A monthly bulletin of natters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p.m. at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Mrs. Marcia Shappert - tel 30. 2028.
|Editor||Neville Page. 14 Brucedale Ave, Epping. Telephone 86.3739.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke. 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford. Telephone 871.1207.|
|Duplicator Operators||Peter Scandrett, Owen Marks, George Gray.|
|The Adventures of Marco Lee and Lin||Gordon Lee||3|
|The October General Meeting||Jim Brown||9|
|For Those Who Rush Their Fences||Ms. Dean||12|
|David Cotton's Bee Walk||14|
|The Agents for Conservation||Peter Harris||16|
|Walks Notes||Len Newland||17|
|Social Notes||Ian Stephen||18|
National Parks Don't Grow On Trees! That, you might remember, was the slogan used for the 1975 appeal for funds by the National Parks and Wildlife Foundation. It's a good slogan, and was developed to sum up the Foundation's aims to provide for the acquisition of parks which could not be acquired other than through their purchase.
The Foundation was formed in 1970 by a group of citizens concerned that the New South Wales State Government would be unable to provide from taxation revenue funds adequate to acquire the parcels of land which needed to be preserved in their original form. In order to preserve species of flora, fauna and examples of geological interest, land had to be set aside and the only way of doing this was to purchase the land concerned.
Since its inception, the Foundation has developed from receiving donations from the business community to the point where public appeals are conducted, a permanent membership has been developed and trading activities contribute to funds raised.
A door knock appeal is now in the planning stage for early next year, and as many people as possible are being sought to help in a variety of different capacities. As bushwalkers, and users of National Parks, we should readily volunteer our services to such a cause. The opportunity to give voluntary help with almost assured payback in terms of benefit (ie. use of parklands acquired as a direct result of fund raising efforts) is a rare opportunity. It is hoped that as many bushwalkers as possible will lend their help.
If you feel you would like to give some of your time in helping such a worthy cause, as a door-knocker, or team leader, or in some other capacity, contact Graham Pitkin (telephone 661-3347 at home or 20234 extension 7017 at work) and he will give you some details. Or if you would like to just know more about the Foundation or the appeal, I am sure that Graham would be more than happy to help.
by Gordon Lee.
You may recall, dear reader, that when last we met we were atop the windy ridge of Kola Pattar and having got there we must of necessity return. The way was long, the wind was cold, your wayfarer was infirm and old. Here I pause to gather the moral strength to relate the pitiful events that followed which brought mortification to your writer and shamed the name of the proud body of people to which he belongs, blotting the escutcheon of the S.B.W. - I got lost! Oh! the degradation of it all - not once, but twice. It befell thuswise…
The walk back from Lobouche (last camp before Kala Pattar) was quick and easy in comparison with the climb up so we made Pangboche in one day and then on to Namche Bazaar the following day. Unfortunately the weather was not as good as previously so camera clicking was reduced to a minimum and we made good time. About three parts of the way to Namche Bazaar yours truly was going like a train (I was in front of Lin) when the trail forked just before a huge overhanging rock. The lower fork beat down and apparently under the rock, the right looked as though it would go up and around and rejoin the original trail above said rock, so muggins followed right.
After walking for some 10 minutes the large rock had disappeared on our left, the trail had failed to rejoin and I stopped to consider. Several natives appeared on the scene, and here I made the next of many errors. I asked in my best Nepalese and English, obviously unintelligible to the native, “Namche Bazaar?” - “Ho ho!” (yes, yes) “Quick way? Short cut?” Native, “Yes, short cut.” So with a bounce in my step - still possible at this stage - I stepped off on the course I had chosen. For confirmation a little further up the trail (I had been climbing steadily) stopped two other citizens and was given much the same information. On passing a building on my left designated Khumbjung Lower Secondary School I assumed that I was moving through the quite sizeable village of Khumbjung - somewhat smaller than Namche. I knew then that I was on a Nepalese Short Cut (more of these later) and that unless I moved a little faster than my customary 4 m.p.h. (uphill of course) I would be getting into N.B. the following morning.
The trail wandered past goal posts sticking out of 12“ of snow, the wind was keen, the daylight dimming fast and I was approaching what appeared to be an impassable cul-de-sac. Again “good?” fortune was with me. Another citizen appeared and asking again in my best Nepalese “Namche Bazaar”? and gesturing in the direction of the c-d-c- I got the nod and went on through a stone arch over a plank bridge and up. Nepal I have found is mostly up and you only go down to go up again. Some little time later I reached Kunde, where I am told there is a good, well-equipped hospital. Some consolation, for darkness was almost upon me. So I struggled on over the Songbocke Air strip, recognised by the tyre tracks picked out in the dim torchlight. Then slipping and sliding in the slush till, glory be, the lights of Namche - below me. How I struggled, staggered and stumbled down that awful slope I shudder to say. And on opening the door of the 'hotel', where Lin and the others had gathered, to be greeted by, “What kept you?” I ask you!
Namche Bazaar is an interesting and colourful sight on market day (every Saturday) when “hawker-merchants” came from miles around to sell their wares, mostly grains - rice, dal, millet and corn and several unknowns. Here you hear them chanting sing-song the number of measures they have ladled out, “Ek, ek, ek; dui, dui, dui; tin, tin, tin; chaar, chaar, chaar.” When you multiply this by some 100 to 150 chanters and talkers all packed into 20 square yards it amounts to quite a din.
Leaving Namche at about midday meant a hard fast walk, mostly downhill, to Lukla which we hoped to make before dark. About half an hour or so out of Lukla and about the same before dark I made what should have been a short side trip to return a pair of borrowed snow goggles (another story) and so commenced my second episode of shame.
After having a cup of tea, a yarn and returning the goggles, I set out to return to the trail and push on to Lukla. The track, which had been easy to follow in the snow a week or so before, was now not so easy, difficulty compounded by darkness, a torch on the blink and the vanished snow. I found the trail, followed it to a familiar bridge and started to climb, but fatigue had clouded perception and I decided I was on the wrong trail, returned to the bridge, floundered round for half an hour, and went to seek help at some friendly-looking lights half a mile below me.
Mine host was having his evening meal and when I explained my predicament he said, “I show you.” I was invited to eat which I did gladly. Offer of payment was refused. Several times during the next two hours he mentioned “showing me” or “getting a boy to show me” or saying I should stay the night. Finally he said “Came,” led me to a hutch, knocked up the occupants and yakked to a boy and a man who appeared. Eventually, “He take you to Lukla for 15 rupees.” Not on your life!” I told him and stomped off. “Twelve rupees,” said mine host. “No!” - “I show you,” from mine host. He led me about 40 yards, gestured into the dark and said, “That way.” And so I stumbled off very angry end very disgruntled.
Scrambling up a steep Nepalese hillside in the dark and bitter cold was one thing, the thought of spending the night out another. I found a 'flat', bedded down, ate a packet of biscuits, drank some water and got my head down about 9.30 p.m. At 3.00 a.m. snow spattering on my face woke me. I snuggled down. Then, horror of horrors, it started to rain. Hurried transfer of larger groundsheet to cover me (luckily I had two) and settled down to “sweat it out” till morning.
Dawn, the rain had stopped, and not too wet and miserable, I packed. In ten minutes I found the trail. In another 10/15 I was to the spot where I had turned back the previous evening. In another 5 minutes I topped a rise, and there was the cluster of houses outside Lukla air strip, and Lin coming towards me. One thing, Nepalese hospitality should not be judged by this isolated incident.
Nepalese Short Cuts: If Govett's Leap was twice as high and ten times more difficult to negotiate and you said to a Nepalese “Short Cut”, then with a great grin and obvious delight he would charge up and down it ten times daily carrying anything up to 50 kg. Any trail “as the crow flies” regardless of terrain or how many feet (miles) up and down between points A and B is a Nepalese “Short Cut”.
We reached Surkeya, below Lukla, where the trail divides. One fork goes up 3000' to Kharte and down to Jubing, the other took a straighter line, when viewed from above, along the Duhd Kesi. And along this trail our intrepid porter, Kirkabara, whom Lin had engaged at Namche, decided we should go. It appeared that we would save one or two hours to Jubing, so innocent and unsuspecting and as yet unsuspicious of Nepalese short cuts, we tripped off gaily to save this two hours of tramping.
C. J. Dennis' “Ant Explorer” never travelled as far up and down as we on that fateful day. For those who don't know what a peg-tooth crosscut saw is, and have no interest in finding out, any saw will do. Multiply the teeth till they are a thousand feet high and start walking along the saw blade. Put a raging torrent below on one side and a 4000' ridge on the other, descend 3000' to commence all this and call us d—- fools and you'd be dead right. That we saved two hours I know not, nor did we reach Jubing that evening, but camped in a deserted farmer's hutch. We may have saved two hours but at sore cost - aching limbs, weary bodies and frustrated minds. However we were able to cook a reasonable meal and make ourselves comfortable.
Kirkabara cocked his head and shrugged his shoulders in his inimitable way, as much as to say, “Anyone can make a mistake1” So when we reached a little village 2000' after another village called Phedi and were told, “Quick way Thodung,” by another gesturing Nepali, our enthusiasm was conspicuous by its absence. We accepted the challenge, however.
Some sweating and scratched two hours later we made Thodung (The Cheese Factory). Surely it had to be a short cut. Was it not the hypotenuse of a triangular trail? Two other things (minor of course) confirmed the fact. The trail was almost non-existent and it was 3000' straight up.
Before reaching Phedi it was hard to have a pull, for pulls were scarce - the Kukra must have been on strike. Kukra is a hook, and “phul” means “egg or seed”. Eggs assume a position of importance on the dietary scale in Nepal because of the protein deficient diet. Meat cannot be considered, for your appetite for meat diminishes in proportion to the inverse square of the number of times you see a “butcher's” shop. But with Lin, eggs almost became an obsession. Can you envisage her delight when after passing through an area of egg drought we got to the Phedi area where people rushed up to you in the oddest places, bearing their globular gifts in all sorts of carrying media, calling as they came, “Phul, phul?” And I might add at a price which suited the pocket. The look on Lin's face was heaven itself.
After leaving Lukla the backdrop grandeur of the mighty Himalayan peaks was replaced by the drab fawn and brown of the interminable age-old terraced hillsides, relieved frequently by the lush emerald green of wheat (?) interspersed with splashes of pale yellow-flowered dal. All of this river by steep-sided valleys and almost sheer gorges bottomed by rushing white water. Scattered about over all, as though shaken indiscriminately from a giant's pepperpot, were the fawn grey stone huts of these subsistence farmers.
I have always been rather pedantic in my approach to packing and separation of certain items from others. For example, powdered skim milk and white soap powder, when contained in travel battered plastic bags can, in poor light and haste, be readily confused. We had reached the outskirts of Phaphlu and so had dusk and as there was no obvious village we threw ourselves on the mercy of the local indigines. After much yah-whoing and very vocal negotiation by our mentor, Kirkabara, accommodation was arranged. In Nepal it is almost a crime to offer tea without milk or sugar (doohd and cheenee). So our host's abject apology for lack of doohd was transported to delight on proffering our bag of powdered milk. Like a lightning bolt the realisation struck, earthed by the question, “Are you sure …?” Swift examination and termination of the tea making procedure as spout hovered over the cup. I have never taken tea made with soap powder, nor do I consciously wish to try. But had we done so I'm sure we'd have had the most whiter than white stomachs in Nepal. We now insist on blue beads of brightness.
Phaphlu seems to be a fairly important village, for here there is an air strip, fairly large hospital and a Hilary school. In addition the Italians have built a sumptuous hotel to rival the Japanese “Everest View” at Sangboche. $US 35 a double room; why I don't know, for there appears to be nothing of remarkable interest around here. Phaphlu is not far from Saleri, a local capital full of Official Departments of all kinds and a police station.
It reminded me of the days of rationing during World War II when I tried to purchase some sugar; half a kilo to be exact. First I had to go to the police station where an official coupon was filled out and stamped. And could you purchase the precious kg in Saleri? Certainly not. You had to take a half hour's walk to Daphu where after production of the official document, much scrutiny and the payment of Rs 3 (25 c) the cheenee was yours.
A side excursion was made from Saleri to Chailsa, a Tibetan village where there are rooms and rooms of looms. For here they manufacture from Nepalese sheep's wool the most gorgeous carpets of many designs and colours. All these “factories” are owned and run by a company centred in Kathmandu. On the walls, in several places, were typed schedules setting out in meticulous detail the rates per so many threads in each design. At any moment I expected to hear a whistle blast and the cry “Everybody out!” Workers numbering from 2 to 8 sat at a loom “knotting” and singing, by all appearances happily, as they worked. Others we saw trimming the pile and generally finishing off the completed carpets. We made a rough estimate of earnings and from memory it was about Rs 10-15 per day. A meal was provided during the day. About $A 1 a day. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Further down the track we made another side excursion to Thodung, commonly referred to as the “Cheese Factory” and previously mentioned. This has to be either a colossal Nepalese (Sherpa) or Swiss joke or both, for the “Factory” is set on a hill halfway between Lamsangu and Lukla, 10,000 above sea level, 1,000 ft. above and off the main trail and not a cow in sight. However it was a gastronomic delight. The potato chips, bread rolls and butter - not to mention cheese - after the consistent diet of eggs and dalbhal (rice and dal) was manna indeed.
At long last we were on the down hill run to Lamsangu. Run it was for when we could at last look down on Lamsangu there was the 9.00 a.m. bus. The driver blew his horn while I was still 2 or 300 yds. away. We got there 'by the skin of our teeth' and boarded breathlessly. The bus, crammed after a few pick-ups, coughed, wheezed, waggled and ground on its 6 hour journey rounded off by an hour-long climb up the long hill outside Kathmandu.
So our 23 day, 200 mile jaunt over the hills of Nepal was ended. We weren't sorry, but were glad weld done it - a truly marvellous experience.
Eventually we made it to Pokhara to get a closer look at the Annapurna Massif. We didn't make it to the Annapurna Base Camp. Extremely bad weather and 4 ft. of snow saw to that. I'll leave it to Owen M., Frank T. and Helen to fill you in on the Annapurna Antics.
Without wishing to blow the trumpet, I feel that in some small way I redeemed myself and won back some small portion of the lost honour of the Club. Lin decided she'd had enough trekking and so from Ghandrung she returned to Pokhara. After much discussion I had made up my mind to go it alone to Ghore Pani on to Birithante and back to Pokhara. I had four days maximum to do it; I decided to do it in three.
This trek is usually done in the reverse order as the trail between Ghan. and Ghore P. is through an almost trackless forest and climbs some 4,000 ft., going over a pass at 10,000 ft. before descending to Ghore Pani. This is the first time in my walking career I had walked alone, and I have never felt so alone as I did in my 4 to 5 hours in that forest. Tracks petered out frequently and I had to resort to compass many times. However I made it to Ghore Pani in 7 hours. Climbed Poon Hill at sunrise for views of Machnapuckhare and the Annapurnas and got to Birithante in 5 hours. I was at Fewa Tal (Lake Fowa) near Pokhara the next afternoon.
It may not have been a Phil Butt or Bob Hodgson standard walk (I was only carrying 10/12 kg) but think Owen, Frank or Helen would agree that it wasn't a bad effort.
I rejoined Lin and the French Canadian friends she had walked with to Pokhara and we had a happy, yappy evening.
(To be continued)
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by Jim Brown.
By way of overture to the meeting some films were screened: as your reporter arrived just as one offering, “Escarpment”, commenced, he was unable to say whether the projectionists were having trouble with the reproduction of the sound track, or whether the grunts, groans and squeaks were the real McCoy didgeridoo accompaniment to a slow-moving but delightfully photographed film of an inland plateau and its wild life. At all events, it was not “R” class fare, not even naked aborigines being featured.
The meeting took off about 8.30 with a welcome to new member Judy Storer, and quite a deal of the discourse arose from the minutes, when we got down to discussing the 50th Anniversary events as a “matter arising”. For the projected bush reunion, several places were suggested, including a hiring for the weekend of the Scout Camp at Pennant Hills. Others, including several quite senior members, favoured a “bushier” setting, and sites in Megalong Valley were put forward. Finally we did get a concrete motion, proposed by Barry Wallace, that Pennant Hills be adopted, so ensuring that the really early members who wished to attend would not feel excluded: this was adopted, and we turned to the gustatory pleasures envisaged probably for the Friday night before the reunion.
After very little preamble we had Bob Hodgson naming and later moving that the dinner be held at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport. This drew a mixed reception, with some averring it was too remote, particularly for south-elders who would need to drive home across the city at a late hour and possibly after some drinking, while others applauded the attractive setting and did not view the distance to travel as excessive. Prices in the order of $10.00 per head were mentioned and it was pointed out that it would be necessary to book for a guaranteed number. Owen Marks, arriving belatedly and learning the proposed site was Newport, exclaimed “madness”, and the motion was lost after Barry Wallace foreshadowed a further motion that the question be explored in greater depth and resolved in November.
Out of correspondence came the news that George Davidson, a retired surveyor who has given much guidance and council over the years in moves on our Coolana property had been invited to become an Honorary Member and had verbally indicated his pleasure. From correspondence, too, came the news that Brian Harvey had been restored to Active Membership.
The Treasurer's statement showed that income and expenditure would have been almost “line-ball” in September if it had not been for receipt of compensation from the Water Board for its inundation of the fringe of Coolana: as it is, our balance of revenue was $2487 at the close of the month.
Federation Report included a number of items, but as the newsletter now accompanies the magazine it seems futile to repeat them in the meeting notes unless we debate any special issue. We moved on to the usual report of walks activities, commencing after one false start with the doings on 10-12 September weekend, when the overnight trip was postponed for one week. It was recorded that a total of about 45 gathered for Dungulla - S.B.W. meet at Kuring-gai Wildflower Garden, but only some 8 to 10 could be regarded as currently walking S.B.W. members. Some of the discussion focussed on the 50th Anniversary proposals, but clearly nothing could really be settled. On Sunday 11th, David Ingram had 23 people out to Woronora Trig and into Heathcote Creek, viewing some good bushflowers and finding the vegetation quite grown up along Myuna Creek.
On 17-19 SepteMber, Peter Harris and one other tackled the deferred jaunt in the Banshee State Forest and evidently had a fairly energetic time, not reaching the car till 11.0 p.m. Sunday. There were 9 people at David Cotton's base camp near Capertee, with day walks to the mining ruins and into the hills. Two day walks on the 19th each brought out 18 folk, with Victor Lewin recording a pleasant day on the Blackheath/Blue Gum country, while John Noble commented in a written report that there was some roughish, bushy going in places along Tunk's Creek out from Hornsby.
The final weekend of September included two weekend trips, one being Bob Younger's base camp at Macarthurs Flat, which attracted 15 people and actually continued downstream as far as Allum River. It was known that Fazeley Road's Splendour Rock/Cox River walk proceeded but details were not available. Of the two day walks, John Holly reported a nice day in the wildflowers around Tahmoor, finishing with a barbecue tea at Worrimbirra Sanctuary, and it was clear that Neil Brown's Berowra Creek walk had been done, but the details were offered by one of his party in a voice inaudible to the Press bench.
Over the October holiday weekend there was the somewhat unusual arrangement of two base camps with day walks, and two individual walks of one day's duration, without base camp. The first overnight trip was Victor Lewin's based on Yadboro, attended by 10 people, and approached by a somewhat muddy slippery road on the Friday night. Saturday saw a day jaunt to Davidson Head and Pigeon House and the Sunday climb to The Castle was deferred until Monday owing to indifferent weather. At Woodhill Gap Helen Gray's base camp party, numbering up to 30, ate, talked, slept and fed numerous leeches: it was recorded as a very sociable weekend, but some walking was done each day. Of the day walks on Sunday, Margaret Reid's party was 11 in strength and weather in the lower Blue Mountains was fair, despite rain in Sydney; there were waratahs on display. Meryl Watman's team was four - plus one who caught up in time for the train home, and there was rain during the morning out from Waterfall.
The final weekend reported, October 9/10, included John Fox's Narrow Neck/Splendour Rock trip, nine people present. Saturday night's camp was at the Mobbs Swamp cave in company with members of the Kameruka Club who were airing a new extensive song book. On the way back the old “Wallaby trail” pass at Clear Hill was followed instead of the iron spikes. Rod Peter's Bungonia jaunt was cancelled, and although it was believed to have gone as planned, no news was available of Barry Zieren's West Head day walk.
A call for general business produced no matters, and with the usual announcements about coming attractions, the meeting folded up quietly at 9.30 p.m.
17 Falcon Street, Crows Nest 2065. Ph. 439-2454.
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I have just returned from a family-type ski camping trip at Saw Pit Creek. My last child, and according to his sisters, the least child, availed himself of the excellent service put on by the Kosciusko National Park Authority and spent two evenings at the Information Centre being indoctrinated about ski touring. In fact he became so involved with all the information that he is convinced he has already experienced (caught, came down with) hypothermia. This happening took place about 20 yards off the parking area at Smiggens on a clear afternoon and about one hour's experience on the snow.
It made me think, have I been at risk when touring. Certainly I've not practised survival skills as suggested in the pamphlet issued by the Park authorities, and indeed how many others he done a quick course, or even read “Survival - Exposure is a Definite Killer”. Below are some instructions and drawings from the pamphlet - it could be of help to someone. “Requirements:
You have a choice of what you might like to build: Snow Bivouac, Igloo or Snow Cave.
One other hazard of spending time on the snow and rarely mentioned by by the experts, is the osmetic, but not quite metamorphosis, effect that takes plate as people come off the snow and return home. From my participant observations and our experiences this affects people differently. Some of the types of behaviour are -
I would like to hear of other people's experiences - it would make an interesting study. And for all those who rush their fences, wait for me - I've just learned to survive!
Persons present: children, 16, members, 21, prospectives, 6 and 11 visitors. Total 54. Weather, fine and warm with periods of cloud.
Due to the large crowd in attendance the talk on bees had to be kept to a minimum and emphasis was centred on the visual display. This was followed by a beehive inspection which included a successful batch of queen cells made up specially the day before.
The treat of the day was morning tea with the usual supply of fresh honeycomb straight from the hive, together with large slabs of brown bread and butter. About 15 lb of fresh honeycomb was consumed together with 5 large loaves of brown bread and about l lb of butter. A large bottle of honey mead also went the rounds but was met with a rather varied response.
Our walk down O'Hares Creek started nice and early. After inspecting the big waterfall on Madderns Creek we had a little bit of a rough scramble for a short distance as the usual track had been missed. A nice flat rocky area along the creek was chosen for our lunch spot.
A small group of lads in our party entertained us by staging a moss and slime fight, and it was not long before most participants had a reasonable coating of slime and moss; in addition a few were also a little wet from falls in the creek.
After lunch our walk continued downstream through a delightful area of picturesque bushland. As usual, people were found wandering off along different tracks in all directions. However when we reached the track leading to the farm where we had left some of the cars earlier in the day it was found that all were accounted for excepting Roger (7) from the Orchard, who in fact, like a horse smelling his oats, had taken off for home without remembering to tell anyone.
While a small search party scouted the immediate vicinity, the remainder of the party returned to the cars, where Roger was found playing quite happily with his cousins.
At this juncture some of us became involved in an exercise in training a horse to enter and leave a horse float. So with much pushing and pulling, tugging and shoving the horse was finally encouraged to enter and leave the horse float. After a few ins and outs the horse seemed to be enjoying herself as much as her temporary trainers. Whilst this small diversion was being attended to Roger suffered his punishment by returning to the creek to round up his small search party.
Most people had quite an enjoyable day. Due to the rather strange finale to our walk it is not known whether anyone managed to inspect the magnificent cactus display at the farm where we finished our walk.
A major walk will be held on the Cape York Peninsula, Q1d. from 20 December 1976 to 15 January 1977 (approx.). The leader is Tom Hayllar 9183916(H) of CMW. SBW members are welcome to join the trip.
Box 553 P.O., Christchurch, New Zealand.
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By Peter Harris
Marie Byles' article on “Emotionalist Conservationists” is based entirely an opinion without any relevant facts. It calls on bushwalkers to “save their energies rather than hating those who destroy the environment”, and terms bushwalkers as “selfish people” who become “emotionalist conservationists” in efforts to satisfy their own personal enjoyment.
I strongly contend many points within this lop-sided article, and further add that Marie Byles has completely overlooked the prime reason for conservation - that being the preservaton of natural habitats and environments for scientific, geological, historical and aesthetic recreational purposes, as well as the preservation of many forms of wildlife and aboriginal areas for sanctuary and study.
Marie Byles brands all bushwalkers as “selfish”. This is a rather sweeping and unjustified accusation. Perhaps some bushwalkers are “selfish” in themselves, but most active people who enjoy passive recreation in natural and wilderness area, have a great concern and respect for that environment. Because their knowledge of these areas is gained first-hand, they are the people who must become the agents for conservation, and seek its preservation from others who would set out to destroy its sanctity.
There is precious little natural and wilderness area remaining on this continent, and most of the available land is continually under an onslaught of threats by many varied bodies who seek the “quick-term buck”, and cannot see the “long-term dollar” profit value for its preservation.
If we all took heed of Marie Byles article, the South West of Tasmania would be a myriad of logging roads and hydro-electric operations, Kakadu would become a uranium mine and sacred aboriginal areas lost. Closer to home, the prime natural areas along the Great Dividing Range would be criss-crossed with pipelines, power lines, mines, dams, forestry operations and roads. The connotations of her article are endless. It is most irresponsible.
Don't forget that prior to next month's general meeting there will be folk dancing. This is just to get you into the mood for the heavy business to follow. Be there at 7 p.m. The date is Wednesday 8th. December.
by Len Newland. (Phone 43-2419 Bus.)
Now the summer programme is filled in, it's time to start thinking about walks you can put onto the Autumn Walks Programme. Especially wanted are vast numbers of test walks, and particularly weekend test walks. The summer programme consists almost completely of easy standard swimming type walks, and this doesn't help the prospective members to full membership, so that they too can put walks on the programme. So, contact your Walks Secretary as soon as you can.
As mentioned above, there is a dearth of test walks on the Summer Programme, and December boasts only two, both one day walks. Firstly, Joe Marton takes a trip from Carlon's Farm on Sunday 5th, down Breakfast Creek, a short way along the Cox's River, and return to Carlon's Farm via Galong Creek. Most of this walk is not difficult, but Galong Creek contains a lot of clambering over rocks without much room to spare. The other test walk is led by Hans Beck on Sunday 12th, taking the Victory Track from Faulconbridge and through Glenbrook Gorge to Glenbrook. The standard is much the same as for Joe's walk.
Leaving on Boxing Day, Frank Roberts will take a party for five to seven days in the Snowy Mountains. See Frank for details.
On the 3rd, 4th and 5th, Patrick McBride leads a trip from Lagoon Pinch to Carey's Peak and along Barrington River and Wombat Creek back to Lagoon Pinch in the Barrington Tops area, which sports a great diversity of plant life, with extensive views from Carey's Peak.
This is followed by my own walk on the 17th, 18th and 19th, which will be from Woodford to Springwood via the upper reaches of the Glenbrook Creek which has numerous swimming holes.
To be held on the 10th, 11th and 12th under the leadership of David Rostron. He hasn't quite decided where to, at this writing, but he promises lots of action.
On the New Year Weekend, John Fox will be leading short trips from a camp based on the Club's own property, Coolana.
The first weekend of the month boasts Peter Miller's trip in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase from the Basin to America Bay on Sunday 5th. ON the following Sunday Jim Brown leads from Waterfall to Heathcote via Heathcote Creek and Lake Eckersley. Back to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase on Sunday 19th, where Esme Biddulph is to lead from West Head to Flint and Steel Bay, Hungry Head, Mount Bluff and Whitehorse Bay, with an optional extension to Chatswood for Devonshire tea at Esme's home. On the Christmas weekend, Errol Sheedy leads from Heathcote to Waterfall via Goonderra Brook, Karloo Pool, Kangaroo Creek, Head of Navigation, Robertson Knoll Uloola Falls and Waratah Track, but be careful - this trip is on Monday 27th.
Finally, for the enthusiast: get wet With Peter Harris. Sunday 19th sees his lilo trip down the Wollongambe Canyon.
Now, having read this far and seen our wonderful selection of trips, don't you feel just a little tempted to get stuck into the Autumn programme?
by Ian Stephens
The Club's Christmas Party will be held in the club rooms on Wednesday, 15th December at 3 p.m. Drinks will be provided by the Club, but members are requested to each provide a small plate of food, and also a glass for drinking.
Wednesday, 22nd December will be a free night for members to plan their Christmas trips.
The last Wednesday of the year, 29th December, the club room will be closed.
The number of bushwalkers partaking of the monthly dinner before general meetings is steadily growing so that now there is quite a big group of monthly diners. Everyone of course is welcome. Next dinner, on Wednesday 5th. December will be at a restaurant called Pancakes On The Rocks which is in Hickson Road Sydney (as the name implies it's in the Rocks area close to George Street North). Just roll along. Everyone should meet at 6 p.m. upstairs.