had time to ponder the effect on the two girls who were beginning to weaken after the lively morning's stage. We were now definitely divided into an advance party, a centre group and a rearguard, and I suspected that the rearguard was going to move slowly down that quartzite-strewn spur to the river. It did. Presently I got a leave pass from the Admiral and a request to pass on his compliments and ask the company not to proceed past Konangaroo Clearing for the night. Then in the guise of a rather sluggish Mercury I descended from the Olympian heights to intercept the others supping their nectar by the Kanangra River at about 3 p.m.
It was going on for four when the lest three came down, with Brian toting two packs, looking rather wan, and quite resolved to make camp for the rearguard right there. It was determined that Stan, on arrival back at Katoomba on Sunday afternoon, would bring his car out as far towards Carlon's as possible, there to pick up the weary and battered. To give us a flying start, we were all to go on down to Konangaroo that night - that is, all except Brian who would squire Vivienne and Dawn over the rest of the course. Snow would be deputy leader with the advance party and - “Hey,” said the Admiral, “Where's Ernie?”
It now appeared that Ernie had gone an ahead up on the Buttress. He hadn't come down to us, so where? Well, he must have emerged higher up the creek and would follow down later. We wouldn't fret for the moment.
“Hey!” said the Admiral, growing pale, “Where's Jack?”
That one was easy. Jack Perry had finished lunch and walked on slowly down towards Konangaroo. The Admiral gulped with relief. “Why do these things always happen on my trips?” he demanded in an aggrieved voice - then reached for the tea billy and burned his fingers. Poor old Admiral!
We left the Admiral to his grief and his rearguard and hastened down to the Cox to link up with Jack and camp in the failing light of a cloudy evening. Yet a snug, comfortable evening it was in the agreeable pastures at Konangaroo, with generous log fires, and afterwards a discussion on the best way out. After the subject had been bashed back and forth it was virtually agreed that the quickest and easiest route would be upriver to Breakfast Creek, thence Carlons, Megalong Valley and Devil's Hole. Time was a consideration if Stan was to get back into Megalong on a rescue mission. It started to rain gently while we yarned, and if we had been prescient enough that would have resolved us to stick to ridge tops. Instead we agreed on the river and Breakfast Creek, and then bedded down while the rain increased.
Dot Butler says it was one of the few nights she had spent in a tent in ten years or some such absurd time. In the absence of caves that was as well for it rained with gentle persistence all night so that in the morning we blessed Jack Perry who had risen early and passed on to us a huge, cheerful fire which served us all. Jack, with visions of an early train, pushed off as we crawled from our bags. How we all kidded ourselves - Jack and his early train - Stan and his rescue return to Megalong!!
Being ready a little before the others, and having a slightly disabled left foot which was going to impede me on rocky sections, I followed Jack's example and bowed out just ahead of the main party. Two miles up the Cox I made a decided bloomer - ignored a perfectly good knee-deep crossing and tried to force a ford higher up. It cost me twenty minutes, wet me to the waist, and finally I had to retreat and cross just behind the others. I learned that Dot and Garth had gone back to aid the Admiral bring in the weary ones, and then saw the others gradually draw away from me - Stan and Bob Duncan, Dot Barr and Geoff Broadhead, and Snow and Heather and George Grey. Actually that sequence in not correct, Snow had forgotten to bring shorts, and after walking in slacks all Saturday had decided to emulate the feat of the Admiral of a year before, and keep his “longs” dry by “doing a walk in underpants.” Sensitive to the and, Snow tried to remain at the rear of the forward party, but I noticed he would occasionally have a lapse and forge forward. In any event, they all forged ahead of me, for I was so wet end chilled the limbs wouldn't respond. This meant I never worked up enough speed to dry out in the steady rain, so never warmed up all day - quite a vicious circle.
We remained on the east (or north, or north east) bank, which is to say the right, or true left - anyway, the other side, if you see what I mean, all the rest of the way along the Cox. And a fair cow it was! Once near Blue Dog we had to sidle above steeply sloping rocks with the river rising and rushing below. The previous feet had made the way slippery and I was too far behind to hazard some of the ledges. So I went up high and caught my cape in the scrub and ripped it down the back. And the downpour continued.
Breakfast Creek was a shock. You know how it's usually a trickle of clear water over a bed of lovely smooth pebbles of many colours? Well, here it was, bashing and boiling along, almost waist deep at some of the crossings, discoloured and with quite respectable pressure waves. I honestly believe I'd have abandoned it and pushed on up the Cox to Tinpot Ridge if I hadn't come up with Dorothy Barr and Geoff Broadhead here. As it was, we forced a passage as a trio, linking arms to negotiate the worst crossings and cutting down the 37 fords to about 11. That meant, of course, clambering along some very slender pads, often going high, and sometimes wading around the foot of projecting ridges. At about 3 o'clock, after more than two hours of the battle, we snatched a hasty lunch, standing on a few boulders while the rain rattled on our capes; that is, it rattled on theirs, and on the tattered remains of mine.
We came to Carlon's Creek shortly after four, and Geoff decided to remove some of the rubbish which had entered his boots. I knew if I stayed during this operation I'd probably freeze up entirely. Also I had some notion that, if the racehorses ahead had made a proper lunch halt, I may chance to overtake, and could give a progress report on the movements of at least two of the party, plus a negative on the Admiral and his team who must be having a shocking journey. At all events, I parted from Dot and Geoff and strode out, still trying to walk some warmth into my shivering carcase.
I Passed Carlon's in fading light about 5.10, and decided against calling in as I was just thawing slightly, and my spurt of energy carried me on to the top of the hill, where I rested a few minutes in the old shed, pulled on a sweater and draped my ragged pieces of plastic about me and went on by torchlight.
The next couple of hours merge into a strange dreamlike kind of march. Rain was still falling, and everywhere water was cascading, running, flowing. The night was full of the sounds - the thousand soft and angry, gentle and fierce, soothing and disturbing sounds that water can make. My feet splashed and swished through a succession of pools and gutters and creeks. By now my spasm of energy was spent; I was dragging, and my pack getting wetter and heavier. If I had seen any shelter, any place tolerably dry, in Megalong, I believe I'd have stopped then and there. I didn't - the whole landscape was awash. I traced the approach to Devil's Hole by following what seemed like a creek.
In a dazed, numb kind of way I made the climb, and finally came to the overhang just below the Hole itself. There I stopped abruptly. From the darkness ahead came a frightening sound of a great volume of tumbling water. It occurred to me that it might be dangerous to try the Hole itself solo, and with a failing torch it was not the time to take chances. Here was refuge of a kind - the gravel at the back of the overhang was almost dry.
The decision made, I lost no time. Off with my wettest clothes, on with the driest in my pack, and into my rather moist sleeping bag. As my hands became warm I realised that “dry” was quite a relative term - my bag was really very wet, as were the slacks and shirt that came from my sodden pack. Yet in a short while I was comfortably warm in a humid sort of way, and I fished out some fragments of food. For the first time I looked at my watch and found it was just after 9 p.m. I assumed I had reached my funk-hole about 8.30, after almost 12 hours literally on my feet. (I sat down for 2 or 3 minutes only twice all day). All that to make some 22 miles or so!
At all events, I wolfed down some chocolate and peanut butter straight on a spoon, sampled some plain butter - the remaining bits of bread were too soggy to contemplate, and wound up with an orange, putting aside half the chocolate block for the morning. I then found I was feverishly thirsty, and recalled that I hadn't absorbed any fluid (orally anyway) since breakfast. It was quite absurd, but I crept out of my sleeping bag and set a pannikin to catch drips at the edge of the overhang. The next time I looked at my watch was two hours later. Amazing - I'd been asleep. I collected my mug of water and gulped it down - and then noticed my chocolate had vanished. I was puzzled by this, but after I'd crept back into my bag I felt the patter of tiny feet over me. I was camping with a bush rat or a possum or maybe a large night bird - I never found which.
I slept again, and at two o'clock rose and had another drink, and rolled a cigarette; somehow the tobacco and papers were quite dry. As I smoked I realised something was wrong - my bottom plate of false teeth was missing; they must have dropped out whilst I slept. I dug around in the folds of my sleeping bag, then in my shirt and finally pawed at the pebbly floor. Not there - gone! I could not have swallowed them! Or - speculatively - could I? Wait on - that damned creature - suppose they had dropped from my mouth and it had collected them! It was going to be really bon-oh if I had to track the animal to its lair in the morning. Oh well - I slept again.
Next awake four o'clock. The knobbly couch is impaling me in a dozen places. There's a specially rough bit just under my right shoulder. Grope - Ah, that's it - throw it away - No, don't! That's no stone; that's your teeth. Now you can sleep in peace, pebbles and all.
So you sleep till seven, and then push all the wet things into a wet pack and pull on a wet windjacket, because it's raining very lightly, and you climb up Devil's Hole which isn't as flooded as you thought, and you walk into Katoomba and catch the 9.10 train - and soon after mid-day you're on a telephone to find what happened to the other victims of Paralyser 1956.
For all your transport problems contact Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
Telephone: Blackheath 129 or 249. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
Offers quality dried fruits, nuts and biscuits. Delicious fruit sweets. Wholesome, light ry-king crisp bread.
Amazing, low economy prices.
Come to our store at 13 Hunter Street, and see our wonderful range of health-giving foods - for walking trips and home use.
Bushwalkers requiring transport from Blackheath, any hour, ring, write or call…
Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service.
116 Station Street, Blackheath.
24 hour service.
Bushwalkers arriving at Blackheath late at night without transport booking can ring for car from Railway Station or call at above address - it's never too late!
'Phone Blackheath 81, or Sydney No. LU3563 after hours, or MA3467.
Look for T.C.3210 or Packhard T.V.270.
In all the discussions we have had in meetings about maintaining or increasing Club membership, we have discussed only the means of attracting new members. Even if we had unlimited resources for publicity we would be up against it to sell bushwalking to a public which prefers to leave exertion to horses, dogs and top-line sportsmen and only walks when forced to do so by parking restrictions. Carrying a pack up and down mountains through the bush in heat, cold or wet, and camping in a little tent on the ground just doesn't appeal to a public that can absorb its pleasures and see the countryside without any exertion or discomfort.
In our discussions the fact has been overlooked that we do, nevertheless, induce quite a number of hardy or adventurous souls to come into the Club, pay their application fee, and probably attend a walk or two. Perhaps one in five become members. Of these a big percentage drop out fairly soon. Perhaps one in ten become active walkers, and one in a hundred take a lifelong interest in the Club. All we need do, then, is to reduce our turnover, of both prospectives and members, and our numbers will be adequate.
How is this to be done? Quite simply, I believe, and in such a way that all members can enjoy participating. First let us look at the problems of a prospective.
He (and this includes she, only more so) may never have carried a pack. It takes some time to get used to carrying one. He may be badly out of condition, and even if he is in good nick, he may not be used to walking. He doesn't know how to put up a tent in daylight, let along in the dark. He doesn't know what to carry, what to wear, what to take, how to light a fire in the wet. And more important than all, he doesn't know any of the members.
Unless there is a good walks programme, with plenty of day and easy week-end walks, it is hard to break into walking at all. If there is a good programme, sympathetic leadership is necessary, or the prospective may be dragged over hard country with inadequate gear long before he is fit and experienced enough to take it. But leaders often can't give much of their time to the prospectives once the walk starts - they have too much else to think about. This is where the other members can help - by going out of their way to be friendly and helpful. Nor need the efforts of members be confined to official walks; the one thing that is likely to make a prospective feel there is a place for him in the Club is to invite him on a private walk.
In the Club room, too, much can be done to make the prospective feel welcome. True, you never get to know people well in the Clubrooms, but it's not hard to be friendly.
I believe that the building up of membership is s job, not for a committee, or a booklet, but for every Club member whether an active walker or not. Here are four ways of attracting members - arranged to suit all present members according to their activity:
If everybody does what they can towards helping the prospectives and making them feel welcome, I don't think we need worry about keeping up our numbers.
Jim Brown, camped eight miles from Blackheath,
Went to sleep on his set of false teeth.
He awoke with a start,
“Why Lord Bless my Heart! I've bitten myself from beneath!”
At the N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs' Annual Meeting the following officers were elected:-
Affiliation Fees: 9d. per. member based on the membership on June 30th, 1956, with a minimum rate of 10/-. Interstate clubs to pay 7/6 per hundred members with a maximum of 15/-
The Royal National Park: Messrs. Barnes and Cottier took part in a deputation to see the Member for Bulli regarding a proposal to alienate a mile wide strip from the National Park between Loftus and Helensburg. The land would be used for homes and industrial purposes. Assurances were given that the Member would oppose all such moves. The matter was handed over to the Conservation Bureau for further action.
Mr. Pallin presented an Interim Report on the Decline in Club Membership. Amongst the salient points were these:-
(1) The Federation should aim to increase interest in bushwalking and therefrom give a lead to increase membership of Clubs.
(2) Prospectives should be given more attention on their initial walks.
(3) The National Fitness Council should be drawn upon for children interested in bushwalking. These children should be given special attention from a new organisation set up by Federation.
(4) Publicity could be sought by:-
(5) Federation should undertake the organisation of trail making in various areas and request the erection of entrance notices, etc.
(6) The establishment of a National Parks Assn.
(7) The making of maps for walkers by walkers.
It is apparent that the scheme requires the efforts of a good working group and the co-operation of all Clubs. The report will be circulated to all clubs so that a debate may take place at the September Meeting of Federation.
The Federation's representative on the Good Neighbour Council requests the support of the Sydney Bushwalkers' Club in arranging walks and talks to migrants.
The Federation will investigate the possibility of cutting a track over Bushwalker Hill on the Narrow Neck Peninsula, thus avoiding the necessity of dropping down into Glenraphael.
Allen A. Strom. Delegate
Some shocking weather upset some of the programme walks this month, but in spite of the rain some other members went walking.
The June holiday week-end in the Capertee area was led by Geof Wagg with 7 members and one prospective. The weather was fairly good with excellent views of the Capertee valley from Crown Mt. The descent of the mountain proved interesting but not difficult.
The alternative trip for the snow country drew no starters.
For the following week-end a combined trip with the N.T.C. and U.B.W. was planned. The venue was changed to Maitland Bay but rain made itself felt early in the week and the leaders were not called by anyone.
On Sunday 10th the walk from Waterfall drew 2 prospectives and 2 members, Jean Wilson substituting for Alan as leader. Handy having a spare leader in the kitchen.
Bob Duncan led his team of seven (1 prospective) as per programme. The weather was good and the trip enjoyable, even if Jack Perry did start breaking sticks at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning waking the rest of the party up. Bob reported that a long road bash can be avoided by walking around the side of Mt. Shipley; gullies are few and the going good.
The President led the Sunday walk in the Roach Trig - Terry Hills area. It was a bit early for flowers but the attendance of eleven members and three prospectives made a very pleasant day out.
Now we come to the trip (“I deny it,” said the Admiral.) Friday night, good weather and 15 starters, including one prospective. A slight variation to the trip was made in that Breakfast Creek would be the exit route. Another variation was that less than half the party returned home on time. To give you some of the atmosphere I quote from the trip report: “From Kanangra Rd. at Morong Crk. to the Cox River on Saturday no views were possible due to thick fog and mist. Sunday was different, no views were possible due to continuous rain and low clouds.” And there you have it. Very heavy rains caused the waterways to rise sharply, with consequences such as you shall read in the articles appearing in this issue.
As mentioned, Sunday was vile, but John White was not allowed a day of rest. Two prospectives dragged him up Glenbrook and made him run around in the rain as the programme dictated. Our monthly award of one inch of salami goes to John for leading his test walk.
At the end of the month the weather came good for the field week-end. A total of 32 attended, 19 members, 13 prospectives and 2 pre-prospectives.
The month's balance sheet is as follows: 61 members and 23 prospectives attended programme walks.
In response to numerous requests the Company will rend(er) its latest hit, “The Golden Screw”, at the Club's auditorium on 22nd August.
You will enjoy the magnificent voices all the more if you purchase beforehand a copy of the “Chronic Operas” Album and read up the tragic story. A limited number are available at 4/- ea.
Several fatal accidents have been reported in the past few years due to air embolism as a result of using aqualung outfits.
Air embolism is a condition in which air enters the vascular system - veins and arteries - and may cause a variety of symptoms and signs depending on where it settles.
The mechanism of entry of air into the circulation is as follows. Whilst underwater, air breathed from the aqualung is at the same pressure as the surrounding water, and this pressure increases one atmosphere for every 33 ft. below the surface. At 20 ft. down the pressure exerted is 10 lbs. per sq. inch above the normal atmospheric pressure. Whilst remaining submerged and breathing, even at much greater depths, the diver is quite safe, but should he surface without exhaling, or at least keeping a free airway between lungs and open mouth, the air in his lungs will expand as the external pressure diminishes. This expanding air can rupture the thin alveolar wall which separates air and blood, and access to the circulation is achieved. A pressure of 10 lb. is more than enough to rupture the alveolar wall. Fright is said sometimes to cause spasm of the glottis, thus preventing exhalation.
Once in the bloodstream, the air may go to one or more of several places. It may go to the limbs where it can cause transient pain, and perhaps will do little damage. It may travel to the heart and lodge in one of the coronary arteries supplying blood to the muscular wall of that organ causing what is in effect a coronary occlusion, or it may go to the brain and cause a cerebral catastrophe. Spontaneous collapse of a lung is another possibility.
The warning signs, which should not be ignored, are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, pain in the chest, headache, faintness and the coughing up of blood. These can lead to cyanosis, convulsions, profound shock, coma, and complete sloughing off.
The treatment is absolute rest, warmth and hospitalisation as soon as possible where oxygen, morphia, etc. are available. Recompression has no place as the condition has no relationship to “bends”.
The ideal is prevention, so don't put your periscope up without exhaling.
The Madden baby has arrived. Stan would like you to know it is just an alimentary canal with a loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other, but Jenny thinks it's sweet and just like it's grandfather. Just in case you're wondering, it's a boy and it's name is Bruce.
(Extracted from Easter Tour Programme, 1928)
Ladies intending to join the party are advised to respect these three rules for ladies:-
These rules have been dictated by sad experience.
The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.
- Dot Butler
The gods who shape the course of man sat together on Mt. OlYmpus locking down on the 15 unsuspecting individuals who had embarked on the Admiral's Paralyser trip. “It's time we had some fun,” they rumbled, rubbing their hands together in anticipation.
The Admiral was very cocky right from the start; Garth was on time at the Hyde Post Office, I was on time at Hyde station with the down train, Brian was on time with the up train. Despite a last-minute dash of packing Stan was not late to pick us up and we drove on towards Parramatta collecting a waiting Dawn, and Vivian was on time at Parramatta station. “This is fantastic,” crowed the Admiral. “This is the first time a trip of mine has gone according to schedule!” “Don't speak too soon,” we warned him. (The gods winked and moved in their seats. “Not yet,” they smirked - Not yet!”)
We made good time and reached Katoomba by 9, and there was our hired bus waiting to take us on to Kanangra just as soon as the train should arrive with the rest of the party. The Admiral glowed visibly (and audibly) at this further sign of his good management. Stan shot off down Lurline St. and parked his car at Snow's parents' house and was back in a quarter of an hour as the train was due in at 9.15. Then we settled ourselves into the bus to await the others. And we waited… and waited…. and waited. By about 10.15 Garth could stand the suspense no longer and went over and asked the Station Master the reason for the delay. “An overhead bridge at Linden has subsided due to an explosion and the engines can't fit through,” said the Station Master. “They're shunting the carriages through and some engines will be sent down from this end to fetch them on their way. It'll take a couple of hours.” Garth came back and reported the matter.
The Admiral's self-esteem had been undergoing a bout of slow deflation, but now he perked up again as a bright thought struck him. “It was all Garth's fault!” he shouted. “He shouldn't have thrown that bottle of gin out the window at Linden. He's blown up the bridge!” “What bottle of gin?” asked Garth in surprise. “What bottle of gin!” echoed the Admiral derisively, in a tone of voice which implied “Don't try and put that one over us; we're not suckers!” Nothing for it but to get into our sleeping bags and, lying down on the long seats of the bus, try to get some sleep. (“So far so good,” grinned the gods. “Now what else?”)
About midnight the others arrived. We made room for them and the reluctant driver moved off on the long journey to Morong Creek which we reached about 3 a.m. “Don't let's make it too easy for them,” murmured Hughie, so he generously scattered the landscape with patches of snow to greet us on arrival. “Huh,” said we, not particularly abashed by this joke as snow is really very pleasant stuff. Some of us threw some bark under a bush and crept in, and some put up tents, and we had 4 or 5 hours sleep.
Breakfast and away by 8.30. Whether by good luck or good management I can't say, but by use of maps and compasses and a half-conscious awareness of where the sun was through the mist we got successfully on to Paralyser ridge. We trailed along in the blurring mist. “I like this,” remarked Garth to anyone who was there to hear, “ - the mist opening up on a little world and closing behind it…”, and I pondered the poetry of that remark for the next four miles.
We found the bulldozed track where they brought out the crashed plane and followed it, and then continued on without eventualities to Cyclops. At this stage we were all together, but going slowly as Dawn and her friend Vivian were beginning to tire. We pieced together the story of Vivian's presence amongst us. It went like this: The Admiral's little friend, Dawn, had asked could she bring along someone who had done a previous bushwalk and thought she could do the trip. (“You see,” said the Admiral, “It was all Dawn's fault!”) The Admiral warned her the trip might be tough, but agreed, so having hired a sleeping bag and a large framed pack from Paddy the two girls filled it up and poor unsuspecting Vivian's frail little craft was allowed to be launched in the protective shadow of the Admiral's flagship. (Oh, Admiral, how truly it is said, “When love flies in the window judgement flies out the door.”) As to Vivian's experience, it turned out that the only other trip the poor lass had ever done was from Audley to Waterfall!!!
At Paralyser trig we all assembled about mid-day. Here my fatal optimism got the better of me and to cheer Vivian up I told her all her troubles were nearly over - indeed we were almost there (with a little stretch of the imagination on our part); all we had to do now was to drop down a spur to the Kanangra Creek/River junction for lunch, then amble down creek a couple of miles in the afternoon to Kanangra Clearing where we would camp for the night. Then next day a delightful loaf up the Cox to Breakfast Creek and home the easy way via Devil's Hole or Nelly's Glen. It all sounded so simple. Poor Vivian.
With the Junction in sight, half the party bashed ahead to get a lunch fire going, leaving the leader to follow at a slower pace with the others. The vanguard were just shooting off on the wrong spur when Garth recognised the right one and we called the Madden crowd back. But no! To retrace their steps a hundred yards would be too great an effort - they would go down their spur. The result was Garth and I were down at the junction at 1.30 and it was well over half an hour before the Madden group showed up after a mile or so extra along the ridge and fighting their way down the overgrown creek.
By 3 o'clock all the early arrivals had finished lunch but we were still minus the others. But now into our peaceful midst crashed numerous bods declaring hotly that it was all Snow's fault! He had set off with them down one spur, which wasn't the right one, admitted his blunder and returned, to go down another. The Admiral, shepherding his harem along, followed. His blood pressure was just sinking to normal after his ire at having been led down a wrong ridge when Snow's voice came quavering up from below, “Admiral, I've blundered again!” About turn. Back up again with an anxious eye on Vivian and Dawn who by this time were visibly wilting, and off on a third attempt. This brought Snow's gang into our midst, but it was some time before the volcanic Admiral put in an appearance… and where the hell is Ernie? He had been with the Admiral ten minutes back on the ridge, but now? Odearodearodear! (So it was all Ernie's fault, huh?) The Admiral wiped his fevered brow and decided to camp right where he was and collect Ernie, then come on and join us at Kanangra Clearing by 8 o'clock tomorrow. So the rest of us pushed off to Kanangra Clearing, which took little over an hour, had tea and a short session round the camp fire till the rain started, then hit the bracken and didn't wake up till 7 a.m.
No sign of the rear party by 8, so off pushed Jack Perry who had been up and warbling round the breakfast fire since crack of dawn. No sign by 9. At 9.15 action seemed to be called for. Stan and Snow would burn through to Katoomba and bring Stan's car back to Megalong Post Office for the Admiral's halt and lame. The rest of the party would go with them except Garth and I who would run back and take the girls' packs and see what was delaying the Admiral - perhaps a search party for Ernie was on the cards. However we hadn't gone very far when whom should we see but good old Ern himself plodding through the white water down the centre of the stream and giving the uncaring air the benefit of his opinions. “Hi there, Ernie!” we called, whereupon the flow of his imprecations became more audible…. “fine b– trip! Four b– parties and not a b– one of them knows what the b– other is doing!”
“Did you meet up with the Admiral,” we asked. Yes, he had, and had left them back yonder still having breakfast. So we brought Ernie up to date on the movements of the rest of the mob and despatched him in pursuit, and continued back. Ha! Here at last is the valiant Anderson leading his party from behind with a vengeance. We took the girls' packs and trotted back through the rain to Kanangra Clearing. By now it was after 10. I kept Vivian's great heavy unwieldy pack and gave her my light one, and Garth made it even lighter and took some of Dawn's weight as well, and so we began to tick off the long miles up the Cox.
You know, when you pound along the banks behind steam-engines like say Putt and Stitt and Wagg and Arnie the distance between Breakfast Creek and Kanangra River is a mere nothing - it hardly registers. But when you glance behind and see someone crawling on hands and knees over the boulders it comes as a tremendous shock. But no complaining from Vivian - poor little game little wench - just a timid request, “Would you mind not going too fast in front, Dot, I want to see where you put your feet.” (!!!)
The rain, though not particularly heavy, had been steady and continuous, and as the already saturated ground could hold no more, the river gradually rose. However we crossed the Cox without undue qualms. On the level cowpads the Admiral stopped to rest the girls and we others kept moving, and at 1.30 behold Breakfast Creek. Garth dumped his heavy pack and promptly went back to take the girls' while Ernie and I, with dry wood from the inside of a fallen tree, plus Ernie's tapers and much blowing, eventually got a fire going in the rain. No fears of being unable to get through that night had entered our minds. It would take a couple of hours to reach Carlons, which we could easily do before dark if we didn't waste time over lunch, then the bit of road walk to Megalong would present no problems even though it were dark, and Stan should be there by 7 o'clock with the car and drive us home in comfort. Thus we reasoned. (The gods on Mt. Olympus roared with laughter. “What a long time it takes for some people to wake up!” they chortled.)
When at length Garth showed up with Dawn's pack, the girls behind him and a worried Admiral whipper-in, it was after 2, and by the time lunch had been consumed and bandages and sticking-plaster applied it was twenty to 4 before we started. (For the first time I began to suspect that that low rumbling in the sky wasn't thunder but laughter.)
The 34 crossings (or whatever it is) of Breakfast Creek got hairier and hairier as we proceeded. Rain continued to fall and the steep escarpments either side of the creek poured down their hundred and one contributing watercourses till eventually we found we could not make the crossings singly. So Garth organised us into a line and with arms linked New Zealand fashion we made all subsequent crossings, Garth breaking the force of the water upstream and the rest of us sheltering in his wake with the Admiral as backstop. When he was in to his waist we knew that the flood was up to Dawn's shoulders, and Oh Dear! Don't even think of the sodden packs and clothes and sleeping bags1
Instead of getting shallower, as we got higher up the crossings got deeper. Garth would test them first, and when he found them above his waist he would pronounce them too dangerous without a rope so we would make heroic sidles up the side…. and Time laughed up his sleeve as the hours slid swiftly by. We had only just passed Apple Tree Flat and here it was a quarter to five. Less than half an hour of daylight and many more miles yet to go. Ernie's face was a blood-streaked mess from having fallen face first on a sharp rock, and the girls had completely submerged on several occasions. We knew we couldn't get them through the river crossings in the dark, so…. back to Apple Tree Flat and camp for the night.
The low-lying part of the flat was several inches under water. We went up to higher ground and got the two tents up and lit a fire and spent about 4 hours in the rain drying out clothes and sleeping bags, and cooking up half a billy of rice and dried apples and sultanas which luckily our provident leader still had left in his food tins. Our hydrologist went down to the creek and stuck up a measuring stick in the bank, then we crawled into our limited quarters and slept while the flood roared and the rain tapped a staccato on the tent roof and its walls got wetter and wetter and more eager to transfer their burden of water to our sleeping bags.
Next morning we crawled out and cooked up half a cup of oatmeal and put on it the last of our milk powder and sugar, than packed our wet tents and off again to the flood. Why harrow you with the rest of it? Garth's measuring stick had been washed away, which meant the water was even higher, so we kept mainly to bluff sidling and eventually came to Carlon's creek. At the top of the steep pull into Carlons we find good old tired Ernie, infected by Garth's selflessness, dropping his pack and going back down for Dawn's. So to Carlon's by 1 pm. It appeared Jim Brown, Dot Barr and Geof Broadhead had got to Canon's after dark the previous evening. Jim had gone on but the other two had spent the night with the Carlons and had left only about an hour ago. Snow and Stan and the rest of the gang had been first there at 4 and after a cup of tea had pushed off via Devil's Hole to Katoomba, leaving a message that if we came through we should go to Snow's place at Katoomba and collect their return tickets to Sydney for our own use, and he would drive the others home in his car. However, we didn't get there, as you already know.
We had a cup of tea with the Carlons and fed the tame finches, then off along the road to Megalong Post Office. The Admiral bee-lined for the telephone and sent through half a dozen messages to all and sundry reporting our safe arrival, including one for our Search & Rescue contact man, Hooper, designed to curb his enthusiasm. We had heard that he had gone north with Pete Stitt to Kempsey to photograph forty stranded whales, and we rather hoped he would be stranded among his stranded whales while we were stranded among our flooded creeks, and so give us time to get home unnoticed.
Garth and Ernie made a fire and cooked up our lunch… one (1) packet of Chicken Noodle, soup with some bread crusts in it. Then with a grin on his face Garth brought out his final triumph - a square inch of cheese, and we each had a piece the size and thickness of a postage stamp - a really satisfying meal, everything from soup to cheese to be precise. Then we put on our dry clothes just as our phoned-for taxi whirled up the track, and so up to Blackheath by 5 o'clock. We filled in the next hour at the hamburgery and caught the train out at 6.5 p m. - six typical S.B.W.s. Stoney Broke to the Wide, owing the Admiral for phone calls, Garth for the taxi, Dawn for the hamburgers, and Ernie for the train fare home.
So into town by 9 p.m. Then as I'd promised myself to see a New Zealand Alpine Club couple who were passing through Sydney this day I went straight to the Wentworth Hotel, gum leaf scented pants smoke-impregnated jumper and all, sodden pack dripping on the on the carpet, and edged my way through the dress-shirted, evening robed throng in the foyer. To the mountaineering Sims my arrival was like a keen blast of mountain air, but I must say I felt a bit conspicuous. Up to the Sims bedroom where we sat on the beds and talked Alpine Club doings for the rest of the evening. As I slunk out at midnight through the still-crowded lounge room an immaculate overdressed gentleman remarked to his consort in an incredulous voice “She's going hiking!”
“Guess again, brother. I'm' going home to bed.”
“Let her go,” yawned the gods on their mountain height, “The joke's over.”
Into the sleeping camp
Glideth late or soon
That gentle companion,
The lovely speechless moon.
Soft as a dewdrop,
Cool as a willow,
She layeth her bright head
Beside mine on the pillow.
- Dawn Askew.
Some say 'it was all Snow's fault,' but the more generous of us admit that a few other ruinous elements fused on the night of Friday 23rd June expressly to lead astray the Admiral and his gallant crew.
Actually 'it all began' when Dot threw her emptied gin bottle out of Madden's car and damaged the railway bridge. (Of course she denies this, but it's still a rumour). This unfortunate incident caused the first split in of would-be land-lubbers. One group waited trough half of eternity at Katoomba Station before it could be united with the train-travelling peasants of the second group. Eventually the complete party reached Morong Creek and settled down to endure a three hour freezing sleep midst snow and ice.
To the amazement of all and sundry, all the bods arose bright (?) and early and set off on a 1arge-scale treasure hunt, the prize being the ridge leading to Mt. Paralyser which, we discovered, was most aptly named. Somehow, probably through luck rather than good map-reading, the ridge was found and Paralyser conquered. Then, as we began to descend to Kanangra River, came Snow's superb stroke of genius: white-anting in reverse. His cries of “Wrong ridge, Admiral” drifted up to us in such authoritative tones that we were immediately convinced of our error and set off to the right. Just as we gained the ridge indicated by this reliable guide we heard his cry again, “Wrong ridge!” Back again to the original choice we trudged, and Snow gained an even more impressive reputation, as well as many new names. However we soon hit upon the cause of all the mishaps: the Dalai Lama had blessed the ridge but forgot to bless the party. Nevertheless the party was again re-united after successfully negotiating 'that terrible descent' to Kanangra River. Here camped four very tired bodies while the rest bashed on to the Cox, whence nine set out early for Carlon's and two waited for the rearguard.
Saturday night and Sunday brought a change from Saturday's heavy mist; it brought rain! Up came the Cox, along which we had a slow but uneventful journey until we eventually reached Breakfast Creek which was, by this time, running a banquet. Nevertheless, so confident were we in our strength that we determined “nor will this gutter atop us from getting home tonight.” Thank goodness we had Dot and Garth to encourage us from the front and Long Tack and Ern French to whip up on from behind. Little did we realise that the creek would grow and grow and grow and grow. At last the crossings had to be made six-strong, but with no serious mishap until the Admiral let out a blood-curdling scream: he was wet above the knees! Of course most of us had been in up to the armpits for some time.
As darkness descended more and more apt became the phrase 'Moan, groan, gloom, despair', until we reluctantly decided we must camp until daylight. Came a dreadful night in wet sleeping bags with only a handful of rice and apples to sustain us. Never was food more delicious.
On Monday the creek was sidled quite successfully and the tired bodies dragged themselves over land and water to Carlon's where an interested audience heard the tales of woe and gave in return news of the advance guard. As well, these generous people gave us a 'beam, gleam, supreme with steam,' cup of tea.
And so to Sydney, where we found frantic families, frustrated bosses and jeering, hilarious, but very sympathetic work-mates. After all this, only 24 hours overdue!
On recalling this trip four serious questions never cease to haunt me:-
1. Why do people really give up warm, soft, dry beds and good food for bushwalking?
2. Why do we all quite honestly say it was 'a mighty trip'?
3. Why are our feet not webbed?
4. Why are Snow and the Admiral still alive?
- Vivienne Willis
Everyone was late, and “it was all Snow's fault.” Of course I don't know Snow, and it certainly wasn't Snow who made the bridge fall down because he was asleep in the hat-rack, nor was it Show who made the weather, first bitterly cold and then torrential rain. But - it was all Snow's fault.
My family is quite normal and therefore most justly against Bushwalking. However from several sources they were assured I'd be safely enfolded back into the home on Sunday night. And so I gaily set out.
My ardour was not daunted by queer looks or laughs as I made my way to the corner of Parramatta's Grace Bros., nor was it daunted by the cold as we stepped into Katoomba's icy air. It began very quickly to wear thin when, in the allotted four hours sleep in the snow at Morong Creek my feet became colder and colder.
Breakfast over and it began. How long can a nightmare last? “Moan, groan, gloom, despair.” Yes, I certainly had my share of each. How I cursed myself, but we couldn't turn back. “Blast these boots” - new, obviously. And then my fleeting contact with Snow! “You're on the wrong ridge!” And that finished me. My ardour had long since gone and in its place the most frightening misery - and hunger.
And then twelve hours peace in the spot to which all prospectives should be taken, just to justify themselves for ever walking. Too soon we were on the march again, this time a new hazard - Rain! The smallest creeks were changing and were soon to become raging torrents. Our consolation was that by seven that night we'd be back in safety. And so somehow we became slower and slower, and the rain became harder and harder. But there were our three guardian angels, and how heaven was thanked for them!
Can anyone in their right minds honestly find joy in sleeping in the wet? But would I do it again? Of course!! But now we were late! Moan, groan, gloom, despair!
Monday dawned, and as if to encourage us there was no rain. Just lank and limp dripping shrubs, lurking nettles and slippery rocks. Up a mountain, down the same, gained about twenty feet. But the angels assured us when the fork was reached it would be “chicken-feed” - And I suppose it was - but not to a foot-sore, leg-sore, hungry prospective who only wanted to get to Carlon's.
And then we were there. Everything, for the time being, was forgotten. But we still weren't close enough to real civilization. So - press on! After trudging, then shuffling and panting step after step up the mountain, we were in the Megalong Valley. The sun was pouring onto us and the angels by this time had more than a faint illumination above their heads.
We rode out of the valley in luxurious style warmed by the last luscious pint of soup. And so back to near-frantic parents and not quite sure of my own sanity, but,
Yes, I'd be a prospective, but don't ask the reason. Probably because it was all Snow's fault!
“Medical Practitioner” sends us this month's Health Hint:
Water taken in moderation cannot hurt anybody.
Gloomy thoughts on the part of the Leader who has ordered a 7 a.m. start:
The mob is about to get going….
That is, they are all set to start
To plan to prepare to get ready
To begin to commence to depart.
Au revoir: This month we say good-bye to two members who will be greatly missed in the Club; Ross to England for two years, and Garth home to New Zealand for who knows how long.
Paddy has secured a shipment of medium weight rubber-soled mountain boots.
They are hand made and come from Italy. These boots were shipped in error and Paddy has bought them cheap. They would normally sell at £10.
Paddy can sell them for £7.
Sizes available: 6 1/2 - 10.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camping Gear. 201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. Phone: BM2685.
[ Map ]
The Spring Tour (1956) of the Caloola Club goes to the Wyperfeld National Park and The Grampian Mountains.
Leaving Sydney on Sunday Morning, August 26th for about twelve days. Final details will be furnished to all members of party daring the week prior to departure.
Wyperfeld National Park is Victoria's largest National Park (about 138,000 acres) and is situated in the Wimmera District. It consists of a series of old, dry lakes, the original course of the Wimmera River before changing conditions of geography terminated the river in Lake Hindmarsh and Lake Albercutya. Around the green lake beds stretching like wide plains, are River Red Gums. Here abound many Kangaroos and Emus, and in the mallee of the sandy regions, the Mallee Fowl. With the wide rains of the past months, a good show of brilliant wild flowers of the “desert”, seems assured.
And speaking of wildflowers naturally turns the attention to the other chief point of interest in the trip….. The Grampian Mountains… the home of many exciting natives of the flower kingdom: Thryptomene, Micromyrtus, many new Grevilleas, Epacris impressa and others. You'll see them all. There are fascinating rock formations of tilted and eroded sandstones, rising out of the plain of western Victoria. This is a skyline not easily forgotten.
The trip will travel via Central Western and Southern New South Wales and return along the Murray Valley to Albury. From here a visit is proposed for the Hume Weir, Tumbarumba, Tumut and Weejasper. As many interesting points as possible will be visited.
Cost: Ten Pounds (plus 2/6d affiliation for non-members), members of party to supply own food. Deposit of Five Pounds to be with the Booking Clerk, (Mrs) E.M. Dingeldei, 42 Byron St., Croydon (UA 2983 or UA 4914) by August 20th. Cheques to be payable to the Caloola Club Coach Fund; Money Orders and Postal Notes payable to E.M. Dingeldei at Burwood P.O.
Farther details and general enquiries from the Booking Clerk or the Leader, Allan M. Fox, 92 Yathong Road, Caringbah, LB 7304.
[See map of route overleaf….]