The Sydney Bushwalker is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc, Box 4476 GPO Sydney 1001. To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||George Mawer, 42 Lincoln Road Georges Hall 2198, Telephone 707 1343|
|Business Manager||Joy Hynes, 36 Lewis Street, Dee Why 2099 Telephone 982 2615 (H), 888 3144 (B)|
|Production Manager||Fran Holland|
|Editorial Team||Barbara Bruce, Bill Holland, Jo Robertson & Maurice Smith|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Kay Chan, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven & Les Powell|
The Sydney Bushwalkers Incorporated was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kiribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday.
|Public Officer||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary||Morrie Ward|
|Social Secretary||John Hogan|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Conservation Secretary||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor||George Mawer|
|Committee Members||Denise Shaw & Maurice Smith|
|Delegates to Confederation||Wilf Rider & Ken Smith|
|Conservation Letters||Alex Colley||2|
|A Lady in the Chair||Kath Brown||5|
|S&R Training Weekend||George Mower||5|
|Erith's Ankle||Maurice Smith||6|
|Confederation Navigation Exercise||6|
|A Cry from the Wilderness||Dot Butler||6|
|In Anticipation||Barbara Bruce||9|
|Australian Andean Expedition 1969||9|
|From the Clubroom||Maurice Smith||10|
|Court Claim Finalised||Bill Holland||10|
|First Aid Course||10|
|The A.G.M.||Barry Wallace||11|
|Fire Damaged Track Maintenance||12|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||7|
This issue of your magazine is the first one for many years to be compiled by persons other than Kath Brown and I miss her already. Kath (and Jim) certainly did most of the work and both will still contribute in many ways for a while yet.
It is only natural that the appearance, style and layout of the magazine will change considerably from what it has been. Whereas most of the typing was previously produced on a typewriter, it is now almost entirely created on computer. This method of word processing allows for a much greater variety of style and presentation, possibly limited only by the imagination and skill of operator. Over the past year quite a number of computer produced articles have been submitted, and usually in a form that required no editing, allowing their inclusion “as received”. This type of contribution certainly makes preparation of the magazine a little easier.
Now, of course, we accept contributions that are hand written, typed or on Floppy Disk. We have a few people who can quickly type up your hand written articles so please keep them coming. We need them. Contributions received on disk will be that much easier to handle, so if you can, submit it on disk. We'll get your disk back to you. Also any one that has access to a PC and can spare a little time for typing please contact me.
Our walks secretary advises that there will be two additional easy grade walks to supplement the Autumn program:
Sunday April 24th
Kuringai NP, Wahroonga Stn (9-00am) - Grosvenor Track - Bobbin Head - Mt Kuring-Gai Stn. Bring water. A beautiful day walk on Sunday of the Anzac weekend. Grade: Easy. Bill Holland 484 6636 (H) 925 3309 (W)
Sunday May 15th
Berowra Bushland - Benowie Track Pennant Hills Stn (9-00 am) Benowie Track to Hornsby with some interesting deviations. Please bring water. Grade: easy 18km. Bill Holland 484 6636 (H) 925 3309 (W)
Walk Cancellation - Royal National Park, May 22nd
I phoned the National Parks and Wildlife Service this week and was informed that following the January bush fires the Royal National Park will remain closed to bushwalking for at least six months, and certainly until after the beginning of spring. I was told that this was because of the fragile nature of the ground where plant matter has been burnt from the soil creating the risk of erosion where feet break through the crust.
Therefore to avoid confusion I am cancelling my Royal N.P. walk of 22/5/1994. Unfortunately I am unable to provide a substitute walk.
I was also told that even though the fire damage to Heathcote N.P. was minimal (burning being confined to the south edge where fire briefly crossed the freeway) the Heathcote N.P. is closed until heavy rains reduce the high fire danger. I was informed that the rains received up till 3/3/94 were not sufficient to reduce the danger sufficiently for the park to be opened at May 22nd. Errol Sheedy
Note that Heathcote N.P. is open again. Ed
The Hon. John Fahey Premier of New South Wales,
Dear Mr. Fahey,
The Sydney Bushwalkers are concerned that your view that section 8 (5) of the WildernesS Act, which prescribes that the act does not affect existing interests, enables off-road vehicle drivers and horse riders to continue using these areas. We believe this section applies only to property interests, but that if your view of existing interests is accepted, bushwalkers, who for many years have been recreational users of wilderness, and do not damage the natural environment,have a much greater interest in its preservation than motorised or equestrian users.
Our interest accords with that of most of the people of NSW, i e. to preserve wilderness: from damaging use. It also accords With the management principal laid down in section 9: (3) of the Act, that of permitting opportunity for solitude and appropriate self-reliant recreation.
We believe that the demands of the off-road vehicle lobby should be met by giving effect to the findings of the State Pollution Control Commission's Inquiry into the recreational use of off-road vehicles. The Commission recommended that special areas should be made available for their use.
Yours sincerely, AG. Colley Hon. Conservation Secretary
The Rt. Hon. Paul Keating, M.P., Prime Minister of Australia,
Dear Mr, Keating,
The Sydney. Bushwalkers strongly support the representations of the Australian Conservation Foundation for the protection of the coastal environment and in particular the immediate threat posed by the relocation of the armaments complex.
Members of this club have an intimate knowledge of the coast and the degradation of its natural features. Development is now almost continuous from Newcastle to Nowra. We took a leading part in the reservation of three of the few natural remnants - Bouddi, Garrawarra and Era; We have supported the reservation of Beecroft Peninsular ever since our founding member, Myles J. Dunphy O.B.E. proposed it as a primitive reserve in 1944.
We also urge that a marine park be established in concert With the State Government in order to preserve the clear waters and.rich and diverse marine life in the bay.
Jervis Bay is an irreplaceable recreational resource for more than 4 million people living in the central coastal cities of NSW and for visitors from other parts of Australia and overseas.
Yours sincerely, A.G. Colley OAM Hon. Conservation Secretary
By Kath Brown
When I attended the AGM on Wednesday 8th March, I was delighted to find that the new President elected was a woman. Greta James is a strong walker and a strong personality, and Im sure she will prove a capable president. It is seven years since SBW had a woman President, and over the years there have been six other women in that position. I thought the newer club members, might be interested to know who they were.
The first woman president was Dorothy Lawry 1942/1943. In addition to being involved with the first “Sydney Bushwalker”, Dorothy was also one of the party in Blue Gum who realised its danger and helped to save it for future generations. Dorothy was obviously a strong walker although being before my time, 1 don't remember her. I understand she went to live in New Zealand for several years, but returned to Australia and died some years ago.
Two years later our next woman President was Edna Garrad, who was also a strong walker - I know, because I went on several trips that she led. She was also involved with new members and of course was on the committee. At a great age she is now in a nursing home in Arncliffe.
In 1964 our next female President was Heather Joyce, a very strong walker (she completed one of the “85 miler” trips) and was very popular with the younger members of the Club: Unfortunately this year was a rather turbulent year in the 'Club - I think Heather was glad to let it go after only one year. Later she married another ex- President, John White, and they now live in retirement in Tasmania.
Then we had two women presidents for two years each, in succession, Helen Gray. 1976/1977 and Fazeley Read 1978/1979. These people are, Well-known to most current SBW members and are still active on the track. Needless to say, they are both charming women and have both done a lot of work for the Club. At present Helen and George Gray live in the country, but Fazeley is still living in Sydney (I saw her at the AGM).
Our sixth woman President, Barbara Bruce, is also still walking Strongly and 1iVing in Sydney. Her years were 1985/1986. As she is a great personal friend of Jim and myself, all I can say is that she made an excellent President and we love her.
From the time the Club was formed in 1927 we now have had 36 different Presidents, mostly men. So We welcome another woman President and wish her well in the coming year.
One of the traditions of SBW is that each President only keeps office for two years, not more. This gives many keen walkers a chance to aspire to the job. We are fortunate that so many good walkers and club members are keen to do so.
by George Mawer
There were about 120 of us at the Cataract Scout Camp Complex over the weekend of 19th/20th March, participating in a S&R training workshop covering Search and rescue procedures and Survival techniques. Regrettably I cant find words sufficient to convey to the reader my opinion of the high value of such training. It was a great weekend and very well conducted and I am sure that all participants found it both enjoyable and educational.
On the Saturday we were given instruction on how to set up and operate the S&R two way radio system, rope-work recovery techniques, some instruction by the police on how not to mess up “ a crime scene” and some practical training on working with a rescue Helicopter.
The S&R radio system consists of a base station radio transmitter- receiver controlled and operated by the experts, and a number of smallish portable and hand held two way units allocated one to each ground party participating in a search.
Rope-work included an introduction to some of the equipment and procedures employed when lifting and lowering people up and down cliffs and' from a hovering helicopter. We actually had a visit by the NRMA Care-flight Helicopter and a most informative talk by some of the crew. The helicopter had to leave a little earlier than planned but returned later in the afternoon to “rescue” one of their party who had stayed with us. The aircraft hovered about 30 metres above the ground during the entire exercise. Spectacular stuff!
The police attempted to make us aware of the need to think ahead when looking for a person who may not have made it. Leave some evidence for them to work out what happened.
Sunday was “get out there and practise what we taught you yesterday”. There were activities designed to have us utilise the Saturday instructions, working as teams and simulating various S&R and survival situations. Very, stimulating stuff. You should have been there.
The next S&R practice will be at Barringah, 15th/16th October.
by Maurice Smith
On Sunday 27 March, 1994 while walking across the top of Sturgiss Mountain in the Budawang Ranges, Erith Hamilton was chosen to become the club's newest member of the Bushwalkers Broken Ankle Society. As with other members of this exclusive society, Erith was not aware that she had been chosen to join the elite membership.
We were walking across Sturgisi Mountain heading towards the Hidden Valley exit. As Erith, stepped off a small rock ledge onto a grass tussock area, she placed her left foot onto a small ledge hidden in the grass. As her weight came down onto her ankle she fell forward and she let us know that she had become a member of the Society.
When new members join the Society other walkers in the area are required to attend to the initiate. This we did, while Erith was quite stoic about the situation. Initiates to the Society need to be examined by medicos who take mysterious pictures to confirm membership, who then place large lumps of plaster n the relevant lower limb as a sign of membership.
However, as we were sitting on top of a mountain with a quite a difficult exit, how were we to allow Erith to undergo the balance of her initiation? We came to the conclusion that only a large bird could carry us from the top of the Mountain to an appropriate medical spot where new Members of the Society are required to attend. A group capably lead by Carol Lubbers walked out to arrange for the required transportation for Erith. This was achieved the next morning when a large and noisy bird of the Westpac variety landed on the top of the mountain nearby to carry us away. This they did, with Erith taken to St. George Hospital where the medical personnel confirmed that Erith has indeed passed all the entrance requirements for admission to the Bushwalkers Broken Ankle Society.
Erith has fractured her left ankle in three places and has had several steel pins inserted in the bone to assist the bone rejoining process. She has a plaster cast from toes to just below the knee and this will be kept in place for about six weeks or so. Sh- is now at home and learning how to move around using crutches.
Erith, the rest of the group wish you well following your initiation into the Bushwalkers Broken Ankle Society and look forward to seeing you back on the track later in the year. Other members of the party were Carol Lubbers, David Trinder, Patrick Trinder, John Nagy, Vic Gosbell and Maurice Smith.
Each year the S&R section of the Confederation Of Bushwalking Clubs runs the Navigation Shield for the Emergency Services of NSW. This year it will be held on the 25th and 26th of June in the Jenolan area. In the two day event, club teams will compete against teams from the police, SES, armed services bushfire: brigade and others. The S&R committee would like to see bushwalking clubs continue to win this event. Less confident navigators are encouraged to just come and use the course as a practice activity.If you are interested in participating in this exercise please contact George Mawer on 707 1343.
The S&R committee also needs help in the running of this event. Assistance in setting the course is much needed. People who would like to help on the day either, with catering or administration are also required.
Please contact John Tonitto on 528 6174 if you are able to assist.
A note from Dot Butler
Dot Butler and Alex Colley, inspecting future Wilderness Areas in the Pilliga Forest, are having a marvellous time staying at the Pilliga Pottery, a 4000 acre wilderness property in the Warrumbungle region. The owners would like this inserted in our magazine:
Help wanted “Large family with Pottery and Farm enterprise, requires housekeeper/gardener - active and natural bush lifestyle aiming towards self sufficiency - 4 hours work expected in exchange for bed and board - extra earnings possible. Person with horse welcome”. Richard and Maria Rickert (068)42 2239 Dot Butler 489 2208
There should be someone among our 500 members who would jump at the chance.
by Barbara Bruce
In September 1993 I was in conversation with my friendly bike-shop man, David, when one of the cycle touring catalogues caught my eye. Not only that, but one of the trips advertised played havoc with my imagination. That trip was: scheduled to cycle The Great Ocean Road in Victoria from Port Fairy to Melbourne, over 600 km in 8 days in April 1994. I had to do it!
One of life's pleasures for me is a cycling trip of, say, a day's duration in our scenic countryside. Spasmodic as these events are in my life, 1 am well aware of the tenderness which befalls one's backside after a few hours in the saddle - a bit the same as suffering from a blister: you really feel it when you get moving again after a rest. I didn't want this to happen on the first couple of days of my holiday because it would reduce the pleasure somewhat, so I determined on a period of training.
This was to be. From1I March - 6 weeks prior to the trip beginning. Except that, on Australia Day, I rode from my place at Allawah to Kurnell and back- a distance of 35k practically non stop. This was wearing. proper bike nicks and all, and you could say I was very aware of my seat, by the time I arrived home. So I brought forward the date from 1 March to 1 February.
I am rather glad I did, as much for the unexpected side benefits, as the beneficial effects of the training itself. It meant reorganising my life to a fair degree to make the time and also taking my bike and a change of clothes to work so I could stop off at a large bike track on the way home and “do laps”. This was far easier for me than trying to clock up the same number of kms along roads. Another advantage of starting in February I quickly realised was daylight saving, so I made a determined effort to get as much training as I could under my belt while I had the extended daylight hours. (By the time of my last training session I expect to be finishing in semi darkness) This way, if necessary,I merely had to ensure, I maintained what I gained early.
There was the motivation, but I really thought the practice of it may require some mind closing discipline to achieve my ends. It hasn't proven that way at all. The times I've spent 'doing the circuit' have been most fascinating. First of all, the park itself is quite large and varied in landscape and the grass has always been green, so it's visually quite attractive. I never lost the thrill of the wind in my face as I freeWheeled the downhill section. I always felt good after any training session and the evening that followed them was always different and interesting. I haven't quite figured out why this was so - I just know that it was great. Last but not least was observation of the other folk I encountered on my circuits. As anyone who knows me is aware, my smile is spontaneous with anybody so the different reactions to this caused me some amusement. Some people would pretend hot to notice and occasionally one would try to carry on a serial conversation at each passing, and then there was today, when practically everyone smiled at me first. The unspoken rule: ignore most people after the first or second round.
Circuit training has predominated but some of the greater pleasures have come from the spur of the moment rides with friends (some of whom had to dust the cobWebs off their bikes). One of the more memorable of these was a Sunday trip from my Place to Bundeena and back (partly via ferry) with Maurice Smith and Bronnie Niemeyer. Not only did we enjoy the journey, we also visited a corner of the Royal National Park at Bundeena. As this visit was just six weeks after the disastrous bushfires, we were intrigued to see all the new growth on the trees and scrub as well as a few wildflowers. Fascinating.
It's not long to go now before I will actually be cycling that Great Ocean Road but already I know that the effort was worth making.
to help celebrate the Australian Andean Expedition - 1969 Silver Anniversary Celebration Friday, 10th June 1994
An evening to celebrate Australian mountaineering will be held at Australian Geographic Headquarters, Terry Hills on 10th June 1994 at 7 pm.
by Maurice Smith
Andy McQueen, author of “Life and Journeys of Barrallier”, joined us in the clubroom on the evening of 23 March to enlighten us about Ensign Francis Barrallier. In 1802 a party lead by Barrallier came within a few miles of being the first group from the fledgling colony of NSW to cross the hitherto impenetrable Great Dividing Range on the west of the Sydney Settlement.
Andy is a bushwalker who became interested, then intrigued, and ultimately “obsessed” by the French born Francis Louis Barrallier who became an Ensign in the NSW Corps and, as an Engineer, Architect and Surveyor, did important work for Governor King.
Unfortunately Barrallier's field journals are not known to exist, so, to the extent possible from other surviving records Andy has retraced the routes of Barrallier's expeditions of exploration in his role as “Ambassador to the King of the Mountains”.
Andy described how Barrallier and his party in two major expeditions in late 1802 discovered the Nattai River, Byrne's Gap, the Tonalli Mountains and the Burragorang Valley. However, they were prevented by a large waterfall, from penetrating through to Kanangra Walls.
To illustrate his talk Andy had an excellent set of colour slides of the area in which Barrallier walked and the probable route undertaken. A limited number of copies of Andy's book are available from the club for $15.
Andy, we enjoyed your talk, thanks, for an interesting evening.
Jim is currently in Concord Hospital where he is slowly recovering from an operation. He has had much joy from visits of SBW friends. We wish Jim a full and early recovery.
Is your first aid knowledge out of date?. How long is it since you passed a first aid test? A first aid. certificate is current for only three years. If yours is older than that or if you have never had one, here is an opportunity too good miss: A St John First Aid Certificate for $53 instead of the usual $120!
Courses are organised for bushwalkers by the S&R Committee of the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs. The next course will be held on the week-end of 28-29 May. (Another on the 29-30 October). Advance booking is essential. SBW members should contact Denise Shaw, 922 6093 (h) or Judy Mehaffey, (042) 26 3589 (h), (042) 2901,09 (w).
The Bushwalker, newsletter of the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs, is published quarterly. Because of increased postal charges it is no longer posted to SBW members with The Sydney Bushwalker. Copies can be picked up at the club rooms on meetings nights. The first issue for 1994 is now available.
A bushwalking trip that ends with an ambulance ride can be very costly. Those members who are not covered for such an eventuality may be interested to know that for $30 single ($60 family) HCF (and probably many of the other funds) will provide Ambulance cover, including Air Ambulance, anywhere in Australia. Not much money for a lot of peace of mind.
Several members have queried the terms of settlement of the recent court case brought against the club. We are not at liberty to discuss all of the details but the following points should be noted.
by Barry Wallace
It was around 20.07 when the president, arrayed in multiple pendulous carved bones necklaces and blazer with pocket patch proclaiming his incumbency, belaboured the gong and allowed the throng to lapse back into a turmoil of private conversations. Perhaps as well, for the numbers were thresholding on the verge of a non-quorum. It was around 20.12 when the president again laid about the gong and managed to coax the by now 28 or so members present to pay attention and declared the 66th. AGM underway. There were apologies from George and Helen Gray, John Hogan, Barbara Bruce, Margaret Read, George Mawer, Laurie Bore, Carol Lubbers, David Trinder and Belinda McKenzie.
The minutes of the previous AGM were read and received, and, apart from a racy bit about the Kosciusko Hots Association that turned out a mispronunciation, garnered no comment.
Correspondence was limited to a pleasant letter covering the donation of some material for the archives. This same letter also brought promise of further donations once the author can sort through the materials at hand.
The annual reports were taken as read, and received. The auditor's report, financial statements and accounts were taken as read, and received.
There came a brief interlude here where we paused to honour one in our midst, Kath Brown, for all her years of dedicated toil in assisting in so many ways with the preparation of copy for the club magazine. She was presented with a dried flower arrangement and chocolates by the president on behalf of the membership.
After establishing the ground rules required to permit elections to proceed, we proceeded with the elections. Greta James was elected as president and, although taking up the outgoing president's invitation to sit at the chair, ceded to him the right to act as chairman for the remainder of the meeting.
The list of new club officers appeared in last month's magazine.
The treasurer recommended that annual subscriptions remain at the same level as last year. There seemed to be no argument against this point of view so we so resolved. The treasurer's report was next. It seems we spent $637, acquired income of $586 and ended the month with a balance of $1,784.
The walks report began at the weekend of 11, 12, 13 February with Greta James choosing not to conduct a real bushwalk in summer in torrential rain. The walk, from Newnes to Newnes via Constance Gorge involves spending most of the weekend on the wrong side of the Nolgan River. (In walking tenths the wrong side of any stream is taken to be the side of the stream wheit your cars, food, exit route or other desirable items are not located. The other side is where the easiest going is always seen to be.). John Hogan cancelled his walk to Belloon Pass and Kenn clacher cancelled ' his abseiling trip in Bowens. Creek. Eddie Giacomel's day walk to the Cabo River went, with 12 people enjoying a good day.
The weekend of 18, 19, 20 February saw Barrie Murdoch leading -a party of 3 through cool conditions on his trip on: the Kovvmung River and Arabanoo Creek. They reported numerous Lyre Birds in the area. Greg. Bridge's trip on the Shoalhaven from Long Point Went in cool overcast conditions with a party of 8. Ian Debert's barbecue day walk along the coast from Dee Why saw 10 starters walking in the rain and 'a somewhat larger- group barbecuing indoors. For some obscure reason 'swimming was not popular. Maurice Smith Modified his walk on the Woronora river to make it a bike ride from Cronulla to Bundeena.
February 25, 26, 27 saw Geoff Mcintosh leadinga party of 4 on his Christie Creek Arabanoo Canyon trip in beautiful conditions. It is unclear what drove Geoff to want to visit the spot in the creek where the two fliers recently perished after surviving the crash of their aircraft but that's just what he did. Kenn Clacher led 5 and 4 at various times on his abseiling trip in the Wollemi N.P, The Weather was good and the trip was described as pleasant. Of the day walks, Saska Lituaos Blue Gum Walk went to Wentworth Falls but we have no other information, and Peter Miller's map and compass instructional Walk had 17 in attendance and was described by one of the survivors. as a good, well planned trip. One must suppose the weather was at least warm, as there were reports of swimming in Kanuka Brook.
The two weekend trips scheduled for 4, 5, 6 March disappeared without trace. There were no details forJim Rivers' Ettrema area walk and no details for Ian Wolfe's liloing down the Shoalhaven trip. Richard Brading's walk in Kuringai NP saw a party of 12 enjoying a pleasant walk in pretty surroundings. Mai* s bike trip in the Windsor area attracted 21 starters and was described as 64 kilometres, uphill, into the wind, at 31 degrees Celsius. Otherwise it was a most enjoyable trip, if you like that sort of thing. Wilf Hilder had the 15 starters on stage 3 of his great south walk (Sydney to Yass) enjoying a good if somewhat truncated day as they 'ended an early declaration at East Hills.
Confederation report revealed that we had all our delegates present for the discussions. The $6k amount slated to be credited to NPA against the cost of their annual subs in exchange for Office facilities was rescheduled to $lk for office space and $5k of donation to more truly reflect the reality of the deal.
There was discussion of the extensive park closures by NPWS and a report on proposed restrictions to be placed on the flight of light aircraft over national parks and wilderness areas. It was also mentioned that the Confederation are members of an organisation called SCOPE (?) which is reputed to be a 4WD users interest group.
Conservation report saw mention of the mysterious case of the state government's interest in the conservation of the Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby. We have to date received two letters from NPWS relating to this matter and mentioning the concern for the animal and plans to take action on the creatures behalf. One can only wonder what they are planning to do for the less cute and cuddlys such as the exoskeletons and moulds and slimes which are probably more important to the humans on the planet in the long run. One's cynical doppelganger can only have a field day speculating over how all this concern for nature, or at least the more marketable bits of it, will be used in the run up to the next election. At any rate it all cut no ice with the meeting and we decided to write regarding the way in Which wilderness access by 4WDs and horses is degrading bushwalking areas.
There was no general business, so after the announcements we closed the meeting at 21.38.
I don't recall hearing any “let us reune” but that probably has to do with rescheduled dates for the reunion.
Members wishing to contribute some of their time to assist with track maintenance in the Blue Mountains are invited to join forces with NPA and other clubs on Saturday and/or Sunday May 14th-15th 1994. Meet at The Heritage Centre, Govetts Road Blackheath at 9 am. This is a worthwhile activity and a chance to meet a few more people. For more information contact Robyn Cox 897 2270.