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 Cahill Community Centre (Upper Hall), 34 Falcon Street, Crow's Nest.
|Editor:||Evelyn Walker, 158 Evans Street, Rozelle, 2039. Telephone 827-3695.|
|Business Manager:||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118.Telephone 871-1207.|
|Production Manager:||Helen Gray|
|Duplicator Operator:||Phil Butt|
|Apprentice Dup. Op.:||Barbara Evans|
|Kosciusko National Park||by Peter Miller||2|
|Bushwalker Recipes||Judith Rostron and Christine Austin||6|
|Meeting Notes - December General Meeting||Barry Wallace||7|
|Meeting Notes - January General Meeting||Jim Brown||8|
|Another Bushwalker Recipe - Pesto||Judith Rostron||9|
|Eastwood Camping Centre Advertisement||10|
|Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the Central Plateau - Tasmania - 26/12/83 to 9/1/84||Spiro Hajinakitas||11|
|The Annual General Meeting & The Annual Reunion||Kath Brown||16|
by Peter Miller
|Mount Kosciusko 1:50,000|
Walkers: Adrienne Shilling, John Redfern, Helen Goldstraw, Brian Goldstraw Jeff Bridger, Colin Barnes, Bill Holland, Margaret Conley, Evelyn Walker, Robert Miller, Peter Miller (Leader).
The idea for this walk came from Adrienne who was looking for a trip that would be a good leg-stretcher but not a continuous six-day bash. We considered the possibility of walking from Kiandra to Thredbo but we did not have enough time to do it comfortably. Another alternative of walking from Round Mountain was vetoed because of the high cost of hiring a bus from Thredbo to avoid a time-consuming car swap.
I planned the walk so that we could see the most interesting areas in the Park but would also be able to have two days walking with day packs. Admittedly the second day was a long one with heavy packs but it put us within, an easy walk of Jagungal and we had two nights at the same camp spot to compensate. The only mistake was to take the cars to Thredbo as this takes too long and in the event of bad weather (which happened - read on, dear reader) it is much better to have the cars at Charlotte Pass.
I have included the times in this walk report as an aid to someone else planning a similar trip. We were an average walking party and not setting out to break records.
Boxing Day, and who really wants to get out of bed at 04.45 and drive down to the Snowy? I know I didn't, but Colin Barnes was coming to pick up my son Robert and me so we had to stir ourselves and be ready by 05.50. The packs at this stage were bone-crushing and I couldn't see how I would ever carry mine up Disappointment Ridge. We picked up Jeff and set off for Guthega Power Station where we were all to meet at 13.00. Bill, Margaret, Helen and Brian were already there when we arrived and John, Adrienne and Evelyn arrived late as they had been indulging heavily at Macdonalds on the way.
The drivers took the three cars to Thredbo and returned in John's. It takes about two hours to drive to Thredbo and back and it was a little tedious waiting around the power station. The weather was overcast and it did not look like a very auspicious start to the trip.
Map: Mount Kosciusko
We finally left at 16.30 and headed slowly up the four-wheel-drive track up Disappointment Ridge. By now the clouds had blown away and we had some good views across the valley to the Main Range, and caught our first glimpse of snow in the distance. We walked up the track until we came to the gauging station, 273787, and after a rest we headed up the creek looking for a camp spot.
We found a reasonable place to camp a few hundred metres below the brow of the ridge (18.00) and settled down quite early. We were treated to our first evening of listening to the cackle of Colin, Adrienne and Evelyn as they argued over how and where to pitch their tent. They were quickly labelled the “Rosellas” and they kept up their noisy settling down procedure every night as they roosted on their perches. It was a fine clear night and we were all soon asleep.
After a cold night we woke up to find the ice nearly a centimetre thick on the billies. This was quite a shock to the system as two days before in Sydney the temperature had been 37 degrees C. We got away at 08.00 and headed up Disappointment Ridge. Although our packs were heavy it was a delightful walk up the ridge. The low scrub thins out to become snow grass which makes for easier walking. Eventually we left the clumps of snow gums behind and reached the top of Gungartan at 11.00 after a three hundred metre climb. We were all puffing by the time we reached the top as the thinner air makes climbing quite an exertion.
Our next objective was Tin Hut for lunch. We arrived at 13.00 in bright sunshine and stayed for an hour. This was the first combined meal for the seven of us in the food party and it was a great success. Helen will write a full account of the catering side of the food party. We had a greater variety of food than I have ever had on a trip before and it was all beautifully cooked - mainly by Helen.
By now it was quite hot and we still had a long way to go so we reluctantly hoisted up our heavy packs and set off along the Brassy Mountains. It was soft walking over snow grass or low gorse and fairly level going.
We passed Big Brassy Peak and Brassy Peak and steered for the saddle between Cup and Saucer Hill and Mailbox Hill. This was my first attempt at leading a walk in this area and I wasn't sure of the camp spots but we found one just to the west of the saddle with a splendid view of Jagungal to the north - 273921.
There was a bushfire burning to the east but it did not reach the high country.
It was quite windy during the night and some ominous, dark clouds blew up from the south-east.
We woke to a misty morning with no sun and no Jagungal. As We had a relatively easy day there was no great hurry to be off. Helen opted to stay back at camp and make the “blanc-mange” and the rest of us set out at 09.20 heading north for the Jagungal saddle. It was delightful to be walking with light packs across the open grassland with our mountain now in full view. We climbed an open grassy ridge (262973) and followed the sky-line to the summit which we reached by 11.50.
There were several other groups there or on the way up so after a few photos and a look at the distant Main Range we headed back. It was very cold and there were some dark clouds about so we decided to get down to a creek for lunch. From lower down the clouds didn't look so threatening and we had a pleasant stroll back to the camp site which John was able to see from a distance of three kilometres. Four brave souls went for a quick swim in the Geehi River but the rest of us kept going and got back to camp at 15.20.
When we were gathered again at the camp Helen produced a birthday cake with one candle for Brian so we all helped him to celebrate - um - delicious.
It was a clear sunny morning and we got away by 08.30 and set off to climb Cup and Saucer Hill. The view from the top was excellent, looking across Valentines Creek to the Kerries, back to Jagungal which we could now add to our “been there, done that” list, and along the Brassies. By now the packs were noticeably lighter and it was good to be walking.
We crossed Valentines Creek at the Big Bend and headed downstream. Walking in the open country beside the creek was very pleasant but as the creek gets lower down it goes through a patch of fairly thick scrub which was tedious to negotiate. It would be better to leave the creek at 249906 and head over a clear saddle running south-west and aim for the fire trail.
We pushed on through the scrub and reached Valentines Hut at 12.00. On a fine day all huts look scruffy and uninviting and Tin Hut and Valentines Hut were no exceptions. When it is cold and wet huts are transformed in one's mind to palaces of warmth and dryness and any walker worth his or her salt would trample over his or her grandmother to get a bunk or a place near the fire.
We headed south along Valentine fire trail and had. lunch at a side creek running into Duck Creek. After lunch we continued along the fire trail until we came to the road leading over Schlink Pass. After three days of walking there were a few tender spots showing up an our feet so we had to stop, and Margaret did great work with a roll of plaster. The foot tending was rather Biblical but she drew the line at drying them with her hair.
We left the road at the top of the pass and followed a faint track leading up onto Dicky Cooper Bogong. The object was to find a high camp spot, and after getting above the low gorse we saw in front of us at 239825 a delightful grassy knoll surrounded by snow gums (15.00). We set up camp and had a magnificent view across the valley to Gungartan, up the hill behind us to Dicky Cooper Bogong and along to the Granite Peaks. There was water nearby and plenty of fire wood. The ground in front of the campsite sloped away steeply to the Munyang River so we had a view in: each direction. We pitched the tents on the soft snow grass among the sheltering gums and had a cup of tea.
It was a clear sunny afternoon so we climbed up to Dicky Cooper Bogong where we had the best view on the trip. The sun was going down and flooding the Main Range with brilliant light. To the west row upon row of hills stood out as far as the horizon, each one a subtle shade of blue-grey and different to its neighbour. We sat in the cold wind an top of Dicky Cooper as long as we could and then returned to our more sheltered camp spot among the snow gums.
We rigged up a foot bath made from a large (75 cm x 100 cm) garbage bag laid across a square made from logs and filled with hot soapy water. From here on this foot bath became very popular and we rigged it up again at the next camp. It is recommended for soothing tired feet.
Reluctant to leave such a charming spot we finally dragged ourselves away at 09.00 and set off for the Granite Peaks, the Rolling Grounds and Consett Stephens Pass. The weather remained clear and we had no problems navigating. At the pass the wind was extremely cold so we put on extra clothing which soon became too-warm as we climbed up to Mount Tate. On top of Tate we met Gordon Lee and his party. Gordon pointed out a possible camp site below Mount Anderson and-that became our objective after lunch.
We found another grassy knoll surrounded by snow gums - 206732 - and made an early camp at 14.00. This campsite too was surrounded by mountains and we could see Mount Tate, Mann Bluff, Mounts Anderson, Anton, Twynam (with a large patch of snow), Little Twynam, The Paralyser, Mount Perisher, Blue Cow and Gills Knob. In the valley below us across the Snomy River we could see Illawong Lodge. I wanted to camp in a position with an easy escape route in case the weather turned nasty and this was an ideal spot.
This was another day off from carrying full packs, so we left the tents pitched and set out (09.30) for Watsons Crags. Helen's knee had been hurting so she and Brian decided to camp at Lake Albina for the night. This would save them climbing Mount Twynam twice and make the last day easier.- (We had intended walking to Thredbo on the last day from Pounds Creek.)
We agreed that if the weather turned bad and the rest of the party could not get over the top to Thredbo, Helen and Brian were to go dawn to The Chalet and wait to be picked up by car. It is not a good thing to split the party but in this case we had little option.
The wind was very cold and. strong and it was most invigorating walking out along Watsons Crags as far as the first trig station (12:30). We kept a wary eye on the weather while we had lunch, looking across Lady Northcott Canyon to Mount Townsend. We went back to Mount Twynam and Helen and Brian headed south along the track towards Carruthers Peak while the rest of us went over the top and down into the saddle between Mount Twynam and Little Twynam.
John and I were reminded of a camp spot there on a trip in 1976 with David Rostron when we were blown off by bad weather. By now the wind was very cold and the clouds completel covered the sky and the only place we wanted to be was back in our snug little camp spot. We skirted below the snow drifts on Twynam and among the great granite outcrops and stayed above Pounds Creek and so got back to camp at 16.00.
By now the weather really showed signs of turning wet and horrible - this was New Year's Eve heralding in 1984. We had each carried a selection of luxuries for the occasion but we decided that we would see the New Year in at 21.00 as it was too cold to stay out longer. At that time we blew the whistles that Margaret had carried and drank hot lemon barley with a dash of whiskey carried by Bill and scoffed the luxuries.
As we turned in for the night the rain started and did not stop all night. The wind was very strong, blowing from the north-east and we wondered how Helen and Brian were getting on in their exposed position at Lake Albina.
After raining all night and blowing great guns the weather relented a little and we were able to have breakfast in the dry. Colin and Bill got a fire going and when we were ready to go I asked each person whether they wanted to go over the top to Thredbo or down to Guthega. The general consensus was that there would be little joy in going higher, so we set off down Pounds Creek. As we did so the rain started again and became quite heavy. The scrub along Pounds Creek was thick for the last kilometre before reaching the Snowy River and we made slow progress until we crossed the river and picked up the track leading into Guthega. We did the six kilometres from Guthega to the Power Station in about an hour as we wanted to get out of the rain as soon as we could.
John, Colin, Bill and Evelyn went off in John's car to Thredbo and the rest of us waited in the power station out of the rain. Evelyn was meeting David Rostron and others at Dead Horse Gap and staying out for a few more days.
When the cars came back from Thredbo all that remained to be done was to drive up to The Chalet to collect the Goldstraws (who were the only members of our party to get up Mount Kosciusko after having spent a very blustery night hanging onto their tent), and then go on into Jindabyne.
Because I had my son calling me “Dad” everyone called me “Dad”. This raised a few eyebrows when we were arranging accommodation in Jindabyne. It rained and blew all night and we were happy to be snug in a couple of home units overlooking the lake, with hot showers, comfortable beds and toilets.
We spared a thought for our fellow walkers at Dead Horse Gap.
And so the drive home again.
|From Judith Rostron||From Christine Austin|
|1 packet soyaroni||Mixed beans or lentils|
|1 packet dried peas and corn||Brown rice|
|1 large tin tuna||Cheddar, chopped|
|1 packet French onion soup||Chopped cashews, herbs, garlic|
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at 2018 with around 35 members present and Vice- President Ainslie Morris in the chair.
There were apologies from Tony Marshall, Bill Holland and Barrie Murdoch. The welcome to new members saw Deirdre Schofield, Maurie Bloom, Roger Browne. and Chris Nugent come forward to be welcomed in the usual way, but David Underwood was not present to answer the call.
The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and received, with no business arising.
Correspondence comprised an outgoing invitation to Mr. Dick Smith to address the membership on one of the social nights, an incoming copy of a letter regarding cross-country skiing facilities in Kosciusko National Park, a letter to the Director, N.P.W.S. regarding the selection of representatives for park advisory committees, from the Great South- West Walk Committee, to the Melbourne Bushwalkers magazine “Walk 1982” requesting permission to reprint an article on snakebite treatment and a quotation from Gestetner for the replacement of our ageing duplicator.
The Treasurer's Report indicated that we began the month with a balance of $3802.92, had an income of $429.15, spent $304.53 and closed the month with a balance of $3927.54.
The Walks Report was next. It seems that Gordon Lee's Chichester/Wangat walk of the 11,12,13 November did not go, but Peter Miller reported a floating population of from 5 to 16 persons and beaut weather on his Shoalhaven River wine and cheese walk. Of the day walks, Peter Christian had 13 people out on his Hawkesbury River ramble and Brian Bolton had 11 people, 3 groups, and several factions on his Lilyvale to Otford walk.
The following weekend, 18,19,20 November, Bill Holland had 13 starters and many grass-seeds an his Corroboree Flat map-reading and first-aid Instructional. Jim Percy reported that his group of 10 found nettles chest high in Carlons Creek on his Wild Dogs walk, and that grass-seeds were also a problem. There was no report of Ken Gould's overnight walk to Tootie Greek and back but we were informed that it did go. Joan Cooper's Erskine Creek walk had “lots of people” (est.17) on a coolish day, and Jim Brown reported 20 people, a lazy day, and radios at Lake Eckersley on his Waterfall to Heathcote walk.
The report for the weekend of 25,26, 27 November began with a cancellation. Gordon Lee's Ettrema (route to be advised) did not receive enough of the necessary advice it seems. Barry Wallace had 11 starters on his Barrallier/Tomat Falls trip. They got heavily rained on for their trouble and had to take the easy (?) way out. Hans Stichter. had 17 people and no report on his Glenbrook day walk, and John Newman reported 10 people, cool weather, rain and a good walk and no grass seeds.
Over the weekend of 2,3,4 December Peter Hislop's abseiling trip was cancelled due to bad weather but Gordon Lee led 3 starters through some afternoon rains and fine mornings on his Kowmung River walk. Of the day walks, whose name was Legion, Frank Wbodgate led 12 people from Woy Woy to Woy Woy, and Tony Marshall and Rudy Dezelin had no report.
The following weekend saw Peter Harris leading 8 people on an easy but grass-seed plagued walk somewhere near the Kowmung. Of Ken Gould's Barren Grounds cycle trip there was no report. Peter, Christian's Engadine to Heathcote walk attracted 17 starters, and Errol Sheedy reported 13 people on a nice walk with some rain on his Waterfall to Waterfall walk. All of which ended the Walks Report.
Of General Business there was none, so the meeting closed at 2107 hours.
by Jim Brown
This should be sub-titled “Where have all the office-bearers gone?” You see, President Tony Marshall was on holidays; so was V.P. Ainslie Morris. The other “Vice”, Barry Wallace, was in Brisbane on business. After almost as much “racing and chasing” as mentioned in Walter Scott's “Lochinvar”. Treasurer Barrie Murdoch occupied the chair for the General Meeting, which started with the bare quorum of 15 members, escalating to a little over 20 by the end.
In addition to the distinguished absentees named above, Barbara Bruce was in Italy, but had arranged for a former Secretary, Sheila Binns, to stand in. Indeed there was such a dearth of dignitaries that the Committee Meeting, which was to have been held before the General Meeting, lapsed for want of a quorum of five. There were only two office-bearers present, of whom. one, Bill Holland, was busily engaged in his usual never-ending role of Recruiting Sergeant.
You may well ask why waste all this valuable paper in your magazine discussing something that has little relevance to the business of the Meeting. Well, even a January General Meeting probably deserves a few lines, but as it lasted only 14 minutes 28.6 seconds, there's not a lot to be said. I even thought it might be a record, but Sheila Binns assures me there was a meeting back in the 1970s that took only 14 minutes, 21.2 seconds. Hard luck!
Well, then, on to the Meeting. No one wanted to dispute anything in the December Minutes, but there were a couple of items in Correspondence with a little meat on them. The Lane Cove Scout troop is desperately seeking leaders from the walking movement, and the Club's Telephone Contact and Enquiry Agent, Ann Ravn, finds it necessary to vacate this position. No one at the meeting volunteered for taking over these good deeds, so it was resolved to make mention in the magazine and re-invite takers at the February meeting. The Paddy Pallin Foundation is offering interest-free loans for programmes to promote Rucksac sports and similar activities which require capital investment but could be expected to become financially rewarding in due course. No projects were put forward at the meeting.
Donning his other hat the Chairman advised that Club working funds were $3923 at the beginning of December and had shrunk to $2586.63 at the close, but this included an investment of (I think I heard it right) $2000.
Among Reports, there was no Federation statement, but this was not due to the absence of Federation delegates. Instead Federation had held its December meeting early and an account had been given at our last General Meeting. Then the Walks Report, beginning with Roger Browne's narrative of the walk to Wyanbean Caves jointly led with Michelle de Vreis; sixteen attended, and all went to the Caves, but on the two associated walks the party split 8/8 between the tougher and easier trips (an account of the trip appeared in the January magazine). Brian Bolton took 10 people on a wettish morning of December 18th to Kingdom Come (that's just the alternative name for Boobera Pool on the Woronora River). They dried off around a fire there before coming home on a sunny afternoon. No one could give any information on Sandy Johnson's day walk in Marramarra National Park or Ken Gould's Colo River trip.
Next the Alps trips over Christmas/New Year. Of Gordon Lee's walks it was reported at second-hand that it was an all-male team of five, and they did what they set out to do. Tom Wenman's party started at the New Year, and was understood to have a rather larger gathering, but details were not available (it is hoped an account of this trip may be written for the magazine).
On the week-end 6/8 January, Bob Younger and party of about 17 were in the Danjera Creek country. The reporter said the trip proved reasonably strenuous, and was almost entirely through scrub. Blayden's Pass was “an experience”. That same Sunday Roy Braithwaite took 14 on a day walk to Burning Palms, the travel arrangements necessitating some change of programme. They encountered storms and some of the crew unaccountably diverted to Werrong.
With almost exactly 14 minutes of the meeting time fled, Barrie, who had conducted the meeting with the aplomb one might expect of a legal practitioner, called for General Business and when there was none, decreed the gathering at an end.
1 bunch of steamed spinach (with stalks removed)
1 clump of parsley
approx 100 g walnuts\
approx 1 tablespoon dried basil (or 1 cup fresh basil)
a slurp of oil
salt and pepper to taste
a clove of garlic
Blend until smooth. Prepare your Pesto at home before taking it to the bush, where it will keep unrefrigerated for up to 4 days. Toss through noodles or rice with parmesan cheese sprinkled an top.
by Spiro Hajinakitas
ROUTE: Higg's Track - Lake Nameless - Walls of Jerusalem - Lake Meston - Mountains of Jupiter - Orion Lakes - Du Cane Gap - Overland Track - Narcissus Bay - Byron Gap - Cuvier Valley - Cynthia Bay.
STARTERS: Bill Burke, Joan Cooper, George Gray, Spiro Hajinakitas, Peter Harris (Leader), Dick Mason (NPA), Jim Percy, Jo Van Sommers.
The success of a two-week Tassie walk depends on a combination of factors. The compatibility of the party members, sound leadership, the weather, an interesting and scenic route, good campsites, good food and shorter walking days than on an ordinary weekend walk in NSW. Peter, whilst maintaining a hectic pace at his work place, did a great deal of hard work in the planning of the route, arranging transport, selecting the party members and delegating chores. All credit goes to him for the success of this trip and we are forever in his debt.
Our driver, Spike, arrived on time at Devonport Airport and we loaded - our packs onto the Land Rover. They seemed to weigh a tonne, but I think the average weight was 27 kilos. After an hour's drive in the hot midday sun we arrived at the bottom of Higg's Track, changed into our walking clothes and put our street clothes back into the vehicle. Spike assured us he would deposit them at the Ranger's hut at Cynthia Bay ready for our return. We bid him farewell, boiled the billy, had lunch and started off up the steep but well-graded track through thick forest. We were thankful of the tree shade cover, saw our first Tasmanian Waratahs and eventually reached the top of The Great Western Tiers to be greeted by a most strong north-westerly breeze. After the hot climb up Higg's Track the change in temperature came as a shock. We donned jumpers and set up camp in a sheltered spot alongside the ruins of a logger's hat. It was very pleasant out of the wind.
We awoke to a sunny but cool day, and moved off at 9.20 am to cover the 6 km to Lake Nameless. A severe bushfire many years ago had burnt of a lot of the trees and shrubs, the going through numerous vivid green cushion plants, snow grass and alpine flowers in bloom was very easy. Quite soon afterwards Peter was feeling very ill; he suspected the bacon he had for breakfast. We stopped for morning tea at the northern and of Lake Nameless and spotted a small group of day trippers coming towards us. We invited them to share our fire, chatted with them for a while, and moved off to make camp near the south-west tip of Lake Nameless in another sheltered spot above another ruined hut site which was to be our camp for two nights. As he was still feeling ill, Peter declined lunch and whilst we ate our lunch.of cheese, ham speck, bread and butter, spreads, carob nuts and dried fruit, he went through our comprehensive medicine chest for the right medicine and retired to his tent to sleep.
Dick, George and Joan headed off to Lake Ironstone, 3 km to the north,east, followed half an hour later by Jo, Jim and me. On the way we disturbed a colony of fat-looking light-tan wallabies. We Were not sure if they were fat or if their long hair gave them their plump -appearance. We saw so many wallabies on the Central Plateau that after the first day we just took their presence for granted. Liter a short time viewing and photographing the lake we returned to camp, With.Jim, Jo and Jowl going for a swim. As the night was still young, we decided on an afternoon-drink. During our absence Peter had had the same idea. He had got up and had a couple of stiff scotches and a cigarette or two and back to bed. Any thought of Peter having dinner with us that evening was quashed when he heard Joan exclaim that we had weevils in the figs. Unperturbed, our quartermaster Bill stated we should wash and eat them first.
The morning's “day trip” was a circular route taking in Lakes Johnny, Chambers, Douglass, Forty Lakes Peak and back. At first Peter thought he would opt out as he had not recovered, but we persuaded him to change his mind, as we thought the exercise would do him good. So we set off, and as George said, we kept up with Peter in the lead only because he was feeling ill and not walking at his usual strong pace. Again Peter declined lunch, George draped a chequered table cloth over his legs, like a sarong, to protect his legs from the sun. Just as we were moving off we heard gunfire and sure enough, near Lake Chambers we spotted two shooters.
The view from Forty Lakes Peak was indeed magnificent. Dozens of small lakes and tarns dotted the landscape and the distant spectacular mountain ranges wore starkly silhouetted against the blue sky. Back at camp we all set about various chores and managed to get some ash in the soup. Bill said it would act as a salt substitute.
Our next camp was to be at Pencil Pine Tarn some 9 km along the obscure and shadeless Ritter's Track, named after a cattleman. It was another hot sunny day, so Peter draped a bright yellow cloth around his waist: two converted to “drag”, six to go? The route through countless lakes and tarns was indeed tricky but Peter expertly led us through the maze of waterways assisted by the occasional cairn. After a long hot walk we eventually stopped for lunch at the only available shade, a small tree-lined lake. Quite surprisingly, after a short tine in the shade we all felt a little cool, so we edged our way back into the sunshine and as we only had a few km to go to Pencil Pine Tarn most of us enjoyed a cat-nap.
If an unsuspecting visitor had come upon us he or she (I'm learning, Jo) would have seen quite a sight. George with his legs bent, on his back, and the table cloth acting as a sun shield, Jo topless, Dick with his Napoleonic hat covering his face as he slept on his back and his hat jerking violently with every breath, and Jim and I arms outstretched in the classic missionary position.
Pencil Pine Tarn was reached after a short walk and some scouting had to be done to find a suitable camp site amongst the pencil pines which Joan said were very old, some were 1000 years old. After dinner we went off to an unnamed hill to view the sunset and got back in time for a cup of tea and a lesson in star watching from Dick.
Off again with day packs at 9.00 am, an easy 3 km north to Turrana Heights, then west another 3 km to Turrana Bluff and more splendid views in all directions. To the south-west in the middle distance Mt. Jerusalem, and beyond, the massive outline of the main range including Mt. Geryon, Mt. Ossa and Pelion East. On the way back to Pencil Pine Tarn some light rain tell for a few minutes. We got back at 2.30 pm and all had a few drinks before afternoon tea. We were in a merry mood as we waited for the billy to boil. Jo couldn't pour the tea properly, she said she couldn't get it out quick enough. Peter announced he was going to break wind and light up a cancer stick and proceeded to do both. Then continuing, as he examined his washing, “What will I wear tomorrow? My tennis whites or my leprechaun greens?” Dick responded for all of us, “You'd better wear your leprechaun greens. If you wear your whites and someone sees you with us seven trailing behind you, we could be mistaken for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
Another hot sunny day. After a good breakfast of porridge and fantastic scrambled eggs-(Joan had finally mastered the secrets of egg powder), we left Pencil Pine Tarn and followed Peter, splendid in his leprechaun greens, back onto the Ritter's Track, our destination being The Walls of Jerusalem some 12 km away. After an hour or so we realised that George was not with us. He had missed seeing Peter take a short cut around a hill and had continued up the hill alone. By this time the rest of the party was way ahead and out of sight. But George, who was not carrying the cheese this time (reference S.W. Tassie trip 1974) realised something was amiss, when still on the track, walked into an unbroken spider's web.
We left our packs at the bottom. of Mt. Jerusalem and climbed up its rocky northern face and were rewarded once again with a superb vista. We could see for kilometres in all directions, even Mt. Arne and the Western Arthurs were clearly visible, but opinion as to the pinpointing of Federation Peak and Precipitous Bluff was vague.
As the Walls of Jerusalem are a popular camping spot Peter headed off at a quick pace past The Gate of the Chain and Zion Hill hoping to find the campsite on the Pool of Siloam vacant. But alas, no luck. Peter and Joan, who ran ahead to scout, reported back that the site was taken by a not top friendly big bosomed person, whom he nicknamed 18 tonne Tess. This Amazon of a person must have impressed him greatly with her curt manner and big breasts and he continually referred to her as 18 Tonne Tess with breasts as big as helium filled balloons. After a little searching we decided to camp nearby amongst some trees about 500 metres in front of the Western Wall. As we prepared dinner a young couple approached, also looking for a campsite. The girl was wearing the shortest pair of shorts we had ever seen and Peter was sure that by tomorrow she would have the most severe case of sunburnt cheeks in the country.
As it was New Year's Eve we had a special dinner with drinks,. Joan supplied us with chocolate, dried fruit and nuts and George produced cabanossi and crackers, and we cooked our first dampers. After dinner we sang Auld Lang Syne. When Jim and Jo retired to their tent they disturbed a possum who had stolen their bread. It climbed up the nearest tree to eat the bread quite unconc6rned at our protests.
DISASTER! During the night an animal entered Peter and Dick's tent apse, bit a large hole in the bottom of Peter's canvas pack and ate all of our remaining ham speck, 24 kilos of it, and also one packet of rolled oats. Another or the same beast (who knows) had entered George's pack and into a gar bag and George heard him rustling outside the tent. George grabbed it in the gar bag by the neck and then released it. It had drunk all of George's brandy, eaten his salami and had eaten through the straps on George's brand new pack. Not a good start to the New Year, still we had enough food and the packs were repairable. Peter handed out Minties to everyone as it was certainly time for a Mintie. For the marauding animals he prepared a bait of pethidine sandwiches.
That morning we climbed up to the top of the Western Wall via a very steep scree slope in a narrow gully. The climb was made very interesting by a very strong wind that literally blew our parkas up over our heads and played havoc with our balance. Of course we were rewarded with another splendid view from the top. That afternoon it started to rain very heavily. Half the party retreated to the dry comfort of their tents whilst the other half chose to stand around the fire keeping it going and watching Bill struggling to cook the evening meal. Eventually everyone was fed either in their tents or by the fire. I retired to bed at 9 pm when not long afterwards Peter came around in the pouring rain with a cup of tea which Joan and I thankfully accepted. A little while later Jo came around with an offer of Milo. We politely declined through fear of having to get up early in the morning in the rain. Apparently George and Bill did not have this problem in their tent. George had devised a plastic tube under the ground sheet. What a scientific mind he has. Well it proved to be quite effective, too much so, for in the morning there was a fast flowing river through the camp that most decidedly was not there the night before.
We left the Walls of Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate and down the picturesque Damascus Vale. We walked through some beautiful heath country with numerous grevillea and wild flowers in bloom. The rain had now ceased and we stopped at the eastern side of Lake Adelaide and had lunch on a nice sandy beach. After lunch we moved off to the south-eastern corner of Lake Adelaide and came upon a delightful camp site, flat grassy ground and a sandy beach and good views across the lake, but as it was not considered sheltered we continued on to site amongst the trees, a scruffy site but sheltered. A young Tasmanian Devil came towards us and started to scratch away in the dirt of the base of a tree only two metres from our campfire. We watched it for about thirty minutes and when it moved off in the direction of the tents we feared for our food and set up a guard.
Light rain was falling as we headed for Lake Meston. Peter had predicted heavy rain for the rest of the day: his predictions were always correct, so as Peter disbanded the original plan to camp at the Ling Roth Lakes area, our destination that day was now the hut at Junction Lake, built by A.H. Read, who now at the age of 93 still ventures out into the bush. Anyway, back to our story, we reached another Read hut three quarters of the way down the northern side of Lake Meston. This hut called RRR Hut after the three men starting with R's that built it. A most delightful rustic hut with thick horizontal logs, sealed with moss, a shingle roof, four bunks, stone floor and fire place and a tin chimney. Half way through lunch a group of young bushwalkers arrived from Junction Hut. So we hurried our lunch to make room for them. The damper I had cooked the night before tasted good and Jo wondered why I had not been snapped up yet. Jan replied, “He pedals too fast!”
We got to Junction Hut in time to collect and saw firewood and draw water from the adjacent Mersey River before the rain started. And rain it Jo and Jim chose to pitch their tent. Even with the fire going, the hut at first was quite cold and whilst playing cards we engaged in musical chairs in order-to have a turn to be near the fire. The rain pelted down and the hut warmed up and we were most thankful for the use of the hut.
At 6 am we were awakened by a cheeky currawong tapping loudly on the window. Peter decided to reserve his opinion on the weather until after lunch. Most of us decided to walk to Clarke Falls, about half an hour's walk to the ,west of Junction Lake. Upon our return Peter greeted us with the news that we would be moving off after lunch. Twice previously Peter was prevented by bad weather in climbing up to the Mountains of Jupiter, but after studying the clouds he felt confident that this year he would make it. Some thick scrub was encountered on the way up and a little difficulty in finding a break in the cliff face. Finding a flat campsite for four tents took a little time. Peter and George who found the site gave it a rating bf 8, in fact we all agreed that it was the best camp site to date. Bill thought that David Rostron would have liked it also. Bill also confessed, seeing that David was not in earshot, that he too was getting to like high camps.
DAY 11 We moved off at 10 am, it was windy and misty, but Peter predicted it would clear up, and it did. After a couple of hours of very pleasant walking we stopped for lunch in a glen out of the wind, overlooking the south-eastern tip of Lake Payanna, which afforded a spectacular view of Mt. Ida to the south complimented by the diamond-shaped Lake Riengeeng in the foreground. After lunch we- walked around the southern end of Lake Payanna, then headed north past Lake Pallas and Orion Lakes on our left, and after a couple of hours of scrub bashing we were quite pleased to get to Lake Zeus where we made the best of a poor campsite, and put an some water to make Turkish coffee. I distributed the coffee in the now familiar mugs, (Joan called my big one “The Gozunda”, which means 'goes under the bed“), and made sure that everyone received a little of the froth called “kaymaki”. This enhances the taste of the coffee. George got hooked an the word “kaymaki” and kept a score on the number of times it was used. 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. I supposed he had been away from civilisation too long.
We explored the shores of the lake and discovered a little island a few metres offshore, a chance for possession of our own little tropical island - but how to get to it without getting wet? George offered to whittle a log canoe but that would have taken too long, so we discussed the merits of getting Peter, who was the tallest, to stretch out from the bank so that we could walk over him, but he was not quite long enough.
DAY 12 As we had only 5 km to walk that day we set off after lunch with the midday sun overhead and set up camp on the northern end of the Traveller Range, a kilometre or so from Du Cane Gap. A splendid high camp, the best view being of Cathedral Mountain to the north. Peter warned us that a rain storm was approaching and sure enough it hit us just as we were cooking our curry and vegetables, and Dick was half way through cooking his first damper. Whilst most of the party sheltered in their tents two or three of us stood by the fire, and despite the pouring rain managed to complete the cooking. The storm blew over and we ate our dinner, and as we were now out of Turkish coffee we made some, instant coffee. Joan said we had not had any for a while. “For a while,” answered Peter, “I only get it on birthdays, Christmas and when the Labor Party wins.”
DAY 13 After a cool night, we awoke to a beautiful, clear morning. We had our last view of the Central Plateau and dropped down through a small section of eucalyptus and beech forest to the Overland Track. The change came as quite a shock. The Overland Track is like a walker's highway with hundreds of duckboards over the muddy sections and a tourists' atmosphere. At Windy Ridge Hut we stopped for a while then continued on and stopped for lunch at a creek crossing 2km before Narcissus Bay. Over lunch, in between disturbances of day trippers walking through, Peter outlined a plan to storm Narcissus Bay, raping and pillaging. “Hands up those who wish to join the raping party and hands up those who wish to join the pillaging party.” Jo answered, “I think I'll be in the burning party, I always wanted to be an arsonist.” Jim and I thought a beer would be nice but Peter didn't entertain the thought of a drink. I said, “No, you'll be too busy raping and pillaging to stop for a drink.”
At Narcissus Bay the party split up: as Bill and George had not done the Lake St. Clair section of the Overland Track an previous trips they decided to do it now, whilst the remaining six of us headed up over Byron Gap on the Cuvier Valley Track which promised better views. We had our last camp at a creek crossing 2 kilometres before Lake Petrarch. Bill and George camped at the first beach camp site and George had another wild animal incident. A native cat, intent on ransacking his pack, awoke him during the night. George was in no mood for fun and games and smartly got rid of him.
We got back to civilisation, if that is what Cynthia Bay is, at about 2pm. Pitched our tents for the last time in the camping area, spent hours in the bathrooms cleaning ourselves and that night:had a good big meal at the Derwent Bridge Hotel with masses of wine and an assortment of the strangest liqueurs imaginable.
Our driver picked us up at 9.30 am, drove us to the airport to drop our luggage, then into Devonport itself for another meal at the hotel. Bill, who was staying on in Tasmania, drove us back to the airport in his hired car (Jim and Jo were also staying on, but were on their way to Hobart), thus ending a pleasant two weeks' holiday.
by Kath Brown
According to the S.B.U. Constitution the Annual General Meeting “shall be held in March” and among the business of that meeting shall be “election of Office-bearers and Committee”. Each year all official positions become vacant and although the previous holders often stand for re-election for a second year and sometimes for a third or more, usually the President does not seek re-election after two years. Any member may be nominated for any office. Only. Club full members may vote. This year the A.G.M. will be on Wednesday, 14th March.
The Annual Reunion, held on the weekend following the A.G.M., is a social gathering with overnight camping of present, past and prospective members. The incoming President is inaugurated in a simple ceremony at the Saturday evening campfire, and is welcomed by all Past Presidents at the Reunion and adorned with the symbols of office - beautifully carved horn ornaments made by an early member of the Club.
The Reunion campfire is a great sing-song, mainly, of old campfire songs, and also a number of sketches are usually performed. Sometimes a short musical play has been specially written for the Reunion campfire. Clean (though sometimes off-beat) humour is the aim. About 10 pm supper (provided by the Club) is served, and then the private groups sometimes sing on well into the night. The Sunday morning is the great damper-making competition time, when the ashes of the previous night's campfire are used. Only self raising flour, salt and water may be used for the dampers.
Over past years various locations in the bush (no car camping) have been used for the S.B.W. Reunion, but of recent years our own property “Coolana” in the Kangaroo Valley has been the venue. There is swimming available in the river. Transport has to be by car -(cars are left at the top of the hill), so people who can provide transport for others are asked to get in touch with the Reunion Organiser, Spiro Hajinakitas.