A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers
The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No.4476 G.P.O., Sydney. 'Phone J1A11462.
294 JUNE, 1959 Price 1/-.
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Audrey Kenway|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|At Our May Meeting||3|
|Kodachromatics at Mount King George||“Celluloid Charley'||4|
|Letter to the Editor||5|
|The Old Buffers Take to the Water||Paddy Pallin||6|
|A Sunday Walk||“Vegie”||9|
|On the Seventh Day||“Mumbedah”||11,|
|Notes from London||“Bull Moose”||14|
|Yadboro Rim||Jim Brown||16|
|Further News||from Lyn Baber||22|
A few weeks ago, records an overseas newspaper, six Hopi Indians, acting on a tribal Prophecy, travelled from Arizona to the big glass house in New York to warn the Nations of the World that they are on the brink of a great struggle between the forces of good and evil and that the day of purification is at hand, after which there will be everlasting life and peace.
They were told to put their message in writing. The Hopis replied that it was of the heart and mind, not one to be put in writing, and it would only take an hour to tell. It was explained that a meeting could not be held without a proper framework and that in any case this would probably not be possible for some months. The enlightened minority had done their duty so they went contentedly home.
Back to the Bush!
That weekend gulp of nature helps preserve our sanity. Its rewards, like the Hopis message, are of the heart and mind and the more closely you study it the greater the enjoyment.
It takes a while for the uninitiated to find out why we go bush, to discover that the panoramic view is only the beginning, and that the real pleasures lie hidden for those who will take the trouble to find them.
We can't preserve our wildernesses without “a proper framework” nor can we afford to sit back and hope that those who don't understand will perish.
|June 17th||Non-Scenic Colour Slide Competition.|
|June 24th||Prospective Members' Night. SPECIAL TREAT S.B.W. on T.V. The Bushwalker Television Feature Film will be shown daring the evening.|
|July 15th||P.M.G. Depart. Colour Movies of Tasmania, etc. Members thoroughly enjoyed the movies on the last occasion we were entertained by the PMG|
|July 22nd||“Roving Around Australia”, with George Gray, Frank Young, Frank Rigby and Henry Gold. These four members spent 6 months touring around Australia and the Centre. A fascinating evening is guaranteed.|
|July 29th||Why not make a date to have a good natter in the club on Free Nights, now that the environment is so pleasant?|
As we go to print the Harveys, the Rodgers and Alex Colley are off to the-back-of-the-Castle again. We suppose that after their wet Easter trip they reckon there's no more rain left down that way. Ho, Ho, Ho!
The Editor said “Members sure are well read / And I've nothing but praise for their writing / But too few will take heed / Of the Magazine's need / And the IN Basket's empty - it's FRIGHTENING !!”
The first business arising was the election of room stewards. Three, later described as “old buffers” (or maybe it was “duffers” - we couldn't be sure without our ear-Trumpet) were elected - Ern French, Kevin Ardill and Alex Colley).
Correspondence included “Into the Blue”, “Tarndanya” and the Potomac Appalachian Trails Club Bulletin, which the President commended to our reading.
The Treasurer reported that his assistant had worked to such good effect while he was away that £162.15.0 had been collected in subscriptions and £15.2.6 in application fees. The room warming party had yielded a profit of £5.16.8. £207.16.10 was carried forward to next month.
Reporting on arrangements made about our club room, Brian Harvey told us that it could be used from 6.30 to 10.30 p m. We had to be out by 10.30 because the watchman came around then. Arrangements had been made to put a sign advertising our presence in the front of the building and a light was to be placed above. The Council had been requested to put another street light outside the entrance. Plano were being made for the improvement of the ventilation. The Nurses' Association would allow us to use the Committee Room (off the kitchen) every Wednesday, if we wanted to.
Drawing our attention to the new notice board on the dais, the President thanked Jack Wren for his gift to the Club. The new board is of caneite, painted light grey and may be folded across the centre and carried into the cloak room. It blends nicely with the room furnishings.
Next we debated a motion by Frank Ashdown that we should spend £6 to have the name of the Club in block capitals in the phone book. Frank said it was difficult to find the club entry, partly because “Bush Walkers” was spelt as two words. Jack Wren said you could find anything in the phone book if you knew how to use it. Ron Knightly disagreed with this, having recently found “Emergency-Housekeeping Service” under “Spectacles” after some half hour of searching but at the same time questioned the need to pay to help people to find their way into the Club.
There was a fair stream of newcomers and if they came in too quickly we might not have enough room in the Club room. If young people came in and didn't pull their weight it threw more work on the old members. The three room stewards elected earlier, for instance, were in the “old buffer” class. Brian Harvey said he was inclined to agree with this (interjection from Kevin Ardill - “Oh, are you?”), but thought it would be worth spending £1 on having the Club listed under “Bushwalkers, The Sydney'. and asking the P.M.G. to create a new classification in the pink pages under “Clubs - Bushwalking”. This was what the meeting decided to do.
Edna Carrad was then authorised to rent the North Sydney Council Chambers Hall for the Christmas Party on Thursday 10th December, for £4.8.2d.
At this stage the President sighted Mike Perryman coming in and welcomed him to the Club.
Len Fall informed us that the Brisbane Waters National Park (Kariong) was about to be gazetted. He also told us that Mr. Gale had closed access to the Warrumbungles through his property and withdrawn his offer of some acres of land for a camping area. This was because some walkers had written to him telling him to pick them up at the railway and take them to the mountains.
At Brian Harvey's suggestion it was decided to ask the song book committee to complete the publication of the book. This was mainly a matter of binding more copies together.
Brian also drew attention to the Club Screen - now “little better than a rag” and said that the projector too was obsolete. It was decided to ask the Club projectionists for a report on the condition of the screen and projector and recommendations for improvement of same.
“Celluloid Charlie”. “Action: Cut:” came the sweet voice of Film Director Rhonnda Small of the Department of the Interior Film Unit.
Yes, folks, we were at it again - this time in colour - the second Club filming in three weeks: And this time at the special request of the Commonwealth Government, too: Yes - we know - as Australia's leading walking club, we just can't help being approached in these matters.
As part of a colour documentary to be released here and overseas, four of our members, with a professional radio-and-T.V. actor (as a pseudo-bushwalker), made a section of a composite film which first depicts individuals at their work-a-day vocation - then flashes to the scene of their weekend recreation. Our Actor, John, who took the part of a school teacher, having been “shot” at Chester Hill Public School taking a class - was now walking in the rugged country of the Blue Mountains (easily the roughest in the State). Transported from, and to, their homes by a uniformed driver in a Commonwealth Car Pool “Custombuilt”, the bods spent about five chilly hours on Saturday, 11th April, “on location”, just off Bell's Line of Road, a little vest of Mt. King George, waiting in vain for Old Sol to put in an appearance from beyond an overcast sky. With an understanding that another try would be made on the following day, the party went disappointedly home, via the Kurrajong Heights Hotel, where their “spirits” were somewhat revived.
Despite the general idea to the contrary, some Government employees DO get abroad early. Sunday dawned somewhat grey, and after a survey at 6 a m. of the uninspiring sky, certain bode crept back to bed after a “cuppa”, but an unrelenting telephone at 6.40 announced “it was on” and that the Custombuilt was on its way. Much scrambling ensued and all the party was present and correct when they caught up with the film-unit panel-van “on location” at 8.55 a m.
A camp was set up on a grassy foreground, with a background of a deep V-cut in the cliffs above Blue Gum Forest, which revealed the sun-gilded yellow and red cliffs of the Grose Valley, the whole framed between two small handsome White gums.
One scene called far a close-up of John's and Molly's feet crunching by on their way up to the camp from the depths of the Grose Valley. Being a Victorian pale-skin and non-walker, John's legs were lily-white. To give them the correct touch, a charcoal stick was liberally smeared over his shins ,and thighs, with a dab or two on the shorts for luck. Oh, these dirty hikers! Oh, the genuine look of horror: Oh, the ignominy.
Shooting was finally completed after much waiting for heavy cumulus clouds to pass, and after grilled steak, the party “moved off” to Hunter Street, City, to film the closing scenes of the weekend walkers trudging “wearily” homeward bound with the low westering sun on their backs, up the hill towards Castlereagh Street, much to the amazement of some Sunday afternoon city window-shoppers. And so home in the Custombuilt.
The high price of art far art's sake - eighteen hours away from home for about 90 seconds run of film! But the honour - THE HONOUR!
3 Coopernook Avenue, Gymea Bay. Dear Mr. Editor,
Your editorial in the May, 1959, edition of your magazine “The Sydney Bushwalker entitled “Tanks far the Memory or A Good Place to Camp”, was indeed, very much to the point.
You ask your readers, Sir, to think of similar places around Sydney like that which must have existed beside the Tank Stream, where the Bushies now have their Clubroom. Cherish the thought, such places are precious few, and let me assure you (if you need to be assured), they're getting fewer. In fact Mr. Editor, probably more than four-fifths of the places that we use today for camping, walking and enjoying the wildlife and natural conditions, are not ours to enjoy; and why? Because they have not been reserved for this purpose or because the manner of reservation is insecure. Perhaps tomorrow, or next week, or next generation, the hand of authority will wipe out your right and mine, to stand an look; maybe we won't want to stand and look as the trees come down, the wildflowers go under the bulldozer, the animals pack up and leave, the fences and the “Keep Out” notices grow up like blackberries and lantana.
I have no doubt that when the day comes and there is nothing left, a few anaemic letters from “Nature Lover” will find their way into the newspapers, written from some backyard of some suburban “prison”, particularly after a public holiday when the last picnic spot (well-favoured) has a power-station, a bowling green, a nationally important mining undertaking, an urgent housing project or an essential food-producing enterprise, firmly established upon it.
It can't happen here, did I hear you say? That's what you think! It's happening everywhere, today. Like Nero we're fiddling whilst they pinch our heritage… and all in the name of Science, Economic Development, Progress, Better Living and Ballyhoo! They'll tell you it's to save us from invasions from the Asians and all the time we're being invaded by the soulless experts of land development and we're being imprisoned, anyhow. They're not worried about future generations because they work on the theory that no one misses what they've never known. And, by hell, they're winning out because we're too busy enjoying what we've got to worry about the future.
Bushwalkers come and go, but the blokes that matter go on forever. Some there are who stop to analyse their feeling, to ask why they enjoy the places of natural beauty and how such matters contribute to the aesthetic and cultural backgrounds of a nation. These do not include your “flash-in-the-pan” walker who “does” all the recorded trips (particularly the glamorous ones) and then gracefully retires, bored with “old trips all over again”. Instead, they find a new pleasure .. probing the devices used by the land-development merchants and attempting to foil such devices as they are thought up.
But there are lots of devices and many sheep who never seem to realise that they are being “had”. How many of your readers, dear Sir, prefer to fiddle with the enjoyment of the bush lands whilst plans are being laid to leave only the ashes for the next generation?
(Sgd.) Allan A. Strom.
The Old Buffers were at it again at Easter. Of course, for these ancient codgers Easter doesn't begin on Thursday night munching sandwiches in the train, nor even with the frantic packing on the day previous, but several months before. Round about Christmas time they put on their bi-focals and scan the calendar. “Ha: Easter's early again this year. Must start my injections”. So what with injections and massive doses of Vitamin extracts it is quite a busy time. Their wives generally refuse to sleep with them because they (the wives) object to the smell of liniment which is copiously rubbed on to shrivelled muscles in the vain hope of restoring them to their erstwhile suppleness. Maybe this us just as well, otherwise they would disturb their spouses as they crawled untimely out of bed to do their daily half dozen with much creaking of bone and cracking of joint.
So brimming over with ertsatz vitality, and synthetic good spirits six bold buffers could be seen on the train heading for Nowra. Their destination was the Endrick River Bridge on the Nowra-Braidwood Road. They had a plan to travel dawn the Endrick River to the Shoalhaven, and down that stream to Bungonia Gorge and Barbers Creek and thence up to Long Point Lookout and home.
The Intelligence section had been able to glean very little information about the country and the hatchured Military sheet didn't yield much. However, on the train were scads of youngsters belonging to virile clubs such as S.B.W. and the Bush Club. Two lads named Colley and Leyden gave some valuable clues. Young Colley had spent two days travelling three miles down the Endrick. One venerable member of the old buffers whose job it is to design computing machines calculated (with the aid of his slide rule and his abacus) that if we travelled half that distance in twice the time it would take us 40 days to travel the 30 miles of River we had to traverse we there and then decided to cut out the Endrick bit and travel down the Coolumburra Creek a mile or two to the East of the Endrick.
This was a happy choice. There was a good track leaving the road near the Endrick Bridge. It climbed over a spur into the valley which was semi cleared and grassy. After a few miles of pleasant going a deserted farm house was reached, and then the stream went into a miniature gorge which was a sheer delight. Granite boulders and casuarinas and little green lawns reminded us of those far off days when we did intrepid trips down the Cox's River. Suddenly the small stream cut through a magnificent bar of vertical slate-like rocks, and then plunged into an abyss. We laboriously scrambled up the mountainside, and even more laboriously crawled down a very loose scree for a few hundred feet, peered over the edge and hurriedly withdrew. We were still several hundred feet from the bottom. Reluctantly and not without some groans from the rapidly deteriorating veterans, we re-climbed up the scree and then to the top of the ridge. Here we found a knife-edge ridge which eventually took us down to the river. We bathed our aching bones in the river and camped for the night.
Our fishing expert put lines down but alas, the unsporting eels must have known didn't have a licence for they not only took his bait but hooks and all.
Next day the river was high and rising steadily, so we had to keep to the one side of the river. This made things somewhat difficult as there were many rocky bars to negotiate. That night we camped a little short of Doctors Point and the river was a raging torrent. Just as we started to make camp the rain came and we had a wet night. Next morning the river had subsided a little, but we got intermittent showers which made the rocks slippery. The whole of this part of the Shoalhaven is a scene of wild grandeur. The valley is deep and the rocks are contorted in a fantastic manner. Every mile or so the river would cut through a great rock bar with vertical strata running up the mountainside. We negotiated the Little Horseshoe Bend and could understand why the river preferred to go round rather than cut through this formidable mass of rock.
We decided to have lunch at Great Horseshoe Bend. It was maybe as well we did so, for a few minutes after we had stooped there was an explosion like a clap of thunder and then an earth shaking roar as a mass of rock came hurling down the mountainside a few hundred yards ahead.
After lunch we picked our way gingerly and somewhat nervously across the trail of still moving debris left by the landslide: We had hoped to reach and maybe negotiate the Blockup that afternoon but alas! the dusk found us two miles short. That young fellow called Leyden told us that the going was easy from Nerimunga Creek. Well, even after making allowances for his youthful virility we didn't find it that easy. Maybe the flooded state of the river had something to do with it.
Next day we knew we had to cover a lot of ground, and so we got an early start. After a little while the going got harder and harder. The rocks were wet and slippery, and the good going always seemed to be on the other side. Finally the side we were on became a cliff and so we had to make the plunge. The members of the fraternity who hadn't swum with packs before were initiated into the mysteries of Relative Density, Law of Archimedes and Centre of Gravity. One of the members decided that this was the moment to inform us that swimming in cold water didn't agree with him - in fact it made him ill. After a motion had been carried (5 for 1 against) “That we abandon the said member” he decided that he would tag along and see what happened.
With cameras and watches secured and everything lashed and stowed we launched into the icy waters. After a four hundred yard swim we landed on a shingle beach just above a really fierce rapid. We walked a hundred yards downstream to dodge the rapid, but alas steep rocks then barred our path, and willy nilly we had to plunge into the swift flawing waters. It was quite exciting for a few minutes until we landed on rocks on the other side. Here the true Blockup began. Dark waters flowed silently between enormous cliffs hundreds of feet high. It was impressive and a little scary. We paired off into cobbers, and Bruce and I went first. We hoped to get through and get pictures of the others. It was quite a long swim. I estimate about 1 mile. The river became very deep and consequently the current slowed down, so we really had to swim to make decent headway. Soon our teeth were chattering in the cold waters. We were glad to get out at the other end and get into the sunshine again. Bruce and I climbed on to a rock and enjoyed the sun. Meanwhile mysterious things were happening in the middle of the canyon. About an hour later the rest of the party came through. Two of them had got so cold they climbed on to a rock in the middle of the gorge, unpacked their carefully wrapped rucksacks and gave each other a good towelling. We finally reassembled and had lunch. We were getting somewhat anxious about the time. We had arranged for a car to meet us at 6 p m. at Long Point to take us into Moss Vale to catch the 8 p m. train, and it was now 1.30 pm. We made good time along the track on the left bank. Passed the old mine and had an attempt at crossing the river. It was too deep for us, and so we pushed on as far as we could go and then reluctantly wrapped up packs again and plunged into the swift flowing waters. We were carried round the bend past the bluff which barred our progress, and landed safely. As our time was running out Paul and Reg, who were the only ones with a bit of zipp left, went on ahead to let the car know we were coming.
Our vitamins and what-nots were just about used up, and the only thing that kept us going on that 1800 ft. grind out of the gorge was the thought of that car waiting for us at the top. Alas, as we staggered out on to the road we were met by a disappointed Paul and Reg who told us the car had gone. We found out later he had arrived at 5.30, waited until 6.10 and gone home!
We were tired and hungry, so we had a meal and started walking again. We had to walk another three miles before we found a farm house with a phone.
We caught a train from Moss Vale at 3 a.m, Tuesday, and got home just in time to have a shower, breakfast, and go to work. One of these days we'll be really too old to do these foolish things.
It was a lovely Sunday morning and the refreshing air and clearness of sky promised an excellent day.
On the way to Sutherland Station where I was to join David Ingram's party for Westmacott mountain I sensed a keenness that only those who have not been out walking for some years would fully appreciate.
Before preparing for the descent to the Railway Reservoir to cross the dam to ascend Mount Westmacott, the usual introductory circle was formed and really I felt like a prospective all over again, not being known by many of the new members. This perplexed emotion did not live long, as Bushwalkers possess that unique indescribable approach to make one feel at ease.
The climb up Mount Westmacott, though not comparable with the Matterhorn or Everest, was both interesting and entertaining and the continuity of cross-fire conversation created a great deal of mirth.
On attaining the peak, one gasped at the magnificent scenic panorama viewed at a full unhindered three hundred and sixty degrees!
With ten minutes break oranges, apples, cameras and exposure metres became more prominent, and in next to no time the voice of the leader exclaimed “Ready to move off”. How every one would have enjoyed an extra few minutes to drink more of the surrounding elegance!
Regardless, the company drooped down from crest to ridge to eventually reach a slow running creek, but the thoughts of a cool swim were soon dashed to oblivion because of a water hole that did not exist.
“Where are we going from here?” a question was asked.
“What time will we get there?” another exclaimed.
“In what direction are we going to have dinner?” someone else said, and was soon assured of a Utopia on the other side of the mountain confronting us.
Another ten minutes were sent by the creek, some busily taking photographs, others reclining against logs and rocks and permeating the freshness of the air with cigarette smoke.
Again the voice from our midst drew our attention that we must be on our way. We trudged onward with the thought of a lengthy meal and a refreshing swim on the other side…..
A small gathering of walkers at lunch brings forward many a thought that otherwise would be lost. Many a subject is aired with the inevitable debate that generally follows to the interest of everybody, and such discussions usually lead to a general enlightenment, and of course any laughter that follows is added as an encouragement to the digestion of the meal….
That man again: forcing his outspoken desires for us to pack and move on again. Why doesn't he go to sleep! The significance of his command usually ferrets out the long faced features of reluctance to move, which are just as quickly cast to one side, allowing the better judgment of cooperation to come to the forefront.
After leaving Myuna Creek a challenge was made for anybody to find Woronora Trig, which was supposed to be hidden where it could not be found. What, was behind David's mind when he uttered that challenge, I do not know, but I have a suspicion he introduced that invitation with no other object than to offset the moans and groans in the climbing of another mountain, in the heat of the day, immediately after dinner.
Nice fellow David! Nice fellow indeed!
Nevertheless, apart from the trials and tribulations in climbing that mountain side, excellent time was achieved on reaching the scrubby scratchy tops.
The views obtained were peaceful and captivating and the freshness of the clean bushland atmosphere made one want to breathe deeper and deeper.
After a ten minute pause a north west direction was taken towards the Woronora River, which was then followed downstream.
The afternoon sun still had a bite, hot enough to appreciate another swim. Again the question was asked - what the chances were in that direction - feeling there might be the possibility of no opportunity; but his sagaciousness affirmed that arrangements were as good as organised. In due course the swim arrived and most pleasant was the cooling off and the refreshed feeling that followed after a heavy walk up mountain and down valley.
Then followed the inevitable billy of tea, with sandwiches, biscuits and cheese, bringing to a close a delightful days walk.
To those who complain about the high cost of train fares in relation to the enjoyment derived from Sunday walks, and to those confirmed “Friday-nighters” who sniff disdainfully down the full length of their upturned superior noses at the very thought of going on one, I raise the query “Do we make the best of the Sunday walks'?” In hopping up first to answer my own question, I say, simply “Probably not”.
Prior to the War (the second one, of course) when we used to enjoy a return train trip of a Sunday for the price of a single-journey ticket, almost invariably it was the practice to have tea in the bush at the conclusion of the walk, followed by a short sing-song or round-the-fire chin-wag, then catch a late train home. The river flat at Lilyvale, near the station, was always dotted by small fires on such nights, not only those of the organised walkers, but of the “Sunday Hikers” who were on the tracks in hundreds, so many, in fact, that at a now “dead” place like Lilyvale the Railways employed a Ticket Collector on Sunday mornings!
It was probably the curtailment of rail services during the War, combined with a grave shortage, due to food-rationing, of chops, sizzling snorkers, bacon, eggs and other appurtenances of the bushwalker's larder, that the insidious practice crept in of dashing home by an early train. Since then, for the want of being better-informed, are more likely, the absence of any thought on the feasibility of dining-art, the then established custom has not been revived. Another aspect, not to be overlooked, is that this early train movement may have represented the earlier known, and equally insidious manifestations of the present-day 'White-ant” tactics! Who knows!
Strange, but walkers are quite prepared, after a hard weekend “bash”, to catch a train, say, at Katoomba or Kiama, and land back in Sydney, dog-tired, about 9 pm. on a Sunday night with never a complaint about getting home later - just because that's normal. No obvious reason therefore, springs into my fertile mind, why one should not be equally prepared to arrive in Central about the same time, after the comparative ease of a Sunday walk (even if a test-walk) with its light pack, lighter hearts and little or no fatigue!
Lilyvale has been cited, because with fire-wood and water right at the station, it is ideal for the purpose. At other spots, not sporting these mod. cons., we used to carry all available water bags to a location as near as practicable to the station, to make tea and wet down the fire. At Waterfall, water can be drawn from Uloola Swamp, or on the Western side, from the Heathcote Creek tributary rills. Similarly, convenient spots can be easily found at Heathcote, Engadine, Otford, Audley, Mt. Kuring-gai and Glenbrook. The present Railway Timetables provide for trains to arrive within a few minutes either side of 9 pm. For those who really want to be home early, it would only be a few hundred yards to the station from where the party would stop, and I'm sure the Leader would excuse you!
Half the enjoyment of the weekend trips is in the camp fire, with its cheery glow, laughter, singing and chiacking. If you can't make the weekend walk, just try having your tea in the bush on a Sunday trip - it's a great substitute! It's also good cooking practice in the dark for the new Prospective Member who has to learn, only too soon, that in the winter most teas are cooked after sunset. If he does make a botch of his meal, he'll soon be home to Mum, anyway, where there'll be something more delectable, I'm sure! Perhaps some of our Sunday Walks Leaders might give it a go!
June Katoomba - Car to Carlon's - Breakfast Creek - Guouogang Kanangra Creek - 19-20-21 Yellow Dog - Katoomba.
Special trip for young and old Tigers who are reasonably sound in wind and limb. Easy going down Carlon's Creek (mind the nettles) and Breakfast Creek to camp on Cox's River Friday night. Climb about 3000' to Guouogang via Heartbreaker, Jenolan and Queahgong. Terrific views from a new angle. Then drop 3100' down Naroo Buttress to camp on Kanangra River. Return to Katoomba via Kanangaroo, Yellow Dog, Narrow Neck.
Leader: Geoff Wagg Fares 34/9d.
21 Cowan - Gunyah Bay - Cowan.
Scratchy ridge walking (long trousers recommended) and a scramble down to a delightful camp spot at Gunyah Bay. Views of Cowan Creek & Broken Bay. Don't be put off by a few prickly bushes - this is a good trip!
Leader: Brian Harvey, Fares 10/-.
26-27-28 Mt. Victoria - Blackheath Creek - Cox River - Megalong Creek - Glen - Katoomba.
Pleasant walking down Blackheath Creek and along Cox 's River through Cullenbenbong country. Rock hopping and scrambling (Granite boulders) for a few miles before the spectacular junction with Megalong Creek - cascades and rock pools - then scrambling up the Megalong Gorge and cut via Nellie's Glen.
Leader: Bob Younger, Fares 26/-.
27-28 Instructional:- Glenbrook - St. Helena - Blaxland.
Easy walking - comfortable campsite. Bring (Liverpool) military map. Excellent area far map reading practice. Come along. Help the prospectives and enjoy a spine bash at the same time - recover from those rugged winter walks.
Leader: Edna Stretton Fares 13/-.
July Blackheath - Hampton - Minni Ninni Range - Cullenberbong - 6 foot track - 3-4-5 Nellie 's Glen - Katoomba.
Car to the Summit, easy walking along the Range to Gibraltar Rocks.
Views of the high country. Down Gibraltar Creek to camp on Cox's River. Medium track walk out.
Leader: Molly Rodgers, Fares L2.
4-5 Blackheath - Perry's - Blue Gum - Grand Canyon - Blackheath.
Car to Perry's. Steep 2000' descent to camp in Bluegum. Track walk
out via Beauchamp Falls - The Grand Canyon. Cliff and creek scenery.
Leader: Jean Wilson Fares 27/9d.
5 Waterfall - Heathcote Creek - Heathcote.
Pleasant scrabbling and track walking - waterfalls and Pools
Leader: Edna Garrad Fares 8/-.
The Full House sign was up at the Bush Music Club's performance - those boys have sure got rhythm. They also had a lot of songs we hadn't heard before. A fine evening's entertainment.
Let's see - where does one begin? The trip across seems so long ago now. Was it five months or five years since I was given that terrific farewell from Woolloomooloo? The ship being dimly towed out into the harbour at 8 p m. with the band blazing away - the yelled farewells - the hundreds of streamers - we were at last on our way. The ship became quiet as we passed Fort Denison, but then from the roof of a tall block of flats at Pott's Point a blinking light appeared and the calls of “Hot Pies” echoed across the harbour. Something stirred inside me and despite the amazed looks from the passengers on board a series of Bull Moose groans issued forth which were answered by many, though not quite similar groans, from the shore. Then out through the Heads we slid.
Brisbane - Barrier Reef - Coral Sea - Christmas - Singapore (what a city - you can buy anything - and usually do) - birthday parties - equatorial crossings - Colombo - New Year - Port Said - Naples. A quick tour of Napoli, Pompeii, Sorrento - then back to the ship for its farewell and for the second time in just over a month, I said goodbye to some very good friends.
Italy to me, despite its ancient buildings, lovely wine, colourful language and historic background was spoiled by the hordes of watch sellers, “girls”, money changers, confidence men and every other type of bludger. “No thank you” is never quite understood and one must resort to stronger words with a few adjectives to be left in peace.
The lakes at the foot of the Swiss Alps are terrific and so is Switzerland itself. Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, in fairly quick succession, so that I usually forgot in which language I was trying (and I repent trying) to make myself understood. Just imagine saying “Nein” to a Frenchman instead of “neuf”.
The English Channel was rough but not quite wide enough to delay my digestion, though I do admit to being a slight green colour on boarding the train to London.
On looking back at this first Continental Tour I ask myself -
WHO was the no-hoper who spent four days hitching in Germany and after covering some 400 miles without either map or a knowledge of the German language arrived at the Swiss border at exactly the same spot as he started from?
WHO argued with a street stall salesman in Rome for fifteen minutes, with much use of the helpful “Troppo Caro” to save ten lire (about l 3/4d.) and then got hit for 4000 lire for a colour film?
WHO argued with an excited red faced French station master Who kept waving his arms and shouting “16-25” that he wasn't going to pay any excess fare, no matter what it was, only to find out he meant 16-25 hours?
WHO was dragged out of bed at 1.30 a m. on a freezing morning by a woman's alarm clock because he had set it upside down?
WHO DO YOU THINK?
“Oh, to be in England now that April's there” - here.
The countryside seems ready to burst into life, the early shoots have appeared on the trees and some fruit trees are already in blossom. It seems as though we're just waiting for someone to throw the switch to bring the new growth bursting forth.
The weather has been varied. At first very cold - then dry and windy - dry and cloudy - a few fine days - now wet.
Met Lynette Baber and John Bookluck after their many adventures on their terrific overland trip from Singapore. Booky shaved off his beard and guess what he found? You'll never guess. A double chin. John says it was the muscles he developed through talking down two women and eating hard tack for food. The girls say it was concealed proteins for use when other food ran out.
Like most newcomers to London I was at first bamboozled by the Underground Railway system, however, it soon loses its novelty, but one thing I always find interesting is the adverting posters on the sides of the long escalators which, from the top to bottom (excuse me) covers the complete range of women's undergarments, Also the poster which reads “Buy your 'Eassie Way' Luxury Toilette with terms to suit your convenience”.
Just as I've developed an Alec Guinness type walk which seems to be very popular, with a lot of Londoners, I see “The Horses' Mouth” in which he walks with more of a shuffle than a stride. I hope this doesn't change the walking habits of the English people.
I read an article in an English paper about an American firm called “Canco” whose products are sweeping the home market. The products consist of tinned socks, tinned alarm clocks and tinned underwear, which started rusty cogs turning and produced, “The Canco Query”.
With Omar's book, wine and thou upon a rock, a good sized tin and opener - well armed. The beheaded tin's inverted and bang out drops a clock. Would it be understandable, if one should be alarmed?
It has been said, with some truth, that successful exploratory and mountaineering parties climb to their targets on the backs of earlier less successful venturers. In the less intrepid sphere of bushwalking this often holds true: the classic case, I shall never cease to quote, is the gradual penetration by walkers into the strip of wild ground fringed by the Clyde River on the east, the Nowra-Nerriga-Braidwood road on the north, the Budawang Range to the west, and the Yadboro Creek valley to the South. The whole area, embracing headwaters of the south-flowing Clyde River, would scarcely exceed ten miles in each direction, but because some parts are unusually wild, and the ridges surprisingly dissected, it proved quite an obstacle to penetration. The particular section that teased walkers for many years was the journey (of hardly more than eight miles) from The Vines (the sawmill at the end of the timber track south of Sassafras) to the northern end of The Castle, overlooking the junction of the Clyde and Yadboro Creek. For me, there was a purely personal allied fascination about the cliff line running west and east above the northern side of Yadboro Creek valley.
Before I touch on the more personal appeal of Yadboro Rim, I should tell some of the sequence of exploration by walkers. I say “some” because it's quite likely there were trips well before my time with the Club, perhaps others more recently that I simply didn't hear about but back in '47 Ray Kirkby took an Easter trip starting from Sassafras, out past the Vines and Endrick Trig, the Upper Corang, The Peak (Corang Trig) to emerge on the Nerriga Road somewhere near Mongarlowe turn off.
Later, during 1948, I think, Alex Colley had two parties go in from the same area, with the objective of going through towards The Castle. One of these walks, King's Birthday weekend, '48, included a veritable galaxy of navigational skill, but the weather was so poor that the party was almost mislaid. I went to Pigeon House that Weekend and saw the very moistened party of Castle hunters back in Nowra on the Monday evening. Knowing what sort of weather they struck, and now knowing the country, I am most surprised that they were NOT overdue.
After that, to the best of my knowledge, there was a hiatus of about seven years. Meanwhile the road from Sassafras to the Vines was improved to the stage where ordinary cars could make it with reasonable care, and when a party comprising Frank Leyden, Bill Cosgrove, Kevin Ardill, Len Fall and Jack Gentle came that way in April 1955, they drove in almost to The Vines. This team did a surprisingly good job of exploration, pushing on across a deep gully, into a small swamp they named Bopalong's Valley, across another spur and the top of a wide swamp opening to the west into the Corang. Finally they reached a rocky massif which they dubbed Five Goats Plateau, overlooking the Upper Corang, with the Yadboro Rim stretching along the southern flank of the valley.
Later the same year three car loads and a dozen or so walkers accompanied Kevin and Len on a repeat trip into that weird terrain. From Five Goats Plateau I saw, and was fascinated by, the Yadboro Rim and the promised views to the south. Among these present were George Gray, and Tine and Dom Matthews (their presence has a bearing on later developments).
At Easter 1957, Alex Colley returned to the assault from a new direction. His party, including Frank Leyden, came in from the Nerriga Road west of The Peak, passed over that lofty pimple, and then, with bits of Corang Valley and Yadboro Rim as their path, reached the sources of Corang River, and Mount Renwick, the big tabletop west of The Castle.
The next stage was Colin Putt's trip of October 1957 from The Vines - avowed target Mount Renwick (perhaps the Castle if all went well). Although the party didn't quite reach Renwick, it did provide a link between the earliest trips south of The Vines, and Alex's westerly attack on Renwick. On this jaunt, too, George Gray and I added our contribution to the sum total of experience: we kept Colin informed of the previous way in from The Vines, and suggested a long sidling around a bluff which brought us on to Tarn Mountain. From this point Colin and John Manning pioneered a quite easy way (which took a deal of discovering) down into the Corang Valley and on to the saddle leading to Renwick. On this trip was Eric Pegram who, when Alex led another party in from The Vines at Easter 1958 was present, as were the Matthewses. Between them they had the clues to speed the party through Hopalong's Valley, across the big swamp around the long sidle to Tarn Mountain, dawn into Corang and on to the Western saddle to Renwick. This party then went on to complete the picture by pushing into the valley beyond Renwick, through a rugged rift in the rocks and along another sidling to emerge at the tail of the Castle. To wind it all up, they went on out by way of Yadboro, The Clyde, Pigeon House and Drury's. Several other parties followed their course in the ensuing months, one encountering quite a blizzard on the June holiday weekend of 1958.
And I felt quite frustrated. I had had a small share in the March of Progress and had savoured none of the fruits. And I wanted to walk along the Yadboro Rim.
I decided to devote a few days of annual holidays to a solo jaunt into the Corang country. Once in a while I like to travel solo, especially if it is summer, when I can walk early and late and rest in the heat of the day - a habit that few walkers seem to endorse. I armed myself with details of the way beyond Renwick from Alex, and left home at four o'clock on a Monday morning early in February.
Soon after six I was through, Mittagong, and after a hasty roadside breakfast, came to Bungonia at 7.45 and the Oallen crossing of the Shoalhaven by 9.0. By ten o 'clock I had joined the Nowra Braidwood Road, turned into the Mongarlowe road and left the car in some scrub about miles beyond the ford of Jerricknorra Creek.
Broadly, my plan was to go to Corang Trig (The Peak), follow the rim overlooking Yadboro as far as practicable to the saddle near Renwick, then continue on the known Colley route to the rear of the Castle - returning the same way to Renwick, thence via Corang Valley. The morning was cool, with a high but thick overcast.
I plunged straight down on to Jerricknorra Creek, and after a brief pause, struck up a long abandoned cart track on its northern side. The theory was to keep along the north edge of Jerricknorra until I came to The Peak. Whereupon I pulled a boner that even the veriest tyro walker should avoid. Under a sunless sky with no real clue on direction, I walked steadily for almost two hours before a shallow swampy valley cutting across my way made me pause and study my compass. I should have been travelling a little south of east, in fact I was walking almost north!
There's nothing to gain, in recounting what happened between 11.30, when I discovered this disquieting deviation, and 3.30 when I finally came to Corang Peak. What should have occupied barely 3 hours took 5, and cost a great deal of effort as I wallowed up and over countless spurs of the Corang River tangle.
I dimly realised that the view from Corang Trig to the south and east was magnificent - Kanangra standard, with a backdrop of hazy ocean: to the north the view was intriguing and only in the west was the cyclorama somewhat undistinguished. I realised it dimly because I was fretting over lost time and because the configuration of the ground offered little encouragement to my plot to keep along the rim. There was a nasty looking gulf immediately east of the shoulders of Corang Trig. With a most un-February-like wind chilling me I made one halfhearted sortie in that direction, then turned north east and found an accommodating ridge that led into the open swampy part of Corang Valley with no intervening cliffs.
I still had some notion of beating back to the Yadboro Rim, but after the energetic morning the easy if sometimes soggy walking along the open valley was too inviting. So I stayed down and the queer, broken craggy formations of Five Goats Plateau and Tarn Mountain approached with satisfying rapidity. I camped just before six o'clock in a little side creek, very near the Corang River source, I ate quickly and by 7.30 was abed, slept like a log five hours and spent the next five waking and worrying over a cramp in the right knee.
Tuesday morning was still cool and overcast, and I started off at 6.30 without much enthusiasm, first climbing up on to the rim, and then sidling around the big rocky outcrop west of Renwick. My spirits lifted when I came to the saddle in just over an hour. Reducing my pack to day-walk proportions by pitching the tent and leaving all surplus gear in it, I followed the now accepted way on to Renwick, wandered around the northern half of the mountain, and decided against trying the fissure that bisects the tabletop. I regretted missing what must be a superb lookout from the extreme southern tip of Renwick, but that cleft seemed chancy to a solitary walker.
However I could spy out the land, and sat some time looking down on the impossible, chaotic rock formations that occupy the little valley east of Mount Renwick. They defy description - you simply have to see them: you may liken them to beehives or Eastern Temples, or the prow of a battleship, but the confusion of them, the “unconventional” layout of the landscape can't be put into words.
The next stage was to get down amongst them. I'm not sure if I departed from the authorised Colley route, but I struck diabolically slow going in that green little ravine beyond Renwick, clambering through alternate patches of scrub that had been charred in bushfires and pockets of near rain forest. However, I identified the rift that ran out to the north east, and struggled through it, and down the little waterfall. Then, through a break in the forest, I saw the Byangee Walls reaching out towards the Clyde Valley and another ten minutes of clawing progress below the cliff line put me on the saddle at the tail of the Castle. It was noon, on a February day, yet I shivered as I crouched beside a tuft of cutting grass for lunch. In fact, it was so damned chilly I didn't even wait to brew up a billy of tea. I had no ambition to climb the Castle. That also isn't my cup of tea.
Well, now that I'd got there, now that I'd personally satisfied myself that you can get through to the rear of the Castle, the old yearning to do Yadboro Rim came back. All right, I would return that way, once I'd extricated myself from the thick going around Renwick.
By the time I was back to my gear on the Renwick saddle it was 3.0 p.m. and I'd nearly had enough for the day. My bad day and bad night catching up, I supposed. However, there was just one other thing I wanted to do. I wanted to go once more to the camp site chosen by Colin up on Tarn Mountain. I had fond recollections of that fringe of a swamp with a good forest coverage all nestling beneath the big domed rock. So I climbed up there for the night, and very glad I was – the swamp in front was a living mass of Christmas Bells, and as the light faded behind the rocks, the whole of Tarn mountain appeared to have a soft red glow. The night was much more restful.
Wednesday's dawn was again coo1 and cloudy. Instead of my projected five o'clock start I luxuriated in my sleeping bag and mentally timetabled my return trip. It was almost seven When I was breakfasted and pushing through the tangle of Christmas Bells. To leave Tarn Mountain I tried the saddle at its North-western end, and half an hour from starting was down in easy walking on the Corang. I was aware that I was moving better and felt as though I had got into walking trim, and after a mile I struck up towards the rim, emerging on it shortly after eight o'clock only a few yards from the point where I had topped it the previous morning (only the previous morning! - or was it six months before?)
For almost two miles of the five that reached out to Corang, the Rim was delightfully easy walking. Fairly level, with short reedy growth and a few small patches of scrub. The view to the south and east, fascinating. Then the ridge began to play tricks. At first I thought I had outwitted it, and avoided the obvious trap of dropping over into the Corang: then I slowly acknowledged the terrain had trapped me. There is one section of the rim - perhaps only a mile in length, that is notched with a series of fissures, running transverse to the ridge, similar to the gulf that bisects Renwick. I negotiated two small rifts, but the third was too deep, too greasy, and with bad grace I retreated into a side valley on the Corang watershed.
It was now 9.30, but on the smooth valley floor I stepped along easily, and by 10.15 was back on the shoulder of Corang Trig again. There was a strongly defined track around the South of the pimple and as this was the scenic side, and the one I wanted to try, I went that way. Half a mile west of Corang I noted a bluff reaching it over the Yadboro. It promised such views that I diverted. to it, and spent almost an hour steeping myself in the scenery. It is I believe, the finest of local vantage points, better than Corang itself, and probably comparable with the missed lookout from South Renwick.
From that point the track marched clearly to the west and presently descended into the top of Jerricknorra Creek Valley, where it vanished completely. The rest was simple enough, however, and by two thirty I was back to the car - weary enough, scratched enough, but somehow, elated and at peace with myself.
There is no point in telling bushwalkers anything of the drive home, though I've been amused to find that non-walkers exhibit the keenest interest in my troubles with a deflating tyre, and yawn politely when I try to explain about Yadboro Rim. Of course, you couldn't expect them to comprehend that, though could you now?
Welcome back to Garth and Margaret Coulter. The Club's carnivores gathered at Putt's place far a Maori oven feast in celebration.
During the next few weeks, three trips will pass trough Cullenbenbong country. Any starters wishing to steep themselves in “atmosphere” should read the latter part of Bernard O'Reilly's “Green Mountain and Cullenbenbong”.
Jack Perry had four intrepid souls on rope at his Glenbrook rock-climbing trip. Disappointed spectators saw only one accident Margaret Putt fell into the water whilst playing “boats”.
The area described in Jim Brown's “Yadboro Rim” is part of a huge tract of fascinating country between Nowra and Braidwood. To the North, Ettrema Gorge is at present being more thoroughly explored, Endrick falls are well known (not many parties have been down the lower Endrick though) and in this issue Paddy Pallin describes a trip down the Shoalhaven from the Endrick crossing. Bungonia and the Lake Louise areas are well trodden, and Jerrara Creek and its falls have been traversed by the “aquasplats” (Brrrr.!)
Moving south, the traffic around Pigeon House and the Renwick-Castle area is increasing. Talaterang has been climbed from conventional and rare approaches; the Castle saddle has been reached from all directions, last year the Budawang-Currockbilly area was visited.
Most of these trios have been described in the Magazine since the last edition of the Index in 1955….
To get back to the Castle: Kevin Ardell described the 1955 exploration in the July issue of that year.
Alex Colley covers the Corang approach in the October 1957 issue, complete with map. John Noble's articles with maps give details of Budawang-Currockbilly in August and September.
For an army survey see “Physiography of the Shoalhaven River Valley” F.A. Craft. So. N.S.W. - Proceedings Vol. 56 1931, pp. 99-132 Tallong-Bungonia 243-261 Nerrimunga Creek. 261-265 Bulee Ridge, 412-430 Nerriga. Shows views from Endrick and Corang Trigs.
MAPS: The sketch map on page 19 is not by itself, intended for accurate route finding. Recent writers will gladly give the necessary detailed information on access to the Castle from the Vines or from the Jerricknorra.
Ken Angel's map of “The Castle-Mt.Pigeon House” gives plenty of detail East from Tarn Mountain, but local knowledge is still necessary for reasonable progress.
We've given this area quite a bashing in the last two issues - let's hope that the June long weekend will bring forth some scintillating articles on the Blue Mountains and other areas - Ed.
Brian Harvey's Trip for Prospectives and New Members had 16 out (including 3 visitors and 3 prospectives). Barham Gentle aged 13 was mystified at the walking philosophy, of “climbing up the steepest cliffs then climbing down again”. By Sunday midday several out-of-condition members were silently agreeing with him. Mist in the valleys lent enchantment (as they say in the best tourist guides) to the evergreen views.
We arrived in India on the 22nd December.
We have travelled through Margherita, Diburgh, Conane, Gauhat, Cooch Behar, Siliguri, Darjeeling, Siliguri again and now on to Delhi. In Assam we passed through lots of Tea Gardens and slept one night at Methone Tea Estate. Christmas Day was just like any other day. Just when we should have been having a beautiful Xmas Dinner we were waiting for a ferry to take us across the Brahmaputra river. We ate bread and Wham and opened a tin of Apricots as a special treat. We stayed that night in a Dak bungalow - one in almost every Indian town for travellers, mostly free. All we could manage to buy for tea was some potatoes so we had bread, beans and potatoes for tea. WOW Of course all of these people are Hindu or some other religion who do not recognise Xmas at all, consequently you would not even know. On Boxing Day we came to one of the Tea Estates that Beth Hamilton had given me the address of, so all confidence, I walked in and asked for these people. They had only left 4 years earlier. Anyway this lady, the Manager's wife, asked us in to afternoon tea and we had our first piece of Xmas cake. That night we met a Superintendant of an Indian- owned Tea Estate who arranged accommodation for us at another Indian-owned Estate. When we arrived we had a reception committee waiting, all men, and were they wonderful - really thrilled that we were there. They fired questions at us and we talked on into the night. They gave us a tremendous dinner and even though we were hungry we just had to give up. Next morning we even had a cup of tea in bed and after breakfast had an inspection of the Tea factory. It was nearly lunch time before we got away. A very similar thing happened when we were passing through the town of Diburgh. We were changing money at the bank when we received an invitation to “lecture”. We were escorted into a room which looked like a boardroom, and were seated at a big round table, and then the people flocked around us. Eventually we discovered that we were sitting in the library of the district's Lawyer's Club. All our questioners actually were Lawyers and boy was it tough. We talked about everything with them and were constantly told how glad they were to speak with us. One man said that before India's Independence they could not have even spoken to us at all, We only spent one night at Darjeeling. It really is beautiful, breathtaking. India is mostly so flat, and then the Himalayas rise straight out of the Plains.
We climbed continuously for 47 miles, 8,000 feet up, just winding back and forth up the almost vertical mountain side. Our ears were popping. All the little houses just seemed to be clinging to the edge. The road itself was very narrow and was quite thrilling at times, especially when a car came from the opposite direction. While we were talking to some people in the lounge of the Planter's Club, before a roaring log fire, disaster struck. Somebody stole some things from the Landrover, seventeen rolls of unexposed Kodachrome film as well as some other odds and ends. Film is very hard to get as well as some other odds and ends. We had to stay the night in a hotel, so our trip to Darjeeling was quite expensive. Of course the main thing to do in Darjeeling is to try to see the sunrise on the Himalayas, and also to see Everest. We got up at 4 a m. and drove another 1,000 feet up to Tiger Hill, the vantage point. All we could see was the swirling mist and nearly froze in the attempt. Lots of other tourists were there but gave up. However, we out-waited them all, and after about three hours the mists magically lifted, and there lay the Kanchenjunga range shimmering with snow, the Tibetan mountains, and Everest, a tiny dot on the horizon. It was beautiful. The mountains with all the little villages are just like toys. We came down that evening and the next day called in to collect our trailer from a Tea Estate. We had not dared to take it on the windy roads. (To be continued..)