Established June 1931.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers Incorporated, Box 4476 GPO, Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.45 pm at the Ella Community Centre, 58a Dalhousie Street, Haberfield (next to Post Office). Prospective members and visitors are invited to visit the Club on any Wednesday. To advertise in this magazine please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||Patrick James, PO Box 170, Kogarah, 2217. Telephone 588 2614.|
|Business Manager||Anita Doherty, 2 Marine Cres., Hornsby Heights, 2077. Telephone 476 6531.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray - Telephone 86 8263.|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Morag Ryder & Deborah Shapira.|
|Meet the Minister||Alex Colley||2|
|Club Members Honoured||3|
|A Very Honourable Member||Alex Colley||3|
|Christa & Bob Younger||Various||4|
|Porter's Deua River Portage||Deborah Shapira||5|
|SBW in the Marquesas Islands - Part 3||Frank Rigby||7|
|Fed. B.W. Clubs NSW - October Meeting||Spiro Hajinakitas||8|
|Walking in England & Wales - Part 2||Ainslie Morris & Mike Reynolds||10|
|What's in a Name - Scott's Main Range||Warwick Blayden||12|
|“A Mountain Trail Tale”||Peter Dyce||13|
|The October General Meeting||Barry Wallace||15|
|Balaclava - A Christmas Gift||16|
|Social Notes||Ian Debert||16|
|Guidelines for Test Walks||17|
|Proposed Change in Location of Clubrooms||17|
|The NSW Wilderness Calendar 1989||17|
|Belvedere Taxis - Blackheath||6|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||9|
|Canoe & Camping - Gladesville & Kogarah Bay||14|
Deadline for January Issue - Articles & Notes - 21st December 1988
by Alex Colley
The Hon. Tim Moore, Minister for the Environment, has accepted our invitation to address the Club on November 30th. Some members would have met the Minister at our Anniversary dinner, but for those who did not this is a great opportunity to exchange views with him.
Like his predecessor, Bob Carr, now leader of the apposition, Tim Moore is a keen bushwalker. He is also a rock-climber, a caver and a conservationist. One of his earliest political acts was to write to the Member for Gordon protesting against the mining of Colong Caves. He later protested against the Lake Pedder dam and is glad that the Franklin scheme did not go ahead. He has frequently advocated a bi-partisan (i.e. non-Party) approach to conservation, and both as Shadow Minister for Conservation and then Minister, has been readily approachable.
Together with representatives of the Total Environment Centre, The A.C.F., the Wilderness Society and the Blue Mountains Environment Council and the Water Board Catchment Manager, I had the pleasure of walking down Starlight's track to the Nattai with the Minister on October 2nd and 3rd. It was a most enjoyable overnight walk and we had ample opportunity to discuss nature conservation issues. It appears that the principal difficulty with the Nattai National Park proposal (to which the SBW contributed) is opposition from the Department of Mineral Resources on the grounds that the coal seams in the area might be worth mining. In view of the fact that there have been six unsuccessful attempts to establish mines in the area this seems unlikely. There are great quantities of coal elsewhere in the State, but few streams like the Nattai with beautiful timbered banks virtually undamaged by flooding or stream siltation.
There are a number of issues which might be discussed with the Minister. Some of these are, I suggest:
The Government's declared policy of devoting more resources to existing parks rather than making extensive additions. It is true that the scope does not remain for additions, at least in the eastern part of the State, on the scale of recent years. But there are several large areas still available, such as the Nattai (75,000 ha), Coolongubra/Tantawanglo, Apsley Wild Rivers, 60 kilometres of the North Coast and the “pagoda” country. The reservation of many of the other large natural areas will increase pressure on the remainder, in which development may quickly proceed beyond the point of no return.
Off-road vehicles: Despite opposition within the NPWS to the use of these vehicles on tracks (as distinct from public roads) Mr. Moore is prepared to open the tracks to off-road vehicles, approaching each case “on its merits”.
Horse riding: What applies to off-road vehicles could equally apply to horse riding. Despite several requests, the Colong Foundation has failed to obtain a map of the route of the National Trail through parkland's.
Wilderness declaration: It is essential that this proceed as quickly as possible before wilderness areas are developed.
Mining in National Parks: Although Mr. Moore has emphatically declared that there will be no mining in national parks, the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy has initiated an investigation of the effect of wilderness reservations and national parks on mining potential.
The proposed power line within Kanangra/Boyd National Park.
There will, of course, be many other issues of interest to members. I would, however, appeal to members to confine their discussion to matters of concern to bushwalkers, and if they don't agree with Club conservation policy, to secure its amendment in our monthly general meetings before expressing their views to the Minister.
This month we report on the elevation to honorary membership of three of the Club members, Gordon Redmond to Honorary Non-active Member and Christa [Christa Younger] and Bob Younger to Honorary Active Members. Such honours are not lightly bestowed and represent many years of working for the Club. Such work is usually seen as a reward in itself. To confer honorary membership gives present members an opportunity to show their appreciation to members of past years for building the Club into the strong structure that it now is.
At recent meetings motions were proposed and carried that these members were to be offered honorary membership; Gordon (who no longer walks with SBW): Honorary Non-Active Membership and Christa and Bob Younger (who are still walking with the Club): Honorary Active Membership.
On behalf of all members, the Sydney Bushwalker congratulates Christa, Bob and Gordon.
by Alex Colley
The Committee's decision to confer Honorary Membership (non-active) on Gordon Redmond is a timely recognition of his many years of service to the Club. He held the view that the Club's best interest was served by its officers remaining in their jobs for a long period and set an example few can equal. He joined the club in 1961, became Treasurer in 1962, and with a break of two years held office continuously thereafter - quite likely a Club record. He was Treasurer for 7 years and two years later became Auditor and then later a Trustee. He brought a wealth of accounting and business experience to the task and simplified and clarified our accounts, ensuring that they soundly reflected our financial position.
Gordon is a good walker. He led many program walks, and in parties with Frank Leyden, Bill Cosgrove and others active a few years back, covered a good deal of country that was new or little known to the SBW. This included much of the Upper Wolgan and Capertee, little visited parts of the southern Blue Mountains, and several ten day walks on the upper tributaries of the Macleay, such as the Apsley, Kunderang Brook and the Muddy and Styx Rivers. We both have nostalgic recollections of the time when together we followed the Mitchell or Mann River from Glen Innes to Jackadgery. I don't think this has been done since.
Gordon brought the same dedication to his job as he did to his recreation. For a time he worked for a firm which was dead keen to increase sales irrespective of the credit worthiness of buyers. The firm appointed him to the tough position of credit manager. On one of our northern trips we passed through Walcha. Gordon - height 6 feet, weight 14 stone, in fine condition and wearing his shorts, looked every inch a heavyweight boxer on a training run. He decided to collect a two years overdue debt from a recalcitrant debtor. It took him less than 5 minutes to appear again, cheque in hand. Being uncertain of our fate in the gorges beyond, he posted it to his firm before we went on.
Gordon believes that participation in Club affairs brings its own reward, and it is to be hoped that others will follow his fine example.
Both Christa (nee Calnan) and Bob came to SBW in the middle 1940s, and have been doing a lot of things - including much bush walking - with and for the Club ever since. Amongst these sundry activities, Christa typed the Walks Program on to stencils for some years when our printing system was a Gestetner Duplicator; and apart from his term as President (1972-74) Bob has been leading walks for over 42 years, is involved with Search & Rescue, and has been prominent as compere at many Reunion campfires.
Betty Hall (member 1947-67) remembers: “Christa Younger was one of the first people I walked with on joining the SBW in 1947. Norma Rowen was her usual 'offsider' but I think Bob was somewhere in the background, although as a Tech student he had little time for bush walking or anything else! Over the years we shared many happy weekends at Era and attended Reunions with our respective families.
“My most vivid memory of Christa was on one of Max Gentle's trips down the Colo. Max navigated with an aircraft compass like a large crystal ball so we were never 'lost'. We were, however, somewhat behind timetable as we struck some unexpectedly rough country. Christa was one of those people who always looked neat in the bush but on this occasion, what with several river crossings and near exhaustion, she was almost unrecognisable and the other females were about the same. We finished the trip close to tears, but still carrying our own packs and Max's muttered accolade was 'If I'd known what it was going to be like, I wouldn't have taken any women with me!' - sexist but appreciated.
“My chief memory of Bob is as a photographer. The Club was a thriving matrimonial agency in those days and Phil and I were married just after Christa and Bob. Bob took a most interesting photograph of my being carried over the threshold of our new home. He is an excellent photographer but on this occasion he focussed on my legs and completely cut off everything else. I have always wondered if it was intentional!
“Bob and Christa have changed very little over the years. Christa still wears a slightly embarrassed look during Bob's less inhibited moments and Bob still hails his friends with his old bush call - a cross between a coo-ee and a wolf howl which causes a minor disturbance in suburban streets. They are a perfect union of opposites and long may they both continue exactly as they are.”
Jim Brown says: “Christa and Bob? Oh, yes, known 'em since my first walk with the Club in December '46 - Bob led it. They were - are - the sort of Club people who made you realise you just had to join 'em, or you were likely to miss out on the best thing you'd ever found. Now a couple of flash-backs from 1947….
1. Groping through belts of mist the party reaches the top of Gentles Pass in the Lower Gangerang. After a couple of days of searching rain, the boulders are damp and slippery and dribbles of water are oozing through the crevice that forms the easy way down. Some of the party elect to sit down and lower themselves over the dripping rocks and as they do so the robust baritone of Bob Younger - waiting at the bottom to arrest any glissading bodies - declaims to the tune of a pop song of the time -
“Slippery slip, slide and slide
First on your back, then on your side….”
2. A tired, dirty, dishevelled party huddles in the back of a truck returning from a walk on the Colo - the trip mentioned by Betty Hall, organised by Roley Cotter and navigated (with crystal ball) by the legendary figure Max Gentle. Note that name - it's significant. Colo trips were pretty rare in 1947 and this one, including two descents into the Colo Valley and two climbs out of it, had been rugged enough.
As clouds of dust swirl in under the canvas canopy of the truck the weary walkers discuss their plans for the Labour Day Holiday - three weeks away. Bob Younger asks “What are you doing, Jim?” and I answer “I've an invite to go from Putty to Gospers Mountain - another Roley and Max epic”. “Ah,” says Christa, ever so sweetly, “another Gentle trip?”
Meryl Watman (member 1949-87) tells in the magazine of March 1962 of the Youngers organising and leading a six-day summer walk in the Australian Alps, accompanied by Bill Hall and herself. Day 5, from White's River to Tin Hut along Disappointment Spur and around the shoulders of Gungartan proved reasonably strenuous, but as Meryl has it “Given good leadership, fine weather plus early starts, even medium walkers can cover a fair bit of ground at an easy pace and, most important of all, enjoy it … a great trip, Bob.”
And Bill Capon has his two bobs worth: -
“Easter 1988. Jammed into a slot on Hamlets Crown high above Ettrema Creek, rope around tree waiting for the party. First to appear through the mist at the top of the 500 metre climb was Bob. Not bad for 65 I thought. Always cheerful when the going gets tough. Last year we tried to climb out of Holland Gorge to Mount Elliott but ended up on Kirkpatrick Creek camping with leeches. Bob got the fire going and then cheered everyone up with his stories of yesteryear.
Bob began walking with the Club in the 1940s. As far as I know he is the only member of the old guard still regularly going on solid Club walks and has been on quite a few walks I have led in recent years. Like many others I'm looking forward to Bob's company in the coming years.”
And Barbara Bruce has the last word:-
“I have known Bob and Christa now for many years so I have had lots of opportunities to experience and observe Bob is quick to assist anyone in need, physically or otherwise. He also possesses a wicked sense of humour. Christa is a very caring person who prefers to stay out of the limelight. She is a very strong and capable lady but it is easy to tell from her demeanour that she is also very warm and gentle. While Bob has been more in front in activities with the club, Christa has still been there in the background: Bob may have been President but Christa was the reliable typist of our Walks Program (on stencils) for quite a long time.”
by Deborah Shapira
It was a windy morning when we set off at 7 am to take half the cars to Pike's Saddle to begin the walk. Yes, 7 am, you read it correctly - after all this walk was graded medium/hard, AND this was after we'd had to travel in a stupendous traffic jam on the Mittagong Freeway along with the rest of the world's fun-in-the-sun holiday makers the previous evening. So we set off at a brisk trot down and up and down and up and down the 27 km fire trail that would lead us to the Deua River at Bendethera. While enjoying morning tea at Breakfast Creek (a different one) we watched with interest a couple of 4WDs negotiate a big puddle and then a muddy embankment. These drivers were in fact the beginning of quite a procession of various groups all heading for the large grassy banks of the Deua River at Bendethera. Some had so much gear they looked as if they were going to form a permanent settlement, while others looked as if they were heading to a hotel resort attired in dresses and stockings and carrying large fancy looking suitcases. I did not personally find this offensive (to each their own) except that many vehicles bore stickers with slogans such as “Vehicle Access to more Wilderness Areas”. Not such a problem if the group is environmentally conscious and conscientious (after all we depend a lot on such access at times), except that the group with the most stickers was enjoying lots of morning tea-breaks accompanied by the throwing of beer cans and other litter about. Perhaps their idea of wilderness is to turn the whole countryside into a large tip. Naturally, a lot of discussion ensued within our group as we went all the faster in order to find our own idea of a wilderness experience.
Later, in the afternoon, having reached the Deua we made our way from what looked like a large encampment and finally left the remains of accessible track behind to have our own “invasion” in a secluded but smallish campsite. This was at 5.30 pm. We still managed happy hour, dinner and the after dinner happy hour, the chief point of discussion being as to who was going to offload their goodies first.
The next morning we started walking at 7 am. We followed the general north direction of the river but generally walked across the loops (up and over in reality). At one point, we had to do a particularly yukky sidle but we pressed on with the promise of morning tea when we reached the river again. “At least the leader likes to have meals, too,” I thought to myself. Then after a late morning tea (everything is relative to when you start) we came to an idyllic looking property whereupon one of the party discovered he had left his camera at morning tea. Therefore we crossed the river and proceeded with lunch while he went back to retrieve it.
As we were speculating on probable vehicle access to the property some 4WDs materialised. One of the drivers came over to ask our advice about getting through closed roads, but although we were friendly we were unable to assist. Once again we on a trail until reaching Wyanbene Creek where we camped in a beautiful position. Again, there were many goodies to distribute.
We had a late start the next day - 7.30 am. We ambled up the creek which was very pretty, although I did not like having to be the pathfinder through a high growth of nettles. When we approached what appeared to be our climbing ridge we had morning tea whilst admiring the gradient to be climbed. This turned out to be rather scree and steep in places. The ridge we had to walk out from appeared to have been witness to some recent horrific tempests as there were massive uprooted trees and logs all over the place.
Then it was a 5 km trot back to the cars (50%) and the Shoalhaven River where we had a bit of a wash while waiting for the drivers. A very well organised walk, although I wish to report that I wasn't the only one hobbling about at dinner after 70 km!!!
The participants were:-
Carol Bruce, Greta Davis, George Gamble, Lynne Jones, Geoff McIntosh, Jim Oxley, John Porter (leader), Les Powell, Morag Ryder, Deborah Shapira, Barry Wallace.
10 seater mini bus taxi. 047-87 8366.
Kanangra Boyd. Upper Blue Mountains. Six Foot Track.
Pick up anywhere for start or finish of your walk - by prior arrangement.
Share the fare - competitive rates.
by Frank Rigby
(Part 2 ended with Helen Gray, Barbara Bruce and Joan and Frank Rigby relaxing in Taiohae after walking across the island of Nuku Hiva)
“The Aranui departs Taiohae on Thursday” - Source 1.
“The Aranui departs Taiohae on Friday” - Source 2.
“The Aranui has already called at Ua Pou. It will now sail direct to Tahiti” - Source 1.
“The Aranui will call at Ua Pou as usual” - Source 2.
It was Tuesday afternoon.
Two different answers to the same question! By now, though, we merely shrugged our shoulders and resurrected the familiar observation “This is Polynesia!” Nonetheless, the right answer was important since we were depending on this itinerant vessel to take us to Ua Pou. As Aranui was not then in port we had no way of checking with the horse's mouth although this particular horse was quite likely to have a couple of mouths at least!
Oh well, just relax in the pension, tour the village, walk to the next bay, buy some food at the Chinese store (Californian peaches at $18 per kg, ouch, not for us thank you, apples from Darke's Forest NSW of all places and don't ask the price please but it's exorbitant, amazing what you find in those Marquesan stores and don't complain about the prices because the metre-long French sticks are dirt cheap and scrumptious, thank heavens for small mercies), talk, cook, eat, talk again, sleep, write letters, wash your clothes, practise your French on some poor victim, stroll down the road to see if Ua Pou is out or Aranui is in and the time soon passes.
“Aranui's in!” It was Thursday morning. Barbara and I raced down to the wharf to learn our fate. The ship was indeed departing that day, in fact in two hours' time, and she was NOT going to Ua Pou like the Typical Itinerary said she ought to. Source 1 had been on the ball after all. We now got to work on the Captain and what with my gesticulations and Barbara's charm we somehow managed to change his mind for him. Aranui would make a special call at Ua Pou to let off these crazy Anglo-Saxons who were so poor that they could travel in no better style than the local Polynesians. Amazing! Perhaps he just wanted to see the last of us.
Sailing out of the bay we naturally thought we were now on our way to the island of spires and that would be the last of Nuku Hive. How wrong we were. This is Polynesia! Aranui turned westwards along the coast and we learned that our destination was Hakatea Bay, otherwise known to the yachties as Daniel's Bay after Daniel, a famous English-speaking Marquesan who has entertained them for years with his stories.
What the devil would happen next? Helen was overjoyed because she had longed to walk to this place but the uncertainty of the track and the shortage of time had discouraged me. (I'm not so sure, though, that Helen shared my caution because she can be a determined lady when she sets her mind to an adventure.) Anyway, wonder of wonders, there we were doing it in comfort, if not in style, instead; actually, Aranui took less than an hour to do what might have been a full day's walk, even for the tigers in SBW. One felt like forgiving the old tub for all her faults and her unpredictable wanderings.
And what did we see? I really don't think I can do justice to that landscape with words, it would be better left to an expert photographer or an artist. But briefly, there arose a great escarpment some 500 metres high, rising straight from the sea and the valley beyond and stretching inland as far as the eye could penetrate. It was mostly vivid green but also rocky brown in parts and the complex folding of the steep slopes was unbelievably beautiful when the sun caught the numerous spurs and prominences; and when the squalls of misty rain arrived that landscape possessed a very special atmospheric mood that reminded me somehow of the vanished Lake Pedder in Tasmania's south-west. If this place were in Australia it would certainly be a National Park and might even be loved to death. Here it was safe, at least for the time being.
The whaleboats started to take people ashore and the three female members of the party (God bless 'em) upheld our reputation by joining a mixed bag of tourists, crew and local passengers for a five kilometre walk up the valley to glimpse the renowned Vaipo waterfall, the highest in the Marquesas. The lone male member, who was having his “off-day”, decided to remain on board and just be a slob. He was, however, rewarded for his slobbery by being able to absorb the scenery at infinite leisure.
A rumour was circulating, at least among the English-speaking fraternity, that we were returning to Taiohae. It was hard to believe but it turned out to be true. Would we never get to Ua Pou? But of course we did, the very next day; thankfully the Captain had not forgotten us although I kept an eye on the course, ready to storm the Bridge if the bow pointed towards Tahiti. I couldn't help reflecting on our sources of information. Aranui departed Taiohae on both Thursday and Friday so both were right on that score but only Source 2 foretold that the ship would call at Ua Pou. I concluded that Source 2 must be a clairvoyant and therefore would be invaluable amongst all the uncertainties of Polynesia. What a pity we would never see him again.
They hoisted a whaleboat, with us inside it, over the ship's side. Everyone on board had come out on deck to watch and I felt momentarily important. But shortly we stepped ashore at Hakahau, Ua Pou's chief village, the conspicuous spires now soaring skywards right in our backyard. A new phase of our Marquesan adventure was surely about to begin.
To be continued.
by Spiro Hajinakitas
Gary Duncan of G.D.Duncan & Assoc. Pty. Ltd, insurance brokers, addressed the meeting, copies of the Liability Insurance Policy were distributed to all. For a cost of $1.50 per member The Commercial Union Assurance Co of Aust would insure a minimum of 4500 members of FBW for a maximum cover of $2,000,000 per claim. The proposed policy would cover person to person claims, would cover all activities of the Clubs provided these activities did not involve aircraft or seacraft longer than 3 metres in length. If FBW did not attain the required 4500 members to participate, the Company would entertain making up the shortfall by increasing the $1.50 per member levy. Gary pointed out that not all claims would necessarily reach the courtroom as (1) Commercial Union may decide to settle out of court and (2) the Judge may decide that there is no case to answer. If a matter did reach the courtroom stage, the Company would pay the legal costs which in this day and age were considerable. Gary stated that Commercial Union was a highly respected Insurance company, in his opinion, one of the best. At this stage 3 or 4 councillors expressed dissatisfaction with some of Gary's answers pertaining to certain definitions and a heated exchange occurred… Finally Gordon thanked Gary for his attendance and he left the meeting. Denise Krus (ANC) handed out another Policy from the Norwich Winterthur Insurance (Aust) Ltd for Clubs to study as an alternative policy, although Denise warned, this new policy did not cover activities other than bushwalking. Councillors are again urged to confer with their Clubs and attend the November FBW meeting as a solicitor will be present to answer all queries.
The search for the missing plane 8/9 October was attended by 64 people. Two helicopters assisted in the search, the plane was again not located
A meeting took place with Ambulance Paramedics to discuss roles and co-operation.
The “Foolish Person” legislation appears to have not been scrapped. Tim Moore will have to be approached to clear the matter up.
Eye-catching stall attracted a good crowd. The meeting thanked all who helped.
(1) SBW invite any Club representatives to attend the meeting on 30/11/88 to hear the Environment Minister, Mr Tim Moore address the meeting and answer questions.
(2) Wedderburn Koala Park Preservation Committee. Clubs and individuals are urged to write to the Government protesting against the development of this unique reserve.
(3) Nature Conservation Council meeting on 12/11/88 re Coastal Development Conference.
(4) NPWS has increased the penalties for people caught picking wild flowers.
Australian Made is great!
* National Maps
3 Trelawney St (PO Box 131) Eastwood NSW 2122.
Phone us today & say “G'Day”.
by Ainslie Morris & Mike Reynolds
Our first walk was in warm and gentle Sussex. Other people had taken a fancy to it before us. The Celts found dense woodland in 4,000 BC, and took until 100 BC to chop it all down. They hadn't heard of clear-felling, but we are “luckier”; our southeast forests of NSW will soon be like the uplands of Britain, smooth as a baby's bum. The Celts built “Duns” or hill forts (hence the name “downs”) and left 2,000 burial termuli on these hills of chalk. Facing the English Channel, these low hills were the first place the Romans got to, and they left finely built villas such as Fishbourne Palace (near Chichester) which add a bit of spice to a twentieth century walk. But it wasn't the Romans who wiped out the Celts; it was the Saxons. They settled in villages below on the Weald and left the deserted Downs to the sheep. And so the land use remained until recent years when cultivation of crops spread.
We began our walk wading through a field of high wheat and gazing over barley waving in the breeze. Our morning tea consisted of soft sweet-tasting peas fresh-picked as we strolled by.
The Weald to the north is a patchwork of fields, scattered with charming villages of thatched cottages. The Weald is visible always as you walk along the Way, the sea is to the south. Then came Norman influence in churches and castles. Being of stone, they are evident here as in other parts of Britain. They are not, however, the only ancient buildings of interest, as the villages retain many medieval houses and schools and market places, and these have been wonderfully preserved. You can drop off the Downs Way to visit them or to use them for bed-and-breakfasts; an excellent example is Steyning.
We set out one fine but windy morning from Mike's mother's house in Lancing, after stocking up at the local health shop. We realise Mike's Mum would be surprised if we wanted to start there too, but we could get a train from London to Lancing (15 pounds return) and start at the station. It is about ten minutes walk from the Downs; you could get maps and the guide book “South Downs Way” by S. Jenneth at Victoria Station's excellent bookshop. Lancing (near Worthing) is also close to Gatwick Airport. Anyway, we decided to leave out the eastern end of the Way from Eastbourne as it overlooks the build up Brighton area for a good half of the walk. So we headed west from Lancing for four days along the ridge of the downs to South Harting, close to the Sussex-Hampshire border.
The first day took us over Steepdown towards the dip in the crest of the downs at Findon Gap, past places with names like Cow Bottom Hovel and Long Mile Bottom, past the ramparts of the Iron Age earthworks of Cissbury Ring to the clump of beech trees called Chandonbury Ring. This sits on the skyline like a dark blot, and is one of the best known landmarks of this part of Sussex. Sadly, the Ring now looks very ragged and worse for wear, for on the night of October 16th, 1987, Southern England was swept by a typhoon, with wind speeds higher than any previously recorded in Britain (well over 160 km.p.h.). Much damage was done to property, and the stately trees of the parks, gardens, and countryside were uprooted in their hundreds. The soil on the South Downs is a thin layer over the chalk, and the shallow-rooted beeches suffered particularly badly in that terrible storm.
We camped that first night in a grassy hollow on Kithurst Hill, looking down on the little town of Storrington. Finding water can be a problem because there is no surface water on the Downs, as it all sinks into the porous chalk with almost no run off. However, we were able to get water from drinking troughs installed for cattle and sheep. These troughs are fed from the mains, with a floating ball cistern to control the flow. By pressing down on the ball, a supply of good drinking water can be obtained. Being able to get water we were able to free camp more on this walk than on any others we did.
On our second day we made a detour from the South Downs Way to see Parham House, an Elizabethan country mansion, and its collection of furniture and artworks. Unfortunately we had chosen a day when the house was closed! (Be warned - check in advance for details of opening times and days if a detour is involved, especially on Mondays.) Having made the 700 ft descent from the Downs we were glad a public footpath passed through the Deer Park close to the house, so that we could at least see the outside of this lovely 400 year old house.
[ Sketch: South Downs Way - heading west up the chalky path (also a bridle and cycle way). The Arun River meanders between the villages of Houghton and Amberley. The track descents between the chalk pits in distance. ]
We returned to the route at Amberley Village (via an Inn and a half pint of warm shandy). Here you can visit the Amberley Chalkpits Industrial Museum, all open air and with active exhibits such as a working blacksmith, potter, and rides on a vintage omnibus.
We crossed the valley of the River Arun (the only river to cut through this western end of the South Downs to the sea) at Houghton, and climbed back onto the Downs to camp on Bignor Hill, close to a still visible stretch of the Roman road known as Stane Street, and not far from the remains of a Roman villa with fine mosaic floors. That evening the weather deteriorated, and we spent the night and following morning enveloped in a cold dank blanket of low cloud.
The weather cleared later that morning and as we progressed westwards towards Hampshire, the Downs became more densely wooded, and the dry chalky track and extensive views to north and south gave way to long stretches of path through green tunnels of hazel and beech, holly and yew, where in wet weather it could get very sticky underfoot. Our third and final night's camp on the South Downs Way was under the spreading branches of beech trees that had survived the great storm. We reasoned that if they had stood up to that, they were unlikely to fall on us that calm night!
We finished our walk by continuing west over Beacon Hill - with more Iron Age defence ramparts - to South Harting and an excellent pub lunch. The afternoon was spent in a National Trust “Stately Home” - Uppark House, just outside South Harting. A fortunate lift took us to Emsworth on the coast just in time for a train back to our starting point at Lansing. We had seen quite a few day walkers during our trip, especially at points where roads came up onto the Downs, but very few pack-carrying “overnighters”, and for much of the time we had the broad green Downs quite to ourselves.
By no means a strenuous walk, but a delightful introduction to the charms of the English countryside.
To be continued.
(A map of England & Wales will be included in the next issue)
by Warwick Blayden.
Jim Brown's request for information in the September issue of the magazine raises more questions than it answers, and I hope this short note might clarify the matter slightly.
In January 1833 Surveyor William Govett was in the area and presumably noted a range on his map, between the Kowmung River and Butcher's Creek, for it was known as Govett's Main Range for some time.
The name Scott does not appear listed in the early residents of the Burragorang Valley so perhaps Scott was a later surveyor. There is however a stronger case for the alternative name “Kiaramba Ridge/Range”.
Probably due to a poor water supply, and the fact that the Burragorang Valley (Cox's River) was the main thoroughfare, Scott's Main Range does not appear to have been settled prior to 1900, though a bridle track of sorts existed between Byrne's Gap and the summit of the range opposite the western Mount Wonga Wonga.
As early as the 1860's stock were driven from the Megalong Valley down the Cox to Apple Tree Flat near Cedar Creek. There, to avoid the rough section of river near Kill's Defile, a zig-zag trail ascended the eastern flanks of Mount Cookem, then along Scott's and down to the Cox's River opposite McMahon's Farm and Lookout.
Round the turn of the century timber cutters entered the rugged Kowmung Valley and eventually resorted to cutting a trail from the Cox's River (opposite McMahon's Lookout) onto the main range then down to the foot of the Gingra Range. This became known as the Cedar Road. This access route apparently encouraged graziers to establish huts or outstations on top of the range with the earliest dating from about 1907.
Though far from the Cedar Road, Mary Ellen Feld took up a Crown Lease at “Kiaramba” about the same time, presumably to secure one of the few watering holes along the range.
When Myles Dunphy planned his early long distance trips in the Blue Mountains the only map he had available was the Tourist District of the Blue Mountains, Illawarra & Southern Highlands issued by the Immigration & Tourist Bureau in 1910. This contained a number of blank areas, showed Konangaroo as a village, and indicated a bridle route east of Konangaroo Walls (Kanangra). This route proceeded from Kanangra over to Scott's Main Range where it joined another bridle track from Yerranderie - the junction of which was called “Kiaramba”.
As one of the old residents from the Burragorang Valley reflected:
The water's over Nattai Bridge
The last mail has been run,
And lonely Kiaramba Ridge
Glows in the setting sun.
Don't forget the dance at “Coolana” on 10th December to christen the new dance floor. Next day you can go swimming or walking - or talking. A mini-Reunion. See you there.
by Peter Dyce
Since writing my last article another travel incident has come to mind. On a steep, narrow mountain road in Yugoslavia, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Betty and I had hired a tiny red 900 cc Opel car in Frankfurt which carried us safely through Bavaria, Austria and into Yugoslavia. The trouble started when descending a mountain road I noticed a number of sharp rocks lying on its surface and was unlucky to strike one with a rear wheel.
Immediately there was a hiss of air as the tire deflated. I pulled over against the cliff, there being a drop of hundreds of feet on the other side, chocked the wheels, jacked up the car, got the wheel brace to undo the four black nuts, when alas, the nuts were too large for the wheel brace. What to do? Four Yugoslavs in an old car came chugging up the mountain. They offered to help, after asking if I knew their uncle in Melbourne. Unfortunately their wheel brace also did not fit the wheel nuts of my Opel. They drove off promising to come back with a suitable spanner.
Then a minor miracle happened. A little Opel, the same model, the same red colour as mine, with four nuns in it came up the hill and stopped on my signal. I explained to the elderly Mother Superior that I wanted to borrow her wheel brace. She was pleased to assist, pulled on her hand brake and got out to open the boot. That was when disaster almost struck. She had parked on the edge of the steep drop. No sooner had she left her car than it started to roll back, the three young nuns left sitting in the car shrieking with fear. I pushed the Mother Superior to the ground in my wild panic to reach the hand brake through the open window. The car stopped with the rear wheel on the edge of the precipice.
After all that her wheel brace also did not fit. As I pondered the situation in disbelief a Volkswagon driven by a German stopped to help. He looked at me as if I was a creature of inferior intelligence and pulled off the black plastic dress nuts to expose the metal nuts underneath. It was then that my wheel brace suddenly fitted perfectly.
No sooner had I changed the wheel than the four Yugoslavs with an uncle in Melbourne arrived back with a wheel brace borrowed from a garage some forty kilometres away. I explained how we had been tricked by the black plastic “dress” nuts. They thought the whole episode a huge joke and we parted exchanging addresses.
When Betty and I arrived at the next town we found we could not buy a new tire to replace the one damaged by the rock. We were directed to a tire repair establishment. The manager looked at the fist-sized hole, shook his head and said he would try to repair it, but it would be expensive. I said “Go ahead”. Four hours later the tire was ready, having gone through a complicated and lengthy repair process while Betty and I waited. I was given the bill, two closely typed itemised pages, with a large amount in Yugoslav dinars to pay. The manager apologized for the size of the bill, explaining the numerous processes involved in the repair. I got my calculator to convert to Australian currency and found to my amazement the total cost was $2.75.
The little Opel took us safely back to Frankfurt through the Italian and French Rivieras and via the Swiss Alps. The only other incident occurred when the red oil warning light came on on the dash in France. I pulled up immediately and lifted the bonnet. The engine bay was a black mess of oil, thrown out through the oil filler hole, with the cover missing, obviously not replaced by a careless garage attendant. I obtained some oil from a nearby garage, had the oily mess steam cleaned and had no further drama all the way back to Germany.
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A large range of lightweight, quality, bushwalking & camping gear:
We stock the largest range of canoeing gear in N.S.W.
Quality touring craft of all types. High quality, performance competition craft.
by Barry Wallace
There were around 30 members present when the President cal1ed the meeting to order at 2015 and called for apologies. Keith Perry was the only member to have sent an apology, so we moved on to new members. Sure enough the only member for welcome, it being an exceedingly lean month for that sort of thing, was Keith Perry, who was absent with apology last month! Is it possible that Keith and Chris take it in turns to come to the meetings?
The minutes of last month's meeting were read and received, with the glorious news that the Club's Gestetner duplicator has at last found a new home with the C.M.W. Club.
Correspondence brought the FBW September meeting minutes, a letter of thanks from CMW for the duplicator, and acceptance of honorary membership from Gordon Redmond.
The Walks Report was next, beginning with the FBW Ball on the 16th September, attended by 25 SBW representatives. The real walks for that weekend saw Ian Wolfe leading a party of 5 on his Kosciusko cross-country ski trip. Friday and Saturday saw the party battling with rain and high winds and after that the weather deteriorated, so they came home. Carol Bruce's Kanangra Boyd trip, led by Greta Davis…. was cancelled. Alan Mewitt led a party of 15 through doubtful weather on his Starkey Ridge, Mathews Ridge trip and there was no report of Joe Marton's Kuringai Park walk.
The following weekend, 23,24,25 September saw a team of 12 descend on Coolana with shovels and cement mixers and other implements of construction to re-lay the floor of the hut in a more durable form. They also tested a brush-cutter and found it wanting, so it's back to the drawing boards as far as tick eradication is concerned. Bill Capon had 13 on his Morton N.P. trip that same weekend, enjoying windy weather on the Saturday and calm, fine conditions on the Sunday. Somehow or other Bill managed to lose a compass on the trip. Jan Mohandas, leading a team of sprinters, completed the Six-Foot Track by 1600 hours. It seems they almost missed their support party in all the haste. There was no report of either Derek Wilson's or Peter Christian's walks.
The Labour Day weekend, Sept 30/Oct 1,2,3 saw John Porter leading a party of 11 on his Deua River trip in warm and windy conditions. Alan Doherty reported 17 on his Widden Valley walk, and was it Chris Perry or Ian Wolfe who reported 8 starters on Chris's Kosciusko cross-country ski trip? They endured through a rainy day to be rewarded with a fall of snow and good conditions for the rest of the weekend.
The weekend of 7,8,9 October saw Jan Mohandas and 8 others taking an extended weekend to complete the Three Peaks walk. They pushed along well enough to complete it in three days, just as well it seems, for Oliver had failed to arrange a day off on the Monday. Carol Bruce and John Porter took a party of 10 to camp on Pantoney's Crown and celebrate the Walks Sec's birthday. They described a range of interesting weather effects, though whether these were of meteorological or metabolic origin is unclear. The FBW S & R exercise attracted some 60 people, of whom 2 appear to have been SBW. They did not find the aircraft. Paul Mawhinney had 20 starters and some train problems on his Waterfall to Waterfall walk, and Dot Butler reported an attendance of around 30 at a barbecue held in honour of a visit by Ross Wyborn, an earlier member of the Club now living in Canada.
The Walks Report was followed by a showing of slides taken on various recent walks. The Federation Report is covered elsewhere in the magazine.
The Treasurer's Report brought advice that we earned income of $539, spent $773 and closed the month with a balance of $10,863.
There was no Conservation report as our Conservation Secretary, Alex Colley, is yet again lain aside with a tennis injury. We begin to wonder just what sort of tennis Alex plays.
General Business brought the traditional motions that the Reunion be held at Coolana and that Spiro be appointed as convenor. Both motions were passed.
Announcements brought an early reminder that Tim Moore, NSW Minister for the Environment, will be speaking at the meeting on 30 November. There was also mention of a disease, called Lymes disease, carried by ticks. This can be serious if untreated. There will be more information in the magazine some time soon. On this somewhat sombre note the meeting closed at 2128.
Beverly Foulds has discovered this pattern among the millions of knitting patterns and books which inhabit the earth. Bev has test knitted the balaclava and I'm very happy to say that it fits me perfectly. The instructions are written in a sort of English that knitters understand. My phone can be used as a hotline for knitters in trouble. EDITOR.
by Ian Debert
A musical night with the “Scrub Bashers” was held on 25th October which everyone there enjoyed. They are a very talented group, all members of SBW who have sung and played together and built a great repertoire over the years. We are fortunate to have such a group in the Club and members who did not turn up certainly missed a great night.
On Wednesday 23rd November, Jill Bould will be along from Canoe World at Gladesville to talk on canoes, how to paddle them, which ones to buy, how to look after them and general information on them. Do you own a canoe?
December 21st is the Club Christmas Party. It will be held at the clubrooms and people are asked to bring a plate of party food along, but the Club will supply drinks. Come along and enjoy a good night and meet old friends.
The “Coolana Barn Dance” will be held on the weekend of 10th/llth December. Come and dance the night away with the Hootananny Band. There will also be swimming, liloing, and possibly a walk if the weather is not too hot.
The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc.
Test walks should fulfil at least TWO of the following criteria:
A. Minimum distance walked 20 km (one-day walks)
B. Minimum distance walked 30 km (two-day walks)
C. Maximum of 50% on track walking
D. Minimum of 300 metres of ascents and descents
E. Minimum of 2 km rock-hopping
F. Rock scrambling
Any or all of the above conditions may be waived by Committee upon application by:
A. Any member who has led a club walk and feels that their walk was of a sufficient standard to be regarded as a test walk.
B. Any prospective who has completed a club walk and feels that their walk was of a sufficient standard to be regarded as a test walk.
The Committee, at its meeting on 7 September 1988 decided to adopt the above guidelines for determining whether walks should be accorded test status. It is emphasised that these are guidelines only, not rigid rules.
Any walks leader who considers a walk to be of test standard although not complying with the guidelines should apply to the Committee for grading as a test walk.
Notice is hereby given that at the next General Club Meeting, 14th December, a debate of any proposed change in location of the Club Rooms will take place, and that the Committee be empowered to act quickly if such a place becomes available.
The NSW Wilderness Calendar, 1989, complete with superb 25 x 28 cm Henry Gold colour prints of Broken Head, Kanangra Deep, Dorrigo, Kaputar, Washpool, Genoa River, Sturt, Bogong Peaks, Colo River, Tinderry Mountain, Wallaga Lake and Snowy Mountains:
$8 from Alex Colley in the Clubroom or $10 posted from the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, 18 Argyle Street, Sydney, 2000.
Also - Henry Gold Wilderness Postcards, $1 each in the Clubroom or sets of 10 posted from the above address for $10.
There is sufficient space below each number in the date tables on the calendar to record your engagements. They are much appreciated as Christmas presents. The postcards are very suitable as Christmas cards on which you can write your own message. The cards and calendars are available from most booksellers, but if you obtain them from the Colong Foundation the retail margin will be used for wilderness preservation.
Environment 1. The Minister for the Environment has started a newsletter called “State of the Environment”. We already have the first edition and hope to get on the mailing list for future issues.
Environment 2. Extracted from “State of the Environment, No.1”:- National Parks Safe. The future of the State's national parks and wilderness areas has been subject to considerable speculation since the election of the Greiner Government. During a visit to Kosciusko National Park, I gave an unequivocal commitment to protect these areas. Any proposals to roll back the boundaries of the parks will be “over my dead body”. A political consensus that national parks and their wilderness areas should be safe forever has been reached by all the major political parties. Put simply, we've locked up the national parks and thrown away the keys. I sincerely hope that this buries the issue for all time.
Snowfields safe too. No more areas will be carved out of Kosciusko's fragile ecosystem by developers.
Environment 3. This month we have “Meet the Minister”. Tim Moore M.P. our own NSW Minister for the Environment (there is also a Federal Minister for the Environment) will be coming to our clubrooms to talk on matters environmental. There was a notice included in last month's Sydney Bushwalker. Your Committee particularly wants to have an extremely good attendance at the meeting. Of the 500 odd members we want more than the miserable 30 or so who turn-up. The 30 people are not miserable, it's the other 470 odd who may well be. So find your SBW badge, remove the dust and wear it on 30 November when you come to “Meet the Minister”. The Clubrooms are located at the following Street Directory references: Gregory's map 167: K6 - UBD map 66: M2.
Environment 4. To entice you to attend the “Meet the Minister” evening, not Wollies Cash Saver stamps but a lucky door prize for a lucky SBW member or lucky SBW prospective member. This will be drawn by our guest of honour, if he agrees. You must be there at the drawing to win and belong to SBW.
This month more instalments of our serials “When a Girl Marries an Englishman and then has to go Walking in England”, and “Les Aventures des Kids Katzenjamer - Parlez Vous Bushwalking en Polynesie”. I'm told by the authors that the ends are in sight and that soon all will return home.
Last month Dot Butler led a party around the boundaries of Coolana in order to show the location of the corner pegs. It saves a lot of hassles if you know where they are as corner pegs are very timid and shy and have a habit of hiding themselves. The fish on the menu for the evening was found to be two fish, one inside the other. Both were eaten.
And the wounded continue. Alex Colley when testing the strength of his once broken but now healed arm ended up in hospital again, but with a hernia this time. He should be up and about in order to Meet the Minister.
The bush fire season has started in a destructive and fatal manner. Extreme care should be taken with camp fires during the summer months. If in doubt, don't light a fire, or if already alight put it out. Err on the side of caution.
I would like to run a report next month on what to do if caught in a bush fire. Can one quick author get in contact with me ASAP.
Note 1: The clubrooms will be closed on 28th December '88 and 4th and 11th January '89. You may have to re-read the walks program or the magazine for any alterations to walks and social events.
Note 2: Guidelines for Test Walks. These are included in this issue of the Sydney Bushwalker (see page 17) so that you won't lose them. Last month they were a separate handbill which may become lost.
It's a bit late now but any people, organisations, shops etc with Christmas gift suggestions or discounts to SBW members can contact me for inclusion in the December magazine.