A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Bushwalkers 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.
|EDITOR||Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping, 2121. Telephone 86,6263|
|BUSINESS MANAGER||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871,1207|
|TYPIST||Kath Brown Telephone 81,2675|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR||Phil Butt|
|Pat McBride's Northern Budawang Trip||Fazeley Read||2|
|Wine, Women and Nuts||Derek Wilson||3|
|A Special Sunrise||Hec Carruthers||7|
|Walks Report||John Redfern||8|
|On the Nattai 21/22 June '80||Hans Stichter||9|
|I See a Bareskin||Brian Harvey||11|
|The June General Meeting||Barry Wallace||12|
|Beware - Train Times for Day Walks||13|
|Danjera and Bundundah Creeks||John Redfern||14|
|Social Notes for August||Peter Miller||16|
|Annual Subscriptions 1980||16|
|Alteration to Walks Programme||16|
by Fazeley Read
Members of Party: Pat McBride, Spiro Hajinakitas, Chris and Craig Austen, Ray and Fusae Dargan, Frank and Joan Rigby, Bob Milne, Brian Goldstraw, Jim Vatiliotis, Ian Olsen, Fazeley Read.
On Friday night Jim and I were whisked to Sassafras in Spiro's car at slightly less than the speed of sound. Most people arrived at about 11.00 pm, and as the entrance to Major Sturgiss' barn is barricaded, some chose to sleep out, some put up tents, and some slept on the verandah of the small cottage nearby.
Shortly after daybreak, Pat had us on our feet, and following breakfast we drove the ten kilometres along the recently graded dirt road to the beginning of the walk, at Newhaven Gap. We set off and made speedy progress along the track to Mitchells Lookout, then Folly Point where some time was spent taking in the excellent view. At a nearby creek we stopped for morning tea, then headed down through Watsons Pass to Holland Creek where an hour was spent having lunch, and for some, taking a dip in the chilly creek. As it was five o'clock when we reached the top of Darri Pass we made camp in a spacious overhang on the eastern side, just below the summit. Despite the drought conditions, sufficient water was found, the Rigby's fly sheet draped to channel the drips into water buckets. Dinner, a swig of Spiro's wine, the solving of the world's problems, Russian chocolates, Chris' recorder playing - and so to bed.
Five a.m. saw Pat up, lighting the fire and smoking us out of our beds. Away at first light was the theory, but the reality was a little later, at 6.45. After patches of light scrub we arrived at the base of the Castle at 9.15, left our rucksacks, and spent the following two hours climbing to the top, enjoying an unimpeded view, and returning.
Departing at 11.15 from the foot of the Castle, we kept a steady pace to Mt Tarn via Monolith Valley, then Exmouth, to another overhang at Coles Cave for lunch. Skirting Mt. Houghton we arrived at Styles Creek as darkness was falling.
Jim did an excellent job of leading us by torch light through a creek bed where glow worms and luminous fungus shone in the darkness, and along an elusive bush track. There were eerie thumping sounds as kangaroos and wallabies made their way through the bush close by, and at 8.05 pm there, lit by the half moon, were the cars - a welcome sight.
by Derek Wilson
Towards the end of a comprehensive walks programme for 24th/25th May, promising PILGRIMAGE with Pat McBride (Kanangra to Katoomba), PURGATORY with Charlie Brown (48 km in the Budawangs) or PEACE with Belinda McKenzie (Base camp on the Nattai), was a walk with Hans Stichter in the Megalong Valley, noted as a “Nuts and wine weekend suitable for beginners”. This immediately sent my imagination spiralling with visions of Bacchanalian cavorting on the banks of the Coxs River, so on the Monday preceding, soon after arriving home from a frustrating day, I made a dive for the 'phone to satisfy my curiosity as to whether there was a cleverly concealed winery on the Coxs, or whether the leader was arranging for supplies to be airlifted to our overnight spot by helicopter.
Alas, my thirst for knowledge was not to be assuaged, the 'phone just rang and rang with no answer. This was repeated on the Tue. and Wed. (well before meeting time), and not being able to get to said meeting I was beginning to wonder if I would ever find out about the walk. At this point my keen analytic mind started ticking over (not before time, you might say), and I decided to check the membership list to determine: (a) Does Hans Stichter really exist, or is the whole thing a hoax? (b) If Hans does exist, does he have a business number I can try? or © Neither of the above. As it turned out © was the correct answer and it was just a 'phone number misprint.
Anyhow, to cut a long story short (although it's probably too late already, but after all I'm only a beginner at writing walks reports), I eventually caught up with Hans, booked in and found to my horror that it was a B.Y.O. wine. How on earth was I going to squeeze a Penfolds 5-litre cask into my little pack without leaving everything else out. It looked like being a sober weekend after all.
On the Saturday at the very civilised time of 1000 hrs most of the party had arrived at Carlons and I found that I recognised a few of the regulars, the faces of Don and Jenny Cornell and Belinda McKenzie, the perennial smile of Ian Debert and that LAUGH and the droopy drawers of Diana Lyn. I even spotted our leader as being the bloke with the list of names and a slightly worried look.
In all, 17 bods took off after a slight delay at the kiosk waiting to hand over our $2 parking fees for the weekend. Incidentally, if the lady of the house is away in the inner sanctum, she suggests that we take the bell provided and go up the hill to the front of the house and ring loudly. This will ensure rapid attention to 'champing-at-the-bit' S.B.W.s.
It was interesting to note that the mad charge up the hill out of Carlons, which leaves me gasping in the summer months, is much more bearable in the autumn, and the following gentle stroll up the ridge towards Tinpot was positiveay relaxing, draining away all the tensions of the previous week (bloody phones and peak hour traffic). Somewhere along the ridge we paused for informal introductions and then continued for a few kilometres before commening the bit of a scramble down to the Coxs with plenty of stops to admire the scenery on the way. A sharp left turn after crossing the river and a slightly increased pace soon took us to our lunch spot somewhere not a 1000 km from Flaggi Clear, a delightful area with masses of flat camp sites and firewood, the only drawback being the alleged pollution of the Coxs. Since this was to be a Wine and Nuts weekend there was no great necessity for fresh drinking water, so the decision was made that we would camp overnight at this spot, and just take a leisurely afternoon stroll without packs to have a look at the originally proposed site on Little River. This we did and then followed Little River back to the Coxs, pausing to study an old shack incongruously named 'San Antonio', which was a veritable museum of odds and ends including the uppers from a set of false teeth.
At the junction with the Coxs any illusions of being in the wilderness were shattered by the presence of a local farmer loading his truck with sand, and we found that we were actually trespassing on his property. During the course of conversation it transpired that he had acquired a large stack of S.B.W. magazines dating back to 1936 and was compiling a history of the area from them.
Back at camp, while tents were being erected, Hans spread out a large groundsheet to accommodate everyone's plonk and nibblies, and what a spread it was; with bottles of moselle, burgundy and claret, all manner of nuts, from the humble salted peanut to the exotic macadamia plus various interesting mixes, nut cake, rye bread and a variety of cheeses, including a very tasty layered variety with alternate bands of plain cheddar with something similar to blue vein.
From then on then on the evening continued in a happy relaxed atmosphere, with meal preparation being a somewhat staggered affair. Belinda, probably bearing in mind that the walk was noted as being suitable for beginners, decided to put on a demonstration of water dehydration, which was especially interesting for those with only small water bottles but, unfortunately she took the process a little too far - result, one 'orribly molten mass of aluminium. Having demonstrated the low melting peint of aluminium, Belinda then proceeded to demonstrate the high flammability of nylon by sitting on her tent fly too close to the blazing embers, another, good lesson for the beginners. Soon after this Lyn Wilson decided to get into the act by kicking down Belinda's tent, a task that was made relatively easy by the main guy being secured with only a small rock. This event immediately prompted several offers of alternative accommodation. Ian showed us how to cook crumpets using a forked stick, and someone commented that Ian was known to be very partial to a bit of hot crumpet on a cold winter's evening.
On the Sunday morning, while waiting for Jim and Anne Percy to get their tent down, a discussion on snoring took place and it was learnt that Keith was responsible for disturbing the otherwise very calm and peaceful night.
The walk along the Coxs to Breakfast Creek was fairly uneventful except for losing Belinda, who had apparently arranged a clandestine rendezvous with the Bullaburra Fire Brigade and turned up at Carlons in their 4WD shortly after the rest of us.
The unhurried pace and extended morning tea and lunch stops gave us plenty of time to admire and absorb the beauty of our surroundings, and made the morning's walk a sheer delight, as was the stretch up Breakfast Creek, which I'm glad to report is now flowing well again. The last leg up Carlon's Creek gave us a bit more exercise and I thought I was going quite well until I saw Terry's son John (10 years old) and his brother take off like rockets up the last hill. Oh, for my lost and misspent youth.
I could finish by saying, Thanks for a good, excellent, interesting weekend, but that would fall well short of the mark. On the face of it, it wasn't a spectacular weekend, we didn't walk incredible distances, we didn't scale any unscaleable 3000' peaks, we didn't have any compulsory swims or tear ourselves to pieces bush-bashing, but we did have a beautiful weekend with perfect weather, amidst beautiful scenery and with lots of beautiful, friendly people who were just intent on enjoying each other's company in the best of possible surroundings, so what more could you want?
In our March issue, on the behalf of the Whites, Brian Harvey made an appeal to members to endeavour to locate self-sown seedlings of cold country trees such as elms, tulip trees, liquidambers, maples, oaks, etc. to help rehabilitate the formers' devastated nursery, and to leave them at the Harveys' home at 12 Mahratta Avenue, Wahroonga, Tel. 481462.
To date the following seedlings have been donated:-
The Whites ask that seedlings should be left with the Harveys in the meantime, rather than they be delivered straight to the nursery as the necessary facilities are not yet rehabilitated to care for these small plants.
The appeal still is open.
by Hec Carruthers
The gloom of night was approaching swiftly as we started the long climb up the steep side of the mountain. We were alone amongst the overhanging trees that drooped down as though to grab us as we passed. The ferns made feeble attempts to trip us as we toiled up the rough track. We did not carry torches; we were travelling light, having decided we would reach our objective before dark. But now we had our doubts could we beat the fading light? We were on the western side of the mountain amongst heavy tree growth.
We had a definite purpose for this trip. We just had to reach the top of the mountain before nightfall. It was a race against time. The track seemed to be getting steeper as we climbed higher; our legs were beginning to feel the strain of the pace we were trying to maintain.
It was an eerie atmosphere. It was that quiet time before dark when the surroundings seem peopled with strange figures that appear to move in the half light. Perhaps, at the back of our minds, were the childhood stories about goblins and bunyips. Whatever it was we maintained a silence as we climbed, keeping our ears alert for any unusual sounds.
The mountain seemed to go up forever. We climbed steadily, higher and higher while the perspiration trickled down our backs. Looking ahead, through the gloom, we could only see more trees and scrub; there was no sign of the sky. Darkness seemed to be coming sooner than anticipated. Could we make the top in time? We had misgivings. To stop would defeat our purpose. We just had to go on.
At last we emerged from the depressing gloom of the trees. We gave sighs of relief as we saw the sky above us. It was like being released from captivity. We were not on the top, yet. Ahead of us loomed a steep and forbidding conglomeration of rocks and low shrubs. The most difficult climb was ahead of us. It was almost dark when we commenced scrambling up the rocks, trusting more on feel than sight. It was an almost vertical climb so we had to exercise extreme caution. A couple of minor slides shook us up for a few minutes but we gradually eliminated all the hazards.
And then the thought struck us - suppose someone else was on the mountain top! We wanted to be alone. There was not much room on the mountain for tents.
As we neared the summit the only sound was from the wind whistling through the small shrubs. It was a mournful sound, like someone crying. By this time we were too enthusiastic to worry about the wind, apart from realising it was cold.
At last we were on the top of the mountain. We hurriedly erected our tent and prepared for the night. We boiled our billy on the small portagas stove and enjoyed a cup of coffee. Now that we could relax we were in a happy frame of mind. We had reached our objective and found it deserted. We only had to hope for fine weather to fulfil our reason for the climb.
There was an absence of firewood so we climbed into our sleeping bags and made another cup of coffee with the balance of the water we had carried. As we drank our coffee we anxiously watched the eastern horizon. Was all our effort to be in vain? There were large masses of clouds looming overhead and heading for the eastern horizon. It was going to be a race between the clouds and the sun.
As we watched a few small clouds appeared above the horizon. Grey at first, they gradually changed to pink, then gold as the sun came closer to the horizon. Then, suddenly, the first segment of the sun slid up over the horizon. We let out a yell of joy; our effort had proved worth while.
We were the first people in Australia to see the sun on that New Years Day. We were on top of MT. WARNING.
by John Redfern
The Trip: Airly Airly Turret - Mt. Genowlan - Black Mountain - Mt. Torbane - Airly.
Leader: John Redfern.
The Party: 12 members, 6 prospectives, one visitor.
Once again, thanks to the Burretts of Airly, we camped on their farm on the Friday night. On Saturday, in fine weather, we climbed on to Airly Turret and viewed the expansive and somewhat dry CAPERTEE valley.
With the permission of Mr. Nibeaux, we crossed his mining lease on Pt. Hatteras and climbed via Genowlan Creek on to the long plateau of Mt. Genowlan.
Saturday evening was pleasantly spent in the cave on Genowlan Creek. We had some good singing, led by Barbara Bruce.
Sunday was a perfect day to view this scenic area from Black Mountain and Mt. Torbane before returning to Burrett's farm via the route of the now extinct shale railway. Thanks to all who came.
by Hans Stichter
The Trip: Coates Farm - Starlights Trail - McArthurs Plat - Nattai River - Rocky Waterholes Creek - Coates Farm
The Members: Barry Wallace (leader) - Don and Jenny Cornell - Yvonne Kingston - Diana Lynn - Belinda McKenzie - John Newman - Hans Stichter.
With an 8.30 am start from the cars, John Newman and I decided we would arrive Saturday morning, as it would only be about a 1 1/2hour trip from home. Having picked up Diana at Liverpool, we arrived early and found the others finishing their last cuppa around the flames of the camp fire.
It had been a cool night camping out, Barry indicated, as he scraped some ice off the windscreen of his car. However, the Bogong bag had proved its worth once again.
8.45 am and the party departed for a quick three kilometre walk along the road to the beginning of Starlights Trail. It had been some 3 - 4 years since I had been down this track, and on that particular weekend one member broke an ankle and another broke a wrist, both injuries happening on consecutive days. Hopefully, history would not repeat itself.
The track itself is well defined and good walking though bushes are beginning to overhang it in places. Knowing that the first walkers along the track would get a 'soaking' from the early morning dew, I decided the tail end would be a better proposition. The weather was excellent, and the area was looking quite green and fresh as a result of rain that had fallen in previous weeks.
Our leader proclaimed morning tea at the end of the track on the Nattai, and it wasn't long before some 'Orange Pekoe' was brewing. Time was no problem as our campsite at McArthurs Flat was just across the river, no more than a ten-minute walk! Meanwhile Barry and John were discussing what cough medicines they had brought along to fight off the cold of the night, whilst others indulged in raisin bread, biscuits and other goodies. This had to be my style of walking. None of those walks for me where morning and afternoon teas were done without, to save a little walking time, or where pack weights were set at a maximum of 13lbs (Sorry, Snow! I must be getting old).
A Lands Department map was produced (Hilltop 1:25000) and it was decided that after having made camp, we would walk up the Nattai and climb “Russells Needle”, which is a very narrow and rocky outcrop overlooking the river.
With morning tea over, we crossed the Nattai and chose a campsite. Tents were shortly erected, making sure that snorers were well away from non-snorers. An adequate supply of firewood was collected, enough to see us through to breakfast on Sunday morning.
We were disappointed to see that McArthurs Flat was now a very bare and blackened area, as a result of incendiary bombs being dropped about eight weeks earlier. The various bluffs had not escaped the burnings, as darkened patches could be seen on them where vegetation had been destroyed. As Barry said, this was now called 'hazard reduction' burning, as against the earlier term of 'controlled burning', which in fact often resulted in uncontrolled burning. Whatever, McArthurs Flat would now need some time to regenerate. Campers, too, need to pay more attention to carrying out their rubbish as can be seen by the number of rusting tins and litter left lying about.
Our afternoon walk was enjoyable though more strenuous than expected. With the short days, we were unable to reach Russell's Needle and we returned to our campsite just on dark. (My last attempt to reach the needle was also unsuccessful due to lack of time.)
Saturday night saw the usual feasting and it wasn't long before a songbook was produced. The mystery still remains as to why Diana crept away silently from the campfire to her sleeping bag at the early hour of 8 pm. Was it due to the strenuous day's walk or was it because of the singing duet of Barry Wallace and John Newman? As the “cough syrup” ran out, the number of persons sitting around the fire decreased as each person darted to the warmth of his/her down bag.
Sunday morning saw a white blanket of frost on the clearing, though under the tree-line it was quite a comfortable night. It was exactly 8.30 am as the leader gave the instruction to douse the fire.
Today's walk would be upstream to Rocky Waterholes Creek and then follow this upstream for approximately six kilometres. At this point, we would leave the creek via a specific ridge, and with a little bit of scrub-bashing, return to the cars about 4.00 to 5.00 pm.
Whilst the creek is most impressive, the walking is quite strenuous and slow going, and rock-hopping is the method for all the way. By 3.00 pm the party had had enough of the creek, and by now most of us were scratched and bruised where bare skin had come in contact with rocks and fallen branches. A quick last minute study of the map by Don and Barry, and it was now uphill for about 45 minutes, followed by some bush-bashing. All walkers have experienced the feeling of pain when you get scratches on your scratches as we were, during that final half-hour walk back to the cars. I know of only one worse experience - getting into a bath or shower after getting home, and then experiencing the stinging sensation once again.
We were back at the cars before dark, to be greeted by the noise of trail bikes and smell of exhaust fumes. A quick change of clothes, saw us off to Picton to the local chinese restaurant.
It had been an exciting and enjoyable weekend, though perhaps somewhat harder than expected. My thanks goes to the leader, Barry Wallace, for organising another good weekend.
P. S. Comment of the weekend: Diana Lynn (referring to another walks leader):- “All you have to do, is lead him astray on his walks, and you're right!?!!?”
by Brian Harvey
It's funny - but bearskins and bareskins are both pronounced in the same manner and the spelling uses the same letters except the letters “a” and “r” are transposed - and the two meanings are, of course, kilometres apart when you compare a Polar bear with their opposite numbers at South Bondi or even at Era Beach in the Royal National Park! This great thought came to me when I read Errol Sheedy's article in our May magazine covering Kath Brown's Sunday Walk of 24th February and upon which Errol is to be congratulated in writing so interesting an account of a Sunday walk - was it due to Kath's chiding in the February issue, that members were very hesitant to line up a Biro and writing paper? I understand there were about 23 attendees (including, as Tim Coffee reported, some very pleasing “birds” - you can see why Tim was one of the original “Tigers”!) on Kath's walk - perhaps she chastened them!
In his story, Errol mentioned the case of some Past Member who pinched by the police for sunning au naturel. Actually, there were two then members, Peter Jones and Vic Bolton, who, sunbaking in the altogether out of sight in a depression amongst the sand-dunes, were apprehended by the limbs of the Law whilst absorbing their Vitamin “D”! From what we could gather at the time, it appeared that some wowser had used binoculars at Governor Game Lookout, about 800 metres range, upon some earlier occasion and had tipped off the gendarmes who probably had walked round the rocky foreshore from Garie Beach. If they had come around in the pre-war era, they might easily have booked a big crowd of S.B.W. members disporting themselves in the surf and who obviously had overlooked stowing the swimming costumes in the rucksacks! There were great to-dos at the monthly general meetings with cries of “Shame” from certain prude members who opined that this nefarious practice should cease! I think there was some talk of expelling one well-known member - no name, please, but I'll whisper into your ear for 20c! No surprise, either!
This incident was the basis for the composition of one of our famous “Chronic Operas”, to wit “The Bobbies and the Bushies” which deals with various good and bad rubs with the Law. The following lines were sung in a basso duet by Geoff Wagg and Brian Harvey, suitably dolled up with peakcaps and bandoliers, etc., and were composed by either Malc McGregor, Jim Brown, Geoff Wagg or Don Matthews (I gravely suspect the latter):-
Scene 4 - The Detection of the Wrongdoers: (To the tune of “I bring a Lovesong”) … (The Bobbies seemingly peering down from Governor Game 'Lookout)
I see a bareskin, only a bareskin, Yes, it's a bareskin true. Just wait a moment till I look again, Ah, yes, there are bareskins TWO! Now we must capture these children of nature, And bring them before the Beak. So down on your kneeses, Let us sneak through scrub and treeses - DON'T LET YOUR BIG BOOTS SQUEAK!
The two miscreants were, in fact, hauled up before the Beak, their cases pleaded by the then Hon. Legal Officer, (the late) Miss Marie Byles but despite her pathetic entreaties, they were each fined probably (in keeping with the values of that period) £5.00. Dear oh, dear! Attitudes change!!!
by Barry Wallace
The meeting started at about 2019 with the President belabouring the gong with vigour to bring the 25 plus members, and others present, to order, and near silence. New members Joan Hannon, David Ingram (an obvious counterfeit) and Stephen Carratt were called, but only the latter was there to be welcomed with applause, badge, constitution, membership list and applause.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received. Correspondence covered such things as our letter to N.P.W.S. protesting at the proposed Kosciusko N.P. huts policy, a letter from the N.S.W. Department of Services approving our Annual Report, a letter from S.P.C.C. providing details of their action on our report of turbidity in Jerrara Creek, and requesting early advice of any other pollution matters, a letter from our Hon. Solicitor, Colin Broad, to Nowra Council about errors in the rates notices for Coolana, and also to the Valuer-General's Department on the same matter, and a letter from David Cotton enclosing two articles on bodies opposed to conservation groups. This last was passed over to Alex Colley for comment and reply.
The Treasurer then reported on our financial state for the month, with income of $508.80, a starting balance of $2866.37, outgoings of $1527.13 (don't get excited, about 1k of that was invested as short term loans) to give a closing balance of $1848.14.
Our very own Walks Secretary, Jim Vatiliotis, started the walks reports by reporting on his Beecroft Peninsula walk of 16,17,18 May. There were five starters and at least part of the trip was through head-high scrub. John Redfern's Airly walk the same weekend had 6 prospectives and 13 members on what was described as a good walk. There were two Sunday walks that weekend. Jim Brown had about 35 people on his Glenbrook walk and Ian Debert had 5 members and 4 prospectives on his Evans Lookout to Victoria Falls sprint event.
There was no direct report on Pat McBride's Kanangra to Katomiba walk for the 23,24,25 May but we were told the taxi fare was $70.00 per carload. The same weekend Charlie Brown's North Budawangs trip attracted 19 people on “a Great Trip”. There was no report of Belinda McKenzie's walk to McArthurs Flat but Hans Stichter had 17 people on his Saturday start Nuts and Wine walk in Megalong Valley. There was a somewhat circumspect report (no names, no pack-drill) of a person becoming detatched from the party and being returned to Carlons Farm by a group of fire-fighters.
The following weekend saw Laurie Quaken lead 22 people on an enjoyable stroll from Victoria Falls to Evans Lookout, while Bob Hodgson led 7 members and one prospective on a slightly modified walk in the Wollangambe area. Meryl Watman led the day walk that weekend with 11 members, 6 prospectives and, one visitor strolling in the Heathcote area.
Bill Burke opened the scoring for the Winter programme with his Shoalhaven River trip on the 6,7,8 June. There were 13 starters, the weather was fine and the climb out of Barbers Creek is still as far as ever. George Walton's trip into the Megalong was cancelled. Rumour has it that there were a few starters but they decided to get with the strength and went with Bill Burke.
The two day-walks were well attended, with Roy Braithwaite reporting 17 people on his Bundeena trip, and Hans Beck leading a split party of 32 through the wilds of Glenbrook Gorge. All of which was fairly heady stuff with which to conclude the Walks Report.
Federation Report brought news of continuing work on their new constitution, a report that the S.W. Tasmania Foundation has refunded the $500.00 made available by Federation to support production of a film on the S.W. Tasmanian wilderness areas, advice that only trained (!?) people will be eligible to participate in S. & R. operations in future (thank goodness we were able to talk them out of the uniforms and spiked helmets). The F.B.W. Ball is to be held on 26th September in the Ashfield Town Hall.
The Coolana Report comprised a reading of the minutes of the most recent Coolana Committee meeting. A motion which would have restricted the use of funds in the Coolana account to the payment of land rates was lost on a show of hands.
Then followed a general discussion of the adequacy or otherwise of the grading of walks on the programme. The general feeling appeared to be that the matter should be given a wider airing so why not write in 200 words or less what you or your neighbours think on the subject and send it to the Editor?
All of which brought us to the close of the meeting at 2133. Amen.
Commencing on Sunday, 20th July, a NEW RAIL TIMETABLE was introduced. Main effects are on Illawarra line trains.
Between now and the end of the current walks programme trips affected are:-
|August 10th||Meryl Watman||8.40 am (C) instead of 8.45 (C)|
|24th||as above||as above|
|24th||Jim Brown||as above|
|31st||Joe Marton||as above|
|31st||David Ingram||8.56 am (E) instead of 8.50 (E)|
by John Redfern
After having seen parts of the Ettrema area with Peter Harris, and as I had the last weekend in June free, I decided to explore more of it with Craig Austin. The party of 13 were: Craig Austin (leader), Christine Austin, Bill Capon, Stephen Gye (visitor), Spiro Hajinakitas, Sandy Hume (prospective), Peter Kaye, Rick King, Fazeley Read, John Redfern and three guests from the 'East Ryde Venturers', Michael De Riz, Craig Henson and Kevin Sterland.
I was finishing my packing on Friday evening when I heard the forecast “Gale Force Winds and Snow……!! We drove into huge black clouds near Nowra, the initial impact of the storm shook the car as though it were a toy. Fortunately the actual front only lasted moments. Spiro, whose car was the first one on the road out to Danjera Dam, had to clear away storm debris several times to get through. We camped near the dam and woke on Saturday to a cold strong wind. Breakfast was a quick affair. The painful moment of putting on shorts came, and then we set off. We soon warmed up as we strode out on the road heading upstream on the eastern side of Danj era Creek. We passed the old cemetary and old buildings connected with the extinct gold mining town of Yalwal.
After about twenty minutes Craig decided we would leave the road, which continues up onto the Yalwal Plateau, and contour along the flank of the ridge and look for a way down to the creek. Eventually we found a nicely rounded, quite open spur and followed it neatly down to the creek arriving at 849766 (Yalwal 1:31680) at precisely 10.00 am for morning tea. Following the creek upstream was initially quite easy and quite pleasant. We found we could cut off meanders by crossing beautifully grassed, thinly timbered flats. The strong wind above us was bringing in squalls of rain and we were soon hunting for parkas. As we progressed upstream the creek became more confined, providing for more rock-hopping and some wading. However, except for some very slippery rocks, it was pretty easy going.
About mid-afternoon Craig decided that if we were going to camp in Bundundah Creek we had better soon crosS the ridge to our west. The climb, though steep, provided no great cliff-line problems. The biggest hazard was stinging nettles (and we saw two stinging trees) from whose effects we all suffered for the rest of the weekend.
The wind on top was very strong and very cold - nobody stayed long looking at the view. We climbed through some rocky outcrops into a saddle that provided a quite easy way down to Bundundah Creek, arriving at 212532 (Sassafras 1:2500) at about 4.30 pm. The difference between the creeks separated by this one ridge is quite marked. Bundundah Creek, at this point, is much more of a wilderness nature with a rocky base and steep sides. There was no chance of a camp spot so we set off rock-hopping downstream, our direction for Sunday. We decided we would grab the first possible site as light was beginning to fade. It turned out to be much like the camp spot in Blackwater Creek on Brian Hart's walk of a fortnight earlier. After a bit of 'gardening' we were able to wedge the tents between small trees on a bank above the creek.
We soon had a fire going in the creek bed, and with some hot food inside us we decided all was well. Later we sat and watched the huge clouds racing across the ridges above us. The moon came out and filled the next gorge with an eerie light. Sandy Hume, our lone prospective, recited “The Man from Snowy River” - all 13 verses perfectly. It was interesting to hear a fresh approach to this popular poem. Sandy admitted she says it through each day! The wind roared above us all night, but I'm sure we were all quite snug as only occasional gusts reached down to the creek.
On Sunday the weather was a little more stable. We spent quite a few hours rock-hopping and wading downstream. Variety was added by some intereuting climbs through block-ups and around ledges above some beautiful pools. About lunch time we came to an area where we could get on to some grassy banks. It was similar to the lower part of Kanangra Creek. We had lunch on what would be a beautiful camp spot near the bottom of 'Twelve Apostles Spur'. After lunch we came to an area where the whole creek bed was formed from beautifully contoured, pink, smooth granite - much like Morong Deep.
About mid-afternoon we left the creek on our way, via Reynolds and Clarkes Saddles, back to Danjera Dam. From the top of the main ridge you start to get some appreciation of this great rugged Ettrema Wilderness.
When we got to Clarkes Saddle we realised we would be finishing in the dark. Unfortunately, later on Christine had one of her contact lenses dislodged in the scrub - needless to say, it is still there. We finished by torch light. Craig, with some spot-on navigation, led us down to the dam quite close to the causeway. We crossed the dam and were soon back at the cars.
I thought this was an interesting and varied walk, with good company, and I look forward to returning to this area some time.
The three young 'East Ryde Venturers' who came along were good walkers and welcome guests.
by Peter Miller
Wednesday, August 20th
Final Third of Africa.
David Robinson will conclude his description, illustrated by film, of his trip from South to North through the African Continent.
DINNER will be held. before the meeting at the Nam Roc Chinese Restaurant - 538 Pacific Highway, St. Leonards - 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm.
Wednesday, August 27th
Peter Miller will show slides of the United States, Canada and the U.K. Alcatraz and Niagara Falls were the highlights of the trip and both will feature in the slide evening.
Members who have not yet paid their subscriptions are reminded that the rates decided at the A.G.M. for 1980 are as follows:-
The magazine is posted free to all members, but non-active members and others who would like to receive the magazine posted to them can do so for an annual subscription this year of $5.
The Treasurer would be glad to receive your payment as soon as possible, either in the Clubroom, or post cheques to Box 4476 G.P.0., Sydney, 2001.
Please note that the walk listed on the programme for weekend 22/24 August - Kanangra to Katoamba - is for three days and should be listed 22/23/24/25 which includes Monday 25th being the first weekday of the school holidays.
This walk is still a MEDIUM grade TEST WALK. Other details are as shown on the programme. Transport to Kanangra is one way only, either by taxi or a lift. Leader: GEORGE WALTON Tel. 498,7956 (H).