A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney. Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O. Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. 2121. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Marcia Shappert, Telephone 30,2028.
|EDITOR||Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping Telephone 86,6263.|
|BUSINESS MANAGER||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871,1207|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR||Bob Duncan. Telephone 869,2691.|
|Some Options on the Blue Breaks||John Redfern||2|
|The Blue Breaks, Again||Spiro Hajinakitas||4|
|Social Notes for July||Ailsa Hooking||6|
|Paddy's Ad .||7|
|Ponder the Poetic Duck||Dot Butler||8|
|How I took up bushwalking again||Jo van Sommers||9|
|From Yarramanmun to Danjera||Peter Harris||12|
|Mountain Equipment Ad.||15|
|Letter to the Editor||Gordon Lee||16|
|The May General Meeting||Barry Wallace||16|
|Walks for July||Spiro Hajinakitas||18|
by John Redfern.
(The party: David Rostron - Leader, Judith Rostron, Craig and Christine Austin, Bill Burke, Spiro Hajinakitas, Magdi Hamad, Gordon Lee, Vaun Lessing, David Martin, Bob Milne, Theo Penkles, John Redfern, Jim Vatiliotis and three visitors from Victoria: Helen Doig, Lance Rowley and Chris Sewell.)
This year David planned the Blue Breaks for Easter. Normally, this would allow a free day; however, with Mt. Colong as an extra, I was not so sure.
Around 7.30 am on Good Friday all seventeen starters were assembled at Kanangra Walls with David busily weighing packs. Twenty-two pounds was to be the limit. I don't think too many made it, much to David's consternation. Off we went around 8.00 am to the Coal Seam Cave for breakfast at about 9.00 am. Fortified, we left the Gingra track and swung out along the Bull Head Range, then down Cambage Spire to the Kowmung River, arriving around 11.00 am. After a short break David gave the command and off up the Kowmung we went. The party, though large, moved well and we reached Church Creek for lunch. Everyone seemed happily oblivious of what was to happen that evening. Church Creek was quite dry.
After about 2 km we left by the right bank and a very steep and scrubby climb it was. Actually we sidled around behind Mt. Armour to the old road. We followed this road to the Colong Swamp, arriving around 4pm. There was very little good surface water around, so Bill Burke dug a hole. Hoping the water would soon clear, he decided to camp there as it was close to his “cocktail hour”. He was joined by Jim and Magdi.
David reminded us that the object was to camp on Mt. Colong. However, with water low everywhere, there was doubt about the spring up there. It was here that Spiro loudly announced “Bob Hodgson said the spring on Colong is never dry”. One and half hours later, with parched throats, weary legs and in fading light, it was little consolation to know that Bob Hodgson can be wrong. (For the record, as many know, Bob denies ever saying this.)
A mutiny in the party was imminent! Some people wanted to go back down to the swamp. David thought we should wait till morning as it would be too dangerous going through the cliff-line in the dark. It was a long dry night! We noted Spiro camped well away from the main party.
In the morning (Saturday) we joined up with Bill and Co. at the swamp. They had a fire going and some slightly muddy, but very welcome, water lined up.
The immediate route was to be Chiddy's Obelisk, Kowmung Mountain, then the Scott's Main Range Road to Byrnes Gap for lunch. However, David and Bill worked out an option for me, because I had a sore shoulder that made climbing difficult, and for Judith who had a suspect knee. Magdi and Vaun liked this route, and decided to join us.
We passed through the Tonalli Gap and picked up the Tonalli River. This is a delightful area with lovely trees and grassy flats. As soon as possible, we had a swim and a wash. It was very cold but so good. After some tea we followed the river to the weir on Scott's Main Range Road, and then followed the road up to Byrnes Gap to meet the main party.
After lunch Judith felt her knee was improving. With some persuasion from David she rejoined the main group who were to climb up on to Axe Head Range. I decided to get dawn to the Kowmung via the Bulga Range and was pleased to again be joined by Magdi and Vaun, who were keen to see the Bulga Dennis Canyon.
We set off along the road in step, crossed Butcher's Creek, then climbed a few quite steep hills to the Bulga Range. Once the ridge is located it is easy going along to the rocky portion approaching the nose. There are spectacular views from here. Dropping off the nose to the Kowmung the way was very steep.
We camped in a nice flat grassy spot just upstream. from Christie's Creek. While Vaun and I put up the fly, Magdi made some very nice coffee.
Sunday was one of those perfect days you can have at Easter. With all day to reach the bottom of Roote's Ridge, where we intended to camp, we had a leisurely two hour breakfast. As the water was low in the Canyon the crossings were easy and we had plenty of time to look around. Probably or the first time I was fully aware of the beauty of this place. In the evening we again found a good camp site and had fortunately finished tea before a storm hit.
On Monday, as my passengers had been transferred to another car, I decided to leave early and try to beat the traffic home. I left Magdi and Vaun at breakfast and climbed up Roote's Ridge. The climb was marked contrast to the last time we did it with the temperature at 35°C plus.
It was unusual to see the views from Kanangra Tops around mid-day. Normally it is the sunset we see. How fortunate we are to have this wonderful area to walk in
by Spiro Hajinakitas.
At Easter I went along with David Rostron's party to the Blue Breaks.
It was my fifth visit to the Blue Breaks over recent years, and this is the third time that I have described the trip for publication in “The Sydney Bushwalker”. I had thought that as John Redfern had indicated that he was writing the trip description for publication in the club magazine, I would not be asked to contribute once again, but as the party became two separate groups, each doing their own thing, and as John was not in the group that I accompanied, I find myself once again writing up the trip.
I will take up the story at the point in John's narrative on the second day, Easter Saturday, where we met the splinter group at Byrne's Gap. We had just arrived via Chiddy's Obelisk and Mount Kowmung and we all felt rather hot after a short road bash along Scott's Main Range Road.
Our planned camp that night was to be a high camp on the Axe Head Range which necessitated taking water in containers up the steep nose of the southern ridge. Fortunately most of the climb was in shade and we reached the first rim of the mountain feeling relatively fit. The view from here was splendid and our three Melbourne friends were duly impressed. In the distance two wedgetailed eagles were gliding effortlessly near Mt. Yerranderie, obviously enjoying the flight whilst searching for some thing to eat. The top of the Axe Head goes on for quite a way and it was clear that the party with its members of varying speed; and company preferences would soon spread out. David informed the vanguard group of the proposed camp spot at the end of the buttress, as they raced off. I chose to keep with the tail-enders and we had a few stops to admire the scenery and to take photographs. The low afternoon sun was shining brilliantly onto Mts. Relentless and Remorseless and even though the vista extended for very many kilometres in all directions, no evidence of man was visible.
The buildings at Yerranderie and the road on Scott's Main Range were not visible at this particular spot. Eventually,we reached our proposed camp site to find that everyone, other than Bill, had gone past the spot. David yelled out to them to stop as they had gone too far. They eventually came back to the saddle many metres below us and we could just make them out as they busied themselves pitching camp. David tried to persuade them to climb back up to us as the whole purpose of camping on top of a mountain was to be able to enjoy the view and also observe the sunset and sunrise. As expected, the renegades stayed put, as certainly their camp was the more comfortable if lacking in views.
What our spot lacked in comfort was made up with glorious vistas stretching from Kanangra Tops over the Wild Dog Mountains to the distant lights of Katoomba and right across to Burragorang Walls. It was a rather hazy night and as the sun sank the western sky was transformed into a beautiful pastel coloured picture of tranquility. We sipped our hot rum and grapefruit drinks and gazed at the distant mountain ranges. Even the noisy preparations of establishing camp from the saddle below failed to interfere with our relaxed mood. After a while we set about cooking our own food, spaghetti bolognaise for the Austins, fresh chicken casserole for the Rostrons, dehydrated N.Z. roast lamb and mint for Bill and fried sausages for me. During meal time many loud and spectacular lightning flashes accompanied by rolling drum-like sounds of thunder threatened the arrival of rain, thus hastening the Austins and Rostrons to erect their respective tent flies. The red glow of the other group's fire could be seen below ringed by their tents of multi-colours as the grey-white smoke snaked its way up into the air. Now the large round full moon took on a bright pink glow and one could have been excused for mistaking it for the sun if it had been in the west.
The threat of rain did not eventuate during the night and the sunrise was very disappointing at daybreak. We dispensed breakfast quickly and dropped down over the end of the buttress to descend to the others who were all ready to move off, It promised to be another warm sunny day if a bit hazy. We still had a fair way to go along the Axe Head before dropping down to Green Wattle Creek and eventually over to Butcher's Creek. The now familiar cleft in the cliff-line requiring some cautious climbing was tackled without much trouble, and for once not one member of the group chose to avoid the very short climb by sidling around to the right.
I consider the views from the Axe Head Range are unsurpassed in the Blue Mountains, but this is an opinion shared by many but I suppose not all. Certainly our visitors from Victoria remarked that they unfortunately had nothing like this in their state. They were both impressed with the beauty of the Blue Breaks and the vast extensiveness of the wilderness area. Hearing their comments made me realise just how fortunate we are to have so much good walking so close to Sydney.
After lunch we began the ascent to Scott's Main Range where we again split up. Half the party decided that the road bash back to the Kowmung would be too boring and instead headed down one of the steep ridges. They arrived just after our arrival. By this time it had become obvious that the drought was to come to an end and we quickly pitched our tents and lit a large fire. Sure enough, not long afterwards, it began to rain heavily, but after a half hour or so it eased and we emerged from our tents like rabbits popping out of their burrows after a storm. Our camp site this third and last night was a nice grassy flat on a bend on Gingra Creek, a most welcome change having both grass and water. Possibly our gallant leader was not feeling well. The fire was still alight and we cooked our last supper and washed it all down with Turkish coffee whilst Christine serenaded us with her recorder playing, and Gordon entertained us by singing bush ballads and reciting Australian poetry. David Martin also contributed with his expert bird calls and knowledge of both fauna and flora.
We awoke to a fine clear day and proceeded up Gingra Creek. Surprisingly, only two of our large party had ever been along Gingra Creek which is a beautiful creek with splendid stands of stately gums, fascinating casuarinas surviving in the most unlikely places, numerous grassy and soft river flats and a few crystal clear pools, one with a small waterfall. The Old Cedar Road had all but disappeared, and the creek is just a sheer delight and will now be earmarked as one of the most pleasant exits of the Kowmung area to Kanangra.
The climb up to Pages Pinnacle was a very hot affair indeed. and we rested on the Pinnacle during our second. lunch break, enjoying the vast panorama with the Axe Head Range clearly visible and seeming so far away. A brisk trek beside Craft's Walls and over Kanangra Tops ended another enjoyable Blue Breaks trip. We would all go again- anytime!
by Ailsa Hocking.
|July 18||Members Slide Vight. Dig out your best (? most presentable) ilid.6Of your recent trips. After the competition in March, we know there is a fair amount of photographic talent in the club, so don't forget to bring some slides.|
|July 25||The annual Club Auction is on again. Do your spring cleaning a bit early, and see what you can came up with. It is your big chance to sell those boots that don't quite fit, or that spare pack, sleeping bag, etc. But remember, your junk is probably junk to everyone else too, so only saleable stuff, please!! All-prOceeds to Coolana.|
FAMILY DAY/ WEEKEND AT DARKES FOREST 7/8 JULY - LEADER: David Cotton.
I am running a Family Day/Weekend at Glenbernie Orchard, Darkes Forest, with short pleasant day walks in the area. People may come along on either one day or both and camp overnight. Walks depart at 10.30 am on both days. This trip is being run to promote a family, get-together and to enable people to have themselves and their children photographed. A small oharge will be made for the supply of finished prints to cover cost of materials, although this trip is not being run as a commercial venture.
Darkes Forest is located about 65 km south of Sydney G.P.O., and is reached by travelling south via the Princes Highway, through Waterfall, and following the highway (do not take the expressway at Waterfall). Darkes Forest is west of the highway, about 6 km south of the Helensburgh and Stanwell Park turnoffs Glenbornie Orchard is on the right-hand side of the road, about 3 km west of the Princes Highway. Contact me in the clubroom on last Wednesday in June, or ring Helen Gray (86,6263).
(Oweni Poeticus) Submitted by DOT BUTLER
(with a little help from poet Frederick UM.Harvey,1888)
When angry and resentful think of ducks-
Ridiculous comical things-
Sleeping or curled, their heads beneath their wings,
By waters cool
Or finding urky things to eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool.
Yes, ducks are ludicrous things
(As odd as me and you) -
They waddle round, they do.
They eat all sorts of things
And then they quack. “QUACK! QUACK!”
By and stable and stack
They wander at their will.
And if you go too near
They look at you through black
Small topaz-tinted eyes,
But (Club-mate! Never fear!)
Wish you no ill.
Triangular and clear
They leave their curious track
In mud at the water's edge
And there amid the sedge
And slime they gobble and peer
And drop a poem SPLAT!
When God had finished the stars and whirl of coloured suns
He turned His mind from big things to fashion little ones….
Beautiful tiny things (like sandflies) He made, and then
He made the comical clowns in case the minds of men
Should stiffen and become Dull, humourless and glum
And so forgetful of their Maker be
As to take even themselves quite seriously.
Funnel-web spiders and snakes are lively (though dangerous) puns;
(All God's jokes are good - even the practical ones!)
And as for the Owen duck, God must have smiled a bit
Seeing those bright eyes blink on the day He fashioned it,
And He's probably laughing still
At the poems that come out of its bill!
by Jo van Sommers.
I did a lot of walking when I was in my early twenties and living in Melbourne. A friend found one day, when he was going over some old files and papers, a great sheaf of photographs dating from that time. I was surprised to find that I had been to so many places for which I had not even a blurred memory. One walk had run into another. I had nothing left except generalised impressions - the sunlight slanting through tall stringybarks, moisture dripping from grey scrub, icy waterfalls, snakes looping along the path through buttongrass; endless gullies, spurs, ridges, saddles; but always, the legs and boots of the walker ahead.
Somewhere I had made a decision that those days were past. I had thrown away almost all my old equipment - the Japara A tent, the nailed boots, the frameless pack marked with long-forgotten stains. The homemade sleeping bag stuffed with five pounds of down was rescued from a high cupboard and rewarded me with a shower of dusty fluff. But all sorts of other gear had accumulated over the years, not so rigorously correct but all of it useable, so there was no way of making the excuse that I didn't have the stuff to get back to bushwalking.
I'd done perhaps a dozen day-walks in twenty years since I'd given up regular walking. Usually they were re-unions, with the distance kept down by the demands of sociability and the limitations of small children.
I first heard about the Sydney Bushwalkers in September 1978 through a friend who was looking for something to do when the surf was too cold. We decided to take seriously the aphorism “your first EASY walk may turn out to be quite HARD” and took two Sunday excursions to the National Parks, North and South. I then realized one of the reasons I had dropped bushwalking: I used to charge along, 'covering distance', head down, keeping up with the boys, too proud to ask them to wait for me, watching the feet ahead, concentrating on keeping a steady pace, steady breathing on hills …. where was I going, what was I seeing, what did it all mean? I did not know. I was a “good walker”. No one in this Club seems to talk about “good walkers”. People are very fit, fit, or not fit, I like that. They were beautiful, those two easy day walks. People talked, looked around; they knew a lot about wildflowers, birds, rocks, tracks. People ten and twenty years, more, older than I were Obviously enjoying themselves - they were fit.
I don't quite know how I came to take the plunge and sign up for an overnight walk. It was billed as being from Fitzroy Falls to Coolana, and return. I think I was attracted by the revelry promised for the hut opening at Coolana; something I knew I could enjoy, whereas I was still not sure whether the rigours of pack-carrying would be sufficiently compensated for by an evening camp-fire in isolated bush with people I had not met before. The EASY walk may not have been HARD, but this MEDIUM walk certainly was I survived by dividing the day into hours and being quite surprised when another one had passed. Fortunately, by mutual agreement, the, return part of the trip was traded in on a night of frenetic dancing.
But at least I had carried a pack all day and survived. There lingered on remnants of that old feeling that bushwalking is terrific because it's so great when you stop. But there was also a pleasant feeling that I had been where I could not have been otherwise, and arrived at a place which I appreciated more because of the exertion required to get there. Time did not drag lolling about on the banks of the Kangaroo, for it was time that had been paid for.
This was a seductive experience. How often, I wondered, is it possible to pull out half-way, to leave before the weekend is over, to double back, to climb the easier ridge? Next time, I determined, I would trap my lazy body into a trip where there could be no pulling out: but at the same time I was careful to choose a leader (I had made some discreet enquiries) who didn't run, “explore”, disappear, take short-cuts, carry abseiling equipment, or pitch camp long after dark. I thought a lot about what I was doing, where I was going, why I was doing it.
So I was not worried about the temporary misplacement of the track at the start of the trip; the mist and the profileration of vague bits of track petering out in scrub made the task difficult. I had always followed the leader, but now I felt that I had lost the track; it was no longer a matter of following the person in front and not taking responsibility for where my feet were going: I should have taken better notice of each of the little branches of the path. This habit of blaming someone else had to be squashed again later on this trip. I had never used a compass nor carried the map since finding the way used to be exclusively a male role, and I had came without either map and compass or supporting male. When everyone set off up the ridge on a compass bearing I soon found myself alone and a little forlbrn. Rather than sit down and cry I plodded on, keeping to the highest ground, and fell back on the old ruse of counting steps. This makes an apparently endless ridge manageable, by breaking it up into pieces of twenty or fifty steps each, so that even a person who is 'not fit' can make it provided they don't keep looking upwards!
By the end of this trip I was getting 'fitter'. I must have been; how else could I have tottered from car to bed, bent double with never-before-experienced muscle strains, blistered feet, black toenails, and a thirst only partly quenched by a litre of orange juice?
One of my reasons for writing this piece is to encourage others of mature-age (as they so kindly say in the universities) to persevere as prospectives, so now I will dwell on the encouraging part. After two weeks I had forgotten the discomforts and remembered only the beautiful multi-coloured rocks and cliffs of the Kowmung, the swimming pools, sitting around the campfire, scrambling down into the creek where I half-listened for the rebuke out of childhood for playing the tomboy again.
I went back to the Kowmung, this time for three days, to complete my test-walks. We followed the same track for part of the way, but now it was so different. Than, a long drag uphill on a hot afternoon at the end of the walk, now, fresh and cool, almost jogging downhill in the drizzle, and amazingly quickly the distance was covered. And rock-hopping; so clumsy on the first weekend, now some layers of uncertainty have been peeled away of course all it needs is confidence, but what use is saying that to anyone who hasn't felt it. What a push-over, just like old times; then a mis-judged mossy surface and a crashing collapse; don't get too confident. Early morning starts before the sun gets onto the water, and the first beautiful swim with the feet decorously clad. I am now feeling as fit as a trout.
Trout euphoria evaporates by lunchtime when I again feel like a hungry mature-age ex-walker who has perhaps overdone it a bit. All those things said about tea reviving, cheering, refreshing, are true, especially when the brews are as exotic as one gets in this company. I produce my packet of Orange Pekoe, something I've learned, and the tea-bags have been left at home. I have learned something else too, and put my bare feet up and snatch a nap after lunch. All this makes the afternoon quite pleasant.
We emerge from Murdering Gully, some in mid-afternoon, some rather later, some without the benefit of assistance physical and psychological, some with. Warm feelings towards people who could charge up in half the time but have stayed behind to help and encourage.
Having done three test walks and. become a member I set off on a li-lo trip. I was half-listening for another childhood voice, this one saying “Get off that li-lo at once, you'll puncture it”. But I was far away in a quiet canyon and no voices could reach me.
REPORT BY THE NEWLY-APPOINTED MAGAZINE CENSOR
In last month's magazine the Editor made another of those misstatements which are making her editorship controversial. The area of the new Wollemi National Park was given as 502,000 hectares or 502 sq. km.
As the N.S.W.N.P. & W. Service has reliably estimated the wombat population of this park to lie between 40,000 and 60,000, an area of 502 sq. km. would give a wombat population density of 100 per sq. km., which is patently absurd. One does not have to look far for an answer to this contradiction:- the area of the new park is indeed 502,000 hectares, but this is equivalent, not to 502 sq. km., but to 5,020 sq. km.
For those more familiar with the old units, and willing to risk the penalties now provided for their use, this area can be visualised as 12,400 square furlongs; 13,500,000 square ropes, 86,400,000,000 square palms; or 154,000,000,000 square nails.
by Peter Harris.
The purpose of this article is to record, for posterity, details of the supposed first recreational bushwalking trip into the Boolijah/Danjera country; and the discovery of Blayden's Pass.
Warwick Blayden (Canberra Bushwalking Club) has accompanied me on earlier exploratory trips into the Ettrema/ Bundundah area, and we teamed up again on the weekend of llth-13th May, 1979 to explore the country in the upper Danjera Creek area, and to locate an easy route for the descent into Boolijah Creek from Yarramunmun Tops.
Tso weeks earlier Warwick had undertaken a solo walk in the upper Boolijah Creek and reported a fine canyon section and waterfall. (In fact, Ettrema Creek is really the only large creek in the area without a major waterfall in its length).
Preliminaries over - now to the story!
Friday night saw us motoring up along the Yarramunmun Tops Fire Trail, avoiding pot-holes full of water, in Warwick's 1970 Beetle. After reaching 'Mr. Doyles' road at MR 579191 (Sassafras 8927-1-N, 1:25000) we began to look for a campsite. We drove slowly, conscious that the scrub either, side of the road looked particularly uninviting as a potential campsite, until reaching the point where the Yarramunmun Fire Trail forks (MR 586222). I pointed out that the right-hand fork was the road least likely to have traffic on it, and we proceeded down that road to camp at MR 587222. Just off to the right of this point is a massive escarpment above a jungle of rainforest. A grader was situated just along the road a bit.
We left our car here, and on Saturday morning, walked back along the road to the 'big bend' (MR 577218) and headed off for a scrub-bash towards the main point on the escarpment above Boolijah Creek OAR 571225). The vegetation on the plateau is typically E. stricta and Hakea sp. but after a very short walk through this scunge, we came across an old road which we followed all the way out to the point. (This road would be preferable to camp on, and more safe to leave vehicles. It begins just south of the 'big bend' at MR 578217, and terminates at the escarpment, about 100 yards west of the point. Camping on Friday night could only be on the road - don't drive too far or you'll go over the side!)
At the point, a wedge-tailed eagle dive-bombed us. We took in the view - deep valley of Boolijah Creek flanked either side by a very tall escarpment. The point on which we stood was about 150' high. To the left (south) the escarpment appeared unbreakable, and I believe this is the case for several miles. To the right (north) some possibility of descent appeared in the huge basin behind the point. The view across Boolijah Creek was to the junction with Danjera Creek, and up onto the scrub-covered Danjera Plateau.
Being an eager beaver, Warwick commenced flitting up and down the various holes near the nose itself. I, being less optimistic of our chances of descent here, began to scan the cliff line to spot any obvious breaks. Warwick disappeared down one hole, and from where I could see him standing above a drop of about 100', it appeared little chance of going. I heard him shout “I think this way goes. I'll just have a look.” He was gone again, and I locked into the basin behind the point and fancied a possible route about 100 yards back (near where the old road terminates at the cliff).
Next thing Warwick appeared back on the point, and he was not all that enthusiastic when he said, “It goes. I got to within twenty feet of the bottom.” We discussed the alternatives, and finally I persuaded him to try my possible route back in the basin. After doing a rock-by-rock search I had to give up. The furthest I could get down by that route was to within 50' of the escarpment.
There was no alternative. We opted to go back to the point, and descend down the slot which Warwick had just found. It is truly magnificent - a rival to the splendour of Pauls Pass.
Technically speaking, the descent through Blaydens Pass is as follows. Locate the slot immediately back from the very nose. This is the descent slot. It is possible to drop into this slot to the left of the point. The drop is about 61'. Packs have to be removed for the descent as it is scarcely wide enough to fit a body through. A slow descent down a tight corridor brings one to another corridor (a 'T' intersection). Go to the right at this intersection, and cross some boulders (about 6') to gain access to another slot, which is much tighter, and for about 50'-60' in length. This slot will take one to the base of the escarpment, about 20' on the northern side of the nose. It is also a very good ascent route.
We descended the ridge towards the confluence of Danjera Creek and Boolijah Creek, locating superb camping spots at about 10.00 am near the junction.
Danjera Creek is a minor tributary of Boolijah Creek, and not vice- versa as is indicated on the maps. Danjera Creek at its confluence is very similar to Myall Creek (that famous tributary of Ettrema Creek), and after a short snack, we began to ascend to the plateau by way of Danjera Creek. In its lower reaches the creek is pleasant walking, but soon boulders and small cascades give way to the grassy (and nettle) sections. After a little while the creek becomes more difficult with larger boulders, some like houses, and often one is sent searching for a sidling route.
The most interesting part of Danjera Creek occurs near the creek junction at MR 550214. (This creek leads up to the saddle connecting Danjera Plateau and the plateau south of Danjera Plateau.)
We named 'Surprise Falls' at MR 551211 and 'Danjera Falls' (960') at MR 551208. Above Danjera Falls the creek is much more difficult, but closer to the escarpment.
At the escarpment, the creek forms a massive amphitheatre of exquisite beauty. At the head of the escarpment, Danjera Creek flows over a 60' drop. There is a large cave behind the falls. On a hot day, it would be the ideal place to have a shower, or perhaps swim in the pool at its base. The creek at this point drops down a sink-hole. Up to the left (east) can be seen a good cave, and if you like sloping floors it's the ideal place to spend the night. The creek at MR 550200 forms a waterfall on the escarpment, and provides the water source at the north of the camping cave. In the late afternoon light, and in the ensuing early morning light, the escarpment is lit up in filtered light of soft beauty.
Morning came upon us quickly. We let at about 9.00 am, walked up to the waterfall at the head of the amphitheatre, and began to follow the cliff line around to the west, searching for a negotiable route to the plateau. At about MR 547204 is located a large ramp (which has now been calmed at the top) which provides the only quick access to the upper Danj era Amphitheatre.
We ascended 'Danjera Pass' and followed a clear plateau out to the point above the saddle connecting Danjera Plateau (MR 535212) which is easily negotiable. Good views across the west to Bundundah Creek, Rogers Hill and Rolfe Trig. We descended to the saddle, and ascended up the south end of Danjera Plateau. This ridge is long and sometimes scrUbby. It is necessary to do a double-shuffle to the east to avoid a wall of cliff at MR 533517. The plateau is featureless. A compass bearing was necessary to reach the head of the ridge leading back down to the Danjera/ Boolijah junction (MR 545225). At times we were both unconvinced we were on the correct ridge, but later found out the compass was right and our judgement was wrong. The point at MR 556225 is very broken, and descent is awkward. The best advice for descent off this point is as follows:-
Follow the ridge out until a large cairn is met. Shortly after this cairn is a compulsory 6' leap to stay on the ridge. Undertake this jump. Immediately to the south the escarpment breaks, and is negotiable with an 8' vertical jump. (When we did it, there was a fallen tree to climb down, so no jump was necessary. However the tree is not very stable.) Having reached the base of the escarpment, follow around the southern side for several hundred yards, through ferns, until it is very obvious that you are below a saddle in the ridge, with an easy ascent to the ridge. Gain the ridge again and immediately descend easily through the escarpment to the northern side. Follow the base of the escarpment to the point, and descend the ridge. This ridge divides about halfway on the descent, and a sharp lookout should be kept for the southern branching ridge which leads back to the confluence of Boolijah/Danjera Creeks.
Back at the confluence it was billy-brewing time, then back to the car via 'Blaydens Pass'.
The trip can be thoroughly recommended. The highlights were undoubtedly the discoveries of Blaydens Pass, Surprise Falls, Danjera Falls, the Danjera Amphitheatre and Danjera Pass. Blaydens Pass is a worthy rival to Pauls Pass, which is now just a small slot by comparison.
(Unfortunately this letter was received too late for publication in the last magazine.)
Mayhap those who in poetic judgement sit
Would have given to poets wishing to enter it
Some inkling of the approaching calamitous event
A Poetry Competition; to which entries maybe sent.
But in magazines published in the last decade
Reference to such competition has never been made; No rules laid down, nor time or date given.
How is it possible then so many have striven To gain the prize? I suspect that the battle rare
Has been competed for with wit and care
By one, who is at once poet, judge and critic!
Though Marks were apparently awarded I remain a cynic.
So to enter the lists of literary endeavour
I politely decline
And though four be the limit I shall pen not a line.
by Barry Wallace.
At about 20:30 the 44 or so Members present came to order and observed one minutes silence for deceased member John Curedale.
New member George Lauder was welcomed with applause, constitution and badge. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received without discussion.
Correspondence brought a letter from the N.S.w. Minister for Mineral Resources and Development in answer to our previous letter regarding the Ettrema. The letter indicates that Messrs. Booth and Landa will be writing further on this matter. A letter of condolence was received from the Catholic Bushwalking Club, and there were outgoing letters of thanks to the Blue Mountains Police Rescue Group, Central District Ambulance and the Liberty Plains Venturer Group.
There was the usual letter of notification to our new member and a letter to F.B.W. indicating the club's opposition to the Colong Committee proposal to close the Kanangra road.
A letter of thanks was received from Mrs. Curedale.
The Treasurer's Report indicated a starting balance of $1155.009, income of $554.24, expenditure of $274.75 to give a closing balance of $1434.49.
The Walks Report indicated that my wine and cheese trip scheduled for 20,21, 22 April did not go for lack of cheese drinking walkers. The day walk that weekend has been discussed at length elsewhere. Jim Brown's Anzac Day trip was reported as easy with 29 starters. The following weekend, 27,28,29 April saw Steve Hodgman leading 5 people on a bike trip from Mt. Victoria to Lithgow via Newnes. Fazeley Read's Budawangs trip did not go for lack of starters, even though Gordon Lee was available as substitute leader. Laurie Quaken led a slightly modified version of his Splendour Rock trip with 3 prospectives and 2 members. David Cotton's Advanced Photographic Adventure Workshop went, but we don't know how many attended. There was no report of Diana Lynn's Sunday trip - perhaps they are all still out there somewhere.
Craig Austin's walk of 4,5,6 May attracted 6 members, one prospective and one visitor into what was described as “lousy weather” around Mt. Coricudgy. They staged a strategic retreat and were back at the cars early. Len Newland had 6 members and 6 prospectives on his Hawkesbury Lookout trip. We are assured they did get wet feet as per programme. The other Sunday walk saw Neil Brown leading 15 people into the mist and teeming rain from Waterfall. The cave they sheltered in during lunch only softened them up for the really heavy afternoon rain.
The Federation Report was brief. Peter Harris has donated $459, the next S. & R. Practice will be held on the last weekend in May and a group are preparing a film on South-West Tasmania, but need funds. A motion was passed by the meeting authorising a donation of $150.00.
General Business brought a motion that we establish a programme to increase safety awareness in the bush. Len Newland will be primarily responsible, so if you have ideas talk to him.
The announcements brought the meeting to an end at 21:18.
Congratulations and good wishes go to Vivien and Dick Winthorpe for the birth of their son, Andrew on 11th June.
DAY WALKS - SUNDAY 15th JULY - TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
The details shown in the Walks Programme should be amended to read:- Roy Braithwaite's trip - 8.50 am Electric train to Cronulla,, thence launch to Bundeena (rail tickets mini fare to Cronulla). Jim Brown's trip - 8.10 am Country train (tickets mini fare to Glenbrook).
|6,7,8,9 0||NEWNES Details to be advised. Experience the beauty of the Wolgan Valley. Breathtaking mountain and river scenery. LEADER: JIM LAING 6426448 (H).|
|Sun. 8||TUNKS CREEK: A 8 km easy day trip in the beautiful north side of Sydney near Hornsby LEADER: JOHN NOBLE 844497 (H) Train to Hornsby Station. Meet at Hornsby Station at 8.30 a m.|
|Sun. 8||GROSE VALLEY: Mt. Hay Road - The Pinnacles - Mt Stead - Lockley Pylon - Du Faur Head - Upper Welford Falls- Rock Points Ck Lyncum Rill Ck - the Pinnacles 18 km MEDIUM Maps Mt. Hay. Glorious deep valley views, glistening gold cliffs and green wooded ridges. Some steep but wasy to negotiate climbing. LEADER: IAN DEBERT 646 1569 (H).|
|13,14,15 ++||GUOUOGANG: Canons Farm, Mt. Jenolan- Mt Queahgong - Mt Guouogang - Kanangra River - Cox's River - Canons 40 km MEDIUM/HARD Maps: Jenolan/Kanangra ++ A good hard walk with a fair amount of climbing in a most spectacular and majestic area of the Blue Mts., Mt. Guouogang being the tallest mountain in the Kanangra/Katoomba area. LEADER: ALAN PIKE 861352 (H).|
|Sun.15||ROYAL NATIONAL PARK: Marley - Deer Pool - Winifred Pool - Audley - National Park Station 17 km MEDIUM Map: Port Hacking Another splendid walk in the R.N.P. LEADER: ROY BRAITHWAITE 445211 (H) Train: 8.20 E|
|Sun. 15||LOWER BLUE MTS: Glenbrook - Mount Portal - Nepean River - Glenbrook Creek - Glenbrook 14 km MEDIUM An interesting day walk in the Blue Labyrinths. Enjoy the beauty and stillness of this part of the mountains so close to civilisation, yet so far. LEADER: JIM BROWN 812675 (H)|
|20,21 0||KANANGRA: A two day test walk in the Kanangra area. Kanangra - Crafts Walls - Cloudmaker - Tiwilla Plateau - Gingra Ck - Pages Pinnacle - Kanangra 36 km MEDIUM LEADER: GORDON LEE|
|Sun 22||BEROWRA: Cowan Ck Apple Tree Bay - Mt Kuringai 8 km EASY Map: Broken Bay Train: 8.25 (E) from Sydney Change at Hornsby at 9.35 for Berowra. LEADER: BARRY ZIEREN 934830(H).|
|Sun 22||COWAN: Jerusalem Bay - Porto Bay - Railway Dam - Brooklyn 16 km MEDIUM Train: 8.48 (C) Excellent bush and coastline scenery LEADER: ROY BRAITHWAITE 445211 (H)|
|27,28,29 0||WOLGAN VALLEY: Newnes - Constance Gorge - Deons Creek - Rocky Creek - Wolgan River - Newnes 30 km MEDIUM Maps: Glen Alice, Glen Davis. An interesting two day test walk in the scenic Wolgan Valley just north of LiThgow. Mostly creek and river walking with some slow going, good campsites LEADER- IAN DEBERT 6461569 (H)|
|27,28,29||SKI TOURING INSTRUCTIONAL: Main Range Snowy Mts. Learn or improve your cross- country skiing with that experienced langlaufer GORDON LEE. Date of trip subject to snow conditions. LEADER: GORD0N LEE 64264487 (H)|
|Sun 29||BLUE LABYRINTHS: Glenbrook - Glenbrook Gorge - Lapstone- Glenbrook. 12 km MEDIUM Map: Blue Labyrinth Train: 8.10 C Highlight a walk through the Glenbrook Gorge - a fairly wide gorge with high sandstone walls either side. LEADER: HANS STICHTER 635 5808 (H).|
|Sun 29||ROYAL NATIONAL PARK: Heathcote Uloola Falls - Audley 10 km EASY Map: Royal Nat. Park Train: 8.20 (E) LEADER: MERYL WATMAN: 570 1831 (H).|
The tins you carry in your pack are lighter on the journey back. Though empties are a bore to hump - The bush is not a rubbish dump!