A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalker, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476 G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
|Editor||Stuart Brooks, 5 Ingalara Rd, Wahroonga. 484343.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Lola Wedlock|
|Typed by||Shirley Dean|
|At our July Meeting||Alex Colley||3|
|Letter to the Editor||Ron. Knightly||4|
|Ben the Salesman||Kath McKay||5|
|Who'd be a Walker - Part II.||Jim Brown||7|
|The Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia||12|
|Report of 1961 Expedition to the Carstensz Mts. of Neth. New Guinea. (Conclusion)||C. Putt||15|
|Federation Report - June 1962||20|
|Orbituary - Max Gentle||Ron Baker||21|
|Plumbing Trouble (ad)||13|
|Hatswell's Taxi (ad)||13|
I'm feeling in a better mood this month so you won't have to put up with a tirade about lack of walks on the programme, not enough articles for the mag. etc etc. (I'm saving this for next month.)
August looks an interesting month from where I sit. Apart from visiting my Mother-in-law, there is Knightley's walk to Bungonia to consider. Unlike the leader, the country in this area is most fascinating, and worth repeated visits. (Besides, you won't have to carry packs.) Frank Leyden's walk Mumbedah Creek - Harrys River etc. cannot be overlooked either and Bob Godfrey's to Blue Gum is equally attractive. On the same weekend as Bob's, Wilf will take whoever's interested to 7 Gods Mtn and The Castle, so you'll have a tough decision to make that weekend. Fortunately, I won't have to risk an ulcer solving this conundrum. (see reference to M.I.L. above). If you can't get on with Frank Leyden, (no comment) Audrey Kenway has a delightful walk on the same weekend - Lilyvale-Palona Brook etc. All the day walks this month look good too, so you've plenty of choice.
On top of all this, you lucky people, there are two attractive evenings arranged - Malc. McGregor's “Wild Flowers” and Mrs. McComish's “With the Pearling Fleet”. Molly will probably have more to say about this elsewhere (Bill says this is not unusual).
Apart from the regular fab. features, this month we have the second of a trilogy from Jim Brown on “Who'd be a Walker”, this one on mist and fog and very interesting reading you'll find it - probably remind you of those times you have staggered around in the pea soup.
We also have one of Kath McKay's captivating efforts - the big day in the life of Ben the goat. You'll read it several times just as I have.
As well, there is a short burst on a very worthwhile organisation - the Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia, which, apart from offering you some interesting activities, affords you the opportunity of doing something active in the struggle going on to preserve our fast-dwindling bushland and wild-life from axe, gun and dozer.
At Molly Rodgers' suggestion a new feature is introduced this month - recipes. Glorious food! Cooking in the bush and producing something edible from mush that has been carried around in a pack, probably next to wet socks, for several days is really quite a feat. Passing on the dodges you have learned through bitter experience will help everyone, so let us know how you cope. If you're too tired to jot it down, ring Shirley Dean on 342469 and dictate over the phone. Now that's real service.
Congratulations to Brian and Dawn Anderson (“The Admiral”) on the arrival of Rachel Askew in June.
Also congratulations to Roy and Mary Braithwaite on the arrival in July of a son.
The meeting commenced with a welcome from the President to Bob Duncan, back from the U.S., and looking very fit. Then a welcome was extended to five new members, Sandra Bardwell, Elayne Metcalf, David and Judy Balmer and Don Hodge.
Advertising material received included literature on safe boating - no doubt word of the Rudolph Cup has reached the publishers - also a moral hot from the advertising agency - “Every woman has to hoodwink her man sometime.”
The Treasurer's report revealed some results from the red crosses next to certain names on the list on the notice board. Revenue of £46.11.1 included £29.15. from subscriptions, and our bank balance at £215.16.4 was up £14.8.2 on the month.
The Social Secretary also boosted finances with £5 profit from a night at “Oliver” attended by 40 members.
Thanks were expressed to Jack Wren for making a cabinet for the keeping of membership forms etc, used by the membership secretary.
The Walks Secretary reported that both the Queen's Birthday trips had been completed successfully. His own trip to the Warrumbungles had been a good one and Wilf remarked on the excellent work done there by the Local Council.
Frank Leydon's walk to Bindook had attracted 18 members and 2 prospectives, and had been notable for good views, good camping and mild weather. Although timber getters had been active in the area Tony Queitzch and his party of four had also enjoyed fine scenery on their Paralyser Walk. Nine members and seven prospectives had gone on Ramon U'Brien's walk from Bundeena to Audley on the 10th. A highlight of Bill Rodgers walk to the Cox and back, attended by 6 members and 2 prospectives, had been the feeding of the red finches at Carlons. On Ern French's Glenbrook Gorge walk, attended by 8 members and 2 prospectives, the prospectives were given practice in map reading and route finding. It was reported that they did a good job in this difficult country. Audrey Kenway's instructional week-end on 23rd and 24th at Woods Creek was attended by 12 members, 14 prospectives and 1 visitor, and Ron Knightly arrived on the Sunday with 5 members and 5 prospectives. Brian Harding's Mount Solitary Walk was done by 7 members and 8 prospectives. Wilf also reported that the Water Board was repairing the White Dog Road. The Water Board was installing a flood warning system and a Helicopter area.
At the conclusion of the meeting Frank Ashdown said that three new packs had been bought for loaning to prospectives and 1 donated, also some ground sheets had been acquired. He suggested that we make arrangements for the construction of a cupboard to hold the equipment.
Not only snakes and wombats come out of holes in the ground. Lyndsey Gray discovered Bob Hawkins in just such a locale and now they're engaged. Best of luck, Lyndsey.
We're not sure yet whether Sydney Spelios or Sydney Bushies will gain a new member.
“In your June issue “Report of the 1961 Expedition to the Carstensz Mountains of Netherlands New Guinea”, the following statements occur:
(i) “In camp that evening the carriers warned us that we might meet hostile natives the next day and the guns were unpacked and assembled.”
(ii)“The bowmen fired indiscriminately on carriers and 'tuans', and were only driven out of arrow range by firing in their general direction.”
The only inference that I can draw from these statements is that a member of this Club planned an expedition to climb mountains in New Guinea, and that included in the plans of that expedition was the intention that, under certain circumstances, human beings might be gunned down in the interests of reaching the mountains he decided to climb.
While realising that the expedition was sponsored by the N.Z.A.C. and not by us, I suggest that we should express our concern at the fact that such plans were made and that the members of the expedition demonstrated their determination to put their plans into effect.
If we do not express our disapproval, then I consider that we shall be guilty of two great wrongs. Firstly, we shall be guilty of hypocrisy in the highest degree; and secondly we shall be guilty of condoning a gross breach of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia as a nation subscribes.
Let us examine my two charges.
Among the aims of this club is the appreciation and preservation of the great outdoors. Here at home, we would not condone the wanton killing of a snake or a wallaby; we would not condone the killing of a wildflower or a tree; we would most certainly not condone the killing of a human being who stood on his land and forbade us to cross it. How, then, can we condone an intention of gunning down New Guinea Natives who tried to prevent an N.Z.A.C. party from crossing their land? If we do condone the intention, then we cannot be other than hypocrites.
My second charge refers to Article 3 of the Declaration of Human Rights, which says: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” In my analysis, everyone who attempts to force a passage through other people's lands by sheer weight of fire-power is guilty of a flagrant breach of the spirit of this humane Article.
I hope that members of this club will join me in deprecating the intentions and actions of the N.Z.A.C. expedition in so far as they involved danger to the lives of people other than members of the Expedition.
Most bushwalkers know Ray and Peter Page of Ben Ricketts, Jamberoo, and many of them knew their famous billy-goat, Ben.
He was a fine upstanding animal of unusual sagacity and powerful aroma. He had a beautiful silky coat, a patriarchal beard and a crushing eye. His lineage was lost in the mists of antiquity; was not his image, Capricorn, burning in the very heavens? And he knew it. Not for nothing did he figure in the mysterious zodiac. With his harem of white ladies he trod the fields of Ben Ricketts, undoubted monarch of all he surveyed.
He was temperamental as a prima donna and was not to be taken lightly; but he had his favourites. Ray of course could govern him, and at cocktail time it was a common sight to see Ben, all sweetness and light, with his head poked through a cabin window, slurping up a glass of sherry. Some visitors ventured to stroke his silvery hair and found no menace in his cynical eye; but for the most part they walked warily in his presence and felt safer with a good strong fence between them and Ben.
One fine day Peter, in the role of Mine Host that becomes him so well, agreed to accompany his guests to the top of the mountain, and Trigger, the black cattle dog, delightedly went too.
Ray saw the car off and walked back to the house, thinking with satisfaction of all the chores she could dispose of in a whole uninterrupted day. As she came into the living room she froze in her tracks, for at the table sat a strange man.
She stepped forward resolutely. “Did you want something?” she asked.
The stranger looked up and smiled confidently. “Yes” he said “I am a photographer. I do enlargements wonderfully, as I'm sure you will agree when you see dome specimens of my work.” As he spoke he took numerous photos from his portofolio and strewed them all over the table - bridal groups, tastefully coloured, naked babies on hearthrugs, couples stiff and self-conscious in their best clothes. “Now I'm sure you have some treasured photographs you would like me to do - your wedding group, for example: will you show me that?”
“Thank you” said Ray, omitting to state that photographs of her wedding were non-existent, “but I don't want anything.”
“Oh come,” said the man “I'm sure you could find something if you tried. Your husband as a boy, perhaps? Or in uniform - was he at the war? Or yourself as a young girl?”
“No, thank you” said Ray, swallowing down a rejoinder that she was not yet decrepit. “I don't want anything at all. I am very busy, and would be glad if you would go.”
“Ah no,” said the man, still smiling, “You are not going to get rid of me as easily as that. I shall sit here until you change your mind” and he sprawled at his ease and lit a cigarette.
Ray was silent a moment. The man had obviously arrived by car, hidden it down the road and sneaked into the house while she was farewelling Peter and his guests and the dog. The photographer knew that she was alone, at his mercy. Ben Ricketts is isolated, and there was not a soul to whom she could call for help.
Then, looking desperately through the window, she heard the clonk of a bell and saw - Ben. Quietly she went to the door and called: “Come here, my love!”
Greatly wondering, Ben advanced. Was he actually being invited into the house? Memories of doors shut in his face, of windows hastily closed while hands frenziedly beat the air to ward off the pungent goat-smell: these rose before him and he hesitated. But no, there was his beloved Ray still beckoning and smiling. Proudly he threw out his chest and climbed the steps deftly into the hall. Ray encircled his neck with thankful arms and together they entered the living room.
The strange man's jaw dropped.
“Unless” said Ray sweetly, polite as ever, “you are out of this room in one minute, I shall let the goat go.”
“No, no!” babbled the man, snatching up his specimens and cramming them into his portfolio “don't do that Don't let him go!”
Terror-stricken he rushed from the house, and at the first gate risked a backward glance. Ray made as if to loose Ben.
“Hold him! Don't let him go!” yelled the photographer, completely unmanned.
The last Ray saw of him was his flying feet as he made for the outer gate, portfolio flapping, and gained the safety of the road.
Ben has passed on, but to one woman at least he is a fragrant memory.
Camped on the western bank, a bicycle wheel thing,
To lift the bridge (the wool boats and the locks
Are gone) then went a thousand miles into the flat
Country and heard the lonely mind at the edge
of the desert looking for a mountain, a hill
Some long wandering, contour to possess.
My people came, the men, generations ago
Looking for grass, rain, the heartland.
The cattle died between feed and water;
The men walked back to go to foreign wars.
A mountain has a profile, shape, memory to caress
But the desert wind mumbles to itself
Of the dreaming, speaking of death and loneliness
In another language meaning the same things.
Dress as you like!
22/6 per head (no head - no 22/6)
Paddo Town Hall.
Friday September 24. 8.30 - 1.30 nominal.
Funds for S. & R. and don't forget the guessing competition!
“Grandpa - you know that song you're always singing?”
“Which one is that son -? The Catalogue Aria?”
“No, that one about being a walker. There's one part that goes 'wandering round in mist and fog'. At least, that's what it sounds like when you've got your teeth in, and you haven't been to a smoko.”
“Ah, yes - Who'd be a walker,
Scrambling for a train
Wandering round in mist and fog.”
“That's it, Grandpa. Well, did you ever wander round in mist and fog?”
“Did I ever? —– look son - have you got six or seven hours? Well —-
I started off as a freelance walker and never had any fog trouble worth mentioning. But I'd only been about three months with the Walkers when I first ran into it. That doesn't necessarily signify that you must be a member of an affiliated Club to have mist, though.
“Anyway it was Easter '47, and a party of us was coming over the Gangerang Range from Kanangra. Easter Saturday night we were going to camp on Dex Creek, but all that afternoon while we scrambled up from Gabes Gap on to Cloudmaker, the mist thickened, and at the top we had a view of 30 yards of weeping scrub.
“We knew flex Creek was about north, so we dropped off the summit on that side and an hour later we were tossing aside fallen trees and uprooting vegetation to clear space for a tent. It wasn't Dex Creek, of course, but it would have to do.
“Next morning was still murky, but we climbed over a low stony ridge to the east, and came out on the clearing along Dex Creek. This all seemed extra grouse until we discovered two of the party were astray, We halloo'ed, and they answered back in the forest and we waited. After a bit, when they didn't show up through the haze, we yelled again and this time there was no answer.
“Alarm, panic! We downed packs and leaving a couple to mark our place, fanned out into the creeping fog. After a short while we got answers to our calls, this time far away; and a good deal later, having shouted to them to stay put and yell, we picked 'em up. They were both people wearing hearing aids, which apparently give “one-side” reception and had been steadily following a course parallel to our calls.
“All in all it was about an hour before we were all assembled again, and almost immediately the cloud began to blow away.
“I suppose it was because that wasn't “my” trip, but I wasn't overly impressed with the problems that roll up enveloped in mist. Two years later, same place, same holiday weekend, I was.
“Once again the clouds rolled up as we clambered over Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble. Because we had a sloppy party with fast breakaways up front, and a slow rearguard, including one sick man, I scarcely noticed, being too fully occupied running up and down the line checking the leaders and coaxing the tail.
“The view from Cloudmaker was exactly the same as at Easter '47, but warned by that occasion, I led off slightly east of north - and almost ran the party into Ti-Willa Canyon. Finally, after some groping around in wet scrub we got on to the Dex Creek clearings in the last glimmers of daylight.
“Next morning was still closed down. Cautiously we edged up from Dex Creek, with once a sight of a ghostly hump of Bolworra Mt. over to our right. The plan was to take the west branch of Lower Gangerang, down past Noorilla and over Strongleg, and presently I paused to make observations.
“I can still remember the crawling clouds, the damp chill air, the occasional glimpses of straggly trees lining the edge of Kanangra Creek Valley. The highest ground (and so the most obvious) led away just a shade east of north. A compass sight on to some vaguely seen trees something west of north gave me fresh heart and I looked around - to see our runaways, already almost out of recall, bettling off on the NE ridge.
“Of course, I should have let the slobs stew in their own juice, and taken the rest off to Noorilla: instead I followed weakly, and an hour later, when the cloud began to rise, it was all too obvious we were on our way to Gentle's Pass. At least I had the perverse satisfaction of refusing to go back with a sick member in the party, and we finished up reaching the Cox via Narcott's Ridge.
“Don't think I'll ever forget the infuriating helplessness of that moment on the fork of the Gangerang - that feeling of oh-dear-oh-dear - if only I could see something! You can get the same feeling sometimes in dense scrub, but never quite so badly as in a good pea-soup mountain mist.
“Well, I had a pretty good trot after that for a few years: plenty of rain, a fair share of winds, but not really lousy fogs. Until I was doing a Victorian Alps trip with three other folk in '55 – just a tick, now, I've got it in an old magazine here, and if Editors won't reprint me, I can at least quote myself. Here it is -
'In the notes given me by Stuart Brookes (not the slob who was Editor back in '62, but a very pleasant cover in the Vic. Mountain Tramping Club) was a caution. “By the way, on the section from Mt. Wellington to Mt. Howitt, it's not uncommon to run into misty weather - it is best to stay put until the weather improves.”
Well, I ask you, who would stay put while the track is six feet wide, striding away before you? Then, if there were a real change brewing, we hoped to take shelter in Guy's Hut on Bryce's Plain.
'The mist thickened, but the approach landmarks to the Plain all tallied with the map - a little stream running west, fences and sliprails. Time 5 p.m. and ahead was the vagueness of a snow plain. Bearing to hut across plain NW. Distance 500 yards. Below is a picture of what we saw in the next hour.
'Some time past 6 p.m. we groped back and settled thankfully under a couple of large trees, fairly close to our original entry to the Plain. There was water below in the creek. We had written off the Hut - look for it in the morning.
'Once or twice during the night I aroused enough to look out at the mist; and it was still there at first light. Voices in the other tents fetched me back to life again at 5.50, and through the rift at the foot of the tent I could see a gray light - and trees across the plain. I stuck my head out. Guy's Hut was 5 minutes walk away, at the edge of the forest opposite. (Last night we couldn't even find the forest.)
“Of the following afternoon I wrote -
'We saw the bald dome of Mt. Howett a few times before mist closed in again, and crossed a series of pocket-handkerchief snow plains. Each time the path disappeared in the grass, but popped up again, clear as a highway amongst the timber.
'Towards 4.0 o'clock a couple of miles short of Macalister Springs, we crossed another clearing, and selected a good trail, sidling the east face of the range. Presently we came back to the top, after outflanking the highest point. The track became rather obscure in some burnt scrub, and we halted - the mist blew apart for a moment to reveal a timbered ridge where the bare top of Howett should be. I dragged out a compass, all suspicious-like. Our north-bound ridge was now bearing 80 degrees.
'There was, I considered, only one place where we could have erred - back at our sidling we must have taken a side-ridge, which gradually veered east, while the track went on north along the highest ground. Back we went, along the crown of the ridge till we came to an extensive open top, the sort of place that usually marks a junction of spurs. We swung west, the tension becoming unbearable - and in 3 minutes intersected (obviously) the main trail. The moisture I rubbed from my forehead was not entirely due to the mist or my exertions —-.
“For the next day, when we crossed the serrated Narrow Neck of The Cross Cut Saw, I reported. 'Rarely we glimpsed the Thurat-like spires which from the shoulders rising from Wonongatta (Terrible Hollow) but mostly we were stumbling, wind-tossed, in moist fleeting cloud.
'We traversed the narrow, rocky, middle section, climbed Mount Buggary, and dropped below the mist for the first time into a 4,600 ft. saddle. We could see the terraced slope of Mt. Speculation looming ahead, it's upper 700 ft. spiking the racing clouds.
'Wearing sweaters for the 1000 ft ascent, we beat up into it. There was almost an Everest-ish touch as one paused, bent against the gale, peering into obscurity. At 2 o'clock we assembled on the summit cairn, and for the first time it occurred to me it would be fun and games to find the small camp site below the mountain - considering our battle to pick up Guy's Hut and Macalister Springs with a fair trail to follow.
'Well, the valley is NE of the mountain, so out with the compass again. Try to steady oneself against the wind so that the needle settles: pick a ghostly snow gum in the right direction and march to it then again —– We walked almost right onto the camping spot, with the next stage of track leading north towards Mount Koonika.'
“After all that, I had another good spell, if you except a couple of occasions when I was trying to pick the right ridge down from McMahon's Lookout onto the Cox. You had to strike the ridge or you finished up over a cliff. Each time the cloud began to disperse as the crucial part of the descent was reached. No one will worry about that place again, I fancy, since the valley floor is now flooded by Warragamba.
“But Huey turned it on again for me on my holiday in March '62 when I went out from the Sassafras Rd past Tianjara Trig, target Mount Talaterang.
“You know, Paddy Pallin once went to Mount Talaterang coming in from Milton and reported 'The view from Talaterang should not be mist. I wouldn't know. I didn't get that far. The morning was fine and bright, but –
“About four hours from the Sassafras Rd, and maybe 2½ - 3 hours short of Talaterang I was groping along with the SE wind on my left shoulder blade, a scraggy forest line on my right. Visibility 50 yards - I walked right around the north and then the west slope of Mount Bushwalker without seeing it. Finally, at 4 p.m. I was at Gadara Point - l½ miles north of Talaterang, with a connecting saddle.
“Finding a saddle seemed a faintly dirty joke, so I camped in a patch of dense scrub just back from the point, and spent the night wondering (a) was I really at Gadara Point? (b) assuming the morning was, fine, could I reach Talaterang and still be back on the road the same evening? In between pondering this, I dislodged a few hundred little golden ants which emerged from their nest under my pack-pillow; fortunately a non-biting species.
“Morning resolved it all - still closed in and raining. I decided to cut my losses, get out and go on with a part of the trip that needed less visibility. So long as I could find my way out. After all, I still didn't know for sure I was on Gadara Point.
“Well I was (on Gadara) and I did (find my may). The process was rather like a billiard ball doing a series of cannons: I bounced from the cliff-line overlooking the Clyde River to the cliff on the east of the plateau and by dint of going NE and NW, then NE again, I managed to go generally north, find the two vital saddles, and presently, taking far too long, the end of the Army road near Tiangara Trig.
“All the while it rained - sometimes heavily, and once I stood on a soaked hillside, watching the clouds eddy past; and-yelled at the top of my voice, “Huey you ….. turn it off”. The profanity helped my spirits, but Huey took no heed.
The last leg of my holiday trip - five days later - was a day jaunt up to Currockbilly from the Mongarlowe Rd. I just managed to beat the clouds to the top - me from the west, the mist from the east. I bent over to look at the map - and Bingo! - the whole landscape was snapped up with whirling cloud wraiths.
“Just to have the satisfaction, I groped through the murk for a couple of hundred yards to reach the Trig point then went down - very thankful that I had spiked pieces of paper on the shrubs as I climbed just in case -
“Well now, after that —– ”
“But Grandpa - from all your experience what do you think one should do if a mist comes up?”
“Well son, I would say sit down and let it clear.”
“But Grandpa, you didn't do that did you? Not at Guy's Hut, or at Cloudmaker or Talaterang?”
“Look, son, you do what I say, not what I do.”
“But Grandpa, what if the mist sticks around for days. You can't wait, can you?”
“Here, off to bed you young varmint. – These kids - no respect for the wisdom of their elders at all!”
Ron Kennealey departed for Queensland a week ago. He hopes to start a refrigeration business in his old home town, Greenslopes, so if all goes well, it may be some time before we see, and hear, Ron again. Best of Luck, Ron.
Now here's a gang that really deserves your support. Cheap too! Just compare these rates for value.
Individuals 15/- per annum. Husband and wife 25/- per annum, students 2/6 per annum. Life membership is £7.
This group actively pursues the study of nature in the bush. Geology, geography, bird life, plants, animals - the works. Their next meeting is on Saturday, August 18 and is a field day at the Stony Range Flora Reserve, Dee Why Lagoon. The leaders are Messrs. A. Blombery and E. Gordon of the Stony Range Reserve Committee and Mr. J. Waterhouse. Under their expert guidance, an interesting day is assured. Meet at the entrance to the Stony Range Reserve, adjacent to Whittakers Timber Yard, Pittwater Road, Dee Why at 10.30 a.m. Visitors welcome.
The Society's main aim is to secure for future generations, Australia's wealth of fascinating flora and fauna. This is no easy task under the pressure of a rapidly growing civilisation.
As Bushwalkers, it goes without saying that you're interested in all things in the bush; well, most of them, anyway. So lend your support to this very worthwhile cause. If you would like to join, as every bushwalker should, see your editor or write direct to -
Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia,
Mrs Thistle Y. Stead (Harris)
14 Pacific Street,
Watsons Bay. Tel. FU1838.
Two most fascinating lectures will be given during the month of August
Malcolm McGregor - “Wild Flowers”.
Mrs. McComish - “With The Pearling Fleet”.
Do you need new roof, guttering and downpipes??
Or does the roof and guttering need re-painting??
Or perhaps a new water service or hot-water installation??
No job is too small - for any plumbing installations or alterations
You need Roy's friendly plumbing service.
Contact Roy Craggs in the S.B.W. Clubrooms or contact Joe Crags, Carpenter and Painter, 41 Rosamond Street, Hornsby, Telephone JU2203.
Remember - you need Roy's friendly service!!!
For all your transport from Blackheath contact Hatswell's Taxi & Transport Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour - day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 of W151.
Booking office: 4 doors from the Gardners Inn Hotel (look for the neon sign).
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote trips or special parties on application.
“Has the wild music of the hills taught
us an undreamt depth in the stream of life?
Was it the song of the creek and the melting
snow, the breeze ringing the silver bells of ice
on the snow gum leaves…. ?”
There is snow oh the Alps, chaps - let's away and plough a furrow across the unblemished snow.
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. BM2685.
Leader Colin Putt.
As this route up the North wall has only been seen and not actually traversed, a future expedition approaching from the North should hold its carriers at Lake Discovery, while making sure of this route, (there is still a slight possibility that it might be necessary to push on to the Bakopa and the Dajak pass, and then get the climbing food and equipment packed as close to the ice as appears to be safe for naked carriers.
Crawford and Temple then returned to their previous nights bivouac, and on the next day, the 27th, they moved three miles down the valley below the bivouac, to where the North-south ridges have lost much of their height and steepness, and cut across three ridges to return to the valley in which was the base camp. They arrived in camp at dusk, in heavy rain, to find that the air-drop had failed.
On June 25, Cooper and Barfoot had set off down the left bank of the basecamp stream and followed it down to its junction with the Komaboe. They followed the left bank of the Kemaboe here already a large river, for two miles, before it began to cut into a gorge of increasing depth, while the shelf above the gorge began to support thick scrub. They therefore sought easier going on the rolling ridges South of the Kemaboe, and camped the first night at a native hunting bivouac on one of the ridges just beyond the stream which drains Lake Discovery. On the 26th they crossed the ridge to the North-West of Lake Discovery, and dropped into the large valley below the middle of the North wall. From this point to the end of the ice-cap at the West end of the wall, the North-South ridges running out from the wall are comparatively low. Cooper and Barfoot walked along below the full length of the North wall, less than a mile from the cliffs, although very steep and continuous the actual cliff is here only a thousand feet high at the most. At the West end of the wall, they found their way into the Bakopa valley blocked by the ridge on its South-East side, this is, near the wall, a very steep, high, jagged rock ridge; to cross it it would be necessary to move several miles to the North-East to where it loses height and severity - this would involve travelling through thick scrub/ After taking photographs, Cooper and Barfoot retraced their steps to near their first night's bivouac, where they found a much better camp under a rock overhang. On June 28, they returned to camp directly across the ridges, which although broken and scrubby in appearance yielded a reasonably fast and easy route.
At the base camp, three bonfires of fern fronds were prepared and thatched over to keep them dry. Tuesday, the 27th, the day on which De Kroonduif would probably try to airdrop, began with rain,.but this stopped at 8 a.m. and the sky cleared except for some scattered cloud and a cloud cap on the snow mountains.
At 9.30 a.m. a twin-engined aircraft was heard, but not seen, well to the North of the Kemaboe river, and the signal fires were lit. By 9.45 the fires were beginning to fill the whole valley with smoke, and the plane, a DC3, was heard and seen returning on an Easterly course at an altitude of about 16,000 feet and ten to twelve miles North of the snow. It circled twice when almost due North of the camp, and disappeared toward Wamena. The failure to locate us and drop the supplies was largely due to the use of a large aircraft such as a DC3, as explained earlier, no other plane was available, but the chances of success without radio contact with the ground party and without some parachutes were slight in such rough country, partly covered by cloud. The detailed low-level search of the ground, followed by the drop from extreme low level with cloud covered mountains close by, all at altitudes over 10,000 ft, would be unjustifiably risky to such a large and clumsy aircraft. The weather closed in again with heavy rain at 11 a.m. and remained very bad for the next day, no further attempt could be made to airdrop. Our last rather forlorn hope of getting our supplies delivered had gone, but at least the flight had been made expeditiously, and the expedition had been saved the heavy cost of repeated unsuccessful attempts.
On the afternoon of June 28, both the reconnaissance parties having returned to camp, we went carefully through all our equipment and abandoned any excess weight which could possibly be spared. Clothing and personal effects, medical supplies, and the climbing rope, tent fly, and the tent floor were left behind. We left on the morning of the 29th, carrying between forty and fifty pounds each, and with three and a half days full rations for a distance which had taken five days on the inward journey. In fact, the return trip was done with ease in three and a half days because we short cut two detours which our native guides had made to reach good camp spots, and because were were able to walk longer hours as we were better equipped to withstand the cold afternoon rain than the carriers had been. We now began to cook on our small emergency reserve of kerosine, which saved a vast amount of time which would have otherwise been wasted in trying to light fires with the local wood.
During the whole time since we had left Ilaga, there had been unfailing cold rain or hail in the afternoon and at night, and usually in the mornings as well. On the return trip the cold began to be felt by all of us, because of the poor diet and because our clothes and sleeping bags were by now saturated. However, the party arrived at Ilaga Mission at 4 p.m. on Sunday, 2nd July in good shape and just in time to contact the Mission Aviation Fellowship by radio and arrange to fly out to Wamena the next day as Back loading for planes which would be bringing Mission staff in to Ilaga.
Mr. Titahelieu, the explorer and original discoverer of Ilaga, who was stationed at Ilaga during the Larsons' absence at the C.A.M.A. conference, made us welcome and provided us with food and accommodation for the night. On July 3 and 4 the whole party and its remaining equipment was flown out to Wamena, and at the same time seven of our Tiome carriers, who had not been able to get home because of the fighting in the West Baliem, were flown to Tiome as back-loading.
On the De Kroonduif flight from Wamena to Hollandia on the 4th July, we were able to discuss the airdrop attempt in detail with the Chief Pilot, Captain J. Vintges.
In Hollandia, we enjoyed the hospitality of the head of the Department of Indland Fisheries, Mr. J. De Vries, for five days before flying out to Australian New Guinea.
Helensburgh - Wilson's Creek - Bola Heights - Burning Palms - Otford. 12 miles.
This approach from the Illawarra Railway to the Coast has not been used for years. Something a little different. Could be scratchy in parts.
8.42 a.m. Wollongong train Central Steam Station to Helensburgh. Tickets: Otford return @ 7/8. Map: Pt. Hacking Tourist. Leader: Jack Gentle.
Wahroonga - Gibberagong Creek - Bobbin Trig - Cowan Creek - St. Ives (Warrimoo Rd.)
A walk through the Southern portion of Kuringai Chase. Some of the wildflowers, which abound in this region should be in bloom. There are some aboriginal rock carvings en route.
8.40 a.m. Hornsby train via Bridge from Central Electric Station to Wahroonga. Tickets: Wahroonga return at 4/3 plus 1/1 bus fare. Map: Broken Bay Military. Leader: David Ingram.
Bill Bourke and Ron Knightly are planning a week's walkabout in The Castle area, commencing on the October holiday weekend. Other starters welcome - first come, first served; numbers limited, No strenuous types, please!
If something's free, you can expect the bushwalkers to be in it. Thus, when the Sydney - Auckland telephone cable was officially opened in July, it wasn't long before Jack Hunter and Ron Knightly were having a chat “on the house”. Jack, Joan and family are reported to be in good form.
From “Footprints”, the journal of the Auckland University Tramping Club:-
“What unthinking person would send a copy of “Footprints” to Mr. Sydney Bushwalker? Well, there was no nasty reply and “The Sydney Bushwalker” came as usual!”
“Choice” magazine, the journal of The Australian Consumers Association, (£1 per annum and the best quid's worth you'll ever get, apart from your S.B.W. subscription) has recently investigated torch batteries. The standard size cell (Size D) is available in 5 “models”, Eveready 950, Eveready D50, Eveready 1050, Winchester 1511 (Hong Kong) and the Lamina (Japan). Costs are respectively 2/8, 3/-, 3/6, 3/2 and 3/2 per pair. “Choice” tested these batteries with two different tests -
1. Continuous discharge with 2.5 V Lamp.
2. On ½ hour a day 5 days per week. (This represents more typical domestic use and is actually the British Standards Test).
Life of the 5 types under these two tests were as follows -
|Eveready 950||(1) 2.8 hours||(2) 13½ hours||Cost per hour 2.4 d.|
|Eveready D50||(1) 4.0 hours||(2) 20 hours||Cost per hour 1.8 d.|
|Eveready 1050||(1) 7.2 hours||(2) 25½ hours||Cost per hour 1.65 d.|
|Winchester 1511||(1) 5.0 hours||(2) 17½ hours||Cost per hour 2.2 d.|
|Lamina||(1) 5.2 hours||(2) 17½ hours||Cost per hour 2.2 d.|
The Eveready 1050 despite its initial higher cost, represents best value for money. Note the amazing increase in life due to intermittent rather than continuous use.
Smaller torch batteries are much more expensive to run costing about 1/- per hour on intermittent use. The Eveready 1050 was even cheaper to run than the cycle lamp size battery. (Eveready 701) and “Choice” recommends the use of a torch using D size cells.
We can't leave this absorbing topic without pointing out that your home electricity costs about 2½d per Kilowatt hour. The equivalent amount of power from a torch battery would cost £13 if you use 1050's and up to £150 if you use the baby Eveready 927s. So next time you get your electricity bill, please! don't complain!
There is a three letter word that, by tradition, does not appear in the SBW magazine. Well that's O.K. and we can still cover this topic because ferns just don't have any. They reproduce in a very interesting, round-about may.
On the back of the leaves appear rusty spots in neat rows. These are actually pockets full of spores. When the pockets (called “sori”) burst, the spores fall to the ground where if conditions are right, i.e. damp and shaded, they grow into a new plant, which is nothing like a fern. It is called a prothallus and is actually a small single leaf growing flat in the ground to which it is attached by fine hair-like roots. On the underside of the prothallus, male and female cells are produced. The male cells are released and move through the water to unite with the stationary female cells. They grow into a young fern plant. Next time you see a clump of ferns growing near a creek, have a poke around and you will probably see the sori, prothalli on the ground and perhaps a young fern plant growing from a prothallus.
The whole of the stem of most ferns plants is on or under the ground, and all you see are the leaves growing above the ground on long stalks.
Where conditions are too dry for the spores to grow into prothalli, the fern can multiply by the stem growing sideways through the soil, sending up new leaves as it goes along. Bracken is a good example of this.
Xmas was still a long way off, and so Snow Brown was both surprised and pleased when he found a large package waiting for him at SBW clubrooms.
A few minutes later, he was still surprised, but not pleased.
If you ever get an eyeful
Of a fella with a rifle,
And a bloodhound panting by his side,
You can put your last pound down,
That its none but our Boy Brown,
As vengeance he is seeking, far and wide.
Where is the hapless youth
With manners so uncouth,
Who left the parcel, brown and square,
Simply labelled “David Brown,
C/- Clubrooms, Sydney Town”,
Just as though the wee folk put it there?
With shrieks of great delight,
Urged on by all in sight,
The mystery pack was very quickly peeled.
But a battered, broken vessel,
That 'neath the bed should nestle,
Was all the opened lid revealed.
But the cruellest blow of all
Was very soon to fall
As Boy Brown quickly scanned the message through.
“Although its got no pep in it,
If you can only step in it,
Then it must be that grey V.W.”
Lands Department. Application by the Boy Scouts' Association for a lease of an area within the Heathcote Primitive Area. The Federation's representations will be considered together with all other factors.
Annual Ball. All Clubs have not been circularised and tickets will be ready shortly for distribution.
Bushwalker Annual. Owing to the pressure of business, Geoff. Wagg has had to resign as Editor, but will continue on the Publications Committee. Mrs. D. Butler was elected in this stead.
Canberra Walking and Touring Club has been accepted as an affiliated member of Federation.
Search and Rescue was alerted for two members of this club who had not returned from a walk on May 28. They returned safely on May 29. On Sunday June 3, Mr. T. Watts was reported missing between Newnes and Glen Davis without any suitable gear. He was found by Mountain Trails Members on Monday 4, and taken to the Newnes Hotel. In the meantime, S & R were on the alert and had gone as far as Katoomba, as a preliminary to organising a search.
S & R Demonstration Week-end, is set down for October 19-21 to be held on the same site as last year on the Colo River, if permission can be obtained.
National Parks Association reported that a deputation to the Prime Minister was being arranged by interested bodies regarding the Primitive Area in the Koscuisko State Park. Georges River National Park between the Municipalities of Hurstville and Bankstown has come into being it consists of 500 acres, 200 of these being water area. Barrington Tops. A ski run is proposed by a Muswellbrook timber getter. Paul Barnes points out that the construction of such an amenity will involve cutting down the timber. Bungonia Gorge. An additional strip, 20 chains wide, has been reserved along Bungonia Creek adjacent to the Limestone quarries. Blue Mountains National Park. 20,000 acres has been added in the Hungerford's Creek area.
Lots 8-9, Parish of Bulgo, County of Cumberland. All Clubs are urged to write to the Lands Department supporting the proposal to add these blocks to the Garrawarra Primitive Area.
Main Roads Board are reported to have rejected the Blue Mountains City Council's proposal to put a bitumen surface on the fire trail from King's Tableland to Warragamba Dam.
Boyd Range Track. Thanks were extended to the party who recently marked this route which is now easily followed. It affords access to the Colong Caves area.
Wanted - as an official record - one copy of The Sydney Bushwalker, No, 183 February 1950.
On 14th July 1962, Max Gentle passed away suddenly at his home in Oatley at the age of 51. Max joined the Club in April 1929. He was essentially a solitary walker; he did many trips on his own and, in fact, it was not until he met Gordon Smith - doing several trips with him - that he decided to join the Sydney Bushwalkers. Even then he very often walked many miles on his own, and cycled huge distances in this State and others.
As a bushman, a better man was hard to find and many were the successful Club and private walks conducted under his leadership. After his return from interesting and usually unfrequented country, Max would sit down and write an article for “The Sydney Bushwalker”, so that in future years, the information would be available to members wishing to traverse the area, a practice which could well be followed with advantage by present leaders.
Max made no secret of the fact that he did not like rock climbing in high places, and yet he spent many hours on his own exploring the Kanangra and Gangerang areas, his name being perpetuated in Gentle's Sheerdown and Gentle's Pass. He was a member of the original “Tiger” group.
Of all our bushwalking country the Colo River was his favourite, and in 1931, in company with Gordon Smith, walked the length of the Colo River, with a 2 day side trip to Mt. Uraterer, the first and then fastest recorded trip by Bushwalkers in that area. Another feat of his was walking from Blackheath to Richmond down the Grose River in one day - on his own.
During the last couple of years, Max made infrequent visits to the Club, but was always assured of a warm welcome by his walking mates over so many years. He was also a member of the Bush Club and was to have led one of their walks on July 22.
Representatives from this Club and the Bush Club attended the burial service at the Methodist Section of the Woronora Cemetery.
Old hands will learn with regret the passing on of Ron Baker a few weeks ago, at the early age of 39.
Ron joined the club about 1942 after much solo walking, mainly in the Ku-Ring-gal Chase, his old home being on the Chase fringe, at Wahroonga, where the back fence was the boundary. He knew all the good camping caves so never carried a tent.
In his earlier club activities he joined in many heavy walking trips and did a share of canoeing. His last big trip was an Easter Gangerang - Tiwilla - Clear Hill walk with Alan Wilson, about 1957. His marriage Betty was another club romance and his two daughters are keenly appreciative of the bush. As with most family club men, his walking activities tapered off as his home responsibilities increased. More recent indifferent health prevented Ron from walking trips but nevertheless he enjoyed many car-camping outings with his family and other so-situated club members and the N.P.A. We extend our sincere sympathy to Betty, and his girls - Rhondda and Robyn.
At recent meetings, the question of test walks has exercised some members minds, and at the last meeting it was resolved to publish this list of walks, which were selected way back in '45 as being representative test walks. One can imagine the argument and heartburning that went into the preparation of this list, so rather than go through all again, here it is, 17 years old, but still applicable.
Week-end walks (1½ days)
1. Bundeena, Marley, Wattamolla, Garie, Burning Palms, Bola Height, Wilson's Creek, Helensburgh.
2. Blackheath, Govett's Leap, Blue Gum Forest, Grose River, Mt. Victoria.
3. Campbelltown, Minerva Pool (Stokes Creek), O'Hare's Creek, Pheasant's Creek, Wedderburn Bridge, Campbelltown.
Week-end walks (2 days).
1. Katoomba, Six Ft. Track, Gibralter Creek, Cox River, Tin Pot Hill, Carlons, Katoomba.
One Day Walks.
1. Kuring-Gai, Crosslands, Berowra Creek, Fish Ponds, Hornsby.
2. Waterfall, Mt. Westacott, Myuna Creek, Heathcote Creek, Scouters Mountain, Woronora River, Sabigal Crossing, Engadine.
3. Waterfall, The Mill, Island Track, Palona Creek, Garie Trig, Era, Lilyvale.
4. Gordon, Rocky Creek, Middle Harbour Creek, Cowan Creek, track to Sphinx, Cockle Creek, Wahroonga.
Despite a heavy casualty list, the reunion is not classed as a test walk.