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 at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milson's Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday.
|Editor||Judy O'Connor, 43 Pine Street, Cammeray 2062. Telephone 929 8629|
|Production Manager||George Gray, Telephone 86 6263|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Les Powell, Margaret Niven, Kay Chan & Barrie Burdoch|
|Search & Rescue||Bob Younger||3|
|Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW Inc. Meeting 19.2.91||Deborah Shapira||5|
|Bogong High Plains Circuit - Part 1||Morag Ryder||6|
|An Account of the SBW Trip to Nepal, November 1990 - Part 1||Tom Wenman||9|
|SBW Conservation Fund||12|
|A Trip to Barrington Tops||Frank Woodgate||13|
|The Annual General Meeting - March 1991||Barry Wallace||15|
|Under the City Stars||16|
|Social Notes for May||16|
|Paddy Pallin Adventure Equipment||8|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||14|
|Blackheath Taxis & Tourist Services||16|
Taking On a new job is usually stressful and demanding… new things to learn, a million names to remember, feeling like an outsider.
But taking on the job of Editor of the Sydney Bushwalker has broken all those old stereotypes.
Morag Ryder, our previous editor, has generated enough material, ideas and enthusiasm to last well into the next few editions and new articles have been handed to me by all sorts of people to fill the empty pages. One of the unexpected benefits of this has been that I've been able to put faces to names that I've been hearing about for years but have never known. Probably something to do with my reluctance (or, let's be honest, my inability) to tackle those HARD walks.
However there's one other person who has made the introduction to the job as easy as gazing at the stars and that's Kath Brown. For years I've heard Kath modestly say that she “just types the magazine” and, without much more thought, I assumed that was right. But, on taking on the Editor's job, I can assure you it is far from the truth. Kath is really the editor as far as the production side goes, and as far as a lot of other sides goes also. She works long and hard at laying out the pages, getting the right things in the right place and the hundred and one other things that change hand-written words on bits of paper into a readable, attractive and well balanced magazine. Thanks Kath. And thanks Morag, and the many contributors who sent things to me.
While gratefully acknowledging all the above, I hope there's still some room for me to make a contribution to the magazine and I will certainly be looking for opportunities to pursue ideas and encourage people to write articles. One thing I would like to include are more photographs (we'll miss your drawings, Morag) so please send me illustrations with your articles. Black and white are best but colour will do.
I would also like to hear your ideas on what you like or don't like about the magazine, what you like to read, what sort of information you want. Letters to the Editor would also be welcome and (providing they're not libellous, obscene or written in Chinese) will get published.
Fran Holland has been appointed by the Committee to be Social Secretary in place of Denise Shaw who, although elected in her absence at the Annual General Meeting, has since found she is unable to take on the job. Fran's phone number is - 925 3309.
Peter Yardley, New Members Secretary - Phone 428 4444 (W) or 878 2499 (H). Also Bill Holland - Phone 484 6636 (W) or 925 3309 (H).
by Bob Younger
Note: Always try to ring one of the SBW contacts before using the paging system.
Leaders should ensure that their proposed route, the duration of the walk, and the place where cars will be parked (and their registration numbers and make of car) are known by a reliable person who will ring one of the SBW contacts if it appears that the party is overdue.
Always take the section of the Walks Program listing the telephone numbers of the Search and Rescue contact with you on each bushwalk.
When the SBW Search and Rescue contact receives information of an emergency he/she will alert the Director of the Confederation of Bushwalkers Search and Rescue Committee, Keith Maxwell or other members of the Committee.
From here on the Confederation S & R Committee will determine the procedures to be taken. In order to keep the phone lines open the SBW contact should await notification of the Committee's decision.
A member of the Confederation of Bushwalkers Search and Rescue Committee will telephone one of the SBW Search and Rescue Contacts.
The S.B.W. Search and Rescue contact will phone people on the S.B.W. Call Out List:-
On arrival at the S & R Base you will be required to record your name in a base log book.
The members of the Confederation Committee present will meet with the Officer in charge of the S & R operation and leaders of other groups such as Park Rangers, Bushfire Brigades, other Bushwalking Clubs and State Emergency Services.
The bushwalkers will be split into groups of three or four members of their own Club (wherever possible) by the Confederation Field Officer.
By this time the Confederation Radio Base should be set up and each group will be issued with a portable radio transmitter/receiver. Call signs and a radio schedule will be issued for each radio.
Individual groups will be allocated specific tasks by the Officer in charge. On completion of these tasks groups will report by radio and may be given another search area. Should the missing party be found, all groups will be recalled to base by radio.
After the search has been completed a short resume of the day's activities will be presented.
Each member will then sign off in the Base Log Book and no one is permitted to leave until all searchers have been checked in.
The procedures will vary according to the type of rescue. There is a special Rock Squad familiar with the major canyons in the Blue Mountains who also have the ability to undertake cliff rescues.
If the Bushwalkers Search and Rescue organisation is to work effectively there must be an up-to-date list of SBW members who are willing to participate. If you wish your name to be placed on thi6 list or make any changes please contact Bob Younger on 580 1158. You might also like to become a member of the S & R Committee.
Every bushwalker is welcome at Search & Rescue activities and a task commensurate with your abilities will be waiting. Watch the Walks Program and magazine for information concerning the next S & R Practice.
|Name||Code||Address||Home phone||Business phone|
|Austin, Mr Craig||W||59 Hannah Street Beecroft||484 1519|
|Bloom, Mr Maurie||S||9 Conjola Place Gymea Bay||525 4698|
|Bolton, Mr Brian||W||23 Achilles Road Engadine||520 2921|
|Bruce, Ms Carol||O||10/147 Smith Street Summer Hill||797 9784|
|Bruce, Ms Barbara||W||11/37 Illawarra Street Allawah||546 6570|
|Burke, Mr Bill||S||3 Coral Tree Drive Carlingford||871 1207|
|Butler, Mr David||O||99 7th Avenue Nth Katoomba|
|Capon, Mr Bill||S||32 Milford Street Randwick||398 7820|
|Clacher, Mr Kenn||W||5 Leeds Place Turramurra||449 4853||968 0059|
|Clarke, Mr John||O||5/18A-22 Wyatt Avenue Burwood||74 1916|
|Dargan, Mr Ray||O||4A/5 Girilang Avenue Vaucluse||337 6834|
|Doherty, Mr Alan||W||2 Marine Crescent Hornsby Heights||476 6531|
|Duncan, Mr Bob||O||9 Blackwood Close Beecroft||484 1375|
|Finch, Mr Don||S||3/173 Herring Road North Ryde||878 1035|
|Hajinakitas, Mr Spiro||W||34/1 Tewkesbury Ave Darlinghurst||332 3452||681 4874|
|Hart, Mr Brian||W||P.O. Box 54 Kings Cross|
|Hodgson, Mr Bob||W||18 Dobroyd Road Balgowlah Heights||949 6175|
|Holden, Mr Brian||W||12 Cassandra Place Stanwell Park||042 94 3074|
|Holland, Mr Bill||W||216C Quarter Sessions Road Westleigh||484 6636||925 3309|
|Hookway, Mr Ray||O||9/38 Cleland Road Artarmon||411 1873|
|James, Ms Greta||S||5/2 Hardie Street Neutral Bay||953 8384||234 5459|
|King, Mr Robert||S||78/10 Kooringa Road Chatswood||412 3337||645 0777|
|Laing, Mr Jim||W||9/2 Greenlees Ave.Concord||73 5771|
|Lee, Mr Gordon||W||2 Bowerbird Close Berkley Vale||043 88 5589|
|Lewin, Mr Victor||W||38 Pambula Road Engadine||520 7711|
|Marshall, Mr Tony||O||6 Mitchell Street Five Dock||713 6985|
|Morris, Ms Ainslie||S||45 Austin Street Lane Cove||428 3178|
|Murdoch, Mr Barrie||W||17 8haddock Ave West Pymble||498 7834|
|Percy, Mr Jim||O||14 Mountain View Ave Hazelbrook||047 6009|
|Read, Ms Fazeley||W||15/118 Ben Boyd Road Neutral Bay||909 3671|
|Redfern, Mr John||S||1/120 Pacific Parade Dee Why||981 1260|
|Reynolds, Mr Michael||S||45 Austin St Lane Cove||428 3178|
|Sowden, Mr David||S||4 Eden Drive Asquith||476 2998|
|Stichter, Mr Hans||S||61 Bryson St Toongabbie||688 3050|
|Stow, Ms Bronwyn||W||99 7th Avenue North Katoomba|
|Taeker, Mr Frank||S||13 Kirkham Road Auburn||645 1658|
|Wallace, Mr Barry||W||1/20 Elfrida Street Mosman||645 9159|
|Younger, Mr Bob||S||71 Yarran Road Oatley||580 1158|
by Deborah Shapira
This meeting began with a special meeting which was called for the purpose of approving some amendments in the Constitution. None of the rules changed the spirit of the organisation, rather the rule changes were for clarification purposes. The other business was to elect two members of the Committee. These were Robyn Arthur as Publicity Officer and Michael Maack as Junior Vice President.
The general meeting then decided the following:- That the Annual Reunion will be held in the first week of November, hopefully at Coolana, Sydney Bush Walkers if agreeable to act as hosts. The Annual General Meeting will be in the form of a weekend seminar on 24/25.8.91. Club secretaries please to note. The bush dance will be on 13.9.91.
The Search & Rescue committee reported that the N.S.W. Fire Brigade is to be in charge of rescue. The Police Rescue squad as we know it is to be disbanded.
The last weekend in June will be the Rogain to be held in the Kangaroo Valley. St. John's First Aid courses will be held the last weekends in May and October. Please contact Keith Maxwell if interested.
There will be a training weekend 16/17 March at Newnes Plateau, the emphasis being on canyon rescue.
All please note - there has been a recent spate of car break-ins near Claustral Canyon.
By Morag Ryder
Led by Ian Rannard
Glad Rannard, Tim Rannard, Di & Tom Domini, Michele Powell, Rob Webb, Peter Kay, Brenda Cameron, Victor Lewin, Edith Townsend, John Gill, Denise Shaw, Paul Churcher, Erith Hamilton and Morag Ryder.
After driving for eight hours in the simmering heat, we pulled into Mount Beauty caravan park at 5.30pm. For $3.00 each we could park Rob's big Pajero under the trees, pitch our tents on the grass and use the shower. While dining at the local pub we met six more of the party, and idled away the evening discussing the next five days.
At 7.30am Brenda, Edith, Michelle, Rob and myself joined the others at Bogong Village. Cloud drifted over, and as we started walking, drizzle began. The temperature dropped to 11°C and in the cool, damp conditions we made good time. At Springs Saddle we had a quick morning tea, huddling near the dingy cattlemens hut. Lunch at Bogong Jack Saddle was better. We lit a fire in the big corral, and drank hot tea while watching council workmen eating their lunch, in the cab of a red grader. Later, we passed massive storm damage - whole hillsides of flattened trees - the largest ones snapped off at about 3 metres. The muddy road was carpeted with them, which made slow going.
Low cloud cleared just in time to give us good views of Mt. Feathertop and we camped near the road at Little Plain. I tucked my fly into the bushes for protection from the strong wind, while Brenda made a fruitless search for her lost sunglasses. The afternoon sky became hazy with smoke, obviously a big bushfire somewhere, and we wondered uneasily how close it was.
Warm and cloudless, left camp at 8am, and climbed to the (4) Towong Huts. We slipped and slithered along the fire trail, which was still deep mud covered with fallen timber, where Glad was unlucky enough to fall and cut her knee. Pitched in the open around the huts, were some el-cheapo tents - I wondered how they had survived the high wind. We were now on a walking track which followed snow poles onto the Bogong High Plains. No wildflowers, just cattle droppings - all swarming with flies, unwelcome companions which were to remain with us for the whole trip. As we stopped to admire Mt. Feathertop, Paul discovered he had left his tentpoles at the campsite. Tim agreed to wait for Paul, while he made a packless gallop back to the camp. The rest of us went on to have lunch at the start of the viaduct.
Shade was at a premium; the lucky ones sat under the eaves of the SEC hut, others chatted to the horseriders who came down the firetrail. The re-united party set off for camp at Mt Cope, walking along the flat, grassy aqueduct; (why can't all bushwalking be like that!) Tom spotted a trout in the water, and later went back, but the wary fish refused to become dinner. Tom had also made a plastic shower fitting, to screw into the neck of a wineskin. Di said it worked perfectly - lying the wineskin in the sun for a couple of hours gave her a warm shower.
In camp by 3pm. Hot and still, with lots of flies and people flaked out in/around the tents. Everywhere snowgums were flowering profusely as thick with white blossom as they would be with snow in winter. Their honey perfume was almost strong enough to overcome the smell of cowpoop. We filled in the hot afternoon with a stroll up Mt. Cope, picturesquely situated across a little valley near our camp, and enjoyed a different view of Mt. Feathertop.
Hot, sunny morning climbed up past Mt. Cope Hut, which was full of families with small children. They hadn't come very far, their cars were parked about 50 metres away, on the firetrail! After morning tea on the aquaduct, we passed a huge snowdrift, perched halfway up a slope. Paul had never touched snow, so he ran up and joined a group of children who were playing in it. He returned with a handful, looking rather disappointed. “Its just like frost from the freezer” he remarked.
Leaving the aqueduct, we joined the Alpine Walking Track again. Up a hill, with great views of Rocky Valley Storage and down again to the creek for lunch, at Marm Point. Along the way we saw cattlemen 'rounding up' cattle. Nothing could have been easier. They called out loudly and threw lucerne on the ground. The cattle rushed towards it and the collie dog just sat there, laughing.
To be continued…
By Tom Wenman
Jan Mohandas, Leslie Powell, Carol Lubbers, Tom Wenman, Roger Smith, Tony Crichton, Ray Turton, Alan Mewett, Geoffrey Bradley, Maurie Bloom, Deborah Shapira, Angela Gourlay and David Lloyd.
“Welcome to Nepal, a little bit up and a little bit down” a smiling Rinzin our Nepalese Sirdar greeted us when we first met him. As we looked out from the location of our first camp at Hille on the first morning across the range of blue grey ridges stretching far into the distance, his welcome had been clearly appropriate. Subsequently we were to find how very much of an understatement it was.
It had been some months previously, under the energetic and enthusiastic organisation of Jan Mohandas that some 12 Sydney Bushies had committed themselves to a five week trekking holiday in Nepal. After a tiring and much delayed flight via Bangkok, the culture shock which was Asia in general and Nepal in particular, hit as we emerged from Kathmandu airport. On our first few days in Kathmandu a number of us, I think, wondered why we had made the commitment. However, having left the splendid if somewhat Victorian opulence of the Shanker Hotel, and the muddle and noise of Kathmandu we all viewed the commencement of our walk with some excitement.
For the next 28, days we were due to walk some 350 Kms pretty much across Nepal, from Hille in the southeast, along the Arun River and then crossing various passes, following the Dudh Kosl through the Sagarmatha National park to the site of the Everest Base Camp.
The trek was commercially organised by Peregrine Adventures of Melbourne, whose price included the airfares, accommodation and provision of porters, food & camping equipment throughout the trek. They also provided sleeping bags, parkas and padded jackets.
So, on a slightly misty Tuesday morning eleven Sydney Bushies, 5 sherpas, 30 porters and 300 eggs began their journey across Nepal.
For the first 6 days of the walk we followed the Arun River Valley - a mighty waterway which drains the icy waters of Makalu & Kanchenjunga in the North East of the country. Icy it may be to start with, cool to swim in, it was, but the temperature during that part of our walk was anything but cool. At one lunchtime stop, Maurie's thermometer registered 46° (about 33° in the shade), and I'd say that was fairly average. Nevertheless it was a beautiful river valley, the river, blue grey in colour, from the deposits of glacial merraines, sweeping widely around broad white sandy banks, or pouring tumultuously over rapids was bordered by fertile rice paddies, whilst the hills running down to it, were for the most part terraced and presented a vista of a richly green, neatly manicured land. Soon the pattern of our walking developed; trek bags packed, breakfast in the open with departure about 8 or 8.30 am. Lunch stop at about 11 am for 2 hours and then a further 3 hour walking when a pleasant campsite along the river would be established. We took the opportunity in this part of our trek for frequent swims, and of course the mere domestic chores of washing and drying clothes also occupied our lunch times and evenings. For the most part however it was leisurely if somewhat fatiguing walking in the heat and we made good use of our umbrellas, with Geoffrey looking a most commanding figure. We frequently rested in the small villages which we passed through and enjoyed absorbing the beautiful scenery, the nature of the people and the customs of this part of the world.
It has to be admitted however that some customs were not exactly to our enjoyment. The amount and frequency of human detritus - none of which was buried, meant that it was necessary to keep an appreciative eye on the ground as well as the near and distant hills.
There were no roads in this part of the country. Indeed, we were not to see another road once we left Hille, until we flew back from Lukla to Kathmandu. We were in fact walking along a very busy highway and trading route where the mode of transport for any goods was chiefly porters' backs. The variety of items being carried continually intrigued us, apart from their sheer bulk or obvious weight. They included cast iron machinery for a substantial water pump, being carried by about a dozen fellows on long bamboo poles, great coils of water pipe, corrugated iron, gigantic bags of peanuts - which Roger found rather heavy - and all manner of other supplies. Tea houses of various standards - some substantial two storied places built of mud or stone, some flimsy bamboo erections, were common along the pathway and with every now and then resting places for the porters with ledges to accommodate their loads. Our pathway often led us through rice fields along the walls built between the irrigated paddocks, some times traversing steep, high river cliffs and at other times over the pebbly banks of the river. Generally the standard of track approximated to a graded Blue Mountains walking track. Occasionally from a particular vantage point we would glimpse the snow topped peaks and ridges of the high mountains to which we were heading, Mera Peak and Numbu featured in the distant views as well as the magnificent Kanchenjunga.
Each day seemed to present some new and interesting experience. However there were, during this part of the walk some events which stood out rather from the rest.
Amongst these was the desperate fight between two bulls, from a herd of cattle being driven along the bank which resulted in one being forced into the swiftly flowing river and being swept some distance downstream where he was fortunate to be able to stagger ashore. Another, the cold beer available at Turnlingtar, which miracle of miracles had electricity and consequently fridges - very welcome after a hot day's walking. The near betrothal of Leslie to a rather determined Nepali lady, and the moonlight evenings Spent sitting on the banks of the Arun talking and listening to the roar of the river.
After about 6 days of walking we left the Arun valley with some relief at the cooler temperatures afforded by the higher altitude. Eventually we picked up the Irkhu Khola and followed this wild mountain stream, crossing and recrossing it by a series of flimsy bamboo bridges, some of which looked decidedly hazardous.
Although much of the country is cultivated, with seemingly impossible slopes terraced for growing rice and other grain crops, there are still some areas of rain forest remaining, and it was very interesting to walk through these lush areas and compare them to our own. Apparently the increasing size of the population has meant that in recent years more and more of these forests are being cut back.
Still each day brought its new experience such as the elaborately built fish trap, directing the rushing waters of the mountain stream through a narrow contraption of bamboo stakes and matting, with the hopeful fishermen waiting for the fish to be deposited in a basket at the end - they seemed to have been waiting a long time and we saw no fish!
Continuing up the Irkhu Khola for some distance we left the narrow confines of the creek and began our first major climb up to Salpa Pass (3475 m). Of all the subjects which had dominated our discussions before we commenced the holiday, undoubtedly the most important were those of hygiene and health. The second aspect was particularly relevant in view of the altitude to which we were eventually due to ascend. Salpa Pass presented the first encounter with a higher altitude than any of us had been accustomed to and we viewed it with some interest to see how we would react. In the event, although there was some appreciation of the height all coped well with it. On the other hand, our party had its share of stomach disorders, but although proving unpleasant to the sufferer, these did not impede the party's progress, and generally the victim recovered after 2 or 3 days. The most serious victim had been Angela, who on holiday in India prior to joining us had contracted Dengue Fever. Accordingly she and David had remained in Kathmandu for the time being, intending to join us at Lukla for the second half of the trek, if she were well enough to do so. Thus we were eleven.
Our climb up to Salpa Pass took us through different country to that which we had encountered along the rivers. Native Oak and Rhodedendron forests gave us a pleasantly shaded walk along some well defined ridges with some fine views, and the coolness was much appreciated. That is until we reached our first really high camp just below Salpa Pass, where with setting of the sun the temperature plunged to 0° from about 20° in about as many minutes.
The first of the cool mornings greeted us the next day but the sunshine quickly warmed things up. We resumed our climb amongst the beautiful mixed forests of tall native Oak (quite unlike the English variety), Rhododendron trees, Junipers, Fir and Maple in an air as crisp and sparkling as Champagne, and Ray Turton our resident horticulturalist was in great demand to identify the various trees and shrubs.
From the top of Salpa Pass and by a fine Chorten, the superb vista of the snowy peaks of Numbu greeted our eyes and set against a clear blue sky beckoned majestically to us. The descent from the pass was one of the most delightful I have ever encountered. The mixture of trees many in their autumn tonings provided a beautiful variety of colour against the blue sky, whilst from the trunks and branches epiphytes and long streams of moss gave the forest an enchanted appearance. Through it all flowed a crystal stream. Our dinner that evening complimented the superb day and our Sherpa cook produced a magnificent freshly baked layer cake to finish it off. This really was walking on a grand scale. Whilst I and others had thought that the food would be adequate but plain it proved to be both delightfully varied and very enjoyable, with every now and then a highlight such as that mentioned.
Our walk continued with descents and ascents by now becoming a little bit more than just 'a little bit up and a little bit down', and the altitude produced some shortness of breath. Two more passes, Sipki (3350 m) and Satu La (3200 m) were climbed and although we encountered some mist and cloud towards mid day the morning views of the high Himalayan peaks grew more prominent and more beautiful as we drew closer.
Already we were anticipating the next part of our trek, following Dudh Kosl (milky river) up to Namche Bazaar and thence onto the Everest Base Camp area. We were a little apprehensive of the conditions to come as it is the most popular of all the trekking routes, whereas up until now we had seen few other walkers and the area had not been too much abused by tourism.
On the other hand the best was yet to come and we were also anxious to see if Angela and David would be at Lukla to join up with us.
To be continued…
The setting up of a Conservation Fund, to be adminiStered on the same lines as the Coolana Fund, was proposed by John Porter early last year and has since been approved.
The fund would be built up from the following sources:-
It will be administered as a capital fund and invested in trustee securities. All interest earned during any club year will be available for club conservation projects or donations to organisations primarily concerned with the preservation of natural areas.
Proposals for expenditure should, except in a case of extreme urgency, be referred to a sub-committee comprising the President, the Treasurer and the Conservation Secretary, who will report to Committee which will make a recommendation to a general meeting.
Details of the proposal should be published in the magazine, or in the form of an insert.
The fund will be a practical means of furthering object (iii) of the constitution “to establish a definite regard for the welfare and preservation of the wildlife and natural beauty of this country”. Members will know that their donations, or allocations from club funds, will be used for the purpose of preserving the natural areas which they enjoy.
The ACE has notified the SBW that it has been approved as an organisation eligible to receive a specific grant from the Foundation. The ACF's approval is much appreciated. It will be an incentive to doners to support the Conservation Fund.
In order to make a donation to the ACF, stating a preference that the donation should be spent for the purposes of the SBW Conservation Fund, donors should send their cheque to the ACF, accompanied by the following form:-
Australian Conservation Foundation
340 Gore Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
I attach a donation to the Australian Conservation Foundation. I prefer that this donation should be spent for the purposes of The Sydney Bush Walkers Conservation Fund. I understand that this donation is tax deductible and look forward to your receipt.
Name (Mr Ms Mrs Miss)……
Address…… Postcode…… Date……
Signed…… Amount $……
The ACF advises that donations over $2 are tax deductible if you fill in the form. Make the cheque out to the Australian Conservation Foundation, fill in the form expressing a preference that the donation be used for the purposes of The Sydney Bush Walkers Conservation Fund and send the cheque and form to ACF.
(Please note that ACF mail out receipts only once a month)
by Frank Woodgate
After leaving Charlestown at 7.30 am with my brother Dick, a couple of stops along the way and travelling 190 km we arrived at the Tomalla area of Barrington Tops at around 11.00 am. For once we were not camping out and were staying in a building on a farm complete with most modern conveniences including beds and plumbing and a beautiful view from the verdandah.
One of the first things noticed was a small lizard caught in a strong spider's web. Even after removing the lizard from the web its tail and feet were bound in filaments of web which were nearly as strong as fine fishing line and had to be cut off with knife and scissors. During this process the lizard seemed to take a strong liking to my jungle green shirt and disappeared up my arm two or three times. On the last occasion a tickling on the back of my neck showed where my guest was and liberation was then completed.
Bird life was prolific and notable amongst those seen or heard were: Crimson and Eastern Rosella, Red Wattle Bird, Magpie, Peewit, Yellow Rump Thornhill, Swans, Wood Duck, Lyrebird, Pied Cormorant, Pied Faced Heron and Spur Winged Plover. Towards the end of the day additional Cormorants arrived at high altitude from the south. When they sighted the farm dams they went into a steep dive and made a spectacular sound when they applied the air brakes prior to landing. The Kookaburras rendered a deafening evening chorus and fortunately did not repeat this at dawn.
The scenery was tremendous for photography and in addition to the scenery I took portraits of a tame bull and his entourage of heifers and also a horse. During fishing of the dams there were signs of some fish life but no result except for losing the leader and fly from my line.
Weather was very fine with maximum day temperature around 25 and minimum evening temperature of 14 degrees. This with low humidity made life very comfortable during our stay compared with life on the coast. Our elevation was 1000 metres above sea level and our location was right on the source (No. 2) of the Hunter River.
Drove by road and bush track to John and Del O'Hares property on the Upper Manning River. We had a chat with Del who was just about to paint out her lounge room. Del very kindly gave us a cup of tea and telephoned the Manager of Tomalla Station (C.P.H./Kerry Packer) which adjoins their property to obtain permission for us to fish there. We then walked a few kilometres downstream across the Gummi Plain and fished our way back upstream. I got one eel on natural bait and a couple of strikes but no take on spinners. Dick got one fish on fly and lost a good one along the way. Most of the country we fished was open and this with the intense summer light was against us. Had a chat with John who had been busy all day with the tractor pasturing for winter feed for the cattle and returned to our base.
We awoke to a spectacular carolling of Grey Butcherbirds, also heard a Cicada Bird.
After packing up we proceeded directly to the Upper Manning Camping area on Forestry Commission land, left our car and walked a few kilometres along the ridges behind the river. As we got further down our way was impeded by masses of tree ferns and vines. The vines were not quite as vicious as usual as if something had removed the barbs and-they seemed to release their hold when I held a knife against their stem. This is best described as long pants and gaiter country but there are plenty of open spots near good pools which in summer would be excellent for walking into for camping. Wading upstream is relatively easy and comfortable at summer temperatures. This area is about 5 km upstream from the previous day's venue. Fishing produced plenty of small to takable fish so it could be better in the autumn. One fish was so keen it followed my lure over a small waterfall.
We had lunch back at the car during which we had a visit by what looked like a pale brown snake which would not pose for a photo except in the shade. Had a quick trip back leaving at 2.30 and arriving home at 4.45 pm.
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at 20.12 with the President in the chair and around 55 members present. There were apologies from Tony Marshall, Hans Stichter, Jim Brown, Bob Niven and Jeff Niven, Bev Foulds, Ian Wolfe, and Alan and Anita Doherty.
New members David and Maureen Carter, Lyn Davis, Dianne and Tom Domminy, Jean Kendall, Graeme Miller, John Montague and Jennifer Morgan were called forth for welcome into membership with only Jennifer Morgan as a no-show. In a similar way George and Helen Gray and Spiro Hajinakitas were installed as Honorary Active members.
Minutes of the previous A.G.M. were read and received with no matters arising. The Annual Reports were presented, taken as read and accepted. The Financial Statements were taken as read and accepted.
All of which brought us to the election of office bearers for the coming year and the associated motions permitting the business of the meeting to proceed concurrently with the elections and establishing the methods for counting votes cast. No doubt the results of the elections were published last month.
The determination of the level of subscriptions for the coming year brought a recommendation from the Treasurer that rates remain unchanged, and that's how we finished up. There was extensive debate and argument on a series of amendments to a motion that we set a separate rate for pensioner members, but in the end the votes swept it all off into oblivion.
The Treasurer's Report for the month indicated that we had income of $648.00 and expenditure of $1,330.00.
The Walks Report began with the weekend of 15,16,17 February. Les Powell's leisurely Shoalhaven River walk was cancelled but Jim Rivers not only led a party of 5 on his Colo River - Canoe Creek fishing walk but they also caught fish. David Rostron's Davies Canyon abseiling trip had a party of 8 and good weather. Of the day walks, George Mawer had 10 on his Waterfall to Engadine swimming trip, Geoff McIntosh had 9 on his Ruined Castle walk and Maurie Bloom's mapping instructional was reported to have been a success.
Alex Colley's midweek South Coast walk had a party of 7 plus 1 somewhat restricted in their swimming due to high seas but otherwise to program.
February 22,23,24 saw Bob Younger cancel his Ettrema walk but Geoff McIntosh reported a party of 13 on his Corang River swimming trip. Peter Christian's Three-Canyon li-lo day walk on the 24th attracted a party of 5, while Jan Mohandas had a party of 31 out battling the heat and the dust and the bull-ants around Tootie Creek. Jim Callaway had 5+2+1 on his Heathcote to Otford walk.
March 1,2,3 saw Ian Debert cancel his Yalwal gourmet weekend and Oliver Crawford's Wollemi walk was reported as 4 bods, 2 1/2 hours fire trail and 18 hours scrub-bashing on steep slopes. They didn't mention enjoyable for some reason. Kenn Clacher's Kanangra walk was somewhat re-routed to go via the Wollongambe on its way to Kanangra Falls. Wayne Steele's rock scrambling and ropework in the Morton N.P. was cancelled. Morag Ryder had a party of 14-1 on her Narrowneck area walk, reported as to schedule despite the trains. Tom Wenman cancelled his Colo River day walk.
The weekend of March 8,9,10 saw Les Powell leading a party of 3 on his Gunmarl Saddle trip which was said to have gone well. Geoff McIntosh's Redledge Pass walk was in stark contrast, described as “terrible” for the party of 16. It seems that they started out fogbound, but it is not clear just what else went wrong. Eddy Giacomel had 20 on his Pierce's Pass to Bluegum day walk, and Vic Lewin had the party of 9 on his Evans Lookout walk arriving out at 2100!
There was a Conservation Report, and the Confederation Report revealed that there have been a succession of break-ins to cars parked near Claustral Canyon.
General Business brought only a report of a re-design to the letterhead on club stationery. After that it was simply a matter of closing the meeting, at 2218, with a hollow sounding “Let us re-une” (in 6 months time possibly without ticks).
The official induction of incoming President, Bill Holland, took place according to tradition after the Annual General Meeting. However, there was a notable difference: instead of the seclusion and darkness of Coolana, the ceremony took place against a backdrop of city skyscrapers and colourful neon lights on Wednesday 20th March.
Because of the change of dates for the Coolana Reunion, the induction was held at the clubhouse at Kirribilli and, although the setting was the exact opposite to Coolana, it still had a special and significant meaning.
A most up-market barbecue followed in the spacious grounds of the clubhouse and the evening certainly passed as merrily as any similar occasion at Coolana. Congratulations Bill.
|May 1st||Committee Meeting|
|May 8th||General Meeting. A selection of slides will be shown after the meeting|
|May 15th||Safe Motoring. Talk by Peter Caldwell, NRMA Chief Engineer|
|May 22nd||Bush PHotography - How To Get The Best Results. Talk and slides by Henry Gold who photographs are featured in the NSW Wilderness Calendar|
|May 29th||Culture Night. This is a repeat of the very successful night held last year. If you would like to perform, contact Helen Gray on 876 6263.|