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199603 [2020/04/16 08:35]
ljclarke6
199603 [2020/04/16 09:04]
ljclarke6
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 ====== The Cross Cut Saw ====== ====== The Cross Cut Saw ======
  
-Pat Harrison +**Pat Harrison** 
-(Reprinted from May 1969 Sydney Bushwalker.)+(Reprinted from May 1969 Sydney Bushwalker) 
  "​And is this-Yarrow?​-THIS the stream  "​And is this-Yarrow?​-THIS the stream
 Of which my fancy cherished, Of which my fancy cherished,
 So faithfully, a waking dream?"​ So faithfully, a waking dream?"​
-The poet Wordsworth wrote these lines after he had first:seen Yarrowin Scotland; but there had been other times when he had failed to get to that beautiful place, and on one of these occasions he wrote the following lines:- + 
-"If care with freezing years should come, And,​wandering seem but folly,-+The poet Wordsworth wrote these lines after he had first seen Yarrow in Scotland; but there had been other times when he had failed to get to that beautiful place, and on one of these occasions he wrote the following lines:- 
 +"If care with freezing years should come,  
 +And,​wandering seem but folly,-
 Should we be loath to stir from home, Should we be loath to stir from home,
  And yet be melancholy;  And yet be melancholy;
- ​Should life be dull, and spirits low, 'Twill soothe us in our sorrow, + ​Should life be dull, and spirits low,  
-That earth has something yet to show, The bonny holms of Yarrow."​ +'Twill soothe us in our sorrow, 
-The Cross cut Saw is one of a couple of places that have stood in the same relation to me. Once upon a timer invited a chap to go there on a walking tour but he mucked the proposal up before it got started and I abandoned it However, the Sydney Bushwalkers are a different proposition and can be relied on to stick fast to a plan; consequently seven of us (Ray Hookway, ​]..rank ​Taeker, Roger G-owing, Bill Gillam, Ross Hughes, Jim Vatiliotis and myself) made our first landfall at the Paragon cafe at Goulbum ​at lOpm on Easter Thursday and our next one at Holbrook at 3.20am on Good Friday! The petrol stations were still open amidoing a roaring trade. +That earth has something yet to show,  
-After a couple of hours in our bags we drove as far as Table Top near Albury where we pulled off the road and 'boiled the billies for breakfast. The morningwas ​clearand sunny, everyone was in good spirits, and other car loads of bushwalkers tooted us as they headed north. There was also a gorging of fruit and tomatoes - far better for these things to be inside your tumrnmy ​than inside the Fruit Inspector'​s hut across the border. +The bonny holms of Yarrow."​ 
-The next landfalls were to be Banana ​and Mirimbah, but because of a combination of events we did not see Bill's Toyota at either of these places although we waited at both of them. Ray's car had been in front but had pulled in for petrol while Bill was stuck behind a semi-trailer and consequently Bill thought that we were still ahead of him. + 
-We spent two hours in the sun at Mirimbah, ​having lunch and waiting for Bill, and then learnt from some campers that a white Toyota station waggon with a NSW plate had been there hours ago and had asked directions to "The Springs"​. This of course was McAlister Springs where we were all going, so we threw our gear into the car and set off for the Howqua river which would be as far as we could drive; but no Toyota had been on the Howqua, either at Bindaree Hut or elsewhere, so we parked Ray's car at the foot of the Howitt spur after leaving messages for a white Toyota With campers scattered along the river. +The Cross cut Saw is one of a couple of places that have stood in the same relation to me. Once upon a time I invited a chap to go there on a walking tour but he mucked the proposal up before it got started and I abandoned itHowever, the Sydney Bushwalkers are a different proposition and can be relied on to stick fast to a plan; consequently seven of us (Ray Hookway, ​Frank Taeker, Roger Gowing, Bill Gillam, Ross Hughes, Jim Vatiliotis and myself) made our first landfall at the Paragon cafe at Goulburn ​at lOpm on Easter Thursday and our next one at Holbrook at 3.20am on Good Friday! The petrol stations were still open amidoing a roaring trade. 
-We had driven about 525 miles since we left Sydney, all of it on very good roads. The 25 miles from Mirimbah to the Howqua were dirt and were up and over a mountain range, but it is as good a road as you would wish for, being wider and with far better grades (for example) than the road in and out of Jenolan Caves. There are Bushfire dugouts at the Howqua Gap (or Wooly Butt saddle as it is called on the map), which is on the Divide between the Delatite and Howqua river, and there are also dugouts 19 miles from Nfirimbah ​at a place where the road changes direction to descend to the Howqua. As we drove along from Howqua Gap to the 19 mile dugouts we got tantalising glimpses of the tilted sandstone escarpment of the Bluff Divide across the Howqua valley and these glimpses whetted our appetites no end for tomorrow'​s walk. The aspect of these mountains is completely different from any of ours such as the Snowy Mountains, the Brindabellas,​ the Budawang,s, the Blue Mountains, etc. They really looked good. Another splendid sight was of Mt Buller as we drove along the + 
-MARCH 1996 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER PAGE 17 +After a couple of hours in our bags we drove as far as Table Top near Albury where we pulled off the road and boiled the billies for breakfast. The morning was clear and sunny, everyone was in good spirits, and other car loads of bushwalkers tooted us as they headed north. There was also a gorging of fruit and tomatoes - far better for these things to be inside your tummy than inside the Fruit Inspector'​s hut across the border. 
- ​....= + 
- ​a ​road between Mansfield and Mirimbah. We set up camp at the foot of the Howitt Spur and we were finishing off our meal with a pot of tea when a lone walker, Barry Woods, drove up and camped with us and helped to yarn the hours away. Barry gave us good information about our proposed route and he also gave us spare maps which we concealed under Ray's car for Bill's use.(I Was sure that Bill would turn up eventually, although some opinions were that he had :either gone skiing or trout fishing). You can imagine how soundly we slept that night. The four of us slept -side by side. You all know how Roger Gowing snores yet no one heard anything all night. Best sleep l ever had. +The next landfalls were to be Benalla ​and Mirimbah, but because of a combination of events we did not see Bill's Toyota at either of these places although we waited at both of them. Ray's car had been in front but had pulled in for petrol while Bill was stuck behind a semi-trailer and consequently Bill thought that we were still ahead of him. 
-On the morrow we left maps and a note with + 
-detailed descriptions of our route,then we set off with +We spent two hours in the sun at Mirimbah, having lunch and waiting for Bill, and then learnt from some campers that a white Toyota station waggon with a NSW plate had been there hours ago and had asked directions to "The Springs"​. This of course was McAlister Springs where we were all going, so we threw our gear into the car and set off for the Howqua river which would be as far as we could drive; but no Toyota had been on the Howqua, either at Bindaree Hut or elsewhere, so we parked Ray's car at the foot of the Howitt spur after leaving messages for a white Toyota With campers scattered along the river. 
-Barry up Howitt Spur on a very good track from which gradually unfolded ​wondeiful ​views of Mt Magdala and its Hell's Window (formed by a cleft at the edge of thepountain) on one side while the other gave us our first glimpse of the magical land of the Crosscut Saw, + 
- a jagged and spectacular series of bare alpine peaks about 5 miles long which connects Mt Speculation with the Mt Hewitt ​plateau. The crosscut ​saw is part of the Great Dividing Range and it is a razor back ridge, parts of it being only 4 or 5 feet wide. Somewhere near where the Alpine,Ash gave way to the Snow Gums we said goodbye to Barry who was off on a solo trip around the Crosscut Saw - The Viking - The Devil'​s Staircase and back over Hewitt ​to the Howqua. +We had driven about 525 miles since we left Sydney, all of it on very good roads. The 25 miles from Mirimbah to the Howqua were dirt and were up and over a mountain range, but it is as good a road as you would wish for, being wider and with far better grades (for example) than the road in and out of Jenolan Caves. There are Bushfire dugouts at the Howqua Gap (or Wooly Butt saddle as it is called on the map), which is on the Divide between the Delatite and Howqua river, and there are also dugouts 19 miles from Mirimbah ​at a place where the road changes direction to descend to the Howqua. As we drove along from Howqua Gap to the 19 mile dugouts we got tantalising glimpses of the tilted sandstone escarpment of the Bluff Divide across the Howqua valley and these glimpses whetted our appetites no end for tomorrow'​s walk. The aspect of these mountains is completely different from any of ours such as the Snowy Mountains, the Brindabellas,​ the Budawangs, the Blue Mountains, etc. They really looked good. Another splendid sight was of Mt Buller as we drove along the road between Mansfield and Mirimbah. We set up camp at the foot of the Howitt Spur and we were finishing off our meal with a pot of tea when a lone walker, Barry Woods, drove up and camped with us and helped to yarn the hours away. Barry gave us good information about our proposed route and he also gave us spare maps which we concealed under Ray's car for Bill's use.(I Was sure that Bill would turn up eventually, although some opinions were that he had either gone skiing or trout fishing). You can imagine how soundly we slept that night. The four of us slept -side by side. You all know how Roger Gowing snores yet no one heard anything all night. Best sleep l ever had. 
-A few hundred feet below the summit the Snow Gums ceased and the track zig-zagged up the rocks past odd bushes of flowering Boronia and finally emerged on the grassyplateau ​which is Mt Hewitt (5,715 feet). Mt Hewitt ​is named after Alfred William Howitt (1830-1908) who was an explorer (he searched for and found the sole surviour ​of the Burke and Wills expedition),​ scientist, geologist, botanist, and an expert on-the Australian Aboriginals. + 
-The view from the trig was panoramic - Buller, Stirling, Speculation,​ Cobbler, ​BUffalo, The Razor, The Viking, Wonnangatta Valley, Snowy Plains, Clear, and back to the Bluff but the most impressive sight of all was the CrosscUt, ​Saw lying at our feet and presenting a Series of ups and downs each of a few hundred feet, over which as we watched we could see a party of walkers threading their way.+On the morrow we left maps and a note with detailed descriptions of our route,then we set off with 
 +Barry up Howitt Spur on a very good track from which gradually unfolded ​wonderful ​views of Mt Magdala and its Hell's Window (formed by a cleft at the edge of the mountain) on one side while the other gave us our first glimpse of the magical land of the Crosscut Saw, a jagged and spectacular series of bare alpine peaks about 5 miles long which connects Mt Speculation with the Mt Howitt ​plateau. The Crosscut ​saw is part of the Great Dividing Range and it is a razor back ridge, parts of it being only 4 or 5 feet wide. Somewhere near where the Alpine, Ash gave way to the Snow Gums we said goodbye to Barry who was off on a solo trip around the Crosscut Saw - The Viking - The Devil'​s Staircase and back over Howitt ​to the Howqua. 
 + 
 +A few hundred feet below the summit the Snow Gums ceased and the track zig-zagged up the rocks past odd bushes of flowering Boronia and finally emerged on the grassy plateau ​which is Mt Hewitt (5,715 feet). Mt Howitt ​is named after Alfred William Howitt (1830-1908) who was an explorer (he searched for and found the sole survivor ​of the Burke and Wills expedition),​ scientist, geologist, botanist, and an expert on-the Australian Aboriginals. 
 + 
 +The view from the trig was panoramic - Buller, Stirling, Speculation,​ Cobbler, ​Buffalo, The Razor, The Viking, Wonnangatta Valley, Snowy Plains, Clear, and back to the Bluff but the most impressive sight of all was the Crosscut ​Saw lying at our feet and presenting a Series of ups and downs each of a few hundred feet, over which as we watched we could see a party of walkers threading their way. 
 We followed the cairns and snow poles across the flowery top of Hewitt through masses of golden Everlastings splashed with purple daisies,to the edge of the plateau overlooking the Terrible Hollow. On the far side of the hollow The Razor and The Viking stood up in the tilted pose characteristic of the area. We followed the cairns and snow poles across the flowery top of Hewitt through masses of golden Everlastings splashed with purple daisies,to the edge of the plateau overlooking the Terrible Hollow. On the far side of the hollow The Razor and The Viking stood up in the tilted pose characteristic of the area.
-While Frank wasbusy with his camera the rest of us lolled about having an early, lunch and finally at + 
-1 lam set out for the traverse of the Croscut ​Saw as far as Mount Buggery.+While Frank was busy with his camera the rest of us lolled about having an early, lunch and finally at 
 +11am set out for the traverse of the Crosscut ​Saw as far as Mount Buggery. 
 Having been consigned to this well known locality on numerous occasions I was keen to see it. We arrived there about 90 minutes later to find it occupied by members of the Melbourne Women'​s Walking Club, some of whom who remembered Dot English (Butler) and asked if she still walked in bare feet? Having been consigned to this well known locality on numerous occasions I was keen to see it. We arrived there about 90 minutes later to find it occupied by members of the Melbourne Women'​s Walking Club, some of whom who remembered Dot English (Butler) and asked if she still walked in bare feet?
 +
 On the way out near the turn-off to Stanley'​s Name Spur we also met four boys from Timber Top and by a coincidence one of them was from my small home town in North Western NSW. Small world indeed. On the way out near the turn-off to Stanley'​s Name Spur we also met four boys from Timber Top and by a coincidence one of them was from my small home town in North Western NSW. Small world indeed.
 +
 On the way back along the narrow crest there was a most effective scene with The Terrible Hollow in bright sunshine while the Howqua side was gloomy with cloud looming up from Buller. For half an hour it seemed as if it would snow but it quickly passed away and bright sunshine returned. On the way back along the narrow crest there was a most effective scene with The Terrible Hollow in bright sunshine while the Howqua side was gloomy with cloud looming up from Buller. For half an hour it seemed as if it would snow but it quickly passed away and bright sunshine returned.
-It was about 3.30pm when we got back to Hewitt, and whom do you think we saw emerging from that horrible-looking gully between ​Hewitt ​and the Crosscut? Correct! It was Bill, Ross, and Jim who had blithely ignored our note, our directions, our maps, and had pioneered a new route up to Hewitt, a route which we appropriately called The Retribution Route. However, after we had looked down into that gully we reckoned that the penance they had performed had cleared away all of their sins.+ 
 +It was about 3.30pm when we got back to Howitt, and whom do you think we saw emerging from that horrible-looking gully between ​Howitt ​and the Crosscut? Correct! It was Bill, Ross, and Jim who had blithely ignored our note, our directions, our maps, and had pioneered a new route up to Hewitt, a route which we appropriately called The Retribution Route. However, after we had looked down into that gully we reckoned that the penance they had performed had cleared away all of their sins. 
 Ross was still shaking from an encounter with a snake met on a narrow ledge at face height. Ross was still shaking from an encounter with a snake met on a narrow ledge at face height.
-Anyway we were all together in a good campsite at McAlister Springs, which is about 1%. miles east of Howitt and connected to it by a narrow saddle. A spring gushes out of the mountainside here and forms the beginning of the McAlister River. The water must be boiled because of the chance of becoming infected with parasitic worms which t> + 
-PAGE 18 'THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER MARCH 1996 +Anyway we were all together in a good campsite at McAlister Springs, which is about 1 1/2. miles east of Howitt and connected to it by a narrow saddle. A spring gushes out of the mountainside here and forms the beginning of the McAlister River. The water must be boiled because of the chance of becoming infected with parasitic worms which emanate from the cattle which are brought up to the high plains in summer. To a New South Welshman, used to pure water and unchurned ​stream banks in our National Parks, the water supply here is not pristine and this condition is directly attributable to cattle grazing which should be stopped at once and the whole magnificent area from here to Kosciusko converted to a National Park forthwith. 
-4 FROM P15 the cross cut saw + 
-emanate from the cattle which are brought up to the high plains in summer. To a New South Welshman, used to pure water and unchumed ​stream banks in our National Parks, the water supply here is not pristine and this condition is directly attributable to cattle grazing which should be stopped at oriCe and the whole magnificent area from here to Kosciusko converted to a National Park forthwith. +Sunday'​s walk was a leisurely and scenic stroll back over Howitt, Magdala, Lovick, and on to the hut at the foot of The Bluff. We never saw much of Frank of course as he was performing prodigies of patience in photographing insects and flowers. 
-Sunday'​s walk was a leisurely and scenic stroll back over Howitt, Magdala, Lovick, and on to the hut at the foot of The Bluff. We never saw much of Frank of course as he was performing prodigies of patience in photographing insects and flowers. + 
-From Magdala we dropped down about 800 feet on a narrow ridge and up about 600 feet to the jeep _track ​near No.1 Divide, where we left the Great Dividing Range and walked south-westward to a good hut under Mt Lovick where we used the tank water to make fizz. A nearby dam was filled with a murky 'liquid. +From Magdala we dropped down about 800 feet on a narrow ridge and up about 600 feet to the jeep track near No.1 Divide, where we left the Great Dividing Range and walked south-westward to a good hut under Mt Lovick where we used the tank water to make fizz. A nearby dam was filled with a murky liquid. 
-A steep climb over Mt Lovick and we were at The Bluff Hut at 4pm (another good one with bunks and a tank and another murky dam). - + 
-On the last morning we set out packless for The Bluff at 7.30am, that is all except Frank who was dawdling along in his own inimitable way, compiling a pictorial record of odd botanical and zoological specimens. At the Bluff we had completed a most magnificent ridge walk since reaching Howitt, even better than The Razorback between Feathertop and Hotharrt, but from the Bluff we could see other interesting routes such as the one along the Great Divide from No.1 Divide over Mt Clear, The Nobs and Mt McDonald, the last looking most enticing with its barish slopes and its three peaks somewhat reminiscent of Mt Cloudmaker in the Gangerangs. Further away to the east across the Mcalister River the skyline was dominated by Mt Reynard athwart the Snowy Plains.+A steep climb over Mt Lovick and we were at The Bluff Hut at 4pm (another good one with bunks and a tank and another murky dam). 
 + 
 +On the last morning we set out packless for The Bluff at 7.30am, that is all except Frank who was dawdling along in his own inimitable way, compiling a pictorial record of odd botanical and zoological specimens. At the Bluff we had completed a most magnificent ridge walk since reaching Howitt, even better than The Razorback between Feathertop and Hotham, but from the Bluff we could see other interesting routes such as the one along the Great Divide from No.1 Divide over Mt Clear, The Nobs and Mt McDonald, the last looking most enticing with its barish slopes and its three peaks somewhat reminiscent of Mt Cloudmaker in the Gangerangs. Further away to the east across the Mcalister River the skyline was dominated by Mt Reynard athwart the Snowy Plains. 
 Most of the rock in the area we traversed is sandstone with a decided tilt, said to have been caused by the movement of the granite mass of Mt Buffalo. Most of the rock in the area we traversed is sandstone with a decided tilt, said to have been caused by the movement of the granite mass of Mt Buffalo.
-Back to Bluff Hut by 10am to spend an hour lying in the sun before Frank sauntered back, then off to the jeep track down the 16 mile spur which for steepnesswould ​be hard to beat. Lace your footwear up tightly coming down here otherwise you will wear the ends off + 
-your toes as a couple of our party did. The track goes down for a couple of thousand feet without any levelling. It is almost as steep as the Gasper Buttress on Mt knolan, with a road thrown in for good measure. There were half a dozen cows ahead of us for some of the way and everyone was amazed at the strength of the cows' legs in relation to their small size and the great weight they carry. Bushwalkers,​ of course, could always get relief by turning around and walking down backwards part of the way. -+Back to Bluff Hut by 10am to spend an hour lying in the sun before Frank sauntered back, then off to the jeep track down the 16 mile spur which for steepness would be hard to beat. Lace your footwear up tightly coming down here otherwise you will wear the ends off your toes as a couple of our party did. The track goes down for a couple of thousand feet without any levelling. It is almost as steep as the Gasper Buttress on Mt Jennolan, with a road thrown in for good measure. There were half a dozen cows ahead of us for some of the way and everyone was amazed at the strength of the cows' legs in relation to their small size and the great weight they carry. Bushwalkers,​ of course, could always get relief by turning around and walking down backwards part of the way.  
 The 16 mile creek near its junction with the Howqua runs over smooth granite bars and you should have seen the fisherman'​s gleam in Bill's eyes as he viewed the pools above the little cascades. After lunch at Pike's Flat we followed the brawling, turbulent, white-water Howqua up to Bindaree Hut arriving there at 2.35pm. The 16 mile creek near its junction with the Howqua runs over smooth granite bars and you should have seen the fisherman'​s gleam in Bill's eyes as he viewed the pools above the little cascades. After lunch at Pike's Flat we followed the brawling, turbulent, white-water Howqua up to Bindaree Hut arriving there at 2.35pm.
-It was a beautiful afternoon at Binclaree, just as all of the other days had been, and four of us set out at once without packs on the 31/2mile bash to bring the cars back from the foot of the Howitt Spur. Back at Bindaree for a wash in the icy Howqua then Bill's Toyota set out for home and wefollowed soon after. Bill's car blew a head gasket near Holbrook and he finally got home at 7pm next day.+ 
 +It was a beautiful afternoon at Bindaree, just as all of the other days had been, and four of us set out at once without packs on the 3 1/2 mile bash to bring the cars back from the foot of the Howitt Spur. Back at Bindaree for a wash in the icy Howqua then Bill's Toyota set out for home and we followed soon after. Bill's car blew a head gasket near Holbrook and he finally got home at 7pm next day. 
 Our car group only intended to get out of the Howqua this night and we therefore camped on the Delatite at Mirimbah where the trees were undergoing a most glorious colour change. Our car group only intended to get out of the Howqua this night and we therefore camped on the Delatite at Mirimbah where the trees were undergoing a most glorious colour change.
-After sleeping like a top all other nights I lay awake all this night because of the noisy river and the whine of the timber jinkers which were apparently ​Making ​the most of the good weather. You haven'​t seen or heard anything unless you have seen and heard a timber jinker speeding along at 60mph with two huge ash logs chained on the back. + 
-We had a scenic drive home via Mansfield, Power'​s Lookout, Whitfield, ​DandOngadale, Buffalo River, Myrtleford of nostalgiafor ​Roger whose mother was born in the Vicarage there), and Beechwortli ​and Were home by midnight. ​El+After sleeping like a top all other nights I lay awake all this night because of the noisy river and the whine of the timber jinkers which were apparently ​making ​the most of the good weather. You haven'​t seen or heard anything unless you have seen and heard a timber jinker speeding along at 60mph with two huge ash logs chained on the back. 
 + 
 +We had a scenic drive home via Mansfield, Power'​s Lookout, Whitfield, ​Dandongadale, Buffalo River, Myrtleford ​(full of nostalgia for Roger whose mother was born in the Vicarage there), and Beechworth ​and Were home by midnight. ​
  
199603.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/16 09:08 by ljclarke6