A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milson's Point|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Production Asst||Bill Gillam|
|Sales and Subs||Helen Brooks|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey and Jessie Martin|
|Editorial - The Magazine||1|
|At the Annual General Meeting||3|
|Club Officers, Committee 1949||6|
|Social Notes for April||6|
|Bogong High Plains||Edna Garrad and Dorothy Hasluck||8|
|Cradle Mountain Reserve||Leon Blumer||12|
|Safety First in the Bush||Jim Brown||15|
|The Gruesome Twosome||17|
|News from the Rucksack Front (Paddy's Advt.)||18|
Perhaps only the members who work every month on the magazine realise how much voluntary effort is put into every issue. There is more than a full day's work in typing the stencils. Four or more people give an evening to duplicating and collating it. There is an evening's work in addressing and posting the subscribers' copies, while subscriptions, and the clerical and other work necessary to keep the business side going take a lot of time. As an indication of what this saves subscribers we might compare the cost of the annual report, which this year was typed and duplicated by a copying firm. The annual report is a smaller job than the magazine, but typing and duplicating alone cost nearly £10. Anyone with a fancy for figures could work out what the magazine would cost if everyone's time was paid for - it might well cost 2/- a copy.
As well as this there are the contributors, who probably put in an equal amount of time and effort. There are a number of these who, without any prompting, write up any interesting trip they do. Others don't wait till they go on a trip but send in enjoyable descriptive or humorous pieces on some topic which appeals to Club members. Two of the Club officers make a monthly report on their particular sphere of activities. Others write up little pars on the doings of members, and these are always popular with readers.
All these people work willingly to produce a readable monthly magazine. When a good magazine results they feel that their efforts have been worth while. But though a lot of good articles appear in the magazine - many of them good by any standard - the magazine is not what it could be. Sometimes it is good, often it is mediocre, occasionally it is short and dull.
But there is no reason why it should not be consistently good. There are a number of ways in which it could be improved. It could be made much more informative. Walks leaders, for instance, have frequently been invited to publicise and describe any interesting official or other walk they are going to lead. Very few do, even when asked. Club officers have been invited to make full use of these pages for announcements or information. Most of them still pass their messages round verbally. People who want to make improvements or changes in club organisation have been invited to express opinions, but either they don't have any opinions or they can't be bothered writing them down. Conservationists have been invited to give us the benefit of their views and knowledge. Most of them leave it to the editor. But the worst of the lot are that happy band who have the education and the ability to write up trips and incidents but never do so. They read all about the trips others have done, spend weeks planning and preparing to go to the places they have read about, but never, by any chance, let others have the benefit of their own experience. They read with interest the happenings, humorous instructive or even unfortunate, on other persons trips, but make not the slightest effort to contribute anything of interest they know themselves. This is just plain selfishness. Another class are those who are “too busy”. If they are honest about it they would admit the truth, which is that they would rather be doing something else. Many of these people have more than average education and ability, but they gain just as much from the magazine as any others and should be prepared to let fellow members have the benefit of their knowledge. Forthwith business will not be accepted as an excuse. Time could not be spent better than in writing for the magazine, which is closely read by some 200 people with a common interest in walking.
Financially the magazine is doing reasonably well. It can make available to contributors a complete range of reproduction. Maps, pen drawings and diagrams have often been reproduced. Anyone can draw or trace a map to describe their trip. It doesn't matter if the map is not well drawn, or the printing not neat, so long as it is plain, and the proportions right, it can be redone by a professional tracer and come out like the maps already printed. Whether contributors assume that people know the places where they have been, or whether they are not game to try their hand at mapping questionable, but many articles on walks are ever so much clearer to follow with the aid of a map. The magazine can now publish photographs too occasionally. A page containing one or more photographs will cost a little over £2. Should anyone like to contribute the photographs and bear half the cost we would be only too pleased at any time to find the other half of the cost and have them published.
The magazine staff offer you all the facilities necessary for a good publication. There is plenty of literary scientific and artistic talent in the club. We urge everybody who has anything worth while to contribute to make the effort, so that we will have a magazine that is consistently first rate.
In conclusion we remind contributors that the magazine is published an Committee nights - i.e. the first Friday of every month (unless it is a holiday weekend). Articles may be accepted up till the last Friday of the previous month - but please don't leave them till the last day if you can help it. Maps, drawings, etc. may be accepted up till a fortnight before publication, and photographs up till three weeks beforehand.
by Jim Brown
The Annual General Meeting, held on a night of pouring rain, with the President in the chair, and about 110 members in attendance, established that if the Club is truly dying on its feet, it is still quite vocal, and if its spirit for venturing into the wet is not what it used to be, it can still strike sparks in debate.
Four new members, Misses Pat Newnan and Molly Gallard, and Messrs. Roy Bruggy and Jack Perry were first welcomed, and the social round continued with the presentation of trophies and championship cards to the winners in the Swimming Carnival. Gwen Jewell featured with the collection of the Henley Trophy and a half share with Kevin Ardill in the Mandelburg Cup. Vera Matasin and Eric Pegram appeared several times at the chair to collect cards.
It was announced that a telegram from Dorothy Lawry, a letter from Joe Turner and a phone call from Frank Duncan had been received, all wishing the Club a successful meeting and reunion. After which we descended from the high spiritual plane to mundane business. Filthy lucre was represented early in our descent with Gil Webb's motion that the Treasurer be instructed to place £210 of reserve funds in the Seventh Security Loan, with the notion of easy pickings - 3 1/8% interest instead of 1 1/4% as a bank deposit. This was opposed by the retiring Treasurer on sundry grounds, but the motion was carried, and Gil Webb, as successor to the Club purse, will have the satisfaction of being instructed to nurse his own brain child.
Suspension of standing orders was carried to permit the election of office bearers to proceed during the execution of other business, and Ruby Payne-Scott, Ray Kirkby, Kevin Deane and Alan Strom appointed scrutineers. The President, Tom Moppett, was promptly elected unopposed, and the remainder of the office bearers elected are mentioned below.
Arising from correspondence, it was resolved to write again to the City of Blue Mountains Council with a view to enlisting support for the Narrow Necks conservation scheme. The personnel of the Council has changed since the recent elections. Several sympathetic aldermen are no longer in it and it was deemed advisable to seek support from their successors.
With the presentation of the Treasurer's report, it became evident that we should not be regaled with the normal Hardie fireworks: Dormie was battling nobly against a cold which had almost robbed him of his voice, and had to pass on the report to Clem Hallstrom for reading.
Apart from black looks at the news that the Search and Rescue Section had refused to play in the succouring of Mr. Ryan in the Nattai Country - more information has been sought on this matter - the principal issue arising out of the Federation report had to do with the Federation Notes to be published in the “Outdoors and Fishing” magazine. The notes were to be written by two members of the Federation, one from the University Bushwalkers and one from the Y.H.A. It was urged that our delegates be instructed to move for rescission of the Federation resolution, on the grounds that the magazine was out of tune with our conservation ideals. George Davenport condemned this as isolationism, and Dennis Gittoes and Dormie felt that an absolute prohibition on publishing in the magazine may appear sheer fanatacism. Why not make use of the notes for good publicity, they said. Marie Byles carried this a stage further with an amendment that articles dealing with conservation should be permitted, and the amended motion was carried.
Yours truly was selected for nomination as a trustee of Blue Gum Forest, in succession to Dorothy Lawry.
In very short order it was determined that the Annual Subscription and Entrance Fee should be fixed at the same figures as for the expired year, and we came to general business. First an elevating note. It was moved and carried with acclamation that a vote of appreciation be expressed to Dorothy Lawry for her exceptional efforts for the preservation and maintenance of Blue Gum Forest, and also her long continued service to the Walking Movement generally.
Joe Turner's letter was read, and regret was expressed at the death of Cliff Moseley of Point Lookout in the New England National Park. It was resolved to transfer his honorary membership to Mrs. Moseley.
So far the debate, though often spirited, had been affable and conducted on a distinctly intellectual plane. It was not until after Renee Brown moved that the Annual Re-Union be postponed that it descended to the level of “parliamentary procedure”. Renee supported her motion by pointing out that the Re-Union was largely for the benefit of old members and mothers with children. It had been raining for weeks, and even if it did clear up the ground was thoroughly soaked and would be too wet for the old members to camp on. In the uproar which ensued the President must have felt thankful that his calls for order were preceded by the clanging of his presentation gong rather than the gentle knocking of the bone. Many times the gong penetrated the hubbub and restored order, if not tranquillity. In one such interval Dormie was heard to whisper loudly that there hadn't been much rain in the Liverpool area. Gil Webb wondered if the weather may not be just as bad three weeks hence and to a suggestion that the river may be too high for fording, Roley Cotter argued that there was a satisfactory camp site on the west bank. Frank Cramp commented that he, for one, would not take his family out in the downpour, and Bill Gillam asked what about the foodstuffs bought for the affair. Bill Hall thought the only actual loss might be the fruit cake, value of about £2.
Up to this stage the newer members and younger types had been like stout Cortez's men, “gazing at each other with wild surmise… silent…”. The battle had been between the old hands but here Phil Hall interposed a note of sweet reasonableness. He was willing to go if the Re-Union was held, he said, but it would not be a satisfactory Re-union without the older members and the children. The motion was carried by approximately two to one in favour.
Now two other motion's stemmed from the first: one, to the effect that the news of the postponement be broadcast was not well received and was lost - “Oh, for the shame of it!” was the tenor of the opposition. Alan Wyborn foreshadowed a motion to re-design the Club badge as a pansy. The second motion, that leaders of walks on the week-end 1/2/3 April be permitted to lead their trips if agreeable (in opposition to the Re-Union) was overwhelmingly lost.
At this stage, large numbers of members began to vanish from the meeting, which was hurriedly brought to a close at 11.5 p m. after a decision to have notices posted at Liverpool and Macquarie Fields Stations.
By courtesy of the Federation of the supplement concerning facilities available to walkers in the Kosciusko region is forwarded with this magazine for the information of members intending visiting this interesting area. We hope members will pay heed to the requests of the Chalet management.
Laurie Rayner advises that contributions are invited to the new Federation magazine; articles, photos, reports, etc.
The following were elected at the Annual General Meeting.
|President||Mr. T. Moppett|
|Vice Presidents||Mr. A Colley: Mr. R. Cotter|
|Hon. Secretary||Miss H Galliott|
|Asst. Secretary||Miss D. Harris|
|Treasurer||Mr. G. Webb|
|Walks Secretary||Mr E. Pegram|
|Membership Secretary||J. Bransdon|
|Social Secretary||Miss E. Stretton|
|Committee||(Lady Members) Miss B. Hurley, Miss K. Hardy, (Male Members) Mr. K. Ardill, Mr. J. Brown|
|Federation Delegates from 1/8/1949||Mr. W. Hall, Mr. B. Harvey, Mr. P. Barnes, Mr. A. Strom.|
|(Selection of two Federation Delegates to sit on Committee from 1/8/49 was deferred until it could be ascertained which members would be available.)|
|Federation Delegate 31/7/49 (vice Mr. Wren)||W. Hall|
|Federation Delegates, to sit on Committee to 31/7/49||Mr. L. Rayner, W. Hall|
|Substitute Federation Delegates from 1/8/49||Miss D. Harris, Mr. J. Noble|
|literary Editor||Mr. A. Colley|
|Business Manager, Magazine||Mr. B. Harvey|
|Parks and Playgrounds Delegate||Mrs. H. Stoddart|
|Trustees||Mr. W.Roots, Mr. J.V. Turner, Mr. M. Berry|
|Auditor||Mr. C. Haines|
|Solicitor||Miss M. Byles|
|Forestry Advisory Council Delegate||Mr. A. Wyborn|
With Easter and Anzac Week-ends falling this month, there remains only one night for social activities. That is on 29th. A lecture lined up for that night - “Geology and the Bushwalkers” - to be presented by Allen Strom.
Would you like to have a big “do” round about July? Could hire a suitable hall and really go to town. Think about it and let me have your answer at the next general meeting.
Edna Stretton, Social Secretary.
The large official party to Blue Gum on the 19/20th March enjoyed the Forest at its best. The trees as lovely as ever, the forest carpeted with maiden hair, and the Grose flowing freely.
[Plaque: In memory of bushwalkers who fell in World War II. Their splendour shall never fade.]
They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We shall remember them.
by E. Garrad.
After sitting up all night in the Melbourne express and motoring all morning, we were rather weary on arrival at Diamantina Hut. There were, however, two things immediately to cheer us. The first was the view of Mount Buffalo. The distinctive silhouette of this mountain with the Hump, The Cathedral and Mount Anderson standing clear against the sky, haunted us all through the trip, and for the two days at Diamantina we found ourselves racing out to gaze across the valleys in the sunrise and again at sunset. The effect light and colour among the intervening ridges, with black and blue shadows, the brilliant sky and Mount Buffalo, were glorious. The second item of cheer was to find service type mattresses to put on the bunks. We hardly needed them to ensure sound sleep, but they were an unexpected comfort.
Mt. Hotham was disappointing. It is very bleak and the ridges covered with dead trees (from the 1939 fires) are somewhat depressing. You do get extensive views from the trig and a good idea of the layout of the area. In some lights even the dead trees have a peculiar scenic beauty, but more generally they are just a sad sight.
The weather was glorious and on each of the ten or eleven points we visited - all over 6,000 feet - we were rewarded with fine views.
On Mt. Mackay we found a fire watcher, in his little cabin surrounded by glass windows. The Victorian State Electricity Commission employs him. We were very interested in a map just completed by the Commission - on which by the way a correct survey has proved most of the peaks higher than shown on the available maps - and had grand views of a panoramic nature aided by his field glasses.
For the benefit of those who do not know the area at all, these “mountains” do not entail any climbing as we think of the word. You are up on the high plains and the tops simply rise out of the plains, or else you walk out along ridges with beautiful views on either side, and in the case of Feathertop and Fainter tracks lead you almost to the trigs. Mt. Bogong was the exception and after dropping about 1000 feet from Roper Hut you rise about 2,500' on to the mountain to the Cleve Cole Memorial Hut, and from there the Summit is a couple of miles away and, I think, 700 feet higher. Many times we dropped our packs beside the track and wandered off to visit a trig. We also made base camps here and there - Diamantina, Tawonga, Cope, etc. - and did a tremendous lot of walking without packs. For the “not so tigerish” that is the ideal!
Views are extensive - away to Kosciusko and the Cobberas, Mount Wellington and lots of other peaks, and, down the valleys to the Ovens, Kiewa end other rivers. On the High Plains, in Pretty Valley and Rocky Valley, are fast running little streams which wind their tortuous way between the brilliant green mosses and low growing alpine type plants.
One of our most delightful camps was at Tawonga Hut. We pitched our tents in front of the hut, among snow gums on a grassy bank, with a lovely stream racing by. We were encircled by grassy hills on which the cattle grazed.
We were rather interested in the activities of the ski clubs in regard to their huts. Obviously, they have a more sympathetic Government Department in Victoria and are able to obtain the necessary materials - the club members supplying the labour. A group of University boys were building a hut at Hotham - the lower half of local stone. Near Cope Hut the Victorian Ski club have taken over the disused S.E.C. cottage and with renovations now in progress it will be an excellent ski hut. Provision for about ten bunks, kitchen with fuel stove, bathroom with bath and inside lavatory, common room with lovely stone fireplace and a tank inserted to provide a hot water service. On Mount Bogong we found Skippy and Tony Beveridge (other Bushwalkers have met this cheery pair) who with the aid of Mr. Beveridge Senior were re-erecting the Summit Hut which had been demolished by the snow last year. It looked quite a job and they were working hard. Johnston's Hut near Mount Nelson has been taken over by a local ski club, so don't race there in bad weather expecting shelter, as it is locked. You would have to sit up all night on the porch! There is very pleasant camping among small trees in the vicinity of this hut with a grand view across to Mt. Wills.
In conclusion I would strongly recommend parties to follow our itinerary in taking a car to Hotham, rather than climbing up from Harrietville to Feathertop, as so many parties do, carrying heavy packs and starting your holiday so weary that most of the savour goes out of your first week. Also our leader (Harry Ellis) organised so that we collected food at Rocky Valley for the second week. A good thing.
By Dorothy Hasluck.
The warmest day of the trip dawned as I rose at 5.30 and, stepping over the prone bodies of two University boys who had joined us the night before, proceeded to make the morning tea. The said boys having refused my tent, thinking it would be too cold, had spent a miserable night on the earth floor and were not feeling the best for the three or four hours climb before us. However after some tea and breakfast life assumed a less doleful aspect and Bob, who was a bright type, became his own chirpy self.
It was a lovely morning and the change that had been predicted by some stockman seemed most unlikely as we set off down the ridge to the Big River. The track was well graded making it an enjoyable descent, through some lovely timber. In view of the long hot climb Edna and I decided to have a dip. Then the photographers decided they wanted some snaps first, so after much arranging and altering of positions, we getting colder and colder, our plunge was achieved and we were well and truly cooled down when we emerged from the icy waters. Passing an old campsite we started up the “T” spur. We had considered camping on the river instead of at Ropers Hut but on looking down from Tim's Lookout it looked so precipitous that we doubted whether we would find a flat space to camp. And so it proved except for this one delightful spot across the river. The sun blazed down on the ridge and there was no breeze just as we could have done with it, high winds having prevailed most of the time previously. However we came in sight of the waterfall much sooner than we expected, having been told it was a four hour climb. The creek next appeared and after copious draughts of water we proceeded up the valley to the Cleve Cole Memorial Hut set amidst trees at the head of the valley. It was charming, built of stone of the loveliest colours; a shower, which was operated by a pump, was a decided asset. The bunks were long shelves from wall to wall the width and the length of one's body. Finding the hut was already occupied the four of us decided to camp out, and just as well, as two men arrived at night and another two in the middle of the night, making 13 in all, although, according to records in the visitors' books, that is nothing to what they pack in at times. The two former men we had seen in the distance the day before going on to Tim's Ridge. In the interim they had lost themselves and had a really gruelling time. The previous occupants proved to be Skippy and her husband and his father, who were rebuilding the Summit Hut. We had seen her name a lot in the various books and came to the conclusion she spent most of her time on the Alps. She wished to be remembered to Roley and party, Roley particularly having endeared himself to her by damper making (or was it scones?).
Next morning we woke, alas, to the dismal sound of rain. This was most unpropitious as we were looking forward to glorious views from High Bogong (6,500 feet). I thought the weather Gods had behaved rather capriciously. It should have come on one of the rest days. A thick mist finally developed, blotting out everything, so we went by the snow poles and decided to cut out West Peak, having been warned of the danger in a mist. Still, when we reached the cairn the Gods relented a trifle, and lifting the veil for a few minutes, flung their scarves of grey over deep ravine and narrow cleft, revealing enchanting views of the valley thousands of feet below. One seemed to be in a high remote land enclosed from the rest of the world.
The staircase - our way of descent - was a steep bare rocky ridge to Bivouac hut, but from then on it was timbered with some magnificent trees. The scent of the blue gums rose like incense carrying such an essence of healing and health that I felt I would like to go on being bathed in it for over. I couldn't help wondering how much of all the beautiful bush we had seen would still be there in 50 years time. On the way down we met the packers who were taking materials to the Summit Hut. One is generally known as Frankie Sinatra due to his singing (or should I say crooning) abilities. They said we might use their camp for lunch, for which we were very thankful on account of the rain, and a merry lunch was enjoyed to the accompaniment of a few tit-bits read out of “Man” by Bob!!
Now we were on the way to Roper's Hut the second, with a mountain creek threading its way through the forest and companionably crossing the road many times as much as to say “Well, here I am again”. By now we had walked out of the rain. We arrived at the end of the ridge where we thought the hut should be but there was no sign of it. However, Harry, with true intuition, turned off the road and crossed a creek and there in the distance was our refuge, and refuge it proved to be, for a perfect deluge descended in the night. But, in spite of a few discrepancies in the walls, we were quite dry and snug. The boys had gone on, having bade us goodbye for the third, or was it the fourth time. Morning dawned very watery and the creek had risen considerably so I thought I would cross on a narrow slippery log by straddling it; not so easy I found - what with my pack swaying and overbalancing me, a nasty spike to manoeuvre over, and some interfering thorn branches to negotiate I nearly had an unwanted cold bath. However between spasms of laughter and with encouraging words from Ed and Marion I managed to make the grade and we wended our way to Tawonga. After a dinner at the hotel - I wouldn't say a hearty one - we decided to go to Bogong as our bus for Albury did not leave till 5 p.m. The bus traverses the gorges of the Kiewa River, passing Mt. Beauty township, which is still in the course of construction. As one rises into the mountains the views are magnificent, reminding me of the Otira Gorge in New Zealand. One looks down hundreds of feet to the river threading its way like a silver ribbon through the mazes of green; one is lost in admiration at the work of the engineers in bridging those immense gorges with the power lines flung as it were from cliff to cliff. Suddenly as we came round a bend the little township of Bogong burst upon our gaze, a perfect little gem nestling in the mountain about 2,000 feet above sea level. There not being much flat ground it has all been terraced and this enhances the aspect of the green-roofed prefabricated cottages. To the right is a large lake which has been dammed up,and hillsides and spare ground have been planted with English trees. It must be a picture in the autumn. It would make a delightful tourist resort in the future, but at present the men working for the State Electricity Commission are housed there. The scheme is to cost 23 million and employs between 2,000 and 3,000 men, a very large number being at the construction camps of Rocky and Pretty Valleys. There are tremendous tunnels, concrete races are being run along near the tops of the mountain ridges to catch the snow water, many dams are being constructed and several valleys on the Alps will be flooded, thus enhancing its beauty. This all to free Victoria from the bondage of coal. What a pity our Snowy River Scheme is not as advanced.
Whilst walking round viewing Bogong whom should we see but Bob once more. I was really beginning to feel he belonged to us, this being our fifth farewell. I was very loath to leave this sylvan spot, especially with a night journey in the train before us, but I suppose contrast gives spice to life.
By Leon Blumer.
It was on a bleak morning in the middle of December that Don Sherlock and I said goodbye to Devonport and boarded a timber truck en route to the Cradle Mountain Reserve. To us it seemed as though a new world was opening up after our easy travelling of the week before. The road winds around steeply wooded hillsides beside full streams and vivid green slopes, quite different from the heat and dryness of the “mainland”. A bitterly cold wind was blowing, and we were glad to drop off at a timber camp and have breakfast sheltering in the bole of a burnt-out tree.
Except for the biting wind the morning's walk was fairly uneventful. Just as we were settling down for lunch in the bole of another burnt-out tree, along came a gentleman who kindly gave us a free lift to the Waldheim Chalet. He turned out to be the proprietor and we stayed the night there.
It was a shame to leave the cheery comfort of good meals of the Chalet, but the following morning found us wandering up a very wet muddy track to the higher regions. Now and then there were beautiful views of the lakes and surrounding steep cliffs and slopes. It being our first experience with snow, we spent a lot of time gambolling around on some large snow fields. We had lunch in the half-ruined hut at Devil's Kitchen, little realising that Cradle Mountain loomed above our heads. When the mists lifted enough to show us what we were missing, we shot up the sides like two mountain goats. Every now and then we were enveloped in thick driving mist but we were rewarded at the top by a beautiful panorama of the surrounding country, alpine in character and somewhat like the pictures of the English Lakes District. You look down on the different lakes 2,000 feet below, sometimes over sheer cliffs. There was a remarkably steep snow field on the other side of the Cradle and we enjoyed ourselves in an orgy of step kicking and scrambling on the vertical dolerite blocks of the main ridge. The most interesting parts of the Cradle at that time were the deep fissures and tunnels caused by the melting of the snow at the rock juncture. It is sometimes rather disconcerting to find they develop fragile snow cornices. These small “schrunds” are sometimes 20 feet deep.
Time was pressing on, so we ran down the scree slopes, grabbed our heavy packs, and kept on slogging through the damnable button grass. Progress is made by wading through soggy mud or by jumping from tussock to tussock. It is a source of wonder to me why the Tasmanians don't develop webbed feet. After leaving the Cradle the track winds over a very exposed glacial circque to the left of the precipitous Barn Bluff and the cold wind and rain at this spot were almost unbearable. Every now and then we would pass snow drifts in the lee of the ridge right where a chap would feel like sheltering from the wind. The length of the Tasmanian mile came in for some stringent criticism.
It was a pleasant feeling to reach the Windermere Hut just before dark and wearily pull off our wet clothes and boots. A four course meal soon put matters right and we were able to sit back in comfort and read the humorous doings of other poor unfortunates. Yes we read the whole lot, moans, groans and outpourings of the soul. Now I know what “typical Reserve weather” means. “Percy” the possum also paid us a visit during the night but I'm afraid the poor devil didn't get anything - except a boot thrown willy nilly into the darkness. Luckily for Percy he did not have to clean up the ensuing mess.
The next morning threw hail, rain, sleet and snow at the hut, the most annoying part being the cooking of breakfast. While you are frying a beautiful big steak icy cold water drips down your neck from the top of the fireplace opening. The only remedy is to cook INSIDE the fireplace - from one extreme to the other.
After clearing the hut of a dead possum and a few other odds and ends, leeches included, we were surprised during lunch by the arrival of three Caloola Club chaps we had met on the “Taroona”. They looked very subdued, probably due to the bad weather they had ploughed through. It appeared they had arrived in Tassy with shorts only (what amateurs!). We gaily said goodbye to them end set off with vim and vigour.
After about an hour's travelling from the hut, and in a very exposed position, we were struck by a severe snow storm. The ferocity of the storm quite surprised us. At this stage shorts were still being worn and the horizontal sleet and hail did a great deal of damage to our legs. The ground around us started to go white while we started to go blue. The icicles forming on my hat were of great amusement to Don but were a trifle too cool for comfort. Don had shown slight symptoms of malaria at the hut but had not lodged any complaint so far. We at last reached the shelter of a small wood where we thankfully changed into long trousers - beautiful warm long trousers. Our hands were so numb it took us fully twenty minutes to change and restore circulation.
We waited till the storm blew over then kept on going mainly on a track through the myrtle forest. Frog Flat, which is passed on the way, is aptly named - a long stretch of wet sloppy mud and green turf. The rain kept pouring down, sometimes turning into snow and sleet, but the rain forest gave good shelter from the previous icy blasts. Every now and then we would walk on firm ground, which is quite an exception. The mud goes over a foot deep in parts and the Tassie mile comes into its own. We were very glad to reach the Pelion Hut, do-leech ourselves, have a good meal and toast our tootsies before the fire.
The Pelion Hut looks over the button grass plains towards Mt. Oakleigh (sometimes visible through the black, rolling clouds) with grand glimpses of its snow plastered cliffs and gullies. It was now really alpine in character, so it was decided to stop at the hut for a day in the hope of climbing it. However the weather did not let up, so we shivered, slept, washed, ate, slept, ate all day long.
The following morning the clouds and mist rolled back, the sun shone, and from then on the Reserve took on an entirely different character. We reached the Pelion Gap about lunch time and came upon a panorama of snow plastered peaks, deep blue skies, fleecy clouds and snow covered plain. It was one of the most beautiful sights we had ever seen. Everything was so clean and pure, in direct contrast to the mud and slush of the first four days.
We had lunch away from the icy wind in the shelter of some big rocks, then set off for Mt. Ossa. It was pretty heavy going as the snow covered the heath and rocks and we would sometimes sink up to our knees. The snow glasses were very useful as the glare was quite blinding. I left Don at Mt. Moris and went on alone to about 50 feet below the summit of Ossa. There were snow covered peaks on every side and plenty of space to admire them - Barn Bluff, The Cradle, Mts. Pelion East and West, the Cathedral Range, and the exciting Du Canes - a New Zealand scene in miniature.
Afternoon shadows gradually crept along the steep snow slopes, so with reluctance I turned back and rejoined Don. The next two hours we had views of the surrounding peaks from the middle of the valley. The Du Cane hut was at last reached and to our surprise we met Bill Hall, Ruby Payne-Scott, Arthur Gilroy and Val Hand, also three young chaps from Hobart. We spent a very pleasant night eating and making dampers etc. and left the next morning for the Narcissus Hut. The two big falls near the track were visited on the way and proved quite spectacular. It was another beautiful day, rather warm after the first part of the trip, and we took in as much sun as we could. The sheer walls of the Acropolis dominate the main part of the scenery along the track and some snow covered gullies looked very inviting, but we were racing against time. There are plenty of interesting trips for the rock experts in those regions and it is quite surprising the number of people who say the Reserve can be done in five days. Perhaps in our rush and bustle to see everything we lose the real spirit of the mountains.
We reached the hut about 4 o'clock after a wearying trudge (that Tassie mile again) and were only there for a short while when a launch chugged in and offered us a lift to the other side of Lake St. Clair. Of course we couldn't refuse and so the rest of the evening was spent in a relaxed attitude admiring the view of the sun setting on the peaks, some of them seeming to come straight out of the water. As the dusk began to fall and the outlines became less distinct we said goodbye, vowing that next trip we would spend much more time in that delightful region.
The Photographic Exhibition Committee have invited Mr. Arthur Eadie, a successful exhibitor from the Photographic Society, to be critic and judge at our annual photographic exhibition in June.
By Jim Brown
Seems to me most bushwalkers are also crusaders, wielding a Sir Galahad blade for conservation, or organising good works at Era, or Bouddi or Blue Gum. Well, since the folk who espouse these good causes aren't shy when it comes to publicising them, and don't hesitate to invoke aid for them, I feel it is about time I struck a blow for Search and Rescue. So stand by to by, indoctrinated with Safety First propaganda, to resist impassioned appeals designed to boost our too slender panel of S. & R. Volunteers.
Bush mishaps usually fall into one of those three categories:
I hope to devote a brief article - brief, that is, if I can control my pen once I get under way - about each of these. But not tonight, Josephine. Until I get around to giving you the G.G. on these ponderous problems, have a good look at the counsel on the back of the walks programme, and if you're too weary to read my subsequent treatises, you'll find it in dehydrated form there.
Meanwhile, I want to give you notice of the Annual Search and Rescue Practice Week-end, occurring on the weekend of 20-21-22nd May. All invited. The locale is kept secret till the last moment to simulate the conditions of a fair dinkum S. & R. job. All the information offered is that the rail fare will be less than 6/-. “Lost” parties will probably decamp on Friday night and searchers on Saturday a.m. At time of writing (mid-March) I can't give any more gen. but should be able to expand this in an announcement at the May General Meeting.
Till next month when I will explain how easy it is to get lost, cheers.
At the Annual General Meeting a letter was read from the Minister for Lands in which he advised that the various matters relating to the area in question, including that of an aerial survey for the purpose of classification of the various types of country embraced by the Reserve, are still under consideration.
At the Pacific Science Congress it was resolved to impress on the N.Z. Government the importance of this forest as a sample of unique plant association to be preserved absolutely intact and surrounded by a suitable zone.
The following publications received contain articles of interest to S.B.W. members: -
Conservationists in Tasmania also have their troubles. The Hobart Walking Club supported the Scenery Preservation Board and the Mt. Field National Park Board in their opposition to the proposed exclusion of several thousand acres from the Mt. Field National Park of virgin eucalypt forest. The Australian Newsprint Mills seek this area as a timber concession.
Descriptions are given of trips to the Snowy Range, 30 miles west of Hobart, Chudleigh Lakes (behind the north-west escarpment of the Central Plateau), Denison Lakes, Mt. Gell and Upper Franklin Valley, and the Innes Track (Pelion to Liena and Windermere to Tullah). An attempt to climb Federation Peak is also described.
Contains the following:-
Articles giving interesting history of the head of the Murray River country, under the shadow of Mts. Kosciusko and Townsend; full information on Wilsons Promontory (reserved as National Park); an article for conservationists - “A Now Deal for National Parks”; Bogong High Plains and Dargo High Plains; & a description of walking country in Australian Capital Territory.
Those who may have wondered where “Mouldy” Harrison disappeared to will be interested to hear that he has recently written from New Zealand, and has given us news of members over there. He met Joan and Jack Hunter and their three children, also Ted Dollimore, who is luring visitors to New Zealand - he writes for the Tourist Bureau there.
Mouldy himself has been flying a great deal and appears to have enjoyed it all very much.
Vic and Irene Bolton are parents of a son. They are naming him Peter.
Copied from a recent newspaper. The engagement of Betty Taylor to John Batty, congratulations and good wishes.
Our ex Assistant Secretary Jim Brown and Kath Hardy were married on Saturday 26th. Tom Moppett was M.C. at the wedding and Jim, with part of his mind still in “Ingersoll Hall”, commenced his speech “Mr. President…”. Perhaps he caught that murmur from the assembled Bush Walkers “Point of Order” because he started all over again with “Ladies and Gentlemen”.
by The Forestry Logs.
As Clemmie says there are a lot of suckers in the Club - those who are sucked in and the bloodsuckers who do it. This one member and one prospective (both of the weaker sex) found out to their sorrow one Friday.
Having an unsuspecting nature the certain young prospective, hearing the Social Secretary ask in a honeyed voice “Does anyone work near the Quay?” foolishly answered “I do”. This was the beginning of the end for the prospective aforesaid and the member she sucked in.
At 12.50 p.m. on Friday 18th they merrily set off for Albert Street to see a Mr. (something starting with H) on the first floor (she thought) to collect some photos (or something) for the exhibition. After they had sorted themselves out from the Farmers & Graziers Association and collected a projector in three sections from Mr. B - of the basement, one stood guard in case Hercules came along and pinched them, while the other young hopeful dashed off for a taxi.
All was peaceful in “Ingersoll Hall”. Except for a pyjama factory upstairs and a furniture shop downstairs nothing was to be seen. No caretaker dashed madly around with brooms or keys. In fact no caretaker. Three trips upstairs, round the back and over the road failed to reveal him. Then they decided to get a taxi back to work, it now being 2.10 p.m. and instant dismissal seemed likely. Even a Vacuum Oil truck wouldn't give them a lift, but 15 minutes later they asked a policeman what to do. Finally it was decided to relieve the weight on their minds in a safe place, a police station in fact. All that remained to be done was to take them up there. Ha! Ha! With a deep breath they took a grip, staggered some three feet and collapsed. Eight times the procedure was repeated to the delight of several helpful gentlemen (?) who smirked at them and asked “Heavy?” and then went merrily on their way. Finally they reached the police station (Oh well, any port in a storm) and proceeded to upset all the official routine. The sight of two dishevelled females laden with formidable burdens and heaving great sighs and “Ahhhs” all over the place was apparently unusual.
They explained their sorry plight to the sergeant who picked up one case, then wisely called a constable to get the other two. He confidently picked them up, staggered, then muttered “Muscles!”
The aforesaid member and prospective decided to collect three big strong muscly men to bring the stuff from the station to the club. On returning to work at 3 p.m. they also decided that in future if anyone wants some small thing done, just contact them and we guarantee that the answer is “No, no, a thousand times no!”
In an endeavour to cater for all tastes, Paddy has extended his range of steel frame rucksacks. Stock lines are now as follow :-
|“Ladies”||3 Pocket usual style. Leather fittings.||30 lbs.||£3: 5: 0.|
|“Rover”||4 Pocket Lightweight Duck bag. Web harness and fittings.||45 lbs.||£3:13: 0.|
|“Zipper”||4 pocket Lightweight proofed duck bag. Soft chrome leather harness. Zipped pockets.||45 lbs.||£4: 5: 0.|
|“Bushwalker”||The old friend. Sturdy proofed duck bag, 4 pockets. Leather harness and fittings.||45 lbs.||£4: 0: 0.|
After experimenting for some months with the co-operation of walkers, Paddy has re-designed the harness on all steel frame rucksacks. The new style keeps the top of the frame much nearer to the back.
Paddy Pallin. Camp Gear For Walkers.
327 George Street, Sydney. 'Phone: BX3595.
Ski-ers please note: Paddy is importing Skis, waxes and Bindings from Norway. These, together with locally produced equipment, should provide a full range of ski gear. Price list available soon.
Arising out of an enquiry submitted to the Tourist Bureau relevant to the facilities available to bushwalkers at the Hotel and the Chalet, Mount Kosciusko, the following reply has been received from the Department of Tourist Activities and Immigration and is promulgated for the information of all walkers.
T.R. Compagnonis. Hon. Secretary.
Dept. of Tourist Activities & Immigration, 169 Phillip Street, Sydney. 9th March, 1949.
The Honorary Secretary, New South Wales Federation of Bushwalking Clubs.
I refer to your letter of the 14th February, 1949, regarding bush walkers and the purchase of supplies by them from the Chalet at Mt. Kosciusko. We desire, of course, to encourage tourists of every description to the area and to facilitate their enjoyment of their holidays. Such supplies as are available at the Chalet and the Hotel Kosciusko will be purchaseable by members of hiking parties and we will endeavour to help them in every practicable way.
However, there are certain observations which I would like to make and these are:
I would like to assure you that the Manager and staff of the Chalet have no animosity towards any well-behaved member of Bushwalking Clubs. As I have said, they are most anxious to help them is every way and all that is asked is that greater consideration be given to the fact that the Chalet is a guesthouse concerned in the welfare of its guests. This means then that, at times, refusals to requests made by hiking parties may be unavoidable but these should not be interpreted as indicative of an uncooperative attitude on the part of my staff in the area.
Should you so desire, I would be glad to have a general discussion with you regarding this matter at any convenient time.
(Signed) H.E. Best. Secretary and Director.