User Tools

Site Tools


197912

THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER

A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.0, Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Marcia Shappert, Telephone 30-2028.

EDITORHelen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping, 2121. Telephone 86 6263
BUSINESS MANAGER Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871-1207
TYPISTKath Brown
DUPLICATOR OPERATORBob Duncan Telephone 869-2691

DECEMBER, 1979

Wingecaribee Trip 1939 Dorothy Lawry 2
Patonga to Wondabyne Wal Liddle 5
Advertisement 6
The Hell of Hinchinbrook Frank Rigby 7
The Prospective/s Guide to Leaders Jo van Sommers 9
Advertisement 12
Bush Safety Awareness Part 6 Len Newland 13
The Little Ice Age Brian Harvey 15
The November General Meeting Barry Wallace 16
Social Notes for January 1980 Alisa Hocking 17
Walks for January Spiro Hajinakitas 18

Wingecaribee Trip 1939

From Dorothy Lawry's diary.

On reaching Mittagong about 4.18 pm, we stopped to enquire how trains ran on Saturdays and Sundays to Sydney - only 2.40 pm on Saturday and 6.45 pm and 7.13 on Sundays. Then went looking for Mr. Evans of the Blue Bird Garage, who had been recommended to us by some S.B.W.s. He was friendly, but not very helpful, and the best he could do was to suggest that we camp by the creek about a mile along the Hume Highway, and if he saw anyone going to Berrima next morning, ask them to stop if they saw us and give us a lift.

Not a bad camp.

Sunday, 26th November, 1939: Hot and no fun at all humping heavy packs along the Hume Highway. After nearly 4 miles we came to “Fairlight” under Cut-away Hill, and the owner Mr. Henderson invited us in for morning tea. (Mr. Henderson ,and friend were chatting. at front gate.) He and his friend Mr. Finch were very good to us, and after refreshing and entertaining us, Mr Henderson phoned Berrima and arranged for Mr. Stan Kennedy, car proprietor (Berrima 41), to come out for us. Our two new friends were really very worried about us, and I promised to phone Mr. Henderson and let him know that we were home safely.

Mr. Kennedy was very helpful - knows the country from many shooting trips - was also worried about us, and, anxious to help, so volunteered to take us beyond Berrima to Medway Colliery. Before dropping us there at 1 pm (cost of car 10/-) he warned us of a burning coal seam a little further down the river, and advised us to miss this by going over the hills for about 4 miles.

Before leaving him we arranged with Mr. Kennedy to pick us up at Goodman's Ford next Sunday between 1 pm and 2 pm, and drive us to Moss Vale, where we would probably be able to pick up a faster train. Price to be £2.0.0, and he to bring a friend or two out and spend the weekend on the river.

Walked down the incline and across the Colliery bridge over the Wingecarribee. Only went down to the river for a bag of water. It flows through a straight-sided sandstone gorge here, so we readily decided to go over the hills after lunch.

It was a very hot, muggy afternoon, but we followed a little track up the hill and along the spur into the head of Bowen's Creek. Beyond this we failed to pick up any track to take us out along the thickly timbered ridge that ended at Long Flat, so tried to go by compass, but got a bit too much south and not enough west and got mixed up in spurs between a bunch of tributaries of Bowen's Creek. They all have sheer cliff faces for a couple of hundred feet and we roamed around but were unable to get down anywhere. We nearly gave in for this night, only there was no water, so decided to head further west and try to get down into Jackey Jackey Creek. Soon picked up a track, which gave us fresh heart and led us down to the creek and its swamps, which were rather dry, so we followed downstream and camped at its junction With the Wingecarribee, a very different river here. Jessie was overwrought and overtired, and sick in the stomach, but anyway I had decided to stay there all Monday, as it was a good spot and we had had a heck of a day.

Monday, 27th November, 1939: Jessie still sick and existing only on boiled water in morning, but feeling better as day went on. In afternoon we went for a little walk up to Long Flat and back.

Tuesday 28th November: Jessie O.K. again, so we walked down river about 9 miles to Joadja Creek, plus a deviation in the morning of about mile up Black Bob's Creek and back, to visit Mr. Newman's dairy farm. He was away in Bowral for the day, but we were entertained, by two of his employees, a delightful refugee couple named Jonas, who only arrived in Australia that year. This farm was an inspiring contrast to the deserted bracken choked flats we had been coming along, right from Long Flat. There are lovely pools in the river, which is delightful, but with more lumpy banks than the Cox's, and not much good camping.

In late afternoon near Joadja Creek we came to a cottage - filthy - and a woman and two small children, such a contrast to the German refugees. Camped by the river, below the crossing between this cottage and the homestead.

Wednesday 29th November, 1939: The high wind which had been blowing since Monday afternoon was cold, so we rose late, and had only just finished breakfast when the owner of the property came riding by - Mr. W. O. Simpson. Had a yarn to him, he has not been there long and is busy cleaning up the property and destroying the rabbits before putting any stock on it.

Left camp at 10.30 am intending to go 5 miles only to Deep Creek and make an early camp as Mr. Kennedy had warned us we would reach a granite gorge down that part of the river. At first the way was delightful, with a road running down the right bank of the river, but this petered out at Spring Creek, and about half a mile before we reached Deep Creek, the granite gorge started. There was nowhere to camp at Deep Creek Junction, so after lunching there we set out down through the gorge which continued rough but no longer difficult, and in about another quarter mile the granite gave way to shale. Quite a bit of the way we were able to do about 2 miles an hour, but averaged 1 m p.h and were still in the gorge at a little after 5 pm when we found a campsite about 100 ft above the river, with another 4 miles to go to the Wollondilly.

Thursday 30th November, 1939 The westerly gale was still blowing, with very strong gusts and we battled our way down through the gorge against it, taking 3 hours to do the 4 miles - all rough. A mile down the Wollondilly we found a decent camp site on Reedy Creek among casuarinas that gave us some shelter from the wind.

Friday, 1st December, 1939: The gale still blowing, and we decided to move downstream about 4 miles to the junction of Guineacor Creek and camp early, and have a washing party. The river in this part is very ugly - steep hillsides cleared, and river all stones and sand with no grass on the banks, only a mess of thistles, nettles and bracken, and a weed I think is solenum; oh and blackthorn bushes as well as casuarina trees.

When we reached The Island we took a high track, thinking to cut over the saddle, but the beast only led us out onto sheep walks, high up the steep hillside, and we had a job getting back down to river level. We then followed the river, found The Island without actually seeing Guineacor Creek, and crossed the Horse Flat, then made our way back to the river in search of a camp spot. Found one, of a kind, but exposed to the foul gale. Had lunch there, but then scouted round for a better camp spot, and eventually found one about half a mile further down on the right bank - a nice bit of grass, well sheltered by casuarinas, but the river shallow here. A house nearby, so asked permission to camp. O.K. Asked about telephoning to Mr. Kennedy, but was told the nearest phone was at Mr. Reg Carlon's, down beyond the Ford, which was 2 miles away, also told there was a road (of sorts) on the left bank of the river. It was only 4.30 pm, so I left Jessie to prepare dinner and do all the chores, while I walked down to phone. Got there - about a mile beyond the Ford and found the house empty, so had the whole walk for nothing.

Saturday, 2nd December, 1939: A lovely day, with just a gentle breeze. We walked down to Goodman's Ford and camped, had a hair and.clothes washing party in the afternoon, then read some of Jessie's last Sunday's Sun.

Sunday 3rd. Another gorgeous day. Had breakfast, sorted,up and-packed-up,had lunch with Mr. Stan Kennedy and his friend who had come prepared to feed us if necessary or, if we were not at Goodman's Ford, to act as a search party in case either of us had twisted an ankle, or got into any other trouble.

Had an amusing drive through to Moss Vale, which we reached at 3.50 pm, to find that there was no train till 6.25 pm, which was the one we could have caught from Mittagong. Phoned home, had fruit salad and milk shakes at the Dago's and bought paper and fruit to eat in the train. Arrived Sydney 9.10 and home 9.50 pm.

Patonga to Wondabyne 15th l6th Sept.

by Wal Liddle

Well, yeah verily, it turned out to be a glorious weekend and a glorious walk!!

Four of us turned, up at the 11 am ferry, namely Karl, Faye, Diana and Wal. A pleasant trip by way of Hawkesbury River, via Dangar Island, Wobby Beach, National Fitness Camp, landed us at Patonga. At Patonga three of us decided to “rough it” by way of fish and chips at the local fishmongers, but I'm afraid the “greasies” didn't agree with Faye.

We then proceeded via the main road to the turn off near the Pearl Beach track where the waratahs were in bloom. A stop for photos and then off to our night camp spot at the dam.

The camp spot didn't prove to be as idyllic as in the past because Woy-Woy tip has gradually encroached further on the area and will, I feel, obliterate what was once a lovely gully. Still we camped there because I was unsure of the water below Bob's Farm. The next day we proceeded via Dillon's Crater, (natural volcanic) and Staple's Lookout etc. to Wondabyne Railway Station.

We passed through areas of beautiful wildflowers such as Native heath (white - 2 varieties) Fuschia heath (like Xmas bells) Wattle Wax flower Tea tree Boronia (two types - pink) Dillwynia (yellow, I think) Match heads (purple) Crowea ? (purple) Pea flower (two types - egg and bacon) Red spider flower

A beautiful waterfall was encountered at the head of Mullet Creek where we had a most relaxing lunch. Part of the track at the northern end was marked “Commonwealth Restricted Area - Unauthorised persons not admitted” which we promptly ignored until Diana heard the shooting!! I was very philosophical and told her “she could only die once”. She didn't seem amused!

On the track above Wondabyne Railway Station we encountered a Spotted Sun Orchid (purply blue) and finished up catching a train at 3.20 pm.

(See last month's magazine - “Safety in Wondabyne Area - Kariong Rifle Range”)

The Hell of Hinchinbrook

by Frank Rigby

It really saddens me to tell this tragic bushwalking tale, but told it must be for the sake of the annals of the Canberra Bushwalking Club and for all those parents, spouses, lovers, friends and enemies of the characters involved. Moreover, as the sole survivor of the expedition, it is the least I can do for my erstwhile comrades.

It must have been only minutes after the boat landed the party among Hinchinhrook's notorious mangroves that the first tragedy occurred. Poor Greg, I still shed crocodile tears for him even now after all these weeks!

Blocking our path and challenging our very presence on the island was the largest crocodile we had ever seen. We had only seen small ones in zoos before. Now our Greg was a man to be reckoned with, not someone to be easily daunted by a ferocious reptile a mere score axe-handles in length. Fresh from New Guinea adventures (I mean Greg, not the croc) and feeling the first flush of full manhood with his embryo beard, he strode forward to confront the monster with a “leave this little-thing to me” expression blazoned across his bronzed brow. I cannot, in a sedate publication, describe all the gory details which followed; but as I saw the last of our hero disappearing into that cavernous jaw, I couldn't help thinking it was a great pity that the greatest operatic voice since-Caruso had been silenced.

Being on an isolated island and unable to inform the police, the remaining five of us pushed on determined to enjoy the walk despite an inauspicious beginning. After a couple of leisurely days we arrived at Zoe Bay, that delightful spot so conducive to casting aside the conventions of civilisation. So there we were, sunning every little bit of our winter-white bodies, when a man in a uniform came running along the beach. In the circumstances, naturally, we bolted for the rainforest and Ida; that is all except Ann, who unfortunately had been asleep. We heard the stranger ranting at her: “I'm a ranger! Don't you know this is a Queensland National Park? We ban everything in this state. You're under arrest for behaving in a natural way”. Poor Ann was murmuring something about being ignorant of the law because she came from Canberra, but at the mention of that dreaded place the Queenslander became livid and whisked her off in his speedboat. At last report Ann was languishing in a concentration camp somewhere in the Deep North, perhaps never again to return to her native Australia. We were down to four!

After this episode, we decided to abandon the beach combing and tackle the rugged mountains of the interior. Finally, after incredible hardships we reached a col on which was the only clear spot on this entire incredible island. It was just big enough for one fly but it was unfortunate that the ground sloped away to a precipice at an angle of 300 to the horizontal. Or was it 60? Anyway, it was frightfully steep.

Thanking our lucky stars we had lost two of the party, the four of us crammed into the available space; but in the morning, to our utter amazement there was only an empty space where Meg had been. We peered over the precipice but, apart from an empty sleeping bag. we could see nothing unusual down below. Actually, we never did really find out what happened to Meg, although there were some odd circumstances about that night just the sable. For instance, in the middle of the night we were awakened by an anguished cry of “I feel like a bloody sardine!” Yes, I'm afraid that vas Meg. Also, it was the night of the lunar eclipse which is always ominous. Was Meg's demise merely an accident or was the strain of everything too telling? We may never know.

We were now down to half the original party, but it was still a safe number for scaling the heights of Hinchinbrook. As the eternal mists of those mountains were swirling around us we were more or less hanging on by our eyelashes, and it was then that the giant eagles chose that very moment to attack. The chief eagle plucked Henry from the rock face as cleanly as a magpie mould pluck a beetle. (Fortunately, he was not belaying anyone at the time!) How quickly things happen sometimes. One moment Henry was there telling us the climb was just a piece of cake and the next he was on his way to the eyrie; and how strange the brutes wanted only him? And yet it was not, for we figured this puzzle out later. Eagles are invariably associated with Presidents and vice versa. (It's got something to do with supreme power and majesty - please note the insignias of office of Presidents around the world.) Poor Henry, if it had just been a couple of weeks later, after the A.G.M., he would have been immune.

The position was now getting desperate so Rene and I decided to get off this malevolent island before something serious happened. We battled against impenetrable rainforests, clinging wait-a-whiles and solid walls of undergroWth until we were within smelling distance of the sea. But just then we struck this enormous area of grass. NO, my friends, it was not like the grass in your pampered gardens, but thick and lush and many feet tall. Now Rene is one of my best friends but I am not averse to putting her out in front when the going gets tough. This lack of chivalry proved to be my fatal mistake. Everyone knows that Rene is small in stature - in fact some unkind people have actually asked her if she has started growing yet. In retrospect, the episode reminded me of that story about the Weardaellarwee, the African tribe of pygmies four feet tall who spend their whole lives roaming in elephant grass five feet tall. Thus I fear it maybe with Rene and for all I know she may still be wandering in that wilderness of tall grass asking herself the eternal question: Weardaellami?

Now utterly alone and bruised and battered, at last reached the beach and sank onto the sand in a state of exhaustion. Surely now I would be safe, surely now there were no more hazards to overcame, surely every sacrifice had been made. But, alas, I had forgotten the mosquitoes - not your ordinary common garden variety, mind you, but a species peculiar to the place known locally as Hinchinbrookia Gargantua. The memory of that nightmare period is rather vague but I recall snippets of mosquito conversation (they are also educated) like “Shall we eat him here or carry him away first?” And later: “hide like a rhino”, “tough as a bit of old leather”, “too long in the tooth”, and “not worth the-effort”. I could hardly believe my luck when I found myself still alive the following morning.

I staggered on to keep our rendezvous with the boatman, passing Greg's umbrella on the way - apparently that croc drew the line somewhere. To avoid long embarrassing explanations told him the others had enjoyed the place so much that they were staying another week. He knew I was lying because it was not the first batch of bushwalkers that Hinchinbrook had swallowed up without a trace. Nor will it be the last since I have a sneaking suspicion that some of you readers think I'm pulling your leg and you will be no doubt fool enough to go and try the place out for yourselves at the first opportunity. Good luck!

Characters in order of disappearances
Greg : A young man with a fine singing voice
Ann : A young lady, originally from Queensland and now living in Canberra
Meg : A young lady who likes space for sleeping
Henry A young man, President of C.B.C. until last September
Rene A young lady of small stature
Plus Yours truly : A great survivor.

(Reprinted from from the newsletter of the Canberra Bushwalking Club Inc.) * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Prospective's Guide to Leaders

by Jo van Sommers.

Reflections on a year of being led by the fey, the feckless, the fearless and the footloose. In order of actual experiences :

John Redfern

“Somewhere around here I seem to remember there's a ridge that runs, down to the creek. This looks like it! What fun, I love steep ridges. Yes, it does drop off a bit sharply doesn't it, but it's too far to go back now. Just hang onto these bushes, that vine, there's no need to embrace that sapling, all you need is a handhold. Wasn't that terrific, let's light a fire and have morning tea.” John, surrounded by prospective women - excuse me - women prospectives - “Just put your foot there, your hand here, stand on my knee, very good, didn't know you could do that, did you? Let's stop for afternoon tea”.

Spiro Hajakitas

6.45 am Saturday. “Do you realise how far we have to go? Moving off in 15 minutes.” Total surprise gives way to despair. As a prospective, I obviously was not going to make that deadline. I abandoned breakfast, forgot the washing up, got the tent down a lot faster than I'd got it up, threw everything into the rucksack, but I was still late. The ignominy of it: Spiro rounded me up like an errant sheep. It was obvious that he suspected that this was just the beginning. I was going to be the one who fell in the creek, was carrying a transistor radio- and three tins of artichokes, and would eventually sit down and cry and have to have my pack carried.

5 am Sunday. Even rising at this godless hour, I was not the first up. But i was firs ready!

Tony Denham

“Let's make this a base camp, so we won't have any trouble getting in the supplies.” This sounded very promising, and having been promised the civilised hour of 9 am to depart, I was enjoying a leisurely breakfast when our leader swept past with his retinue, fully five minutes before 9 o'clock, and shattered me with his “Having a rest day, Jo?” The moral is, not only must one be ready, but one must officiously strive to appear ready. The piece of toast in one hand and the cup of coffee in the other, will not do. I'll get you, Tony, next time you've got a glass in your hand!

Hans Stichter

What beautiful cups of tea you make, Hans! What price the salons of London and the coffee shops of Paris when you can have a Stichter chosen bank of rocks on the Little River, fine brews, definitely no floor sweepings, elegant nibbles, companions couth and not so couth. Ian managed to keep his Southern Comfort virgo intacta almost until sunset when the said companions helped him, perhaps to 6 willingly in some cases, to demolish it. Next day on Breakfast Creek really was the morning after. I am going into serious training for a Debert led trip.

Gordon Lee

7 am. “Let's go! Whaddya mean, you're not ready! Just as well we have a little drive first; you can pack in the car. Well, sling it on the outside then. Course you can finish getting dressed - in the car. You can have breakfast at morning tea time. Clean your teeth!! This is no Sunday stroll! Look at this map. We're going out here where no-one has been before, then we run up this 1000 foot hill, find a way down the cliffs, explore this bit of rainforest, chimney up here, abseil down there, shoot these rapids by rucksack and inflated wine-cask and find somewhere to camp. Come to think of it, perhaps you'd better have breakfast in the car too!”

Brian Hart

Brian, springing from rock to rock, “One of these days I must take my trousers off”. Hope springth eternal, even if the eternal hopeful crawls on hands and knees where the leader boundth. Having experienced the Lee spectacular just the weekend before, Brian's “easy” weekend to Mt. Yengo looked just the thing. Saturday was “as programmed” (as they 'Say in Newspeak). Sunday also was a nice walk - for two days. Still, it was a lovely sunset, and the last hour in the dark was quite easy since we were on a road. David kept playing hare and tortoise, one moment bounding ahead and the next having a little nap by the side of the road. which was a little alarming since he was driving my car home. Thanks, Brian, for the wading down the sandy McDonald River. I wonder if one can arrange to be airdropped in and lifted out ?

Peter Miller

5.30 am. Dawn breaking. “Moving-off in five minutes:” Ho, hot - what humour. Loud breaking of branches. How can anyone make such a racket lighting a fire. Anyway, it works. We are all up very early. Lunchtime. Revenge. Peter announces confidently, “We're off” on the optional afternoon walk, strides manfully upwards, turns to survey his party and finds that the troops have rebelled. The less somnolent eventually join him, the rest crawl into their sleeping bags, becoming caterpillars for the afternoon in order to turn into moths for the evening. Note to the unwary: only the early morning rising part of this story is likely to be repeated.

Fazeley Read

8 am Saturday. “Well, here you all are, I think. Perhaps we might just wander off.”

8 am Sunday. Saturday's start was non-authoritarian, but Sunday's is delightfully anarchistic. We are standing around, more or less waiting for the customary “Moving off in five minutes”, time dawdles past eight; it is noticed that Fazeley is missing. Someone happens to look up the hill in the direction we are to go; there she is, patiently waiting for the co-operative urge to develop itself within us. We move. The party fans out over the button grass, everyone finding their own track. Morning tea is a bit late and the wet wood somewhat recalcitrant. By the time the fire is established morning tea has turned into lunch, Fazeley led the conversation, and I'm sure if it hadn't started to rain we might be up on the Barrington Tops yet.


WALKS NOTICE. During the summer holiday period it is advisable for members and prospective members to check all train times with leaders of walks, as changes sometimes occur from train times shown on Walks Programme.

THE EDITOR AND MAGAZINE STAFF WISHES EVERYONE A HAPPY XMAS AND GOOD WALKING IN 1980.

Bush Safety Awareness

PART 6 BEER-NOR-SKITTLES.

by Len Newland

Those who attended the Club on the recent occasion of Fergus Bell's dissertation on Bushwalkers' Search and Rescue may remember the anecdote of the roadside rescue. It seems a car went off a bend and down a considerable loose rock slope, and S. & R. happened to be on the spot, together with the predictable multitude of rubbernecks. Fergus' pertinent' comment was that you could tell which were the bushwalkers– they were the ones who were spread out, and not going down the hill in single file on each other's footsteps.

The point here is that walking on steep slopes, loose rocks can result in (a) a fall, either by tripping over a projecting rook, or stepping on a rock which can wobble or roll; or (b) the dislodging a rock, with disturbing results to those below. Such slopes can occur at built-up roads, when landslides have occurred, or in creek beds. The creek beds of concern in this context, of course, are those steep ones on the sides of gullies which only flow in heavy rain. Sometimes these slopes represent the most practical way to get up or down when you need to execute one of those manoeuvres. Consider going up such a slope. You put force on one foot to bring the other from behind and below to above and beyond. For a person weighing 80 kg (around 12 stone, for the unmetric) and rising a mere 150 mm (6 inches) per step, I reckon the force on the stationary foot to be about 1100 N (230 lbf; basic physics). For comparison, my Galant weighs in at 960 kg and thus exerts a downward force per wheel of 240 N, and I would hesitate to let the car run over my toes. On this basis, I would tend to view with suspicion any rock which I would not trust to be stable under my car a factor of safety of only 2 (2400/1100) is mighty tight in Civil Engineering circles (again for comparison, I understand that buildings and other structures are designed with factors of safety of at least 16 - sighs of relief from all office workers).

Coming down is even worse. The foregoing was based on a smooth step up, but you just try and step smoothly down, even off your front doorstep. It's very tiring, and not conducive to keeping up with a walking Party. Each time your foot crashes down, the force mentioned above increases considerably, although by how much is hard to calculate, because it depends on the resilience of your foot and leg muscles and how much you bend your legs, among other factors (these in turn depend on what walking you had done to get to this point).

So, where loose rocks abound, it is quite on the cards that some will be dislodged, and a tumble may well result. However, it is well to be wary also of relatively smooth wide rocks. I remember on a recent trip one member being hoisted on her petard. The edge of each rock sheet in this location was only 20 mm thick to about 100 mm from the downhill edge and quite crumbly, and she had put her foot through such an edge.

Taking a tumble is one possibility, but the walker should also take care with his position in relation to the rest of the party. Here are some guidelines
(1) Avoid, being directly above anyone when coming down a slope, in case you dislodge any rocks which may fall directly on them.
(2) Avoid being directly below anyone when going up a slope, in case you wear a dislodged rock (and note that it may not be obvious who, if anyone, dislodged it).
(3) Avoid being close to other members of the party when on steep slopes, to give yourself and/or others a chance to duck out of the way of falling rocks or people. This may mean in some cases that one party member at a time goes up or down the slope.
(4) Adhere to any instructions given by the party leader,on the subject, and pass messages on: “watch that rock, it's loose”, etc.
(5) If you can't see conditions ahead, ask the person in front - he's just been there, so you'd think he'd have some knowledge of it.

Following this simple guide should avoid much possibility of skittle type accidents, although there is still the possibility of rebounding rocks.

While on the subject of steep slopes, if there are plenty of trees around, you can get down speedily by running from one tree to the next. But do pick trees which will support your weight, and don't trip over rocks or fallen timber on the way.

I think at this stage, I have given some idea of the dangers of rocks on slopes (and only a small number of rocks present can do damage) and how to avoid them. Readers will have picked up the significance of the word “skittles” in the title, but what about the “beer”? Well - I have enjoyed writing this article.


The death occurred on November 21st of Marie Byles, member and honorary member of many years standing. An obituary and brief history of Marie's long and interesting life will be in January's magazine.

The Little Ice Age

Brian G. Harvey.

Jim Brown, in his “Whither the Bushies?” in the September issue of “The Sydney Bushwalker”, deplores a run-down on weekend walks and a preponderance of one-day trippers.

Over the years we have experienced lack of enthusiasm from time to time - it seems to run in cycles like the ice ages - and the glaciers which came and go in the space of time. However, might I draw Jim's attention to his words of 26 years ago, to wit, June 1953 when he was Editor of the magazine, and may he take heart from his own writings, viz.- (quote)

The Patient Rallies

“In the years that followed the last World War there was a kind of boom in bush walking, and probably more people were taking their packs to the bush than ever before. It was, however, a variety of inflation and characterised by a certain bubble like quality. The bubble didn't exactly burst, but tended to fade away until, in the lean years of 1950-51-52 we saw the passing of several Sydney clubs and the reduction of others to 'stagnant ponds' (sic, but not Jim's expression). In fact, from what we can find out, the process is still going on in some other walking and allied clubs.”

“At the nadir of the depression our own walking activity was at a very low level - either through lack of starters or lack of real enthusiasm on the part of the leader. In fact it was doubtful if as many as 50% of our official walks took place, and there were certainly no ambitious private walks competing for the small number of members who were going to the bush. During 1950, a working bee at Era Beach was attended by seven members, In April 1951, the Cromach Club organised a working bee in Blue Gum Forest and wide publicity was given through the Federation. The attendance was 12 - half of them from the organising club. Those were meagre days.”

“Now, there is a breath of spring in the air again. In this Club there is a genuine interest in walking and many official walks are reasonably well patronised. The Walks Programme and the trips of private parties demonstrate a pioneering spirit. The whole attitude has changed into one of enthusiasm. That alone could be cause for satisfaction. But the working bee in Blue Gum Forest at the end of April (1953) proved something else, something far more significant. The fact that over thirty Club members were prepared to give up a weekend of exquisite weather to a cause or ideal, shows that we are tapping a spirit similar to that of the early walkers. The work was by no means light, some members burdened themselves with packs they would not normally dream of carrying, worked until darkness suspended the job and were at it before sunrise next mornings.”

“When a Club can work as a team with enthusiasm of that kind, there is nothing much to fear. The patient is well past the stage of sitting up and taking a little nourishment.” (Unquote)

That should put some beef into 'em, Jim: I was just flicking through 30 years of back-numbers commencing 1935 and came across this article of yours of 1953 which led into the great years of the Geoff Wagg/Snow Brown/ Frank Rigby era when to wear out a pair of boots over a weekend was the norm. Look forward with confidence! There'll be another turn of the wheel! A rise in the barometers. An up-turn in the share market.

The November General Meeting

by Barry Wallace

The meeting began at about 20.18 with 30 or so members present. There were five new members to welcome; Lionel Nichol, David Martin, Bridget Liversley, John Hopkins and Peter Dyce answered the call to receive constitution and badge in the traditional way.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received. Correspondence included a letter from the Hawkesbury office of the N.P.LS. advising that the Girrakool walking trail will be re-routed around the safetY area of a nearby rifle range (see the November magazine for details), a notice of A.G.M. from Natural Areas Ltd and a letter from the Budawang Committee regarding proposed extensions to the Moreton National Park.

The Treasurer's Report indicated a starting balance of $2060.44, income of $434.00, expenditure of $1080.21 to produce a closing balance of $1414.23.

Then it was on to the Walks Report. Peter Miller's Mt.Genowlan walk on 12th to 14th October opened, proceeding with 17 starters and reports of fine weather. Ian Debert had a Saturday start walk the same weekend which attracted five members and six prospectives on a ramble round Mt. Solitary. They reported low water levels in Kedumba Creek and fine weather. The day walk fell to Len Newland who had 16 starters exploring the fire trails of the lower Blue Mountains.

The following weekend, 19,20, 21 October saw Hans Beck leading 15 people on a somewhat dry wine and cheese trip in the Megalong. Oliver Crawford's Saturday start trip on the Colo attracted 6 starters and Peter Sargent's bike trip in Royal National Park had 8 bicyclists, complete with bicycles. The other Peter, Christian that he is, led 23 converts on a day walk from Waterfall to Otford. The water, we are told was cold.

Vic Lewin's Grose Valley trip the following weekend was cancelled for one reason or another. That all singing, all cycling duo, Steve and Wendy Hodgman led yet another successful bicycle trip, this time-attracting 13 starters into the Budawangs to mind their way through a rainy and foggy Saturday to a brighter tomorrow. The Sunday mapping instructional led by Rordon Lee attracted 8 starters and Ann Brown's trip (led as it turned out by Neil) had 6 starters on a rather foggy ramble around Stanwell Park. Ian Debert's Bundeena walk had 7 members in two parties by the time they got to the train to came home.

Peter Miller's 2,3,4 November trip on Narrow Neck had no report, so we don't know. The Coolana Hut opening anniversary attracted 70 to 80 people to swim, canoe, laze, etc. Roy Braithwaite's Cowan to Brooklyn trip started late because of train problems and there was no report of numbers present.

Fazeley Read's Barrington Tops walk on the 9,10,11 November had 13 starters and long lunch breaks. The weather sounded poor. Ian Debert's Wild Dogs trip did not start and Hans Stichter's Boudi trip was led by Vic Lewin with 13 or 14 starters. Peter Christian had 7 people out on a warm but wet walk from Bundeena to Otford to close the walks report for the month.

The Federation Report brought news that Peter Harris has resigned as Project Officer and that Springwood Bushwalkers have offered to organise the F.B.W. Reunion for 1980. The Outward Bound Association has resigned from Federation but offers its continued support and assistance. There were no S & R. alerts for the month. Member clubs are urged to protest to the Tasmanian Government about the H.E.C. proposal to construct a dam on the Gordon River. Fairfield Bushwalking Club have a problem with large numbers of inexperienced walkers on their day walks and a lack of experienced organisers. Offers of help would be welcomed.

So then it was just a matter of General Business (no takers again), announcements, and it was all over for another month at 2101.

Social Notes for January 1980

by Aila Hocking

Wednesday 2: Club closed.

Wednesday 23rd: Safety Awareness Think Tank. Len Newland invites discussion and suggestions from club members and others following the different safety awareness problems brought forward in his magazine articles.

Wednesday 30th: The First Third of Africa. Take a trip with David Robinson through South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti Game Reserve and the Ngoro Ngoro Crater, to the majestic Victoria Falls. David has sorted out his hundreds of feet of movie film and is showing us the results. Perhaps this trip will whet the appetite for the last two-thirds of Africa as well!

Slide Competition: Don't forget the slide competition in March, 1980. The three sections are: Australian Landscape, Overseas Landscape and/or People. That Bushwalking Feeling. Hand slides (15 per person) in to me at the Annual General Meeting, March 12th. Full details, November magazine.

Summer Programme

DEC. 1979, JAN, FEB, 1980

JANUARY 4 6 COLO RIVER Swimming and lilo trip “Back to nature week-end” Stewart's Selection

5, Bob Turner's Track - Colo River 5 km EASY Maps Colo Nat Park LEADERS: IAN DEBERT & BELINDA McKENZIE 646 1569 Ring between 7.00/9.00 pm Thurs. 3rd Jan.

5,6 ROYAL NAT. PARK Bundeena - Deer Pool - Marley. Swimming optional. 18 km EASY Map: Royal Nat Park. Train: 8.50 a m Sat. LEADER: BOB YOUNGER 571158. Train tickets to Cronulla.

6 BROOKLAND Ferry to little Wobby - The Palisades - Rocky Ponds - return. Swimming optional. 10 km EASY Map: Brisbane Waters Sketch. Train: 7.45 (C) Ferry: 9.00 am from Brooklyn. LEADER: MARGARET REID - Contact in clubroom.

6 GLENBROOK Glenbrook Ck - more details later. LEADER: PETER SARGEkT 759 2826 (H).

11,12,13 GROSE VALLEY Pierce's Pass - Grose R - Little Blue Gum - swimming optional. Wine & Cheese week-end. 16 km MEDIUM Map: Katoomba. An ideal way to spend a summer week-end at Little Blue Gum surrounded by magnificent scenery. LEADER: TONY DENHAM - Contact in Clubroom.

13 HISTORICAL WALK Buse's Inn (Woodford) - Bull's Camp - Old Bathurst Road - Cayley's Repulse - Convict built homes - Banool (Linden) - Lady Martin's Bath - Prime Minster Av Faulconbridge. 12 km EASY Train: 8.10 (C) LEADER:NANCY ALDERSON 858 3317 (H)

13 ROYAL NATIONAL PARK: Heathcote - Tuckawa Rill - Head of Navigation - Robertson Knoll - Uloola Track - Kangaroo Ck - Karloo Track - Heathcote 14 km MEDIUM Maps Pt Hacking LEADER: NEIL BROWN (042) 941376 (H)

8,19,20 JERVIS BAY Beecroft Peninsular - Easy walking along spectacular ocean cliffs &. beaches on the bay. Swimming optional. Map: Beecroft Peninsular sketch. LEADER: JIM VATILIOTIS 534 3865 (H) 211 1555 (B).

20 BUNDEENA - Deer Pool - Little Marley - Bundeena 12 km EASY Maps Pt Hacking Trains 8.50 (E) Swimming optional Beautiful coastal & bush scenery. Leaders JIM BROWN 81 2675 (H)

20 HEATHCOTE Blue Pool - Kangaroo Ck Heathcote Swimming optional. 10 km EASY Train: 8.20 (E) Check with FTC LEADER: LEN NEWLAND 43 2419 (H)

LONG WEEK-END (AUSTRALIA DAY)
25,26,27 28 BASE CAMP ON SHOALHAVEN RIVER: Starting from Long Point Lookout (not far from Marulan, before Goulburn) Bungonia Gorge and other popular spots will most likely be visited. LEADER: TONY DENHAM (Contact in Clubroom) EASY/MED Maps Caoura

25,26,27,28 KANANGRA Page's Pinnacle Gingra Creek - Kowmung R - Cox R Kanangra Ck - Murdering Gully - Kanangra 60 km MEDIUM Map: Kanangra 1:31680 Good river walking, swimming optional, flat grassy campsites assured. LEADER: SPIRO HAJINAKITAS 681 2000 (B) 357 1,381 (H).

26/27 LEURA - Mt Hay Rd - Lockley Track - Blue Gum Forest - Junction Rock - Grand Canyon - Blackheath, 28 km MEDIUM Map: Mt. Wilson/Katoomba Train: 9.32 am (C) A good day test walk in the spectacular Grose Valley. LEADER: JOE MARTON 638 7353 (H).

Sun.27 HEATHCOTE Bottle Forest Rd - Kangaroo Ck Karloo Pool - Heathcote 8 km EASY Map: Royal Nat. Park Trains 8.50 (E) LEADER: MERYL NATMAN 570 1831.

NOTE: 1. indicates a Test Walk ++ indicates harder than a Test Walk.
All train times are from Central Station E. Electric C = Country
All walks without transport details are private transport - contact leader for details - vehicles are not expected to wait more than 15 minutes after pick-up time.

197912.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/09 23:59 by kennettj