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 (except 27/9/89 and 4/10/89). To advertise in this magazine please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||Morag Ryder, Box 347 PO, Gladesville 2111. Telephone 809 4241.|
|Business Manager||Anita Doherty, 2 Marine Crescent, Hornsby Heights, 2077.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Morag Ryder, Les Powell, Barrie Murdoch.|
|While the Billy Boils||The Editor||2|
|Bill Burke - Honorary Active||Bob Younger||3|
|The Saga of Zobel Gully||George Mawer||4|
|High on the Khumbu||Wendy Lippiatt & Sever Sternhell||7|
|Anyone Can Be a Good Cook - Part 2||Stuart Brooks||10|
|Conservation - Kanangra-Boyd Sold?||11|
|Yes, Accidents DO Happen||11|
|Kakadu Capers||Russel Willis||12|
|The July General Meeting||Barry Wallace||15|
|Federation Notes||Jeff Bridger||16|
|Canoe & Camping - Gladesville & Kogarah Bay||6|
|Blackheath Taxis & Tourist Services||9|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||14|
I recently made one of my solo jaunts to Mt. Solitary. After looking around, I camped near Melvilles Lookout. Sitting beside my little fire, I kept thinking of what I had seen around the campsites. Not just the usual collection of foil, plastic bags and assorted filth, but something far more worrying.
The young trees are disappearing. Ragged stumps and green leafy twigs stuffed into bushes tell the story. It took me about 10 minutes to find enough wood for my fire, but everywhere there was evidence of people too lazy to search. They would much rather bring a tomahawk and show what superb axmen they are - by hacking down a sapling.
Camping areas such as Glenbrook are now denuded of all but the largest trees. Should popular campsites be supplied with firewood? Easy enough in such places as Audley or Glenbrook, but the top of Solitary is another matter. So is the foot of Cambage Spire, the Gingra track and the caves at Mount Owen. As increasing numbers of people go camping, readily available dead wood disappears, and the saplings follow soon after. Yet a cold night without a fire is a dismal prospect.
So what is the answer … any suggestions?
See you on the track …
Do you leave your camera at home because it might get wet? A pity, because creeks and rivers make great photographic subjects, and waterfalls are always best in the rainy season. Ever thought of using a water resistant camera when walking? One of the following might be useful.
|Make||Weight||Lens||Max Apert.||Focusing||Flash||Approx Price||Comments|
|Canon AS Aqua||385 g||35f||4.5||fixed||yes||$380||Waterproof to 10M. Floats.|
|Chinon Splash||370 g||35f||3.9||auto||yes||$329||Waterproof to 3 M|
|Konica||340 g||40-60||3.5-5.2||auto||yes||$420||Splash proof. Focus lock.|
|Minolta Weathermatic||400 g||35-50||3.5-5.6||auto||yes||$425||Waterproof to 5 M. Floats.|
|Olympus AF 1||225 g||35f||2.8||auto||yes||$400||Splash proof. Focus lock.|
by Bob Younger
Congratulations to Bill Burke on his award as an Honorary Active member of our fraternity.
Bill was one of the trustees of our property “Coolana” from its purchase in 1969 until we became a corporation and the rules changed. Bill also served as Business Manager for the Sydney Bushwalker magazine for many years. In addition to these official tasks Bill is one of the most reliable and experienced members of our organisation. He joined in 1938, just prior to the Second World War. Some of his early trips were with Bill Hall and Alex Colley, and Alex remembers Mrs Carlon saying in a horrified tone, “You are not taking that young lad on your tiger walks, are you?” Mr. and Mrs. Carlon ran a farm “Tyrol” on Galong Creek in the Megalong Valley and encouraged any bushwalker passing by to call in and let them know about their exploits and the activities of other bushwalkers they knew.
Alex also remembers Bill's early trepidation about joining a 33-mile walk along the Cox River and Cedar Creek with the legendary Gordon Smith and others of similar ilk. Bill acquitted himself with style and then undertook a more severe 45-miler. This type of activity suited him very well and he soon acquired a reputation in his own right despite being affectionately known as “Little Billy Burke” by the lady tigers. Bill Hall remembers an interlude on the Cox River during which Bill Burke announced that he would be joining the A.I.F. as soon as possible. Some members of the party tried to dissuade him from such a rash and perilous decision, pointing out the hazards of such an occupation. Bill disregarded this well-meant advice and joined up anyway.
This decision resulted in his involvement in quite a few of the major campaigns in the Middle East, the combat on Crete and eventually in New Guinea when Australian troops were recalled to defend Australia against invasion by the Japanese. Miraculously Bill survived all this mayhem and his letters home to the SBW Comforts Committee were published in the magazine and are a valued part of our archives.
My earliest recollections of Bill began in the late 1940 to early 1950s when he and his family attended reunions and regularly joined the clan at SBW campsites at Era on summer weekends. Since then Bill has 'led a lot of bushwalks in different and interesting areas in New South Wales and has participated in extended trips in Tasmania and New Zealand. Bill is renowned for his concern for new members and the effect of occasional hardships on his walking companions. This concern is exemplified by his willingness to join the Federation of Bushwalkers Search and Rescue team when called upon to lend a hand.
The challenge of navigating and exploring new country appeals to Bill and he has quite a few “firsts” to his credit. Another of his “firsts” ls the introduction of “Happy Hour” before the evening meal on bushwalks. The serving of hot lemon barley water with a dash of rum is now almost obligatory on winter walks. This practice is consistent with Bill's interest in good catering which results in good meals and his advice in the production of interesting food lists is much in demand.
Ski-ing is probably another first for Bill as many members have been introduced to this activity during holidays at his Kandahar Ski Lodge in the Perisher Valley. Bill has acted as “Mine Host” at this most comfortable lodge for at least 25 years. That's a lot of ski-ing.
Someone reminded me of Bill's great adage that “The Lord will provide” and this has been vindicated on more than one occasion. The most revered occurred when a party was assessing the difficulty of crossing a swiftly flowing and flooded river. Bill had no sooner restated his well-known faith in divine providence when a large truck appeared from nowhere and delivered the party safely through the torrent.
Good on you Bill! Congratulations once again on your Honorary Active Membership.
On the 27th/28th of May, George Newer and Carol Lubbers decided to explore Zobel Gully. The route was: Mount Banks, Pierces Pass, Grose River, Zobel Gully, Explorers Range, Mount Banks. The result was as follows.
Last weekend in May, grey skys lower dull'y
I think I'll go exploring, try doing Zobel Gully
Talked to Kath and Jim Brown, George and Helen Gray
Seems its fairly easy and Carol can get away.
Two weeks ago we'd had, a quick look from the top
Got to the second waterfall, before we had to stop
Below was wider and clearer, coachwoods tall and slim
“Up from the bottom, thats the way” said Jim.
Saturday morning at Banks car park, cold dry and clear
Quick breakfast, last checks, of maps food and gear
Down Pierces Pass, to a noisy Grose River
“Can't cross that dry”, I started to shiver.
But we found a way over, with reasonable ease
With water not much higher up than our knees
Off on the trail, toward Blue Gums' tall trees
One stop for a nibble, same bickeys and cheese.
The day was now cloudy, but with view of the tops
Past Blue Gum and Govett's, we decided to stop
For lunch between Mount Hay, and Edgeworth David Head
Standing up in the rain, in a stoney river bed.
Not so many walkers down this way today
We've only seen five, since we got under way
One on the track with an air of presumption
The other four lunching, at Grose-Govett Junction.
All out for the day, 'just for pleasure' they said
And later tonight, they'll be home warm in bed
Not us, the explorers, we'll be down the Grose
So lets get a move on, the nights getting close.
Try to be there by four and make early camp
Have a big fire, get a little less damp
But time melted away, like mid summer hail
As we floundered along, on an old brumby trail.
We needed a camp on the left, not the right
In case tie Grose River should rise overnight
“Its bet that we cross now, before daylight can fade”
So we chose what to us, seemed a place we could wade.
But the water though slower, was deeper than guessed
And the icy cold stuff, came right up to my chest
I reached the far bank, threw my pack on the ground
Then back to grab Carol, before she was drowned.
She was just a bit short, for that stream on the day
And in very real danger, of floating away
We climbed up the bank, going higher and higher
To find us a camp site, a bit flatter and dryer.
But no luck, it kept getting thicker and thicker
Dense scrub, vines, saw grass, rocks, logs and bush litter
“Head downstream” said Carol, we try but can't progress
So back to the river bank, hell - what a mess!
An hour until dark, its raining and we're wet
Perhaps to cross back over, could be the best bet
Then up on our left, a sight most endearing
A flat place, big trees - we came to a clearing.
Not big but enough, for a tent and a fire bright
Made by some cows, who were out for the night
The rain's stopped, the fires lit, wood and wattle and beeches
Then Carol came back, with the water and leeches.
It rained overnight, but the morning was clear
And we set off for Zobel, after drying some gear
“We're not in a hurry - the day is still fine,
Lets keep to the left side - find the old shale mine”
That worked for awhile, but the scrub got too dense
Like trying to bash trough a barbed wire fence
We moved into the creek, up through rocks and vegetation
To a small dry cave, with evidence of long past habitation.
A pick with sapling handle, a rusted frying pan
A shovel with no handle, a billy from a big fruit can
Charcoal writing on the wall, past visitors in time
Saying simply 'Lowry and Gerkin, 8th May 1969“.
A ramp up to the right, a nose up to the cliffline
But very slow in more thick scrub, and lots of lawyer vine
Carol had instructions on where to find the mine
We looked and 'backed and forthed' a bit, but just ran out of time.
“It must be further down the slope, can't look more today”
We hugged the cliff into the creek, bush bashing all the way
Saw tooth ferns, thick and shoulder high, “Take care -
Don't make the next 3 metres down, one big step through thin air”
Into the gully proper now, canopied rainforest trees
Green, dripping wet and mossy and not a breath of breeze
We worked on up, in and out of the creek, to a 'stopper' waterfall
No chance of getting up pest that, sheer sides 6 metres tail.
We found a ramp that took us out, to high up on Mount Caley
Clear skys now, with splendid views, down across the valley
From the Grose to the cliff line was the worst I suppose
No doubt there are easier paths than the one which we chose.
So come with us in summer, when the day are long and bright
We'll swim lots in the daytime, sing around the fire at night
We'll point you off up Zobel, you could travel by the stars
Us? - we'll stroll up Pierces Pass, and then back to the cars!
Poem by George Mawer.
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226 Princes Highway, Kogarah Bay, 2217. Phone (02) 546 5455. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5.30, Thurs 9-7, Sat - 9-4.
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 Wendy Lippiatt & Sever Sternhell
Trekking in Nepal is hardly an unusual adventure and the Everest region (The Khumbu) is one of the most popular destinations, but we feel that our trip with Jenny Pry and Peter Sternhell in early winter (December 2, 1988 to January 12, 1989) is worth describing because we managed to visit all the major accessible locations in the Khumbu quite comfortably and without any serious problems due to high altitude. In particular, none of us showed any signs of impending Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), a non-trivial consideration given that the period of October-December 1988 saw at least six deaths of AMS in the Khimbu region alone.
Our own happy circumstances were undoubtedly at least partly due to inherent physiological make-up of our party and to good luck, but we claim credit for following a prudent route in the high country chosen with acclimatisation as the major consideration. We were certainly far better acclimatised to 16,000 feet than ever before (Peter and Wendy had one previous trip to Nepal each and Sev had two - only Jenny was a kidnapped virgin). To some extent therefore this report is meant as a possible help for the planning of one type of Nepal trek without in any way attempting to fill the role of the ubiquitous trekking books of which that by Stephen Bezruchka (“A Guide to Trekking in Nepal”) was found to be most helpful together with the Khumbu Himal 1:50,000 map printed in Germany and widely available in both Sydney and Nepal.
We flew to Kathmandu by Thai Airways ($1240 return), which involves an overnight stop at Bangkok. It is useful to arrange a package price for overnight stay at the Airport Hotel ($38 per person, including breakfast) well ahead, otherwise one pays at least twice as much. We got in on the return trip, but had to pay the full amount on the trip out. In Kathmandu we lodged at the Kathmandu Guest House, which is at the top ($12-$15 per double room with own shower operating about 50% of time) of the economy range and is situated right in the centre of Thamel, the area where most trekkers congregate. We booked well ahead by mail and also returned there after completing our trek. Kathmandu Guest House is built around an old palace, of which the most conspicuous remaining features are the intricately carved timber columns in the shapes of tigers with the most pronounced genitals, some with tiny monkeys attached.
[ Map of Khumbu Region ]
Even though a weekend intervened, it took us only three days to organise a sherpa (guide) and two porters and obtain trekking permits, but we had an introduction and previous correspondence to help us. It would take a long article to describe our complex brush with the Nepalese bureaucracy: sufficient to state that we nearly caused a major trekking company to lose its licence and made endless trouble all around. We finished up with an arrangement which proved quite satisfactory: Bir Bohador, our sherpa (actually not a member of the Sherpa tribe but a Tamang) was most helpful and pleasant and our two porters, Buddha and Manbadhur, proved to be strong, willing and cheerful lads. These three cost us $US25 per day including all their expenses, somewhat above the going rate ($10 per day for a sherpa and $5 per day for porters) but well worth it for the quality of the people and the avoidance of hassles.
By the crack of dawn on December 6, all of us got on the bus to Jiri, which we reached after 13 hours of medium to severe discomfort. We sat two to a two-person seat, after persuading the Nepalese, who sit three to such a seat, that we were too fat for this arrangement. On the way back, although much thinner, we took the precaution of booking three places for each two of us. The alternative access by air in and/or out of Lukla was rejected because of possible problems with acclimatisation and the absolute certainty of shambles at the Lukla air strip. Proceeding the way we did costs 6 days extra each way walking to reach Namche Bazaar (3446 m, 11,300 ft), the gateway to the Everest region, but it delivers the trekker in a fit condition and is independent of flying weather as well as the corruption and chaos at Lukla.
This portion of the trek consists largely of terraced fields, rhodadendron forests, little villages and minor mountain passes. The topography is such that one tends to cross ridges rather than to follow valleys with the result that each day has at least one roughly 3000 foot climb. Relying on local accommodation (“tea housing”) as we did, one gets somewhat closer to the people than trekking with an organised group using tents and, it being out of season, we never had the slightest problem finding a place to eat and sleep. For the benefit of anybody planning this trip, our stopping places were Bhandar, Sete, Jumbesi (a delightful little Sherpa town), Nunthala, Bubsia (above Khari Khola) and Choplung, where we had a fairly elaborate meal uniformly flavoured with kerosene.
At Jumbesi we fell in with a Swedish lady travelling with her sherpa and a porter. She provided interesting additional company for a week as she subsisted principally on local beer, rum and cigarettes, eschewing the inevitable dhai baht (rice with lentils) or potatoes. We lost her at about 14,000 ft at Dingboche when she developed slight altitude problems, but learned later that she finally made it half-way up Kala Pater, which was her aim.
Just before Khara Khola, we crossed the Dudh Kosi (Milk River) and followed it upstream, walking high above it most of the time, until it turned east just before Namche Bazaar. The Dudh Kosi originates in a glacier near Gokyo (see sketch map) and is joined just west of Jengboche by Imja Khola, which originates from the Imja Glacier near the Island Peak. The system of the main valleys of the Khumbu region is completed by a river originating from the Khumbu glacier at the foot of Mount Everest, which joins Imja Khola near Periche. It was the aim of our trek to reach the settlements at the heads of all three valleys, i.e. Chhukhung, Jabuche and Gokyo and take day walks from each. We succeeded in carrying out most of this.
Early in the afternoon of Tuesday, December 13 we reached Namche Bazaar, a major town dramatically situated in an amphitheatre overlooked by spectacular peaks of Kongde (6093 m) and Tamserku (6623 m). The latter is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world and appears on innumerable postcards, film clips and posters.
Namche, like Kathmandu itself, is a place for shopping, strolling and gaping: it has a high-mountain flavour with herds of Yaks driven through the main streets which are alternately muddy or hazardously frozen. We spent two nights there at the local “Hilton” named the Tamserki View Lodge to acclimatise, clean up (one of us had not washed for eight days) and organize the main portion of the trip - cold weather gear can be bought/hired here. Namche at 3446 m (11,300 ft) can be considered as the beginning of the high altitude section and we counted our “High on the Khumbu” days from there.
On day three, we set out in perfect weather on the direct and highly scenic route from Namche to Tengboche, which is only a few easy hours, but a critical 1400 feet up. Because the trail descends to cross the Dudh Kosi, there is in fact a 2040 ft climb to Tengboche which, given the altitude, is not trivial. Our party had no problems and enjoyed the day enormously, especially the early portion where there are spectacular views of Ama Dablam and the great wall of Nuptse/Lhotse at the head of the valley with Mount Everest peeping as a black pyramid beyond Nuptse. The tips of Everest and Lhotse jut into the jet stream and are almost always surmounted by a plume of snow blown off their tops.
On the narrow trail contouring high above the Dudh Kosi, one meets occasional trekkers and more often small strings of yaks carrying loads and equipped with sharp horns which must be passed inches away from various vital organs. Fortunately the beasts are generally placid and their handlers take great pains to protect tourists from direct contact with them, perhaps aware of the fact that there are three great religions in Nepal: Hinduism, Bhuddism and Tourism. Tengboche consists of a small group of buildings perched on a narrow ridge and grouped around a famous gompa (Bhuddist monastery). We chose the most dilapidated of the lodges, because the windows faced Ama Dablam which we could thus admire by moonlight and at sunrise from the warmth of our beds as well as at sunset. The night was the coldest yet, but it was not cold by the Khumbu standards where -20° is not uncommon in winter.
On day four, we reached Dingboche, once purely a yarsa (Sherpa encampment for summer grazing of yaks), but now also a group of trekking lodges. Dingboche is spectacularly situated under Ama Dablam and at about 14,350 ft it is a popular acclimatising spot. The trail between Tengboche and Dingboche follows the valley of Imja Khola at various altitudes and is very scenic.
It was a most enjoyable day in perfect weather and we stopped for lunch at Pangboche, the site of another famous Bhuddist monastery which also boasts a (fake) yetti skull, which we duly inspected and photographed. We chanced upon a most impressive religious ceremony with haunting music. Two of us also received blessed scarves from the Lama (you have to buy them first, of course). There is no doubt that this blessing, and the fact that we always kept to the left of the mani stones, stupas and prayer flag poles (religious structures with the Great Mantra - Om Mani Phadme Hum on them) was responsible for the lack of untoward incidents on the trek. Equally, there is no doubt that the heavy unseasonal snowfall later in the trek was caused by Peter standing on top of a mani stone to take a photograph, to the great disgust and alarm of our sherpa.
To be continued.
10 & 18 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 Stuart Brooks
I suppose the most casual, and yet most unlucky, cook I have met was Bob Duncan. Bob's method of packing for a weekend walk was simplicity itself. When, early on Saturday morning, the leader yelled out, “Moving off in two minutes!” Bob's frantic cry, “Cripes I haven't started to pack yet!” would invariably cut the air. Rushing to the boot of his car, he would drag forth a crumpled pack and stuff into it a jumper, sleeping bag, groundsheet and parka. Then, turning to a big old box full of tins of food in various stages of decay - some new with labels, some old and rusty without - he would commence thrusting tins into his pack, without really looking. Muttering “Saturday lunch” - “Saturday dinner” - “Sunday breakfast” - “Sunday Lunch” - “spare” - “emergency”. Duncan's packing for a weekend walk has been timed at thirty five seconds.
I recall a tranquil Sunday morning on Kanangra Creek. We had come down Danae Brook the day before and I was basking in the early morning sun, enjoying the retrospect and perfectly cooked rolled oats with brown sugar and cream, half listening to the tinkle of Kanangra Creek and half to Dot Butler and Wilf Hilder arguing out a technicality. It was one of those idyllic moments. It was, however, completely shattered by the emergence of Duncan who commenced to slurp his way through “Sunday breakfast” - a very large can of sliced beetroot.
But there was the time when Bob was anxious to impress. He had brought along steaks, marinated and wrapped in foil, vegetables the same, and goodness knows what for dessert. Most of us had finished cooking and the fire had died down to a heap of red embers when Bob decided it was time to put his steaks on. Carefully, he buried all his pre-wrapped food in the glowing embers and turned to carry on his discussions interspersed with the odd song.
It was a chilly evening and, bit by bit, behind Bob's back, others were throwing sticks on the fire to generate a bit of warmth. I suppose you have seen the TV ad, “My God the chips!”? Duncan was halfway through the seventh verse of “The cat came back” when he stopped in mid-chorus, “My God, the steaks!”
On hands and knees he scrabbled at the blazing inferno, eventually retrieving most of his victuals - a trifle overdone. I never did find out what impression that meal created
I suppose one of the more charismatic cooks I have walked with would have to be Bill Gillam. Bill was a blend of gourmet, wine buff, professional scientist and frustrated actor.
Bill was getting a bit thin on top as a mere 40-year-old. However he was quick to point out a number of attributes balding men had that were not possessed by their more hairy brethren. Bill's lack of thatch was more than compensated for by a heavy and dark growth of beard. Invariably, on a walk, he would shave before dinner. With his high forehead, aquiline features and thespian leanings, shaving was not just the mundane chore most of us suffer. Bill, with a few deft strokes of the razor and aided by flickering campfire light and a bit of acting ability, could have you believe he was anyone he chose. I have had dinner in the bush with Abraham Lincoln, Sir Francis Drake, Van Gogh, Roy Rene….
One memorable evening was just after my wife had been raised to full membership of SBW. Bill insisted we have a celebratory dinner on our next walk. On the banks of the Wollongambe we had a perfect campsite. Bill had brought along a bottle of his best red and one of those old fashioned candles. The former, he opened - to breathe, of course - the latter he cut into about eight pieces each of which he lit and used to decorate a small rock face near our fire. Bill's camp fire was (unlike Duncan's) a masterpiece of controlled energy release. A heap of embers for the steaks, low flames to simmer the vegies in the centre and at the other end, a crackling fire for the soup and coffee water.
That evening Bill had elected to be Profumo - disgraced and recently deposed Secretary of War in the British Cabinet. He (Profumo, not Bill) had been exposed by the Press - (so what else is new) - for dallying with a young lady who was also keeping company with (shock, horror) a senior member of the Russian embassy. What with the firelight and a newly-shaped beard, Bill made a passably good Profumo.
The steaks were retrieved without incident and were (unlike Duncan's) cooked to perfection. The red wine had not been bruised, the Wollongambe was playing a sort of Haydn quartet in the background. It was a memorable meal.
But I hear my mate's tenor voice carolling through the dripping wilderness on his way back to the cave. It is time to get the fire going and start dinner.
Fortunately, with parboiled sausages in foil, “surprise” peas and “deb” potato, anyone can be a good cook.
Recently, the NPWS sent their new plan of management for Kanangra-Boyd to various conservation groups, asking for submissions. The plan contained ominous references to 'development' within the park. The Victorian State Government has recently 'developed' The Grampians for mass market tourism, with some expensive, high profile publicity. This 'marketing' of National Parks means the public expects such things as cabins, car parks, visitors centres, hard surfaced roads, litter collection and guided tours.
If you don't think it can happen here, remember that our present State Government believes that all public utilities should be self funding, and already there are 4WD tours operating in the Snowy Mountains. To be profitable, accommodation must have at least 60% occupancy, and that means mass consumption tourism. Lodges have to offer all mod cons, including tennis courts, saunas and swimming pools. The 'wild' environment has to be urbanised and sanitised for those who are really terrified of wilderness, but are bored and want to do 'something different'.
In very short order Kanangra Walls could resemble Echo Point at Katoomba. A vast accommodation and recreation complex complete with a couple of golf courses built on Marrilman Heath, overlooking Colboyd Range. Tour operators would bring ever growing numbers of people into fragile areas. All the comforts of civilisation must be brought in, and frequently all the rubbish of civilisation left behind. The operators would inevitably demand more and more roads, to take their customers everywhere a vehicle could possibly be driven.
Do you think this would add to your wilderness experience?
Although we are lucky they are so rare. Be prepared - come to the Search and Rescue Practice which Federation is holding on 16-17 September. The place - the Wattagans, meet at Pine Forest Picnic Area. Contact John Porter for all details. Ph. 797 9784 (home).
During last May-June, 26 members of the S.B.W. participated in extended walks in Keep River N.P. (NT), Bungle Bungle N.P.(WA) and Kakadu N.P. (NT). Jan Mohandas and Alex Cimbleris organized these walks through a commercial organization called “Willis' Walkabouts”, operated by Russell Willis from Darwin.
Russell and his assistant Chris Cox did the transporting, leading, guiding and cooking for the first party of 12 - Bill and Sue Blackwell, Joan Hannan, Brian Holden, Peter Kaye, Neil Mansfield, Judy Mahaffey, Jan Mohandas (leader), Jim Percy, Jo van Sommers, Ray Turton and Patrick Wasielewski - for 2 weeks through Keep River and the Bungle Bungles. Russel composed this poem and recited it at the celebratory dinner at the end of the first Keep River - Bungle Bungle trip.
Stories on all four trips will appear in subsequent magazines - so stay tuned folks, the fun has only just begun!
by Russell Willis
It was somewhere up the country in a land called Kimberley
That the Sydney folk came walking just to see what they could see
For they'd heard some things about it that they just could not ignore
And so they thought it was a place they really should explore.
The first was Jan Mohandas, the leader of the bunch
He had us doing yoga, morning, night and lunch
He was always writing things in his little book
But what he wrote we do not know, we never got a look.
He had us hanging on there to every word he spoke
Because we never knew when he'd come out with a joke
The largest in the group was a pommy bloke named Neil
We all were struck with awe at what he'd eat, each meal.
But what went in came out in a very different form
As his rude songs got us going, sitting round the fire warm
The most appalling thing about him was the clothes he wore
If he hadn't changed his shorts, the cops would have run him in for sure.
And when it came to climbing each and every peak
It was Ray who had no equal, he had his own mystique
But is was just to take a photo or to get a better view
And not just for the workout, that he did what he did do.
Though Judy looks so mild, so sweet and innocent
The rude jokes that she told were a source of merriment
And at night by firelight, she was another one
Who'd set us all to singing just for a bit of fun.
And then there was Patrick who came from far off France
One day he set off early just to give the rest a chance
To rest their weary bones and save about four K.,
But that long walk made him thirsty so later on that day
He sat in Kununurra's pub, just to have a quiet beer
He finished off something like eight, but we lost count I fear.
An then in the Bungles, came that awful rise
Where seven brave souls went up and up, up toward the skies
This was followed by a pool, long and filled with scunge
They stripped off, and swam on through with a sort of lunge.
Next came that lovely valley, that spinifex and rock mile
Through which Sweet Sue wandered, clad only in a smile.
Despite her garb, her hubby Bill was among those wearing more
He needed his specs to see just where, to put his feet so sore.
Poor Bryan was the one on whom, Lady Luck just would not smile
In Keep he did an ankle and missed a pleasant mile
And then in the Bungles, from his hat, a flynet got a pull
And what's more, for an encore, he lost his wallet full.
Jo was the one who loved the plants, she even took a book
To try and figure out just what it was, at which she had a look
She'd jump in each and every pool, after getting off her gear
She scrubbed a lot of billies, giving cooks much cause for cheer.
Jim, at times, would seem to be, a quiet sort of bloke
Yet every night in the moonlight, he'd come out with a joke
And if perchance he imbibed a drop of port or rum
A 'Purple People Eater' song, from his lips would come.
The most civilised among us was a lady named Joan
The lack of tourist flights and hotel delights, gave her cause to moan
She was even heard to ask how to get clean clothes
Although compared to some of us, she smelled just like a rose.
But she did the swims and the climbs, and enjoyed the views
If she should want to come again, we will say 'good news'
Peter, well, he was the one who sometimes liked to draw
Though his pics were really good, he couldn't capture all he saw.
And then one night feeling tired quite, he tried to take a snooze
He lay there in his bag wrapped tight, while all the rest drank booze
This group took two more with them, to lead and guide the way
And to cook their evening meals, after all they'd had to pay.
The first was a girl named Chris, for whom much of this land was new
She was one of only five, who a cold, dark gorge swam through
It should of course be mentioned, four were naked female nymphs
Ray was the lone male with them, the rest were playing wimps.
And finally came Russell, his pack weight a mere six stone
Some thought that he carried rocks, past sins for to atone
But they soon discovered, his need was of a different sort
For in the bottom of that pack were six litres of port.
And this at last brings to an end this somewhat too long tale
If a smile has passed your lips, then the author did not fail
For though he will bring others to this land of rock and scrub
He always will remember the Sydney Bushwalking club.
From every State, Australian Made is great!
* National Maps
3 Trelawney St (PO Box 131) Eastwood NSW 2122.
Phone us today & say “G'Day”.
By Barry Wallace
There were around 30 members present at 2022 when the President called the meeting to order and called for apologies. These there were from Alex Colley, Bob King, Geoff Bridger and Margaret Reid.
Bruce Cameron and Paul Churcher came forward for welcome as new members in the traditional way.
The Minutes were read and received, with business arising concerning the F.B.W. proposal for public Liability insurance. The Committee has resolved to seek further details before attempting to make a decision.
Correspondence comprised outgoing letters to Bill Burke offering him Honorary Active Membership, to the N.S.W. Lands Department making a submission on the recently released draft policy on off-road vehicles, a letter from F.B.W. enclosing minutes of their latest meeting, a letter from Jim Brown regarding F.B.W. public Liability insurance, a letter from Bill Burke accepting Honorary Active Membership and a letter from Ern French resigning membership. It may be noted in passing that Ern is 82 years old. There was an outgoing letter to Ern French accepting his resignation.
The Treasurer's Report indicated that we received $1,480.80, spent $3,464.34, and the cheque account balance at 30th June was $4,134.59 prior to transferring $3,000 into an at call investment account.
The Walks Report was next, beginning with a report on the weekend of 16,17,18 June. That was the weekend that Les Powell led a party of 6 an his Ettrema Creek trip. They reported fine weather, but lots of water in the creeks, providing a fair measure of excitement. Nancye Alderson's day walk in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase went, but there was no report. Carol Lubber's Blue Mountains day walk attracted 15 starters and was noted for the beaut views.
The following weekend, 23,24,25 June saw the inaugural NSW Rescue Services Navigation Shield. Carol Bruce reported at some length on the event. It seems there were four bushwalking clubs represented and numerous rescue groups. The weekend was well organised and enjoyable. The S.B.W. group present managed to cover 50 km between 0800 Saturday and 1400 Sunday, although Carol assures us that the event was not competitive in any sense of the word. Alan Mewett's Muogamarra day walk had 26 walkers enjoying cool and fine conditions.
Ian Rannard's 29 June to 4 July Mittagong to Katoomba walk was cancelled due to the lack of starters and possibly an excess of water.
Jan Mohandas's 30 June, 1,2 July Cox River walk was deferred due to a clash of dates. Wendy Aliano's Grand Canyon day walk went, led by Wendy Lippiatt. There were 14 starters, struggling a little with the mud and flood, but at least the weather was fine.
The weekend of 7,8,9 July saw Ian Wolfe and 7 others venturing forth in the Snowy Mountains. They tried first at Thredbo but the 40 knot winds and lack of snow were a discouragement, so they joined the snow bunnies in centre valley at Perisher. Just another great early season ice tour, so they said. Kenn Clacher's Colo walk had 5 starters in generally fine conditions. The route was varied slightly to accommodate the limitations of the party. Alan Doherty's Kowmung River and environs walk had a party of 17 enjoying a great weekend and Margaret Reid's Woodford day walk attracted 26 people, although the proliferation of empty cans along the route detracted somewhat from the wilderness experience. All of which brought the Walks Report to a close.
There was a Federation Report, it should be covered elsewhere in the magazine. Of General Business there was none, so the President called for announcements.
At this stage Dot Butler came up with a novel request. It seems that Dot has acquired (no Virginia, it's best not to ask) some Blueberry Ash seeds and is desirous of propagating them, possibly at Coolana. It seems Blueberry Ash seeds will only germinate after passage through the digestive tract of a bird. If anyone knows of a suitably disposed, or even suitably indisposed, bird could they please contact Dot, preferably in the first instance.
I think I got most of that down right. In any case I do know that the President closed the meeting at 2103.
by Jeff Bridger
At the Federation Annual General Meeting John Porter was elected Junior Vice' President, Jim Percy was elected Minutes Secretary. Gordon Lee was re-elected as President.
Fees have been set at $1.60 per head, with a minimum of 10 members and a maximum of 300 members per Club. Associate members fees are the same.
Search & Rescue. A practice to be held in the Wattagans on 16-17 September. Meet at Pine Forest Picnic Area. Contact John Porter for further details.
A St.Johns First Aid Course - is to be held at the Marrickville Police Rescue H.Q. on the last weekend of October (and May 1990). The reduced price for members is $40 each.
Don't forget the F.B.W. Ball, to be held on Friday 22nd September - see details below.
The F.B.W. has decided to make the Nattai area its next Conservation Project. Full details of this campaign will appear in the September magazine.
On Friday, 22nd September, the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs will be holding their Annual Ball at the Petersham Town Hall. The theme for the table settings is “The Greenhouse Effect”. They are hoping to book “Skewiff” to provide that toe-tapping music; should be a lively evening.
Admission $8.00 per person, payable at door. B.Y.O. food and drink.
Dress casual, no need to bring a partner. To join the S.B.W. party phone Beverley Foulds on 798 5650 and leave your name. See you there!
Profits to Search & Rescue.
Fancy a three day walk which isn't too hard? George Mawer has just the thing for you. On September 1,2,3 he is leading a trip from Kanangra to Katoomba. Organise that flexi-day and get out for a breath of spring air. Phone 707 1343 (H) and 774 0500 (B).
Copies of the article by Reg Alder on “Giardia” as published in the NPA Journal will be available in the clubroom for any members who are interested.
Border Ranges Walking Track. If you're thinking of going north, the Border Ranges N.P. has a lot to offer. Another 9 km of track - from Sheepstation Creek to Forest Tops has been added, bringing the total to 21 km. The park, which has excellent visitor facilities, will eventually have a track joining it to Lamington N.P.
Club Auction with guest auctioneer Charlie Brown. It's on again, folks, that grand annual event. Donate your superseded/superannuated gear and help to fill the Club's kitty. All sorts of interesting items to bid for, so bring your cash as well! Lots of fun!
20th September - Jim Oxley will give a talk with slides about “Classic Tramps in New Zealand”.
27th September - Clubroom closed. This is so the caretaker can have two weeks holiday. However, Club members will be meeting for Dinner (and talk) at “La Botte D'Oro Restaurant”, 137 Marion Street, Leichhardt at 7 pm.
(Please note that the Clubroom will also be closed on 4th October.)