A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
POSTAL ADDRESS: Box 4476 G.P.0., Sydney, N.S.W. 2001.
Meetings at the Club Room on Wednesday evenings after 7.30 p.m.
Enquiries regarding the Club - Mrs. Marcia Shappert, Te1 30-2028.
|Editor:||Spiro Kotas||104/10 Wylde Street, Pott's Point, 2011||Tel. 357-1381 (Home)|
|Business Manager:||Bill Burke||3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118|
|The August General Meeting||Jim Brown||2|
|East - West||Neville Lupton||3|
|Walks Secretary's Notes - October||Wilf Hilder||5|
|Paddy Pallin Advertisement||6|
|Up and Down, with Snow Brown||Spiro Kotas||8|
|Federation Notes - August||Ray Hookway||11|
|Mountain Equipment Advertisement||12|
|Don't be Caught Out in the Cold!||13|
|Socially Speaking - October||Owen Marks||14|
by Jim Brown
The August meeting got off the ground at 8:15 p.m. with a welcome to new member Neville Lupton: Leigh Sheridan, also admitted by the August Committee (no pun) was not on hand, and after the July minutes were read and agreed to, no one wished to stir any ashes from that meeting.
In Correspondence we heard the Pedder Action Committee was circularising all conservation-minded organisations with proposals for a national campaign on conservation questions generally. There had also been several other shifts in membership affairs, with Steve Guthridge going active, while Margaret and Brian Vasey and RoS Edgerton (nee Painter) had taken non-active status. Arising from the Pedder Committee's letter, Dave Brown said he had heard of discussion on mineral rights in the New Lagoon area of Tasmania and felt this may be a matter worth looking into.
The Treasurer's surreptitious reading of a copy of the Little Red School Book was suspended while he reported we had $860 in the trading account at the end of July.
At this point, with no Federation Report available and the Walks Secretary still to arrive, we had come to General Business with nothing better than a few announcements to put before the assembly. Then, however, Ray Hookway appeared and gave the Federation story, the salient points of which were printed in the August magazine.
Once again we seemed to be at a standstill, and it had just been agreed to adjourn the meeting until the Walks Secretary arrived, when he did appear.
The account commenced with Phil Butt's cross-country Ski Instructional, which encountered icy conditions; while Laurie Quaken's trip in the Merrigal Creek country had four starters and went well in fine cool weather. Roger Gowing also had four people out on a leisurely camp at Era, and although John Campbell's rugged day walk was cancelled owing to lack of starters, the other two jaunts were well attended - 19 on Jim Brown's St. Helena trip and 18 on Sam Hinde's Marley walk - in all 51 people were out on the weekend's activities.
On the second weekend Ray Hookway went with a team of 7 to Yerranderie via Bats Camp. Snow was encountered near Mt. Werong and on the way back road conditions were difficult and icy. At Yerranderie some further cottages are being restored by the Water Board for VIP visitors. There were 13 along on Roger Gowing's Dharug National Park trip, and two groups of abo carvings were examined. Nancye Alderson led a party of 13 to some historical Blue Mountain sites on the Sunday.
The weekend of 14-16 July was the occasion of Will Hilder's cross-country Ski Touring for novices. The Party was small - three - and the weather unfavourable. On the spot advice on ski waxes was obtained from Paddy. Max Crisp took a party of seven into the Capertee Valley to pay respects to Tyan Pic and the adjacent Crater, as well as the isolated mountain, Pantoney's Crown. The Instructional weekend under Geoff Mattingley's direction was held down at Macarthur's Flat on the Nattai. And for the Sunday walk Sam Hinde assembled no less than 29 out from Wondabyne to Pindar Cave.
Then the 21-23 July, and Bill Gillam's Downhill Ski Instruction - Despite the petrol scarcity it was found possible to get through and in fact something like 23 miles of snow was covered on the Sunday. Peter Franks inherited Spiro's trip in the Colong country and had 7 in his crew, while Elaine Brown collected 26 for the Cowan Creek day walk, despite some transport problems when the connecting bus from Turramurra didn't dwell on a delayed train arrival.
So to the final weekend, when Mike Short had five people on the Nattai, some staying by the river while others went to look at Surveyor's Crag. And there were two day walks, Max Crisp with a big rollup of 23 along the Gunyah Point ridge it was reported that preventive burning of bush has taken place out along the spur. Kath Brown's team numbered 8 and made the orthodox Burning Palms and return (top and bottom tracks) trip.
Now there really was nothing to add and the meeting was called off at 9.50 p.m.
by Neville Lupton
Walkers, once again affected by lack of petrol - a curious fact but true - still three individuals were able to arrive at Sunnyside trig and the start of an Eastern - Western Wolgan.
The night sky was illuminated by distant lightning, followed by gentle showers, heavy rain, and sheltering walkers.
Saturday morning dawned indifferently, but a start made along logging roads through blooming wattle, bottlebrush, lyrebird feathers and other delights.
The cliff line was a wondrous sight - the formations being rather terrific, that is until the task of piercing them. A steep drop into a side creek and a bash down the dense floor led to the Wolgan by 10. The well being after such a good start was lost in the fight down the densely clothed Wolgan. The drying bush was at its scratchiest, the only relief being in the intensity of the pain from different bushes. A climb back to the cliff line and a high sidle relieved the agony a little, steep sidling being a little more pleasant.
We dropped down for a late lunch by the river and then pushed on down the valley floor. Several timed the going eased, the party relaxed, and then was in the middle of it again.
Early afternoon and bush rolled back to grazing land, with scratchy bush replaced by blackberry. The pace quickened over pasture supporting cattle, sheep, wallabies, and kangaroos. The scenery around Wolgan is really worth the trip. This along with a large black kangaroo provided the afternoon's discussion.
Turning up the western Wolgan, nervous herds of cattle were passed by even more serious walkers. The road dragged on, the river seemed further away, all side creeks were dry and the sun was setting behind the so distant river. The cattle became bolder with the setting sun, the walkers wished for running water, warm camp fires and pleasant countryside free of wandering cows. At last, croaking frogs, it must be, it is, Oh, wonderous Wolgan. The late hour disguised the nearby road until a car came bearing down on the camp, only to pass by into the night.
The night was memorable only for the heavy rain, inadequate tents, and freshly laundered sleeping bag soaking up the pure, clean country rain.
Sunday morn saw cliffs clad in mist and Frank hitching back to Bell.
The western Wolgan assumed the character of its eastern cousin, now that the pasture was left behind. The only difference being that scratched legs cried even louder in the cool morning air. The tendency to climb out of this mild form of hell left us high up the valley side after a couple of hours walking. The cliffs looked inviting, especially with that bush below. Looking up one could imagine great gulfs in the line - anyway, it was not as unbroken as the eastern branch. We climbed high to investigate - the great gulfs either disappeared or climbed the cliff leaving unscalable waterfalls at their head.
Invincible, not quite - a small gap led to a climbable gulch allowing half the cliff to be scaled. A halt for a bite to eat, exploration, peering into the valley shrouded in mist, and boulder dropping. The weather closed in, hail chucked down, but the remaining cliff had to be tackled. The bush on top looked thick and scratchy, but instead of a river there was a road. Along the road the wattles, wallabies thick, thick as rabbits, cut timber and old oil drums to the rocky outcrop, Sunnyside trig and car.
Little remains to be said, except lunch was at the car, mistaken navigation enabled us to pick up Frank at Lithgow and now the trip was worth it.
Participants:- Peter Levander (leader), Frank Molloy, Neville Lupton.
by Wilf Hilder.
|(6),7,8 October||Don and Maria Hitchcock lead this pleasant weekend to Blue Gum. Glorious scenery from the pleasant paths all the way to the Forest. Lush camping beside the Grose - but please boil your drinking water. Silver train leaves Central at 18:00 hrs. (6 p.m.). Bring your Katoomba and Mt. Wilson maps and Don will help you with your map reading.|
|(6),7,8||Evan Williams is organising this popular caving weekend at Wee Jasper on the Goodradigbee River. Admire the 'mites and 'tites of the Dip and Punchbowl Caves. Meet at Strathfield 19.30 hrs. north side station.|
|Sunday 8||On again by special request - Alan Pike's hard day walk to Cedar Creek. Legendary views along the neck and a scenic scramble up the new chain at Walls Pass. Interesting going up Cedar to the inspiring Cedar Cave.|
|Sunday 8||Good old Calna Creek - it's a while since we wandered down it. Frank Malloy leads this classic wildflower walk with swimming holes on tap in case it's a bit warm. Special Excursion tickets to Mt. Kuring-gai.|
|(13),14,15||Myall Lakes the mighty. The great walk around the foreshores is led by Alan Hedstrom - your friendly guide. Fairly good going along the foreshores of the lake, with a few sand hills thrown in for good measure.|
|(13),14,15||Instead of an S.& R. demonstration this year its an S.& R.Practice. Full details on forthcoming circular.|
|14,15||Roger Gowing carries the banner on this medium trip from Bundeena to Lilyvale. Tremendous views of the blue Pacific breakers thundering along the coast. Ideal country for map reading practice. Good tracks all the way.|
|Sunday 15||Another chance to visit Palona Cave and its stalagmites. Bill Hall leads this medium excursion from Waterfall to Lilyvale. Easy tracks all the way except along Neram Ridge and between Palona Cave and Colbee Knob. Special Excursion tickets to Lilyvale.|
|(20),21,22||Jim Vatiliosis leads this interesting walk to Kanangra. Splendid views along the knife-edged ridge to Cloudmaker. A 'fair climb but tracks all the way. Light scrub on MaroOba Karoo with good pads along Kanangra Creek.|
|(20),21,22||A gimmick? David Cotton's barbecue Walk to explore upper Woronora River has a new angle - Friday night barbecue. With some of David's honey this should be a sweet trip.|
|Saturday, 21st October||Those one-day racehorses are at it again - Wild Wilf whips the neddies along on this made dash through Upper Kangaroo. Magnificent waterfalls - glorious scenery but a little blurred. Navigational adjustments could easily add about 4 kilos to the total bring your own daylight saving.|
|Sunday, 22||Frank Malloy shepherds his charges on this interesting walk around Mount Victoria. Good tracks most of the way. Excellent scenery in this corner of the mountains. Plenty of easy map reading practice.|
|(27), 28, 29||Barrington, beautiful Barrington with Uncle Ray Hookway. Tracks all the way thru the rain forest with open going across the snowgrass plains. Excellent views from Carcys Peak and Mount Barrington. Please note Ray's correct phone number is 644-6349, not as shown on programme.|
|Sunday, 29||Could be daylight saving time on this walk so watch it. But whatever time it is it's always nice along Kangaroo Greek, with its superb swimming holes and lush lunch spots. Be guided by Sheilla Binns along a pleasant track. Special Excursion tickets to Waterfall.|
The Summer Walks Programme (December, January, February) is already circulating in the clubroom. While summer and daylight saving bring thoughts of canyons and swimming trips, what about putting on a Test Walk as well - you might even enjoy helping prospectives to become good members of S.B.W. New Year resolution and all that.
John Holly reports receiving a letter from David Ingram, who has seen Frank Leyden in England and who is now visiting Ireland.
by Spiro Ketas
Route: Medlow Gap - White Dog - Morcott Pass - Kooricone- Kowwong Mtn. - Tiwilla Buttress - Campagnoni Pass - Mt. Cloudmdker - Strongleg - Kanangaroo - Yellow Dog - Medlow Gap.
Present: Snow Brown (leader), Helen Gray, Ray Hookway, Don Finch, Peter Levander, Bob Hodgson, Spiro Ketas, Michael Brown and John Overtown.
Time: August 11th, 1972.
“Light snow has been falling on the Blue Mountains” declared the radio announcer on the A.B.C. News as I was hastily making final preparations to leave on Snow Brown's weekend walk. I exchanged my Alpine sleeping bag with my Hotham and drove over to Peter Levander's flat at North Sydney, parked my car there and we drove over to Snow Brown's house at Forestville where John Overtown left his car, and we then proceeded on to Bob Hodgson's place at St.Ives where Peter left his car and we all hopped into Bob's station wagon and arrived at the Finch residence at Hornsby Heights at 8.30 p m., Don being the sixth and final occupant.
We arrived at Snow's mother's house at Katoomba in time for tea and cakes and an hour or so later we were all snugly enclosed in our sleeping bags at a creek-crossing a mile or so from Medlow Gap. In the morning we were awakened by the sweet strains of Bach 'a Brandenburg Concerto No 2 in F major from Ray's cassette-player. Our leader surprised us by jumping out of his two sleeping bags and lighting a fire. Over breakfast Helen informed us that she was not feeling too well and that she may not be completing the walk, but would continue along with us until the Kowmung before deciding her weekend fate. After breakfast we drove on to Medlow Gap.
The size and weight of young John's pack was an interesting topic of conversation, but he assured us that he normally carries a 40 lb pack and that he was in training for Tasmania. By contrast Helen's pack weighed, I'd say, 9 pounds and Snow's 12 lb. Snow was also in training, he and a few people from work were entering the City-to-Surf race. We were relieved that he intended to walk this weekend and not run. At last we were ready to set off down the White Dog road to the Cox. It was a perfect winter's morning for walking, the sun was shining, the wind was cool and fresh, the birds were up and singing, a vast variety of shrills and shrieks - an utter discord of harmony, yet far more congruous (with due respect) than J.S.Bach's earlier concerto. Here and there splashes of yellow wattle dotted the hillside.
By the time we reached the Cox's we had warmed up and most of us discarded our pullovers in preparation to climb to Kowwong Mtn. Our leader encouraged us by stating that there was a blazed trail all the way up Morcott Pass and Kooricone, he hadn't been along it himself but his younger brother John had told him Somehow we were not able to discover the blazed trail but enjoyed the ascent as we walked through beautiful shady forests of splendid looking trees. At the summit of Kowong Mtn. a few members of the party suggested that we stay on the high country across to Tiwilla rather than drop down to the Kowmung and then up again. But our leader had already commenced his descent to the river, thus we had no alternative but to follow. After a slow descent down the steep ridge we arrived at our lunch spot on the Kowmung. Here Helen decided that she would go back to the cars along an easy route. Snow was concerned that we should leave a sick person alone, but Helen assured him that she would be quite all right, so with mixed feelings we set off after lunch to climb up Tiwilla Buttress.
Half way up we met a party of Springwood Bushwalkers coming down. They had came from Kanangra that morning. We exchanged greetings, warned them about Helen, and set off again slowly up the steep buttress. At the top of Tiwilla Mtn, we stopped to admire the view and to regain our lost energy. To the north we could see as far as Narrow Neck, and roughly where we had left the cars, it looked as if it was a long, long way off. We still had a couple of miles to go before we arrived at the 100-man cave and the promise of a hearty meal and a good night's sleep.
The cave as usual proved to be more of an overhang at the side of Tiwilla Plateau, and it was a cold task carting water from the nearest creek as the wind was now really howling and making things somewhat unpleasant under the overhang, but fortunately it eased before dinner.
John had brought along some dehydrated “Farm House Stew” as he hadn't tasted it before and was preparing for Tassie. At dinner he decided that he was far thirstier than hungry and tried generously to give away his “Farm House Stew”. He would have had more success selling refrigerators to the Eskimos. Dinner completed, John retired for the night, leaving the remainder of the party to indulge in the usual campfire discussions. The Saturday night camp fire on most bushwalks invariably results in the platform where many a latent Prime Minister, social reformer and time and motion expert can at last display his undeveloped expertise to a small but appreciative audience.
Next morning our leader decided that, as it was rather cool, he would remain in his “flea bag” until a fire was lit, after all hadn't he already lit one breakfast fire. Rather than indulge in a game of verbal football I unhesitatingly decided on a magnanimous gesture, I would light the fire: My feeble attempts brought cheers and jeers from my bed-stricken onlookers, “Fancy a past president having so much trouble”, and so on. If nothing else I was a least providing some “get out of bed” type of entertainment.
Reluctantly I swallowed my pride and accepted a sheet of “The King's Cross Whisper” and within seconds a healthy fire was roaring away and everyone's billy was on the fire bubbling merrily. An hour or so later we were resting on the rocky summit of Mt. Cloudmaker. Ray commented that God was most inconsiderate allowing trees to grow around. Mt. Cloudmaker's summit, for if it was not for the trees we could now enjoy the view. We signed the visitors book, a recently replaced one, and John commenced to draw the club's flannel flower in the corner, not to be outdone by other clubs' efforts, It is rumoured around the Royal Australian Army Barrack at North Head that Cpl. J. Overt own is a good cook, but it became obvious that his drawing ability did not match his culinary talents. The flannel flower was transformed into a Red Indian's profile by a vocal disapproving critic and the flannel flower was drawn again in the other corner.
The journey down to the Cox's via Strongleg took slightly longer than anticipated, a few lazy sun stops, a couple of navigational debates and finally a very steep 2,000 ft. drop to Kanangaroo for lunch, time 12.53 Bob Hodgson somehow managed to light his fire on the “right” side of the river whilst we remaining six ate our lunch on the “wrong” side. Then zucchinis, eggplant, mushrooms and advocado pears appeared from packs, alongside the traditional walkers' tucker, some one exclaimed how eating habits were changing.
From Strongleg we had viewed the entire Yellow Dog ridge in the distance, a long, slow, steady climb was certainly in store for us, one would be excused for suggesting that this fact could have contributed somehow to a sudden fury of generosity by all except Snow who had little to begin with anyhow. He seemed to survive the weekend on a Vogel's loaf, a pound of cheese, a small steak and a half pound of dried apricots.
At the foot of Yellow Dog we came upon a party of sunbaking walkers who had come down Narrow Neck and were going up Breakfast Crook the next day (“Monday). Our feet nearly froze off crossing the river but a comforting warm sensation was felt by all when we had started to walk again on dry land.
It was a long, slow climb but the sight of young John with a pack half as tall as he keeping up with us made us realise that at least we were better off than he. We made good time and returned to the cars at about 5.00 p m. just missing Owen Marks and his nephew. Helen met us on the track to Splendour Rock. We were relieved to learn that she had recovered. During our climb up Yellow Dog we had observed what appeared to be the aftermath of a fire bombing exercise, trees with black tidal marks half way down their trunks, young small trees burnt out completely, and I presume the prime target of this exercise, small twigs and dead leaves relatively untouched.
On the way home we stopped at Katoomba for a Chinese meal, bumped into the “famous” John Higgins, then on to Michael's place at Springwood where we listened to his excellent stereo system. Michael has his speakers embedded in 3 feet concrete balls and his tweeters in one foot concrete balls, so as the strains of Mahler and Schostakovich filled the air, we sipped our drinks, closed our oyes and wished that it was Friday night again and that we would soon be starting up and down, with Snow Brown.
by Ray Hookway.
Sassafras Styles Creek Road.
The above road has been regraded and you can now drive to the region of the old White Cat saw mill. The road appears to have been cut through the corner of the Morton National Park and the National Park & Wild Life Service have been advised. It appears that the road has been improved to enable timber to be cut. Reports by members of timber cutting or of further road building would be appreciated by Federation.
Conservation and Wildlife Display.
This display which was to have been held on September 18th/23rd at the Marcus Clark Building has been postponed until next year.
Nin Melville has again volunteered to organise the Federation Reunion in April (6th) next year. Nin would welcome assistance and ideas for a suitable site and suggestions re activities.
Federation members recently spent a weekend replacing spikes and chains on Carlon Head.
The recently elected Federation Publications Officer is busy assessing the problems associated with the preparation and distribution of an annual magazine. Any chit member who has ideas or wishes to assist can contact me or Wilf Hilder.
Search and Rescue Practice.
The next S. & R. practice is to be held on October 13/15th at Eureka Clearing. A good S.B.W. turn up is requested.
(With acknowledgement to the National Mountain Safety Council Inc. New Zealand.)
Recent tragedies in the challenging outdoors seem to indicate a general lack of respect for the dangers in the cold environment. Awareness of the hazards is the first step in preventing tragedy, so we have printed the following to ensure that you are equipped with this knowledge. Death b Definition: Hypothermia, or what is commonly called exposure, occurs when the body temperature drops below normal Causes The cause is simply a drop in body temperature through wearing clothing inadequate for wet, cold and windy conditions. Exhaustion and hunger contribute to it. Danger Signs: Hypothermia is not easy to recognise. The victim is exhausted, lags behind, stumbles, is reluctant to carry on and is not “with it” mentally. He may be difficult to reason with. Treatment: Shelter from the wind immediately. Drop off a ridge to the Ice side and look for shelter in tussock, scrub, bush or behind rocks. Put on extra clothing, give him something to cat and drink, and assess the situation carefully. Recovery can be swift but, if it has not occurred within 15 minutes or if the victim has collapsed, he will be past warming himself, you must do it for him. You must treat him on the spot, he may collapse and die if you attempt to assist him to the shelter of a hut. If practicable, change him into dry woollen clothing. Put him in a sleeping bag and have two fit people, both in their sleeping bags, lie close alongside him. This is the only safe method. Excessive external heat such as a fire can kill him. Alcohol must n2i_bc_JELLIE. In any case, your patient should not be moved (especially by his own efforts) until ho is fully recovered or until you get medical advice. Meanwhile watch the rest of the party. Make camp immediately where you can get the most shelter. These Simple Rules can Save Your Life…. 1. What ever the length of the trip, prepare for it carefully. Do listen and tqke heed of the weather forecasts. Take a parka on every trip into the hills even for a day or half day walk. 2. For excursions on the open tops, add long trousers, gloves and a balaclava to your “Must Pack” list. Wear woollen clothing; wet wool is warmer than wet cotton. 3. Have a good meal before settin out and frequent snacks during the day. Page 14 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER September, 1972. 4. Plan your day so as to reach your destination with time to spare before nightfall. If the weather deteriorates, turn back, or take a safe alternative route which will provide all important shelter. 5. Remember there is always a chance of having to spend the night in the open, and then a sleeping bag cover, a survival sheet, or plastic tube can save your life. 6. For safety, four is the minimum number for a party. Remember, one man cannot recognise hypothermia in himself. A two man party is too weak to help itself in a dangerous situation. If four are in the party, one can stay with a sick man while two go for help. Never travel alone. Beware of the Evil Combination of Wet, Wind and Cold. At 50 deg.F, a wind of 30 mph produces the same heat loss from unprotected skin as would be lost in windless conditions at 28 deg F. Wet skin loses heat 20 times faster than dry. Damp, windy conditions when temperatures arc around 40 deg.F are the most dangerous.
by Owen Marks
|October 13th:||Wine and Cheese Night.||What do you bring? Nothing! Over 30 varieties of cheese. Table wines, fortified wines, soft drinks and fruit juices. All this for a silver donation! A pure and simple get-together - come along and see your friends!|
|October 25th:||The Israeli Consul General talks about his country.||He said he would speak especially about desert irrigation, and at Question Time any matters can be raised. An Israeli supper will be served. As a courtesy gesture, a big rollup would be appreciated.|