THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to members of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc. PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565.
To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||Ray Hookway: Telephone 9411 1873 Email email@example.com|
|Business Manager||Elizabeth Miller: 1 The Babette, Castlecrag, 2068 Telephone 9958 7838|
|Production Manager||Frances Holland|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven, Les Powell, Tom Wenman|
Issue No. 774
|2||Letter to the Editor||by Rosemary Macdougal|
|Report from Committee||by Eddy Giacomel|
|3||Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro||by Jan Szarek|
|6||Club Photo Competition|
|7||Club Insurance Policies||by Rosemary MacDougal|
|9||Barrington Tops Walk||by Fazeley Read|
|10||Tasmanian Terrorists||by Charles Montross|
|New Bushwalking Publications|
|14||Temporary Archivist Wanted|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||P11|
|Paddy Pallin||Back cover|
|U Relax 4 We'll Drive||P12|
The Sydney bush Walkers Incorporated was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli 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||Bill Capon|
|Social Secretary||Elwyn Morris|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Frank Grennan|
|Conservation Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor||Ray Hookway|
|Committee Members||Anthony Crichton, Spiro Hajinakitas|
|Delegates to Confederation||Jim Callaway & Wilf Hilder|
Can anyone enlighten me as to why there is some passion by some club members to dismantle cairns? As a sometimes leader who is trying to be more adventurous I find them quite helpful (and reassuring).
by Eddy Giacomel
Alex Colley's birthday
A birthday party is being organised for Alex who will turn 90 on Sunday August 1st. Shirley Dean has been co-opted to arrange it. See the walks program for details. All club members are invited to celebrate Alex's birthday with him.
Subscriptions remain the same as for last year and are now due.
|Non-active member + magazine||$25|
|Magazine subscription only||$12|
You may pay at the Clubrooms (cash or cheque) or by mail (cheque, bank cheque or money order), Cheques etc. made out to Sydney Bushwalkers Inc. Payment by mail to the Treasurer, Sydney Bushwalkers Inc. PO Box 431 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Include with your payment by mail the following details:
If you changed your family name during the year please tell us both names (old name & new name) to assist in identification of your membership record.
Please note that Errol Sheedy's RNP walk on Sunday May 30th should be marked as a test walk.
Volunteer Answerers Required
SBW now has a 'telepath' telephone number 0500 500 729 (SBW = 729 on a phone keypad, for public enquiries only. This number, which will appear in the new phone books due later this year, will replace Bill and Fran Holland's phone number that has been listed in phone books as the SBW phone number.
A 'telepath' number can be directed to any existing telephone number and can be re-directed at a moment's notice,' It is also possible to set a timetable for the phone number such that it automatically changes its re-direction during the day and during the week It can also re-direct to another number on 'no answer' or 'busy'.
We are looking for volunteers to answer the phone, particularly during the day. You don't have to guarantee to be home nor do you need to have an answering machine, as the phone will re-direct if not answered. The phone can be automatically scheduled to your number for only certain periods, e.g. Monday 9-noon and Thursday and Friday 1pm to 6pm. The cost to you will be nothing (other than your time). If you decide not to continue, you can be taken off the roster at a day or two's notice. Your personal phone number will not be disclosed to callers. Please call Eddy Giacomel on 9144 5095 for further information or to volunteer your services.
The motion for the club to take insurance cover through the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs (NSW) which was deferred at the Annual General Meeting in March will be re-presented to the general meeting on Wednesday 9 June, (refer to the article in this magazine by Rosemary MacDougal, the mover of the motion.) Members will be asked to vote on whether the club should take Personal Accident Insurance cover for members and prospectives.
It has been decided to start these meetings earlier at 6:30pm. The subcommittee meets prior to the general meeting (second Wednesday of each month) which starts at 8pm. Any member is welcome as an observer with limited participation.
The club has purchased a scanner to assist with the production of the magazine.
By Jan Szarek
Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, 15 km from the Kenyan border, and 300km south of the equator. The highest point on the mountain is called Uhuru Peak and is 5,896m (19,344 ft) above sea level, and the intermediate peak called Gillman Point lies at an altitude 5,680 m (18,635 ft).
The starting point for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is the town of Moshi located 40 km from the place where the actual walking starts.
Guides and porters are compulsory for climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro. It is possible to arrange guides and porters, reserve accommodation, arrange transportation, buy food, etc., independently but almost no one is doing this. Normally everything is organised by a tour company. For individual travellers like me, the trekking company will organise a group with other individual travellers.
Trekking on non-standard, or extended routes, with sleeping in tents is much more expensive than a standard walk where trekkers, guides and porters sleep in huts. On non-standard walks the extra porters are required to carry tents and sleeping gear for the guides (who do not carry anything), and for the porters themselves.(Peter Freeman's account of his guided ascent of Kilimanjaro via the Machame route, where they camped in tents, appears in the July/August 1997 issues of the Bushwalker magazine.)
There are a number of trekking companies in Moshi and in Nairobi. The fee for a six day trek on a standard route was US$600 (A$950), everything inclusive like park fees (50% of cost), guides/porters fees, accommodation, food, transportation, etc.. On top of this comes a tip of about US$60 which is practically compulsory.
My group consisted of four trekkers: an English woman (27 years old), her French husband (33 years old), a German man (33 years old) whom I had seen a week earlier on Mt.Kenya, and me (Polish-Australian, 48 years old). We had a chief guide who acting as a group manager, two subsidiary guides, and two porters per trekker, one carrying food and firewood, and one carrying the gear. The porters were also acting as cooks and waiters.
You require a big rucksack and a day pack; the big rucksack is given to the porter to carry both your and his gear, you carry the day pack containing your valuables and luxury items. There is no need for a fuel stove since the porters use wood to cook. The trekking company provides all cooking pans and other utensils. A sleeping mat is not required since the beds in the mountain huts are covered with foam, but you need your own good sleeping bag. All food is purchased by the trekking company, except your own extras. Any excess luggage not needed for climbing can be left in the trekking companies office.
The first day of the walk starts at the entrance to Mt.Kilimanjaro National Park, at an altitude of 2,000 m and ends at Mandara Hut at 2,700 m. This is a 7 km walk along a well established track which passes through a rain forest. There were lots of people going up and down. When raining, as it frequently is, this section of the track is muddy.
In Mandara Hut in the afternoon the porters from all groups start cooking dinner for the tourists using firewood cut in a nearby forest. In Mount Kenya using firewood is banned but it is legal in Kilimanjaro, where only on nonstandard routes are fuel stoves used. Near Mandara Hut almost all the forest on the nearby hill is cut down, an area as big as one square kilometre (one hundred hectares). There is no forest in the upper sections of the Kilimanjaro massif so porters on the way up collect firewood near Mandara Hut and carry it for two days uphill. There are 50-70 trekkers and 150-200 porters/guides per day. The firewood serves all of them year around.
The second day of the walk is 11km long and ends at Horombo Hut at an altitude of 3,700m above sea level. The trek initially goes through a forest, with the vegetation gradually getting smaller and smaller with increasing altitude. The day was foggy and rainy with zero visibility. Horombo Hut is the largest on the mountain. This is the place where people going up meet people going down, and exchange experiences.
It is quite cold up there. In the morning the water in the taps was frozen. There are lots of mice with white stripes along their back, which enter the main lounge room, picking up pieces of food dropped by people. Humans tolerate them, treating them like pets, but local eagles hunt them.
The atmosphere in Horombo Hut is charged with energy. You feel there like you do in a military training camp, people are walking fast and are restless. Everyone seems to be tense and excited in anticipation of the climb.
The next day was supposed to be my rest day, allocated for acclimatisation. The acclimatisation day is optional, some people take it, some don't. If one has a problem with altitude, like a headache, one should take a rest day. In my group I was the only one who booked and paid for the rest day. If I had decided to stay I would have been left behind and walked up the next day alone (with my two porters and a subsidiary guide). As I had no symptoms of altitude sickness a decision was made to continue with the group without taking the rest day.
The third day of trekking is 10 km long and ends in Kibo Hut at an altitude of 4,700 m. The trek initially goes through short vegetation, but about half way all vegetation disappears and the view changes into a moon-like landscape with rocks, sand, and with a strong wind. The walking is easy, the views are fantastic, and this is perhaps the most enjoyable day of the trip.
However, some people with altitude sickness were already suffering, One group of four looked sad and sick.
Kibo Hut is the smallest and simplest of all huts on Kilimanjaro. No running water is available. Consequently no washing is done. Water for cooking is carried by the porters for four hours from the last creek below. The firewood for cooking is also carried by porters for two days from Mandara Hut. Bottled water can be purchased from the office and this can be used for washing. Even beer can be bought, if someone likes to drink it there.
In Kibo Hut there are about ten beds in each room. Our group shared the room with a French-Guyanese couple, a member of the Mountain Rescue Service from Yugoslavia, a male American wrestling coach, and his female companion from Norway. All of these people had strong personalities which deserve some comment. The young French female teacher who was working in French Guyana (South America), was vomiting in Xibo hut but recovered and was doing quite well the next day. Her boyfriend from Guyana was the only black tourist in Kibo hut. With the exception of him all blacks around were porters or guides and all whites were tourists. It looked like pure colonialism. The Guyanian man was perhaps the slowest man on the mountain, the next day during the final climb, he was three to four hours behind everyone else, but was determined, and reached the top. One week after Kilimanjaro the French-Guyanese couple and myself were in the same group on safari in Serengeti. Two weeks later, we met again in Zanzibar.
To be concluded next month
The competition is open to members and prospective members of SBW. Prospective members should check that their prospective membership has not expired. There is no entry fee.
To enter this competition, telephone Pamela Irving (phone numbers below) by Tuesday 16 November. Late entries may be accepted after this date (up to and including the night of the competition) if there are not already too many entries in a category.
The entrant should have taken photographs or slides. it is not permissible to submit photographs or slides taken by someone else. The entrant must attend the night of the competition.
The number of photographs or slides per entrant per category is limited to 2, 3 or 4. The limit will be advised on the night and will depend on the number of entrants in each category.
The judge will be supplied by a well established camera club. The judge's decision is final.
Photographs and slides may be colour or black and white.
Photographs and slides remain the property of the entrant. Do not send photographs or slides to the club by post or by any other means. Photographs and slides must be delivered in person to the clubrooms on the night of the competition and then collected in person on the same night when the competition is finished. No responsibility is taken for lass or damage.
Maximum size of photographs is 20 x 25 cm in all photograph categories. The size limit is due to space limitations to exhibit all the photographs and to limit costs for entrants. Postcard size 10 x .15 cm photographs are acceptable. There is no minimum size. Photographs should include the name of the entrant on the reverse of the photograph.
Slides should have the name of the entrant written on them so they can be returned quickly. Slides should be spotted on the lower left corner when viewed upright from the correct side. This is to enable them to quickly be put into the carousel.
There is a $50 gift voucher prize for the winner of each category, a total of 6 gift vouchers. However, no one person can collect more than one gift voucher. If first place in a category is awarded to someone who already has won a gift voucher in another category, the gift voucher is awarded to the second place winner. if the second place winner has collected a gift voucher in another category, the gift voucher is awarded to the third place winner, etc.
Matching of prizes to categories will be done on the night by drawing names from a hat. The order of judging will be determined on the night of the competition. The competition will be at the clubrooms.
8pm Wednesday 24 November 1999
Organised by our new member Pamela Irving phone 9808 5323 or 019 698 596
Prizes are kindly donated by (in alphabetical order) the following bushwalking shops:
by Rosemary MacDougal and Maurice Smith
At the recent Annual General Meeting there was a motion put that our club should take its insurance cover through the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW, the state coordinating body for bushwalking clubs, instead of obtaining our insurance cover independently. This motion was 'laid on the table' until the June 1999 meeting. It was also agreed that, in the interim, details of the current and proposed insurance cover are to appear in the magazine. Hence this article. This article summarises for club members the two types of insurance that can be obtained through Federation.
Currently SBW doesn't cover all of its members for personal injuries that are obtained while on a club activity. The current club arrangement is that club members can take out the Confederation insurance cover by making an extra payment to the club. A relatively small number of members have taken advantage of this option.
The arrangement with Confederation is that clubs can choose whether to cover all of their members, in which case the club receives a benefit in that all visitors of the club are also covered for personal injury, for up to five visits in the course of the insurance year. Alternatively clubs can decide not to insure all of their members and instead, make this cover available to some of their members. If the club takes this option then the free insurance cover for visitors does not apply.
The cover is for injuries that arise in the course of club activities. It does not provide cover for medical emergencies arising during a club activity.
This cover is for the individual club members, rather than the club as a legal entity in its own right. This means that if the club provides this cover for its members then the club members would have injury coverage walking with any other club affiliated with Confederation.
The injury cover operates for just about all club activities and it starts from the moment that you leave home until the moment that you return home. So you are covered even when travelling to and from a club activity, although the level of cover is reduced because other cover such as motor vehicle third party cover applies.
The policy requires that you claim first against Medicare and any private health insurance fund of which you are a member. Firstly you should be aware that if you are injured on a club activity you wont get rich. The policy will only help ease the pain in the hip pocket. The national Medicare insurance legislation does not allow any insurance policy to provide cover for the Medicare gap.
The major benefit that the policy provides is that it covers for items that Medicare doesn't cover, for example, physiotherapy and emergency transport (for example ambulance or helicopter rescue). The personal cover also provides for death or permanent disability benefits, although we hope that there is never any need to make a claim at this level.
The following activities are covered under this policy: bushwalking, bicycle touring, canoeing, canyoning, cascading, caving, cross country and down hill skiing, mountaineering, rafting, rock climbing, swimming, track clearing, abseiling, scouting, reccies and previewing trips, leadership and navigation courses. This cover also applies to social and fundraising activities. The cover is worldwide except for the USA and for Canada.
In recent years, for members of clubs affiliated with Confederation, claims under this type of policy, have been fairly common. Typically the claims have been as a result of falls sustained on a club activity.
The NSW Associations Incorporation Act, under which the SBW is incorporated, requires every incorporated body to have $2M public liability cover. This type of policy covers the club, its officers, members and its visitors in the event of them becoming legally liable to pay compensation for personal Injury, Property Damage or Advertising Liability arising out of legal actions taken against the club or its members.
The Confederation level of cover is $10M worldwide. The cover applies to the club as a legal entity in its own right, the club's officers, the club's members and 10 club visitors. Typically such claims will result in a court case before payment is made.
Our discussions with Confederation's insurance broker have indicated that the Confederation policy can be extended to provide for cover of the club's property, Coolana, for an additional charge.
The club's present insurance Policy also provides $10M cover and is substantially similar to the Confederation policy.
Based on Confederation's fee scales for 1998/99, the premium for our public liability policy including Coolana would be $1,346.
The same insurance through other insurers for the current year was $2,330 and therefore the Committee will most likely change this insurance to a Confederation policy for the forthcoming year. The cost of personal injury insurance to cover all members, prospectives and visitors is likely to be an additional $1,462-00. This will not involve any increase in subscriptions for the moment but may next year in which case the increase would be unlikely to be more than $2.00.
Reg Alder has passed on the sad news that long time member Frank Leyden died in England on December 24th last year. Frank remained an SBW member up until his death, although he had lived in England since 1969. He was a unique individual and Reg has kindly forwarded some personal details which will be published in full in a later issue.
by Fazeley Read
Morie Ward (leader) Rob Barry, Peter Love, Rosemary MacDougal, Phil Newman, Fazeley Read, Jenny Schweinsberg
It was a departure from Sydney in particularly heavy traffic that Friday night, April 16. What a contrast the solitude and natural splendors the next two days would offer.
All seven in the party met at the popular Imperial Hotel where tasty meals and introductions were partaken of, amid the hubbub of what seemed like the entire population of Maitland in party mode. Morie then led the way in his four wheel drive vehicle to Telegherry Reserve, in Barrington Tops National Park, determined paddy melons making life threatening dashes across the road along the way just to test alertness. On Saturday morning, a half-hour drive along Middle Ridge Forest Road, about 12-15 km, brought us to the base of The Mountaineer. This time it was lyre birds, in full tailed glory, which decided last minute dashes across the road were essential for their well being. The sight of Morie quietly rigging himself up with gaiters and leather gloves encouraged those of us with such equipment to do the same. Then, it was the usual locking of car doors and boots, slinging on of packs and a striding into the cool morning air, the promise of a rainless weekend ahead of us — something of a contrast to previous weekends, including all of Easter. Yellow tailed black cockatoos screeched their apparent disapproval of our. presence. Eventual departure from the track took us into the secret wonderland of the rainforest. We gradually descended along Marshes Creek, in a south westerly direction, Morie peering this way and that at the lay of the land through the vegetation, with eyes that could have been searching for a path through a minefield. Previous explorations had taught him the consequence of a navigational error. His carefree party, following behind, could appreciate the surrounding beauty. There were birds nest ferns, high in the trees, and huge Antarctic Beech trees whose lichen covered buttresses were large enough to enclose a small tent. I understand that some of these trees are three to four thousand years old. In contrast, there were dainty webs of gossamer thread, shimmering in shafts of sunlight, which beamed through gaps in the leafy canopy. There were hundreds of hungry little leeches whose particular beauty I find hard to appreciate — would that feelings were mutual! There was that sweet smell of rich, damp earth, the sound of water rushing urgently to its destination, and a multitude of toadstools and mushrooms of different colours, patterns and shapes. We startled a group of five scrub turkeys and saw, numerous turkey mounds, some of which were as nearly as big as a small haystack.
On arrival at the confluence of Marshes Creek and Wangat River, we ate lunch washed down with water at its best. Recent heavy rain made progress upstream along the Wangat River slower than expected. The illusion that the going looked better on the other side resulted in frequent river crossings. Eventually, impending darkness plus the daunting task of creating a cooking fire in such sodden surrounds convinced us to make camp 300m short of the Wangat River - Bangalow Creek confluence. It took about two hours of combined, frenzied activity, plus the aid of a small piece of bicycle inner tube, to get that fire going to our satisfaction. Being faced with the prospect of no hot food brings out the beast in people. It was the usual campfire chitchat, which wandered from one subject to another. We speculated on the whereabouts of the light plane which disappeared in this area twenty years ago and is rumoured to have $6M on board, and of what we would do if we found it. Then, in dribs and drabs it was off to the sanctum of our tents. Is there anything blacker than a rainforest night when you're in your tent and you can't find your torch?
Next morning, due to our slow progress, Morie decided to shorten the walk by leading us up a steep, 550m north east ridge, to The Pimple; where a well deserved lunch was eaten. Here we met up with the Mountaineer Trail, aptly described in the program as 'undulating'. An hour of this, and there we were, back at the cars mid-afternoon, and a gradual return to the real world, or were we leaving it? I am sure that all six in the group would like to thank Morie once again for his knowledge of the area and his quiet leadership which provided us with such an interesting, relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
A new book by Peter Meredith, titled: “Myles and Milo”, has just been released, It recounts the lives of the outstanding father and son Dunphy duo, each of whom has made a massive and lasting impression on the NSW conservation movement.
Myles Dunphy's superb sketch maps are now, collector's items and many of the features in the Blue Mountains, were named by him. His son Milo's name will always be linked with the campaign to save the Colong caves but his energies and influence were devoted to a whole range of NSW conservation issues.
Long time SBW member Dot Butler's popular book “The Barefoot Bushwalker” has also been reissued Both books are available from Alex Colley at the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Phone 9299 7341 to place an order. Price $25-00 each inc. pp.
David Trinder's Traverse of The Overland Track. Cradle Mountain National Park Tasmania. January 29th to February 7th 1999
by Charles Montross
The Tasmanian Overland Track was a success this year with no injuries and with excellent weather until the last couple of days. The party comprised: David Trinder (Leader), Kenn Clacher, Edith Baker, John Pozniak, Andrew Vilder, Steve Ellis, Charlie Montross, Chris Daley, Jan Miller, Robin Plumb, Dick Pike, and Richard Walker(prospective).
The only difficulties experienced were with the native Tasmanian terrorists (while the trip was enlivened by the hunt for Swedish girls by one of the group.)
The trip started by flying to Hobart, Tasmania and settling in at the Transit Centre Backpackers. This is the same place we stayed at on past trips and was reasonably nice. After settling in, we toured Hobart, visited the Salamanca Markets and had dinner at “Mr. Wooby's”. This restaurant is quite posh with excellent food. The head chef was resplendent in a deep blue shirt and dark pants with a bright white chef's hat cresting his head. He was noted by members of the group as the best imitation of a Tasmanian cassowary they had seen to date.
The second day saw us travelling off with Tasmanian Wilderness Travel to start the Overland Track from the southern entrance at Lake St. Clair. After the ferry to Narcissus Bay, the walk to Pine Valley and our first night's camp were enjoyable. A couple of walkers brought along extra bags of food, in particular bananas. They hoped to get into the banana speculating business, selling fresh bananas to weary hikers coming from the north. However, that night the Tasmanian terrorists struck. As soon as night fell, five possums came down from the trees, including a mother with a little one. Several of the group, armed with torches and flashlights, chased the possums around the camp area. By midnight most walkers were asleep and the terrorists struck. There were repeated raids against the couple with the bananas with much cursing and throwing of shoes at the possums with every attack. By morning there was half a banana left, all battered and chewed. But these were no ordinary possums but gourmet possums that could read labels. These little blighters went also for the dried tomatoes and the sealed package of parmesan cheese but strangely left the healthy foods such as the lentils and beans. The package of Parmesan cheese had been carefully removed by the gourmet possums and then opened some distance from the tent where they had a party.
The next day, after cleaning up the mess from the Tasmanian terrorists, the party went for a walk in the Labyrinth. It was wonderful. A group consisting of Kenn, John, Steve and Andrew walked up a mountain named “the Wall”. With David and others, I meandered around the lakes and tarns looking at the wildflowers and scenery. That afternoon as the group settled back in from their trip, a squad of 12 infantry men from Victoria, with full back packs, tramped into Pine Valley on a training mission. I had a chat with them and warned them about the Tasmanian terrorists. They said not to worry and fixed bayonets while they settled into their defensive perimeter for the night. Early casualty reports next morning were that the Tim Tams were massacred with not one left.
The fourth day saw our group going for the “Acropolis” with a wonderful scramble up to the top and around for some wonderful views. After lunch there was some exploration and a trail was found leading down a cliff and up to the neighbouring mountain. However, the climb would have required much experience and equipment and was not attempted.
The evening of the fourth day was uneventful as the Tasmanian terrorists went looking for greener pastures and to take more gourmet food from unsuspecting bushwalkers. There were a couple of pademelons that visited our group, who nibbled on the lettuce and greens brought in at the start of the trip. One of the group found out that there were Swedish women who were passing through and had stayed at the hut. This group member then went off on a search for these women but found out that they had already departed.
The fifth day saw a wonderful morning with a walk past Windy Ridge Hut to Kia Ora Hut. A side trip was made to Hartnett falls with some enjoying a good swim and another side excursion to another set of falls. These falls had had the trails leading up to them redone since the previous visit and a number of the smaller trails were covered over making it difficult to get up close to parts of the falls as we had previously.
At Kia Ora Hut, the group caught up with a fellow Sydney Bushwalker, Lynne Yeaman, doing the Overland Track with some of her friends. After a discourse with David, she decided to join us for a short while to climb Mt Ossa as we headed for Pelion Hut. One member of the group found out during his search that a pair of Kiwi women had climbed both Mt Ossa and Mt Pelion East. This member then decided that he could also and should skiddaddle up both mountains.
The group headed, with little difficulty, on the morning of Day 6, to Pelion Pass under overcast skies. At the Pass, one member skidaddled up Mt. Pelion East while the rest scrambled up Mt. Ossa. As they reached the top of the clouds started breaking up revealing very beautiful sights. The overlay of clouds parting here and there revealed stunning views of mountains in the distance, which were deeply appreciated While I was taking some photos along the cliffs, I ran into a Swedish trio of a couple and a gal. They informed me of the shortage of water in the northern section of the Overland track and I warned them of the Tasmanian terrorists.
When the group member who had climbed Mt Pelion East caught up with the rest of us, I informed him of the Swedish women. But since they had already left, he was a bit downcast. However, in my best mock Swedish accent, I did my best to cheer him up.
After enjoying lunch on top of Mt Ossa, Andrew brought out a pineapple to celebrate reaching the top. He had been able to keep the pineapple safe from the possum attacks just for this point in the trip. All of the group were deeply touched by his thoughtfulness and devoured the pineapple. By the time lunch was finished, a horde of tourists meandered in and it was time to leave. Lynne parted company with the group at the pass and went back to her friends at Kia Ora.
The walk down to Pelion hut was uneventful and the group was able to settle in before it got too crowded. Some went for a swim/wash at the Old Pelion Hut swimming hole. I noted that the camp at Old Pelion was quite nice but the trail would be dreadful when wet.
On the morning of the 7th day, the group started off to Windermere hut. A small group of Kenn, John P, Steve, and Andrew shot ahead of the main party to do a side trip up West Pelion Mountain and then meet at Windermere Lake. Both groups successfully made it to Windermere Lake and settled in for the night.
That night, a Tasmanian terrorist climbed down to visit the camp. This was no ordinary possum but a Ninja possum with deep black fur and beady eyes. John, Andrew and a couple of others with flashlights and torches tried to surround the ninja possum to get a better look. But it escaped, as Ninja possums often do.
Concerned about the Ninja possum I brought out my mousetrap, and set it on my backpack without bait. I expected the mouse trap to go off when the Ninja possum tried to open my pack for food which would allow me to chase it. At midnight, the Ninja possum attacked setting off the trap. However, he just shook it around a couple of times and padded off to the next tent. I reset the trap and went back to sleep. At 2am, the trap went off again and the possum again shook the trap around then left. Again I reset the trap and thought that would be the last of it. However, at 4am, the Ninja possum visited again, set off the trap and left. I was a bit perplexed by this but reset the trap and slept till dawn,
The morning of the eighth day started off with light rain as the group broke camp and meandered down to Waterfall hut. The side trip planned to Lake Wills was cancelled and the group arrived at Waterfall Hut by midday. The majority of the group took over the older hut where quolls were seen on the previous trip in '98. Some set up tents and a couple of the group grabbed berths in the new hut which is very posh. The member looking for Swedish women was able to grab a choice position but no Swedish women were around. However, there was a Dutch girl there who was very unprepared and inexperienced. Some of the group gave her advice and help and Andrew took her under his wing. In the meantime a severe cold weather alert was announced by the park ranger as a weather front was heading through Tasmania.
The rain that started off the day had let up but the weather looked a bit adverse so only a small group went off to scale Barn Bluff. That evening there was a beautiful sunset with the sun lighting up the clouds from underneath as they swirled around Barn Bluff. Then the weather closed in and it rained all night and into the next day. The wind was so strong that one of the tents blew down due to a snapped pole.
The group broke early and left the huts after providing guidance to the Dutch girl on how to reach civilization. Due to the heavy rain, the group marched quicktime to Cradle Mountain stopping for a break only when they reached Kitchener Hut. This emergency hut was crowded with four Canadian tourists who had stayed the previous night. They said that they were experienced bushwalkers but they obviously were not. Jan's husband, Peter, met us at the hut after a quick walk in from the northern entrance of the Overland Track. After a break and eating up what snacks were left, the group left. Several went to climb Cradle Mountain while the rest headed on in to Waldheim. At Waldheim, Peter was kind enough to pick up and drop people off at the Cradle Mt Lodge where they could eat while waiting for the Tasmanian Wilderness Travel bus to come. The Lodge is very posh and part of the group enjoyed the food at the bar next to a roaring fire.
Everyone in the group made it successfully to the Lodge and caught the bus to Launceston. Along the way, there was a stop at Sheffield where the walls on the buildings are painted and decorated with historic scenes. At Launceston everyone settled into the Backpackers inn. However, there were no Swedish girls there and I tried to cheer up the guy with some more mock Swedish. The group met up with Lynne and went off to dinner at an Irish pub with excellent food and everyone had a good time. The next day, after a bit of a ramble through Launceston in the rain, hunting for souvenirs, we headed back to Sydney after an another enjoyable Tasmanian trip.
The Committee has decided to transfer the Club records, prior to 1960, to the State Library for storage in a controlled environment.
These records will still be available to the club as required.
A temporary archivist is required to arrange these records into a better order before they are handed over.
The records are currently stored at the Holland s home at Thornleigh and Bill and Fran are happy for the work to be done there.
Please contact Bill or Fran for details.