A Journal devoted to matters of interest to the
Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton St., Sydney N.S.W.
No. 33. April, 1937.
|Editor:-||Marie B. Byles.|
|Assistant Editor:-||Dianh 1) Hearfield.|
|Sales Manager:-||W.J. Mullins.|
|Editorial Committee:-||Doris Allden, Dot English, Ada Frost, Ian Malcolm.|
|Hiking Round New York Way||by “Dunk”||2|
|Bonum Pic or Paddy's Peak||by Marie B. Byles.||6|
|Can You Read a Map and Compass||7|
|Obituary - Frederick McKenzie||by M.J. Dunphy||8|
|Bushwalking's Allied Art||F.H. Smithe||9|
|Walking, Rambling or Hiking||by M. Bacon||10|
|How to Find the Compass Points From Your Watch||11|
|Cedar Creek with Map||12|
|With the Hobart Walking Club||by Flo Allsworth||13|
|“For Walkers and Wayfarers”||by Paddy Pallin||15|
|The Annual Re-Union Camp 1937||16|
|Trial by Ordeal and Baptism by Fire of Prospective Members||by Judex||19|
|Why Carry a Tent?||by Kathleen Mackay||20|
|A Few Points an “Bush Walking” in the U.S.A.||by J.V. Turner.||21|
Being Extracts of a letter to “Dunk” from a male member of a New York hiking club with whom “Dunk” corresponds.
I got the “William” from your writing - “Win” looked like “Wm.” which is the proper abbreviation for “William'. Anyway Dench owned up later that he knew it was “Winifred” all the time but he thought I wouldn't accept if I knew the awful truth!
First I've got to ask a few questions. Answer please, for the whole darn hiking club is after me to translate your Australianese into terms they can understand. What is a damper? Over here it is something used to tone down a fire but surely you don't eat dampers! It is a good thing you sent a picture of a “lorry” as we call it a “truck” over here and I would have had a job explaining that. “Got off his bike”, I suppose means really “flew off the handle”, if you get what I mean.
As for that word “mackinaw”. It is not a raincoat or a poncho. It is a heavy wool coat that reaches a bit below the hips, thus not impeding walking. It is very warm and I use it during the entire winter when how much to wear is the question that rules every hike. Our ponchos or raincoats go on over the packs just as yours do. Mine is too short and it lets the rain dribble down my legs and into my hiking shoes in a steady stream. The shoes are supposed to be waterproof, but not from the topside. Your sandshoes are called “sneakers” by us, Some hikers use them but I don't like them because they give such little ankle protection and the rocks wear through them so quickly, and I can feel every pebble thru the soles. Did you ever hike in moccasins? They are low, made of leather and are comfortable and easy to walk in.
Your recipes are going to be duly tried out. Dench puts out a book called camp cookery, but his recipes are punks compared with yours. I can cook myself in camp with fair success, (I always grab the job so I won't have to wash the dishes. I love to make the mess but I hate cleaning out the grease and off the black.) As for your not liking rice and raisins - well! - your education has been neglected! Not like rice and raisins!
I've just come back from a three day week-end in the Catskill Mountains with beautiful weather and the woods a riot of color. It is autumn now, you know, and the leaves on the trees are all shades of red, orange, yellow, tan and brown. Can you imagine a tall tree just a mass of golden-yellow and another all shades of red?
Of course I wrote it up, and as nearly as I can type it, here are the essentials.
Saturday was dank, damp, miserable and very discouraging. The mist hung low and so did our spirits. But the stuff was packed, the food bought, the menu made - and far be it from me to go back on a menu.
All the way up to the mountains, the fog followed us, with here and there a lightening of the clouds and then a gust of rain. When we reached the hills there was still no sign of clearing. All the fine valleys and autumn coloring was being missed and we were sore.
We decided to head for Plateau Mt. where I had heard there was a new shelter. We found the trail just beyond Stony Clove, the map had the mileage and ascent - 8 of a mile, 1600 ft. up. That really didn't sound so bad - and anyway it was the only possible thing to do, so we shouldered our packs and up we went.
Unfortunately, the trail zigzagged all over that 8 tenths of a mile until it had lengthened itself into anything believable. When we reached the great slides of loose slate near the top we felt the muscles of our legs beginning to protest. The wind was blowing a terrific gale. Our ponchos blew about us and wouldn't stay put. There was nothing to be seen beyond the fifty or a hundred feet near us - when we stopped we had to admit it was for a rest and not just to admire the view.
We really did reach the shelter. The flooring was not very good but the balsam was quite dry. But it was a shelter and it looked good in the gloom and stormy weather. The fireplace was clean as a whistle. We found out why when we started a fire. The wind whirled the ashes away as soon as they were light enough. Only the blazing wood remained to cook with.
We had macaroni and cheese and tomatoes for the main course, cocoa to drink and later on, baked apples crammed with sugar and cinnamon - soft, sweet and tender. As we finished eating a transformation took place. The mist, blown steadily by the fierce northwest wind was torn in places and we saw the peaks showing thru. Far in the west, the sun, hidden still by dark clouds thrust its rays beyond with marvelous effects. Above and in the north, patches of deep blue sky could be seen, and, sailing majestically in that vastness, were domelike cumulus clouds, white and glowing.
Not content with the view from the shelter, Les and I hurried up the rock ledges to the top of the mountain. From there we saw the sun set in a glory of color, the flying clouds making pictures of great beauty as they charged across the sky. From time to time the mists closed in and then, as the gale once more cleared them away, the scene came alive again, the same yet different.
The wind was so strong that we could not stand against it. We hurried back across the top of the mountain for a possible view from the eastern side. Here all was peace and quiet. Darkness was already in the valley. A wisp of smoke rose from the little towns far below. It was getting dark fast so we rushed back to the shelter, which was like home already with its brisk fire and waiting bedrolls. The wind moaned in the trees. We crawled into our sleeping bags, tossed around and drifted off.
Our night was troubled. For one thing, someone had left the pots on the ledge of the fireplace. The wind kept rattling them and one by one they clatterd to the rocks below. Each time we would awake with a start.
I think it was about four that Les finally gave up, got up, and began to chop wood. He groused around and grumbled and called us until we rose somewhere around six. Then he called us stay-in-beds!
We had a fine breakfast - oatmeal, bacon and eggs, Taylor's ham for me since I 'ate bacon and heggs, fried bread end cocoa. The day was cloudy but the ceiling was high. All the peaks were visible, dark and gray. Even the top of Slide was clear - that was enough for us! Going down the mountain was much easier, and, since we took a short cut over the loose rock, we got down much faster.
When we reached the camp at Woodland Valley, within a workirg distance of Slide, I started to look for the trail up Wittenberg. But a hint from Curt that he was not averse to going up in the ruff was enuff. Despite the protests of Les, who did not trust me as a guide, we started up thru the dense undergrowth and over the huge boulders. Rotten trees cracked under us, dead standing timber came down at a touch, great holes appeared as we stepped between rocks. We really saw the wildness of the dense woods off the trail as we struggled up the slope. Les openly expressed his feelings. He thought he was being taken for a ride. He said he was equally divided between the two dirty thoughts that (1) I was really lost and wouldn't admit it, (2) I knew where the trail was and wouldn't admit it.
At last we began to encounter spruces. Now I knew we were nearing the top. Sure enuff, shortly we gained a rocky ledge, where I could see far up the side. Then I really knew where we were. A straight course upward would land as on the trail near the top of Wittenberg. So up we dashed and wriggled and crawled and pushed thru the tearing limbs of balsam and spruce. Our clothing suffered considerable wear but came thru on us at least. As we came to the trail we almost fell out on it, so suddenly did the underbush cease at that point.
With that off our minds we gave our stomachs a chance and shortly had downed our lunch of cheese, bread and jelly, gingersnaps and chocolate. From there we reached the top of Wittenberg in short order and were rewarded with a grand view out over the Ashokan Valley. I met a Wanderbird from New York City who had been out with the club. He had slept out on Slide last night and called it a cold night.
We were content with our share of ruffage for the day. We stuck to the trail over Cornell and up Slide mountain. On Slide we took our time. It was the last climb, the day had cleared beautifully. We were able to see way to the south almost fifty miles to the outline of Storm King where the Hudson River breaks through. But a greater thrill was to look far down into the valley from which we had climbed. The trees, in all their beautiful colors were like a Persian rug spread over all. It seemed that Nature had run riot with her paint pot this year. But then it always seems like that.
It was nearly six when we at last reached our camp in Woodland Valley. Les and Curt got busy on the wood pile while I investigated the food supply. It was a grand mixture I set going over the fire. Into a “billy” of water I dumped some dried potatoes, macaroni, pea soup tablets, onion salt, celery salt, and stirred it well. I let it boil with a whispered prayer, while I made rice and raisins. Les mixed some Klim 2) and a half hour later all was serene as we sat around well filled, tired but comfortable. Les was still passing dirty remarks about my leadership, despite the fact that we had gotten out alive. He said, “There is always an exception to prove the rule.”
Well, Dunk, believe it or not, I know someone that you know. More than that, she has been hiking with you. Even better, she knows what dampers are and how to make them!
Do you, by any chance know Susan Reichard? So do I! There she stood on the station platform last Sunday. I was introduced very politely and first thing you know, we discovered that we had a mutual friend. You could have knocked me over with a fender! And didn't we have the grand chat! She was wearing sandshoes! When I taxed her with it, she admitted it, saying, “I suppose over here you call them creepers.” How we laughed as we told her they were sneakers. And didn't I get a shock when she appeared later in shorts. Of course we all wear shorts in season, but the season is over now. It is really cold! I think she knew it, too, for her legs were red with cold before the day was over. I know a great deal more about you and your club and actvities now than I did before. Susan appreciated your pictures - they were a familiar touch of home. She is a fine hiker and I hope she sees fit to join our group. We will enjoy having her with us.
With best of luck on your future expeditions, I remain
We Ain't Goin' To . . . .
Oh, we ain't goin' to hike no more, no more,
We won't hike one mile more;
For nine may mean there are fourteen,
And we ain't goin' to hike no more!
Oh, we ain't goin' to climb no more, no more,
We won't climb one rock more;
For our feet are bruized 3), and we feel abused,
So we ain't goin' to climb no more!
Oh, we ain't goin' to eat no more, no more,
We won't eat one bean more;
We're full to the neck and we feel like a wreck,
So we ain't goin' to eat no more!
Oh, we ain't goin' to sleep no more, no more,
We won't sleep one wink more;
There are bumps in the bed and the skeeters ain't fed,
So we ain't goint to sleep no more.
Oh, we ain't goin' to sing no more, no more,
We won't sing one note more;
For we're out of breath and we're tired to death;
Oh, we ain't goin' to sing no more.
But we will bushwalk yes we will bush-walk
To dawn of coming day,
For there's trees and there's hills, and woods and rills,
And we're feeling right good and gay.
From the Song Book of the Alpine Club of Canada -
except the last verse!
Marie B. Byles.
This peak is an outlying buttress of the plateau between the Nattai and the Upper Wollondilly Rivers. It is completely rock-hemmed and even from its plateau is scarcely a mere walk.
For many years I had had my eye on it, but no sooner was it seen by Helen Turner, an extremely energetic and efficient bushwalker belonging to no club, than she set to work with her usual determination, and organized men, women and cars, and had us all well down the Burragorang and along the Yerranderie Road before we knew what was happening. With some difficulty the cars were taken along the “Sheep Walk”, and down to the Upper Wollondilly River by which we camped about five miles, as the crow flies, lower down the valley than Bonum Pic.
The locals informed us that the best plan was to cross the river at two large pepper trees, which we did after a somewhat meagre night's rest, for we were up about 4-30 a.m.! From there we were to make a bee-line for the objective; the only difficulty about this was that the denseness of the bush-fire smoke prevented us from seeing for more than a mile. However, the compass and the ridge took us to the foot of the peak without trouble. We tried the first face we came to, and wasted an hour or more attacking some impossible rocks, meantime wishing that we had brought Dot English with us, in addition to our hundred feet of rope.
We decided this face was hopeless, dropped down and struck up considerably farther along on the right. Here we got to within about two hundred feet of the top without much difficulty and then met a slight overhang of about 30 feet. Eventually one of the men lassoed a small tree, a very fragile little tree, and got up with the help of the rope, and at risk to his life - as we afterwards discovered when we followed him - wondering if the tree was even safe to stand on. The first man up, the rope was belayed round a good stout tree, and the rest got up with more or less ease - rather less than more, I hear Helen correcting me. After that it was a steep scramble to the narrow ridge, in places scarcely more than a foot wide, to the peak 2,500 feet according to the aneroid, or 1,800 above the valleys and 600 feet above the foot of the cliffs.
In clear weather it must command a marvellous panorama, but we could see nothing except the hazy suggestion of a valley at our feet.
We descended easily by the ropes, and made our way back through the forests of native pine or Callitriss which had been spared by the bush fires, and dropped down to the Wollondilly considerably higher up stream, so that we had the pleasure of walking along its banks for a few miles. To me it seemed an even lovelier stream than the Cox, its sparkling waters gleaming like silver over the black rocks or beneath the dark green casurinas.
On the return, the party except the writer eagerly recovered two bottles of beer which they had left in the river to keep cool, and having consumed it, left the bottles on the bank!!!!
“Burn and bury all your rubbish and your tins,
And hide your bottles as you would your sins.” I quoted. 4)
In vain! But I really could not be associated with a party which disobeyed our Club's slogan, so there was nothing for it but to hide the bottles myself, even though they represented other peoples sins, not my own. All the reward I got was a hasty digging-out of cameras to photograph me and the bottles. I am relieved to record that the bottles were hidden before the cameras were ready!
People often think that they are reading the map correctly if they put the compass on the ground and place the map beside it with the top of the map corresponding to the north point of the compass needle.
But as a matter of fact the top of the map is as a rule the true north, not the magnetic north, as shown by the compass needle, and the two are very seldom the same. They are certainly not the same in the Sydney district.
The number of degrees by which the magnetic north “varies” from the true north is known as the magnetic variation and it is different in different parts of the world; or in other words it “varies” from place to place. In addition it “varies” a little from time to time, but so slightly that this hardly counts for practical purposes. In the Sydney district the variation is about 9¦30' 5) East of true north.
If you have taken your magnetic bearing and want to find the true bearing, you must add 9¦30'. “Add to get the truth”, is the way to remember. But this you will want to do only if you have a prismatic compass.
If you have merely an ordinary compass, all you need to do is to turn your map round a little to the left, so that the line of the compass needle is in line with the angle of the magnetic variation, or better still draw lines across the map in the magnetic-north direction, and regard them, not the top of the map, as showing the north.
In this connection it must be pointed out that the Blue Mountains and Burragorang Tourist Map is an exception to the rule that the top of the map is the true north. In this instance the top is the magnetic north, so that no adjustment is needed.
All self-respecting maps have a little diagram thus:- to indicate the magnetic variation, and if you are going to a new place, the first thing you should look for is the little diagram at the side of the map, for the magnetic variation may be greater or less than with us, and it may be west instead of east. In New Zealand, for instance, it is nearly 17¦E, quite enough to take you miles out of your direction if you did not allow for it. 6)
Frederick McKenzie, died 19th. Dec. 1936.
By M.J. Dunphy.
Sydney Bush Walkers were grieved to learn that one of the actual founders of the club had taken the last long trail, Frederick McKenzie - a Mountain Trailer was one of the original twelve, and although absent from the first meeting of the unnamed new club he specially forwarded his approval of the step taken, in addition to having assisted with advice beforehand. In consequence a special resolution was passed naming him a foundation member.
Having done his duty in setting into motion an organization which was plainly a necessity, McKenzie, in common with a number of other Trailers, unostentatiously retired, satisfied that the personnel of the new club was excellent and its administration as good as could be developed.
Mac., was a self-effacing kind of fellow, a keen and cautious bushman having constructive ideas regarding preservation of the natural beauty of bushland and its wild-life adjuncts. Although he was a friend of the trees there is nothing extant specially to record the fact. Nevertheless his friends amongst the older Bushwalkers and Trailers know that his outspoken advocacy of bushland preservation, and his support of every proposition in the history of the two clubs, definitely stiffened the conservation movement and helped to build the organized opposition to destruction which now exists.
There never was a steadier citizen than Mac., nor a better husband and father. There never lived a more sincere comrade. His nervous temperament was receptive to the stimuli that animate all true nature-lovers; and being by nature earnest and cautious he was a good bush companion with plenty of initiative and self-reliance. His special policy, or rather, religion, was to cause trouble to no decent person and to affront no person's feelings. I think that many of us could very well take these qualities to heart and endeavour to emulate a man whose religion was sound in principle and practice.
Mac. loved the great steeps and the darking chasms. The eagle volplaning high above the labyrinthine mesas and the platypus happy within the confines of its sedgy pool, were to him comprehensible units of the life to which his own being was attuned. The calm solitude of the original Garawarra and the league-long, ever-rolling combers of Seven Mile Beach delighted the essential simplicity of his mind.
More than anything else his quality of earnestness commanded respect. To him life meant constructive effort combined with cheerfulness and good-will; he showed little tolerance of foolery. From his election in 1922 right up to his wholly unexpected deaths Fred McKenzie was a very active Mountain Trailer.
If his personality was unknown to the majority of Sydney Bush Walkers nevertheless the sympathetic spirit, which binds the outdoor clans and gives those who live close to nature a proper understanding of what constitutes the qualities of a man, will surely lead us all to remember, with honour, one who was a splendid bushwalker, an idealist, a natural, manly fellow, and an inflexible worker in our common cause. Sydney Bush Walkers extend their deepest sympathy to Mrs. Mona McKenzie and her two little girls, and to his father and brother and other relatives, and hope that the effluxion of time will appreciably obliterate the feeling of loss, whilst keeping everbright the remembrance of a gentleman who was revered by all who knew him.
Bushwalkers are, as a community, the most photo-conscious people in Australia to-day. What party, however small, sets out without a camera? And rightly so!
For practically nobody, except a walker, ever sees the wonderous dawn at Kanangra, gorges filled with white mist, just tipped red in the early sun and Gangerang rising like an island, or the noonday quiet of the Kowmung, - or the panorama from Clear Hill - or the - well, the hundreds of beautiful out-of-the way places seen by the enthusiasts. But even the enthusiasts visit some places once only, and it is here that their cameras come into action. They realize that to-day's photos are to-morrow's 7) treasures, and record their impressions on film for their own, and their friends future enjoyment.
Among the Associated Clubs, there are expert photographers who produce excellent pictures - not just mere snapshots - but pictures of quality, - pictures which make the scene or incident live again - pictures which they can proudly exhibit, and later frame to adorn their homes - in short, works of photographic art.
There are others however, equally clever, owners of cameras, who visit the same places and have the same opportunities, but who find their photographic work a little disappointing. There is something missing - the distance is faint - the clouds do not show - the picture is unbalanced - the grouping is wrong - the print is flat from wrong exposure - or some other defect spoils what could be an excellent picture. Unfortunately, they sometimes have to miss a promising shot, because the lighting was unusual, and they do not know what exposure to give.
But there is no reason why they cannot be as successful as the experts. They have the same films, same scenes and same opportunities. The only difference is that the experts have made a study of the subject, probably learning by experience and failures over a number of years. But the drudgery, the failures and the costly waste of materials, to say nothing of the lost pictures which can never be replaced, can be avoided. Various Courses of Instruction by post are now available. The first is for the amateur who wishes to take first class pictures, leaving the developing and printing to city firms. The second is for those, who, in addition to learning to take the pictures, wish to do their own developing and printing, thus saving money, and the third includes additional instruction on natural color photos, infra-red work, enlarging, artificial light, portraiture, and every subject connected with still photography, to professional standard. The indtructions are prepared in Australia by Australian Photographers for Australian conditions, and a staff is maintained to answer queries, and give help, advice and criticism.
The fees are reasonable - in fact, the money saved by learning to avoid waste and unnecessary expense often covers the cost of instruction.
By writing to the Director, The Australian School of Photography, 80 Market St., Sydney, details can be obtained by post, without any obligation whatever. Please mention the journal when writing.
Has the possibility of selling pictures to travel journals, newspapers etc. ever occurred to you? Have you ever realized that somebody must take the pictures you see in magazines, advertisements, Tourist Agencies and a hundred other places, and further that somebody is paid for his or her work? Those somebodies once knew nothing of photography. Do you know that one of the published pictures of the hikers lost last October in the Grose Valley was taken on a box camera? As this is the first advertisement appearing in Bushwalking Magazines, the School will refund half the fees in the “A” Course, and 1/3 the fees in the other Courses to the first bonafide members of a Bushwalking Club who enrol in the respective Courses and are the first to pay the full fees in each division. The three names will be notified immediately to the Club Secretary. ADVT. F.H.SMYTHE, 80 MARKET ST., SYDNEY. 'Phone MJ.4290.
A short, smiling, charming lass met me at East Croydon Station with a “Do you mind if I call in to library on the way down?” greeting, and afterwards led me by many turns, crossings and by-ways to the Southern Pathfinder's Club Rooms. (A preliminary test for membership is ability to find the clubrooms unaided).
It is not exactly a cellar but a “lower ground floor.” It is humble and homely, but has that extraordinary atmosphere of electric exuberance, the spirit of “joie de vie”, the essence of walking, good companionship, and above all the constant stream of reminiscences, arrangements and food lists.
They are a very jolly lot and really quite modest about their reservation end preservation schemes. They have tackled problems similar to Garrawarra and Blue Gum. They are just as definite about doing something for posterity as the Sydney Bush Walkers are.
The President prevailed upon me to tell them a little about walking in Australia. I nearly made myself unpopular by telling them the truth, and they have not yet quite forgiven me for saying that I had not seen any “tough” country in England really nothing more than an “easy” grade walk. I have since discovered that in desperation one can rock-climb and get a thrill.
I joined the Sopats (Southern Pathfinders) one Sunday in a delightful little stroll - over green fields thickly clothed in lush green and starred with creamy white Meadow Sweet - followed along a river bank with here and there clumps of palest pink Briar Rose and occasional clumps of nettles that would almost shame some on the Kowmung - willow trees, a grove of beech trees and then open spaces again.
Even fences were a delight to cross, conveniently placed stiles protruding a sturdy ledge inviting co-operation. Did one battle against nature and break a new route? Oh no, one used the narrow pad, the friendly road or the winding lane. In one place we did nearly have to search for the pad; the field had been plowed the previous year! However, we were rewarded by a fine view after climbing the closely cropped lawn-covered rise - green fields, an old Manor House, silvery river, poplars, hawthorn, blue sky and white clouds, oranges, cameras, discussion, rest and the tempering of an afternoon breeze - all very delightful, especially after working in a city with a population greater than all Australia.
Later we passed a field of wheat, portion of which was solid gleaming scarlet, rippling in the sunlight. It was my first field of poppies a glorious sight - all shimmering and dancing, with a scarlet haze over them.
The walks are really a delight in such surroundings, and one is able to soak in all the beauties by the waysides and not wonder if you have hit the right gully or if the cliff is still scalable. I was assured with much gravity that they could and did do more strenuous walks.
Lunch was one of those delightful affairs with sandwiches, table-cloths and loaves of bread, and covered a goodly half acre.
Just previous to this feast “Cherry”, the Secretary, and I enquired from a nearby cottage who lived in the large manor house with the lovely garden. They obligingly told us. Armed with this information we thereupon rang the door-bell and asked for the owner. The maid showed us into the luxurious lounge. The owner came in dispensed cigarettes and after the apparently effective overtures invited us to see the garden! While showing us around he also told us of the house. “This part built In the eleventh century, this was the old cloister garden and later the herb garden. Here we joined this building on by this hall and then recently connected the old tythe barn, that housed the rent, paid in grain and produce, we made it into a place for charades, musicals, dances, etc.” A long flight of shallow steps led on one side to a sloping lawn, and the other to a long, newly-planted, weeping-elm walk.
Then there was the herbaceous border full of tall delphiniums, dwarf roses, pinks, marguerites, antirrhinums, poeny plants with fimbriated leaves and spent flower-stalks, sweet alice, mauve ageratum, all backed with tall cyprus trees…. the cider orchard with buttercups and daisies clustered round the feet of the hoary old apple trees, the lily pond and waterfall, back again to the paved courtyard and walled garden at the front door. As we had already arranged for dinner with the club we excused ourselves before the owner was able to ask us to join him for the noonday meal. We took a final glance, and photograph, of the magnolia trees trained against the wall, espalier fashion, and the vines which hung the library windows, and then returned to the club luncheon, “Cherry” distinctly flabbergasted at the whole affair.
I was asked to join a camping expedition on August holiday week-end and have a really good laugh. However, the call to youth from the Olympic Bell in Berlin was stronger and I was unable to camp with these fine friendly folk.
Of course no good bushwaiker goes into the bush without a compass. But sometimes the compass gets broken, and very occasionally there are ironstone rocks which upset its working. What shall you do? Point the 12 o'clock figures on your watch to the sun. Then half way between the 12 figures (i.e. between the line of the shadow) and the hour hand is the north. This is the true north, not the magnetic north, but perhaps this is an advantage, for the true north is usually the top of your map, the tourist map of the Blue Mountains being one of the few exceptions.
This method of calculation is applicable in the southern hemisphere; there will be time enough to learn about the method used in the northern when you are about to go there.
Sketch of Katoomba District showing Cedar Creek (Between pages eleven and twelve of the newsletter.)
One of the most interesting expeditions last year was that of Arthur Austin and party. They went from Katoomba via Narrow Neck to Ruined Castle, camping beyond this at the spot shown on the accompanying map.
Arthur Austin gave the Walks Secretary the map of the route and the data following) and we are indebted to the Walks Secretary for passing these on to us so that they might be printed for the benefit of all.
7th. August, 1936. CAMP 1 at mine-shaft. Frank on heap as “c”. 8)
|Pedometer Mileage||Time||Comments||Direction of Main Stream|
|15½||9 a.m.||To knob past ruined castle. Down ridge to fork. Good going on ridge. Creek at fork, dry but pools. Leads for 1 mile to left of Cedar Creak.|
|17½||10:45||MAIN CEDAR CREEK LARGE AND DEEP||S. E.|
|20¼||12:15-1:15||LUNCH- Going fair. Frequent Crossings||S. E.|
|20½||1 LEFT DRY CREEK||S. E.|
|20 5/8 9)||1 RIGHT WET CREEK (large)||S. E.|
|100 yds||1 LEFT DRY CREEK||S. E.|
|21¾||1 RIGHT DRY CREEK||S. E.|
|21 7/8 10)||1 LEFT DRY CREEK (small)||S. E.|
|22 5/8 11)||1 RIGHT DRY CREEK ” good cave just above junction||S. E.|
|24||3:50||1 RIGHT WET CREEK (large)||S.S.E.|
| CAMP 11 at fork -up ridge from Junction 500 feet.|
Reading at lookout (1) To Solitary (Chinamas Gully
|20°E. of N.|
|8th. August. (2) END OF KINGS TABLELAND where goes down|
|130°E. of N.|
|24||9:45 a m.||DOWN MAIN CREEK||S.S.E.|
|24¾||10 a.m.||1 LEFT DRY) (SMALL)|
1 RIGHT DRY)
|25 3/8 12)||1 RIGHT WET (LARGE) (COUNTRY OPENING||S. E.|
|100 yds||1 LEFT DRY) (OUT TO GRASSY|
1 RIGHT DRY) (BANKS - SIGNS OF CATTLE
|26½||10:40||1 RIGHT DRY (large) BIG ROCK 14 feet on UPPER SIDE JUNCTION - WIDE GRASSY BANKS MARKED ON MAP AS CEDAR CREEK||S.E.|
|27||11:7||1 LEFT WET (large)||S.S.E.|
|100 yds||1 RIGHT DRY - RIVER BEGINS TO WIND SE to E to||SSW.|
|27½||1 LEFT DRY (COMES IN S.E.)||SSW.|
|28 7/8 13)||11:30||1 LEFT DRY (large)||S.S.E. to S.W.|
|29½||11:50||2 RIGHT DRY (large clearing on left)|
2 LEFT DRY (small) and old shack )
|31||12:20||AT COX BEFORE KILLS DEFILE|
DIRECTION COX'S RIVER S.W.
- Flo Allsworth -
First of all a few words about the club, there is a membership of about 35 to 40, but usually the walks are attended by the same dozen or so. Apart from the walks, members rarely meet in a body, as they have no club room. They do however have a social evening now and again, and during my stay they had their annual meeting followed by club slides (instead of the usual snap album, they are the proud possessors of slides) and Jack Thwaites the secretary of the club, gave a very interesting lecture, taking us on all their outings, this was followed by supper, and the scene was like unto the S.B.W. Clubroom on a social night.
My first experience with them was on Sunday, July 5th. I had received a notice the previous week to say the club would be going up Mount Wellington, as far as Ridgeway, thence along the skyline to Mt. Nelson, unless there was a heavy fall of snow LI the meantime, when the walk would be diverted to Wellington.
The mountain had had a white coat all the week, and on the Sunday it was whiter than ever, but having no snow experiences I didn't know whether it would be termed a heavy fall or not, so left my boarding house clad for walking Sydney fashion.
I arrived at the G.P.O. to learn the fall was an extra heavy one, and there was no doubt that the majority of the club would be on the top already ski-ing, so we decided to take the bus to the Fern Tree, about half way up the Mountain and walk from there to the Pinnacle. When we alighted from the bus, I discarded my skirt, much to the amazement of the party, (the Hobart girls all wear breeches and boots) all of whom were quite certain I would freeze on the wayside, however, as we had a four-mile uphill climb before us I got rather heated. We had no sooner left the bus and commenced the climbing when we came to the first of the snow, it was like soft frost. I felt it and ate some, 'twas cold on the teeth, but pleasant to touch.
We did about a mile before it began to be deep, but from then on it got deeper and I had a most difficult time. My shoes were soaked and I made very slow progress. However, about three miles up the new road we came to the workmen's huts and were welcomed by Mulga Mick (a friend of the Hobart Walking Club), Jack and Cecily Thwaites. When we had been refreshed with steaming hot cocoa we were loaned skis, and I had a great time trying to keep upright. Didn't manage to stay up long, but learned to sit down very easily. Found it the only way to prevent myself from going off the side of the road to the depths below. I went up and down the gentle slope of the road about 1/8 14) mile, as I had to sit to stop and walk up the slope again I was soon tired out and glad to go into the hut again for rest and refreshments.
The view from the hut was worth seeing, it was almost indescribable. In the near foreground the trees were all snow laden and away, away in the distance were more snowcapped mountains, whilst right below was the beautiful Derwent Valley, with Hobart spread along one shore and bushland on the other. Away across the hills Seven-mile Beach stands out, the river, the hills and the mountains all too magnificent for words.
The rest of the day was spent either on the road trying to keep upright or at the door of the hut admiring the view. So ended my first day with the Hobart Walking Club. Subsequently we spent many happy week-ends camping at the huts and Skiing until the snow eventually disappeared, then the club very reluctantly packed away its skis and commenced to walk.
The Hobartians are much more fortunate than we. They have mountains all around, just beckoning one to have a climb and the magnificent views are well worth the pull up.
Mount Wellington is the favourite, the pinnacle of which is 4166 ft. and the whole of the mountain is a National Park. There are dozens of tracks to the pinnacle, all passing through ferny glades with small waterfalls and streams. There are several cabins where one might camp or just dine. These shelters are a feature of Tasmania. In all the National Park reserves there are huts for the walkers, and I think without them the walking club would dwindle. The ground is rather damp or rather soggy and not very suitable for camping. Still, the club does camp out at times, but the more popular trips are the ones that can offer a shelter.
Besides Wellington, Hobart has Mounts Nelson, Rumney, Faulkner, Direction and Gunners Quoin, all possible for a day walk.
For the warmer months the club goes to the sea-side. While I was there we had a week-end at Lewisham, staying the night at the boarding house and walking along Seven-mile Beach on the Sunday. We also had a delightful walk from Bellrive along the fore-shores to Rokeby one of the earliest English Villages in the isle. Another good day was from Bellrive to Risdon along the river bank. Risdon was the first settlement in Hobart, and some of the old buildings still stand.
If I were to give you a resume of all the day walks to be done around Hobart, I'm sure you would all be saving your pennies to go to the Walkers' Paradise.
The Lady Moon is my lover,
My friends are the oceans four,
The heavens have roofed me over,
And the dawn is my golden door.
I would liefer follow the conder,
Or the seagull, soaring from ken,
Then bury my godhead yonder,
In the dust and the whirl of men.
Chang Chih-Ho. (An early bushwalker) A.D. 750.
It was something special in camp sites in an English park: a cosy spot where soft, green grass was half surrounded by lovely trees: with such a view, as artists rave about, over the pink and white blossoms of the Kentish orchards: easterly aspect, sheltered from the wind - - -
All this and more I had told Jack as we sped along the country lanes on push bikes, trying to beat the threatened storm - and then to be met by a downright refusal. The lovely house and parklands had changed owners since last I had camped there, and the new owner had refused point blank, to give us permission to camp on my camp site. Alas, it was mine only in spirit. No doubt his title was more favourable than mine at law. He turned us away even as the big raindrops spattered about his doorstep.
Jack was a sport, and uttered no word of recrimination or disappointment, but instead produced the map, and we decided to make for the littlest lane we could find. (People are kinder away from roads) We soon arrived at the tiny lane we had spotted on the map, and we were pleased to see an old half-timbered farm house. An old lady white-haired, erect and smiling, answered our knock and we asked might we camp in one of her fields for the night. The rain was by this time falling steadily, and it needed no Mr. Mares 15) to tell us it would continue to do so all night. Imagine our chagrin when she came out with “no, certainly not”, but then, with a twinkle “There's a nice, dry barn you may use.”
We were soon introduced to the barn by Eric Jones, her big, slow-moving son, and he told us we might cook our supper on the kitchen stove if we wished. We did wish. After having had our supper aad established friendly relations we were invited into the parlour to listen to the wireless, and presently Mrs. Jones said, “I don't like the idea of you boys sleeping in that barn on such a night as this; there's a bed for you upstairs”. Full of Noble ideas of roughing it being good for the soul and all that, I demurred, but Jack wiser perhaps, was not so emphatic. As we finally rose to depart, our hostess once again insisted that she would rather we used the bed. Jack had an idea “Suppose we toss for it”. said he. He produced a coin, flicked it in the air, caught it and with an air of one resigning himself to the inscrutable decrees of fate, announced “Beds!”
Next morning was a glorious spring morning and we arose to find breakfast waiting for us. After faring so well, it would have been churlish to take our leave immediately after breakfast, so we asked could we do anything to help them in return for their kindness. The practical Mrs. Jones indicated the wood-heap. We got busy, after a while she came over to us and said. “If you give me what you've got for dinner I'll cook it for you” I was past remonstrance and Jack gleefully produced our rough camp fare.
When we were called to dinner, we found that our chops had been miraculously transformed into roast fowl and all the usual trimmings.
After dinner we inspected the farm, visited the pigs, looked at the horses, and, before we knew where we were, it was tea-time. This time we didn't even pretend to contribute. At tea Mrs. Jones suggested church, and I, being gallant, offered to accompany her. Jack and Eric decided to stay at home. Church over, Mrs. Jones said firmly “I don't think you boys should travel on the sabbath, couldn't you leave early in the morning?
And thus did Jack and I make friends with the Jones' of Cockmanning's farm, St. Mary Cray 16), Kent. We had an open invitation for any week-end and we availed ourselves of it. I remember many a feed of strawberries and many a yarn by the fire in the evenings. Mrs. Jones had a very deep and sincere religion, which took very practical shape, and we had some grand arguments at times. We never left Cockmanning's, however, on a Sunday, but stayed until 6 a.m. Monday, when we reluctantly cycled back to smoky, noisy London.
I kept in touch by letter after leaving England and finally in response to Christmas greetings I got a letter from Eric, saying that his mother had died, one of her last acts before she passed away being to place a tap and drinking mug at the corner of the lane, with the sign: “For walkers and wayfarers.”
The Re-Union Camp was held this year on a new site, Morella-Korang (hill-camp) on the banks of a crystal-clear brook, Myuna (Clear water), and it was a huge success. No less than 115 members rolled up for the camp fire including all the ex-presidents since the foundation of the club. In addition there were seven bushwalker children, prospective members no doubt.
The old committee in bedraggled white sheets and bearing faded white lilies dolefully retired, while the new committee dressed in businesslike shorts and shirts, and preceded by a staff surmounted by a pineapple and a shield bearing a pig rampant and the motto “We wont be druv”, marched in triumphantly to the tune of a epic song in which they told us just exactly how they were going to make things hum.
The new president (who happens to be the same as the old) was duly installed in office. There followed a play written specially for the occasion, songs, choruses, supper, and last but not least an open discussion about the club and suggestions for its future. Members drifted off to bed after 1 p.m. 17), but a few enthusiasts were still found round the camp fire when the sun rose.
Perfect weather blessed the camp, and the site was voted the best we have ever had, so much so that it has been proposed to try and acquire a lease of it so that it may be our annual re-union site for all time.
Or The More Serious Side of the Club's Activities.
Each month your delegates to the Federation of Bushwanking Clubs give an account of their work to the Committee and this report is posted on the notice board at the Club Rooms, but probably very few people have an opportunity of reading it. It has therefore been decided to publish a resume in “The Sydney Bushwaiker”.
Most important of things accomplished is the formation of a search and rescue section. The select committee appointed to consider the matter has issued a comprehensive report setting out plans for a very efficient organization to cope with search and rescue work, and probably the section will be in working order before our next issue.
Next in importance is that it has induced 2 F.C. to broadcast short appeals from time to time urging people to protect the native fauna and flora, put out fires and tidy up their rubbish. Such broadcast appeals have had a marked effect on the state of the English country side and there is no reason why they should not have a similar effect in New South Wales.
The new constitution has now been adopted and the first associate member admitted. It is hoped that we shall all bring along as associate members all those of our friends who are interested in walking, hiking, and the preservation of bushlands. The annual subscription for associate members has been fixed at a minimum of 2/6.
In addition to these things accomplished the Federation has written hosts of letters, for example, about the reservation of the Grose River Valley, the need for footpaths for the one-day walker or hiker, the need for a better approach to the down end of Lilyvale station, preservation of rock-carvings in Kuringai shooting in Burragorang, carrying firearms on Sunday, but space forbids us to mention them all.
Finally at the end of March the Federation held the first general conference of all persons interested in bush-walking. Many helpful suggestions were made and it is felt that the meeting was a success.
A cloud over the Re-Union's bright sky was the knowledge that Esma Armstrong lay in a very critical condition following childbirth. Very soon afterwards she passed on, and our deepest sympathy goes to Oscar in his loss. Those of us who knew Esma in the bush and the camp will understand just how deep that loss is and wish that we could say more to show our sympathy.
When better tents are made, Paddy will make them. Always on the lookout for ways and means of weight-saving, Paddy has landed from England, a new cloth for tents.
A New Light Waterproof Cloth.
It is finely woven - 140 threads to every inch (good Japara has about 110)
It is light in weight - 2½ 18) ounces to the square yard (medium weight Japara weight 4 ounces.)
It is touch-proof - Chemically treated so that the fibres will not absorb water. In other words it has 30 threads to the inch more than the best quality medium weight Japaras which Paddy uses for his regular tents. In spite of this it weighs only a little more than half and it may be touched (within reason) during heavy rain without dripping.
And the colour - listen girls - London Tan.
In fact fellers - its a Wow.
The price is not excessive, as you will see from the under-below table of comparative statistics.
|7 x 5 “A”||2 lbs 14 ozs||26/-||1 lb 13 ozs||32/-|
|6 x 8 “A”||3 lbs 2 ozs||30/-||2 lbs||37/6|
|7 x 5 Wall||3 lbs 15 ozs||37/6||2 lbs 8 ozs||45/-|
|Queensland||2 lbs 12 ozs||30/-||1 lb 11 ozs||37/6|
327 George Street,
In the Middle Ages it was an ordeal by fire; in modern times it is an ordeal by test walks, during which the prospective members social, moral, physical, mental, and every other bearing, is observed, noted and reported upon? Without a whimper he must submit to being dragged through blackberry bushes and made to fall down precipices; without murmur he must go through prickly bush while the full-fledged members take an easy track; without complaint he must tread the hard highway while the elect go by bus.
In the Middle Ages the trial by ordeal ended the matter; in modern times there follows a Christening, a Catechism and a Confirmation.
For an ordinary Christening one godfather and one godmother are usually considered sufficient; but the S.B.W. require seven godfathers or godmothers all prepared to go guarantee for the mental, physical, moral and social upbringing of the applicant.
Then follows the catechism when the prospective is examined by the Committee on whether he swims, sings, carries a tent, reads a compass, bears a torch, finds, his way out of trackless bush, wears khaki shorts, and goodness - or the Committee - alone knows what else.
Then, finally, if he survives the Ordeal, the Baptism and the Catechism, he is handed the Book of Words, anointed with the Badge, blessed by the President and received into the fold of the Faithful amid the applause of the Elect.
There have been several enquiries recently as to what constituted a test walk. In answer we publish, underneath the pattern walks adopted by the Club in 1932 and alterable only by the Club in general meeting. Test Walks (two day-walks and one week-end walk) to be undertaken by prospective members must approximate to these pattern walks in mileage, hours walked and nature of the country. The prospective member is expected to accomplish the walks successfully, as regards not only physical endurance, but also intelligent interest, so that he could take the same routes again by himself.
I. Leumeah, Bush Walkers' Basin, Woronora Mosquito Camp, Engadine.
2. Bundeena, Marley, Wattamolla, Curracurrong, Garie Beach, Burning Palms, Helensburgh.
3. Campbelltown, Minerva Pool, Pheasant's Creek, Wedderburn Bridge, Campbelltown.
4. Cowan, Refuge Bay, Topham Trig, Duckhole, Barrabeen.
1. Kuringai, Crosslands, Galston Gorge, Fish Ponds, Hornsby.
2. Heathcote, Uloola, Nioka, Lady Carrington's Drive, Lilyvale.
3. Waterfall, The Mill, Island Track, Palona Brook, Garie Trig, Era, Lilyvale.
4. Audley, Winifred Falls, Cascade Creek, Up Creek, The Saddle, Wattamolla, back by track to Audley.
In fact, why sleep out at all? Most of us, surely, rejoice in good beds at home. However, Bush-walkers being what they are, cursed with the instincts but not blessed with the physique of nomads, some sort of covering must be devised to protect them during the night hours. The problem arises how to combine the greatest possible shelter with the least possible weight.
Tents, it would seem, have always been a thorn in the side of wandering humanity. Glancing through the pages of history, we find King David declaring bitterly - doubtless after a night in a leaky camp - that he would rather eke out a miserable existence in a church-porch than dwell in a tent.
Shakespeare likewise seems to have had a rough spin under canvas and refers to 'the tent that searches to the bottom of the worst' - meaning either that it drove him to the depths of despair or that the whole tottering structure sank in the mud.
Then we all know the nineteenth century gentleman who had such trouble with his moving (i.e. collapsing) tent that he had to pitch it afresh each night.
All this of course was in the bad old days before a Real Tent Maker - breathe his initials, pp - brought comfort to mankind. The most successful of his predecessors appears to have been a Mr. O. Jacob. Many years B.C. one Balaam, best known in connection with an ass, exclaimed ecstatically: “How goodly are thy tents, O. Jacob!” thereby establishing that tentmaker's reputation forever.
Omar, of course, made tents; and see how subtly that profession warped his mental outlook. A sceptic: a cynic. Aren't we all, where tents are concerned?
To make the best of a bad job, why not dispense with the tent and use a waterproof sleeping-bag instead? The hardy trampers in New Zealand, that moist but lovely land, sleep thus, unscathed. The bag, complete with hood and furnished with eyelets for lashing the opening together, accommodates self and pack. Its advantages are many. Its weight, l½ lbs 19). surely compares favourably with that of any tent. One is assured of the utmost privacy, retiring like a snail into the shell. It is essentially a one-man affair: sharing is impossible. One can wear it by the camp-fire and keep the draught off the spine, and during the night it can be turned lightly and easily to catch, or avoid, the prevailing wind. Again, sack-racers find it invaluable. “But what” the carping critic asks, “about disrobing for the night? With the well-trained camper this difficulty does not arise. He sleeps in everything he has with him.
Finally, the bag, unlike the tent, is simple to fold. One often hears it said “they fold their tents like the Arabs” - but how do the Arabs fold their tents? The accepted method is to take one corner in the left teeth (all Bush Walkers should see that they have a few left) and rotate rapidly in a clockwise direction, shouting in a loud voice and at stated intervals: Abracadabra! The result will be either strangulation or success.
(N.B. The term “hike” is not my own!)
Doubtless, the manner in which Mr. J. Otis Swift, nature writer on the “New York World”, conducts his hikes would not, in all respects at least, appeal to Sydney Bush Walkers, but a few points culled from an article in a recent “Digest” may prove interesting and in some cases, give us food for thought.
Mr. Swift, christened Josiah, named his organisation the Yosian Brotherhood. From a modest beginning 13 years ago the movement has expanded into 50 groups and in that time has given health, recreation mad enjoyment of nature to 110,000 “hikers.”
To quote the article, ”…….along with poison ivy and blistered feet, over 75 marriages have been contracted on Yosian hikes.” (The S.B.Ws are following a close second!)
Swift has an infallible method of preventing dissension within the ranks. When individulas 20) dislike the way he runs his hikes - if they prefer longer or shorter walks, more ot 21) less nature talk etc. etc. - he urges them to take as many members as they can and form an offshoot group. Such groups cater for music, religion, birds, water life, geology and entomology.
They do not stop there of course. A cluster of new clubs is springing up along that mammoth and longest “footpath” in the world, the Appalachian Trail. This gigantic 12 year project of cleaning and maintaining a 2,050 mile wilderness track over the summits of mountains and through the wild lands of 14 States from Maine to Georgia, was, according to this article, the volunteer work of outdoor organisations, offshoots of the original Yosians.
Some hiking clubs have permanent camps. The Omaha Walking Club (sweet sounding name, after “hiking”) owns four buildings and 2,000 dollars worth of equipment in a spot approachable only on foot. A host and hostess are permanently stationed there and the camp fee of ten cents includes coffee served by them. Attendance at the camp is about 4.800 22) a year.
Members of the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club of Schenectady were invited to make themselves at home on the property of an aged poet. In appreciation of his hospitality the club annually planted some trees until they had reafforested all the old man's poor land and the one hundred acre farm is now a wild life sanctuary and nature shrine visited by thousands.
Trust the Americans for novelty! Many groups, in order to create interest in their outings, have adopted the novel idea of the “Sails and Trails Club of Seattle”. By the way - “Sails and Trails” - that pretty title conjures up all sorts of mind pictures does it not?
This club calls on the faculties of the University of Washington to provide leaders versed in natural lore and sciences.
The article concludes by pointing out how easy it is to start a hiking club. (Oh yes! echo 23) S.B.W's a hiking club, maybe, but a Bush Walking Club, well —-) “Participation is equally simple, all you need are comfortable old clothes and a sense of humour to cope with such emergencies as a fall in the creek or missing the last bus back to town!”
And so, as was before stated, all these methods and ideas concerning bush walking and camping may not conform to our standards on the subject, but we too have to create novelties, to more than merely walk and camp to maintain the movement as we would have it to achieve end hold those high ideals which we have set ourselves.
Perhaps we would do well to “chew over” some of the points in this article.
The stork must be growing tired from his numerous visits to the homes of Sydney Bushwalkers. The last to be visited is that of Kathleen and Joe Turner and the result was a son. We congratulate the parents.
Our best wishes go to Ada Burling and Clem Armstrong who are to be married on April 10th., and also to Mavis Dibley and “Barney”, and to Vic Thorsen and Fanny Farrier who have already tied the happy knot.
Bushwalkers from other States who have been recently entertained by us include Miss Nancy Cooper of the Tasmanian Walking Club, Miss Jean Currie from Atherton, North Queensland, and Miss Mary Tudehope from Cairns. Some of us were also fortunate in meeting Dr. Teichelman, the president of the New Zealand Alpine Club and a well known N.Z. pioneer explorer.
We were delighted to see Phil and Wally Roots at the Re-Union Camp, having come down from Brisbane at the right time for it. We were also pleased to see several ex-members, Ilma Ellis, Bill Livingstone, Bill Chambers, Ken Matthews, and ex-president Cliff Ritson.
Marie Byles has returned from an exploratory mountaineering expedition in New Zealand. She met with very great kindness in Wellington from Mr. Macpherson, editor of “The Tararau Tramper”, and in Dunedin from Mr. Sim, editor of “The New Zealand Alpine Journal”, and his wife.