THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney. Box No, 4476 2 G.P.O., Sydney. Phone: JW 1462.
269 MAY, 1957 Price 9d
|Editor||Frank Rigby, 70 Beach Road, Darling Point. MU 4411|
|Sales & Subs||Jess Martin|
|Business Manager||Jack Gentle|
|Typed By||Elsie Bruggy|
|At our April Meeting - Alex Colley||3|
|Leica Photo Service (Advt.)||5|
|Walks Report - March – Brian Anderson||6|
|Siedlecky's Taxi & Tourist Service (Advt.)||7|
|Letter to the Editor||8|
|Hatswells Taxi & Tourist Service (Advt.)||9|
|New Zealand Alpine Club Notice||10|
|The Sanitarium Health Food Shop (Advt.)||11|
|Seven Weeks in New Zealand - Part 3 - Dot Butler||11|
|Social Notes for May||14|
|Rhymes of the Thymes - Geof. Wagg||14|
|Operation Holdsworth - Betty Holdsworth||15|
|Rough Trips in Tasmania's South West||17|
|Federation Report April||21|
|Easter Aftermath ( Paddy's Advt.)||22|
“United, We Stand; Divided, We Fall”.
It is understandable that the by-laws of any Club tend to become forgotten by a large section of its members. They are seldom brought out for an airing and indeed, in most cases, the by-laws are resurrected only when some unfortunate spanner throws the works out of gear. For instance, there is a Club by-law which states: “All members and prospective members shall remain with the Leader on walks, unless notice of intention to leave the party is given to the Leader.”
A logical corollary to the above would be that the Leader should also remain with the Party. At first glance this seems like splitting hairs over a technicality, but if we think of “the Party” in terms of its weakest member, the corollary assumes first-rate importance.
Unfortunately, on a number of walks in recent years, this by-law has been more honoured in the breach than in the observance, in some cases with not unexpected results; and this has happened despite the obvious common sense of the by-law, and despite the experience of people who should know better. Notwithstanding, we have been extremely fortunate in avoiding a major disaster - but would it be wise to tempt Fate too far? On the other side, in all fairness it should be said that the overwhelming majority of our walks are conducted in a manner worthy of the Club's fine code and reputation; however, let us remember that one careless episode (and the unwelcome publicity that inevitably follows) could ruin this reputation built up so painstakingly over the years.
There would seem to be a number of reasons for the split walking party as we know it. We might list them as follows:
1. The strong, often independent, walker who silently strides out in front and is soon lost to the eye and voice of the Leader for indefinite periods;
2. The breakaway faction who have decided among themselves that they will take a different route for any one of a number of reasons;
3. The Leader, perhaps a strong rugged walker, who gradually forges ahead, oblivious to the fact that his party are strung out far behind him at distances in proportion to their walking ability;
4. The Follower who is not ready to move off on time (after an overnight camp) and who is advised by the Leader to follow on without being given adequate instructions;
5. The Leader who sends some of his party ahead for reasons various, again without adequate instructions.
There is no question that all these things have happened in the past, and they can just as easily happen again. There are probably other factors as well which result in the separation of walking parties, particularly where more than ten or a dozen members are involved or where the country is rugged and trackless. Not all are intentional by any means, as walkers well know. A few of these unnecessary separations have been serious, others not so, but all should be regarded as potentially dangerous. It is not difficult to imagine the effects of such separations (and we do not mean short-term affairs on both Leaders and Party members and perhaps on the Club as well. On the one hand, we have the Leader in mental anguish, wondering desperately where half his party really are - this state of mind is particularly aggravated if changing circumstances necessitate a change of plans. On the other we have the Follower, morale sinking to the depths, perhaps clueless about the area and the whereabouts of his Leader; and if the Follower happens to be a Prospective, the Club's chances of gaining his membership are grim indeed. We need not elaborate on the consequences if the worst comes to the worst and the leaderless section becomes totally lost.
Of course there may well be good, legitimate reasons why parties should split up or become dispersed. Naturally this is outside the scope of the present argument; in any case, providing the Leader and the separating section are aware of all the facts and are willing to accept their respective responsibilities, then there can be no objection. That part of the bylaw “— unless notice of intention to leave the party is given —” is all important.
The solution of the problem is simplicity itself. After all, if it is worth belonging to a Club, it is worth abiding by its laws, which, indeed, every individual agrees to do before he can become a member; and when those laws are based upon a wealth of experience, they should be doubly heeded. With reasonable obedience to the by-laws, coupled with a little more thought, consideration and unselfishness on the parts of both Leaders and their Parties, there would be no problem. The Leader can hardly be “responsible for the safety of the Party” unless there is party unity. If we can arrive at this happy situation, then we will continue to draw abundantly from the well of bushwalking good-will and enjoyment, without the fear of pulling up an empty bucket.
The Easter Parade
The Easter holidays this year presented bushwalkers with some of the most glorious weather they've seen for many moons. All three official trips were well attended and it seems a super time was had by one and all. As far as we can gather, no one was even overdue. Let's hope that we will have something of the doings to set down in print for the next Magazine - so come on, you Easter trippers, how about it?
The President was in the Chair, and about 40 members were present at the opening of our April meeting. A welcome was extended to John Manning, our newest member.
As no Secretary had been elected at our Annual Meeting, nominations were called for the position. Miss Binns was nominated, Miss Binns accepted. There were no other nominations. Miss Binns was declared elected (loud applause). Lynette Baber was nominated assistant secretary and her appointment confirmed by the meeting (further applause).
Information was received from Allen Strom, who apologised for his absence, that the vacancy on the Fauna Protection Panel had been filled by a C.S.I.R.O. officer, and not, as we hoped by a bushwalker. Tom Moppett said that it was very reasonable that the C.S.I.R.O. should be represented as one of the three appointees nominated by organisations whose objects include fauna protection. He moved that we write to the Chief Secretary suggesting that the Act be amended to allow for a permanent representative of the Wild Life Section of the C.S.I.R.O., thus leaving three members to be appointed from other organisations.
The deputation to the Minister for Lands on the subject of a National Parks Act had been well received. The Dept. of Bills Officer the Surveyor General, and other top Civil servants were present. The Minister had asked for information on the Victorian legislation, and said he thought he would recommend that a National Parks Bill should be introduced.
Tom Moppett said that another Conservation Conference had been suggested to take place about June 1st.
The Hunter-Manning Region of the National Parks Association had sent a deputation to the Minister for Conservation, asking that the Upper Williams, Allyn and Patterson Rivers area be declared a National Park. The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, The President of the Chamber of Commerce, and several other organisations were represented.
Kath Brown told us that the Warragang Ski hut would accept bookings from nonmembers after April 30th.
Malcolm McGregor announced that the Song Book Committee had made its selection and moved that the committee be given the sole right of selecting the songs to be included. This did not preclude suggestions from members and a list would be published in the magazine. The motion was carried, but the Committee was urged to include a selection of “Chronic Opera” songs in the book.
Frank Ashdown then moved a vote of thanks to those who had organised our very enjoyable re-union. Alex Colley, speaking as one of those who just sat about, seconded the motion and said that in his opinion, and that of many old members he had spoken to, it was one of the happiest re-unions we had held. Malcolm McGregor said there was room for many and varied items of entertainment, and urged that everyone should try to think up something.
Edna Stretton announced that the four Assistant Social Secretaries had been appointed and asked members to help them in their work. The Assistants are Edna Garrad, Grace'Aird, David Ingram and George Gray.
The Meeting closed with a motion that the opera “White Antics” should be done again. The motion was carried, so done it must be.
“Wonder what the birds thought of the unending baby prattle at the Reunion? Never had to face such competition! Little did that bunch of Club founders know they were starting an immense aviary of love tokens. Doesn't a baby seem the complete and final phase of bushwalking? Dame! I think I ought to join the Happy throng! What's the bonus nowadays?”
SPECIAL. The Chief White Ant was sighted carrying his lunch in a paper shopping bag at a recent working bee. What next?
Best Quip of the Month; George Gray, dressed in his bearskin while driving to Bendethra at Easter, was passed by another car full of hunters. Says,Joan Walker, following in car behind, “Fair dinkum, you couldn't blame them if they took a pot at George in that skin outfit.”
Quaintest Sight at the Fed. Reunion: A bicycle of all things, complete with rider and pack, was seen to career madly down the hill into Euroka Clearing and end up in a heap among a group of walkers quietly sitting outside their tents.
Have you heard about the latest style of cooking? See John Manning an forget about billies, plates, washing-up, etc. Just wrap your raw grub in aluminium foil, throw it into the ashes and forget about it 'til you're very hungry. Of course, as everyone knows, if you're hungry enough, you'll eat anything.
Brian Anderson Walks Secretary.
Recently we've all heard considerable discussion by the Committee and General Meetings re the falling off of walking. After analysing the March Report maybe you'll agree that a trend towards more walking this Winter is beginning. Here's hoping!,
The first walk of the month was led by Joan Walker in the Jamberoo - Kangaroo Valley area. When asked for details the trip, Joan replied, “Ah, there were eleven people on the trip - nothing very unusual happened though.” She thought for a while and then muttered softly “Yes, there was one odd thing, only nine of us reached Robertson”. As there was no explanation concerning the fate of the other two, I'm afraid we'll just have to leave it at that.
The following weekend found ten Newcastle Y.H.A., ten Newcastle Tech, and six Sydney Bushwalkers at the Cromilin Biological Research Station, Pearl Beach, Woy Woy. Keith Renwick who led the walk said a very interesting weekend was spent in the library and wandering around the surrounding ridges. The Sunday walk which was led by the President attracted five members, three prospectives and three visitors. Brian reported that the Burgh track, and along the track to Lilyvale has grown over quite considerably. Also he said, little camping use is being made of the Burning Palms area now.
Now the weekend of the 16th and 17th, the President had a bit of a do on at Woods Creek. It must have been something interesting as there were 190 bods present.
Although feeling still weak after the Reunion, 15 bodies managed to start on the following Friday night walk led by S.B.W.'s most cunning, considerate, cute insomnia sufferer - Don Matthews. The weather was mainly foggy and later wet, but the morale of the party was kept high by the outstanding personality of the leader. How fortunate we are to have a leader like Mr. Matthews.
The Saturday trip over Sublime Point which was to be led by Snow Brown did not start due to lack of starters.
As in all reports there is always a disturbing piece of news due to some sort of corruption. This is the sort of thing I mean. Mr. Ron Knightly is a leader of four other members on the Sunday walk down Cowan Creek way. The programme shows the walk to be 12 miles. Do they walk 12 miles? Not on your life, they walked two, found a nice cave and sat down all day and talked. Now I ask you. Why can't all walks be like that?
The last weekend of the month had two walks programmed. The Friday night trip was led by Geoff Wagg. The report of Mr. Wagg's walk through the Black Dog Canyon is very vague. There were eight bods on the trip, but the only statement from Geoff was, “Our first assault on the canyon was repulsed.”
The Sunday walk was led by David Ingram for Edna Garrad who was away on holidays. David mentioned the walk ended at Engadine instead of Heathcote due to the scratchy nature of the country over the last two miles and also sudden thunderstorm which made walking unpleasant. With members, prospectives, and visitors there were 20 in all on the walk.
So to summarise the month's walking figures they read - Members - 51, Prospectives - 17, Visitors - 7.
One further point of interest was that Dr. George Swinston, an American visitor from the University of Illinois, joined the walks led by Keith Renwick and Don Matthews.
While not wishing to sit back and heave brickbats at other people's efforts, nevertheless I feel rather strongly that the organisers of recent reunions are slipping up badly. Or is it apathy on the part of the majority of members? Are we becoming so lazy that we go to the reunion with the intention of sitting back and being entertained with no effort on our own part?
Formerly the idea of a reunion campfire was one in which club members and others present took part as active participants rather than as an audience, Although individuals and groups turned on short sketches, the main part of the evening was turned over to community singing. If some of us contributed more to the volume than to the melody, what matter? It was everybody's show, and everybody was in it, not merely the “start”. The popularity of this type of evening was proved by the trouble taken a few years ago to edit and print a club song book, copies of which seem to be as rare as the dodo at recent campfires.
If we have a group in the club who can sing better than the rest or put on a show, fair enough. By all means give them a hearing. But not to hog the whole evening as is becoming the tendency. With all due respect to the work put in by the Opera Group, I feel that the atmosphere at this year's campfire lacked kick and spontaneity, with its programme almost entirely monopolised by a few performers, and virtually no provision made for community singing. A rehearsed campfire is rarely a good one.
I would like to suggest that in future any group or individual turning on entertainment keep it reasonably short and snappy - and give the gallery a chance. Other words, have a campfire, also have a night at the opera; but for Pete's sake stop trying to combine the two.
- Signed “Dedant”.
(The above is sure to stimulate some mighty controversy on Reunion Campfires. So put it down on paper if you like and let's have your ideas. – Ed.)
It was Easter Sunday night and I lay on my sleeping bag beside a warmly glowing fire, completely relaxed,
and gazed through the tree tops to a brilliantly starlit sky. The only sounds were the quiet breathing of a sleeping friend nearby, and the voices of a Rover crew in the distance, singing quite beautifully the
song “In my Father's Home,” For me those moments were the ultimate of peace and contentment.
ADDITIONS TO LIST OF OFFICERS, 1957-58
Secretary Sheila Binns Assistant Secretary - Lynette Baber
NEW ZEALAND ALPINE CLUB NOTICE
Flat 20 81 Robey Street, MAROUBRA, N.S.W.
I would be much obliged if you would draw your members' attention to the recent formation of an Australian section of the New Zealand Alpine Club. Through this section, Australian bushwalkers and climbers who intend to go to New Zealand may gain an introduction to the largest of the New Zealand mountain clubs. Section members with mountaineering experience in New Zealand and other countries are available to help in the preparation of itineraries and the selection of equipment etc, and the section can provide training in climbing technique and sound mountaineering practices. These services are freely available to any climber or bushwalker who requires them.
Associate membership of the New Zealand Alpine Club is available to walkers who have some climbing experience of Alpine standard; those who have not yet had such experience are invited to join the Australian Section's mailing list and to attend the Section's meetings, outings and training courses.
Would you please ask any of your members who are interested to write to the above address.
(Sgd) Colin Putt,
Australian Section, N.Z.A.C.
THIS MONTH'S SACRIFICE
The librarians are issuing an appeal for book donations to the Club. Everybody's got them on their bookshelves - you know, the ones you've read and re-read and then left to go mouldy. Well, they could live again and again in the Club Library, so what about it, members one and all?
Any reasonably modern tome on bushwalking, the outdoors, nature, caving, mountaineering and allied subjects would be accepted with open arms. Please see George Gray or Frank Young next time you're in the Club Room.
The walk of 10-12 May to be lead by Brian Harvey has been designed for new members and prospective members who have not been walking in the Blue Mountains, so as to give them the opportunity to view the scenery of main walking country at their ease, with plenty of time to take photographs and have the peaks named. Trip starts with the 6.33 p.m. train to Katoomba on the Friday night. Travel in second carriage from front. Clothes not required on the voyage may be cloaked at the station. Descending Nellie's Glen, the first camp will be the “Old Pub Site” with the assistance of a nearly fullmoon. The folk will meet the Carlons next forenoon, then press along the Black Dog Track the Glenaph Crossing for the night. Water will be carried to under Clear Hill where there will be an early lunch, thence via Narrow Neck Plateau to Katoomba. Excellent scenery all day Sunday. About 25 miles, all track walking. Descent and ascent of about 1300', otherwise fairly level going. 5 meals to be carried, Tea at Katoomba on Sunday night, Fares about 24/.
Katoomba-Mount Solitary-Cedar Creek-Katoomba walk - May 24-25-26th. Leader - Alex Colley.
The distance is only 23 miles, and about two-thirds of this is along tracks. The other third is rough with much rock-hopping but no rock climbing, and is mile to mile-and-a-half-an-hour country. The walk is recommended for those who like this sort of thing and like to get off the beaten track, About 3 - 4 miles to the first good camp-site will be done on Friday night.
The party is now at 25 Mile Hut.
That evening another young couple dropped in on their way down the valley. In the long twilight we had a bit of fun. I had bought 120 ft. of nylon rope in Wellington and now George wanted to test it out for spring, so he tied one end of it to a tree, made a loop in the other end and in turn we got into it and charged off like a spurred racehorse till the rope reached its limit of elasticity when we would return in our tracks like a rocket. We brought the New Zealanders out for a go, and tried a variation; we put them in the loop, then all together pushing we ran them backwards then let go. A colossal performance; It was a good thing we ran them backwards so they were facing the tree to which the rope was tied. This way at least they could keep their feet for the first few strides and could see where they were going to land on their chins among the tussocks six yards ahead. Snow nearly died of hysterics, and I still have a grazed chin.
Next day the New Zealanders moved off - one pair up valley, one pair down valley - and we packed up food for four days and crossed over the valley and up to the Earnslaw Hut, 4,000 ft. above sea level, set in a beech forest on the lower slopes of Mt. Earnslaw. It took only two hours, so after lunch, as it was one of the first fine days here in a fortnight, we decided to make the most of it and push on to the Esquilant Bivvy at 7,000 ft. - the high hut for those planning to climb Earnslaw. In beautiful bright sunshine we climbed up the tussocky snow-grass slopes in bare feet to the snow line, then on with the foot-wear and up over the snow slopes to Wright Col, at the far end of which is the Esquilant Bivvy. At 7 p.m. we still hadn't spotted the hut and were giving a bit of serious thought to our chances of returning down the mountain in daylight, when over a snow rise suddenly we saw the yellow roof of the hut half snowed under, and we gave Three Hearty British Cheers!
The view from this location is stupendous - deep valleys, water courses, glaciers, snowfields snow-capped and rocky peaks as far as the eye can see. A long line of white cloud, gradually suffused with pink from the setting sun, kept our minds off food for a 'short while,' but then it was a case of pump up the primus and melt snow for water and cook up the bully-beef stew and early to bed because it it's a good day tomorrow we climb Earnslaw. We slept on thick sponge rubber slabs (most of the hut and its equipment was taken to location by air lift), snug and warm, while the wind arose and roared round the little bivvy all night.
A peep out of the window early next morning revealed nothing - absolutely nothing but dense snow mist - and so it remained all day. We spent the whole time in our sleeping bags reading or sleeping or eating or scruffing each other as the spirit moved us.
Came the next morning, and with only one breakfast and lunch left we knew we would either have to climb the mountain today or return to the low hut without having climbed it (this party would perish if it had to go without food for a meal or two.) Luckily it had stopped snowing. There was no mist and the sun shone in a bright blue sky, so by 9 a.m we were away with 2,000 ft. to climb to the summit. George had left his long pants at the shepherds hut and Snow had lost his goggles. Boy Brown is One Great Ape, and it looks as if he is being a bad influence on George. However we had fixed George up with a spare pair hanging from the rafters of 25-Mile hut, and as my goggles had a spare eyepiece I gave that to Snow and he tied it on with string to his eyeshade, so we finished up properly equipped after all.
We went up some really hairy snow slopes. For variation we tried going over a rib of rock, but it was so plastered with fresh snow as to be perhaps dangerous so we cut down to a lower level on the snow fields, skirting a bergschrund of considerable depth, “George, as heaviest man in the party, had a turn at falling through the snow covered end of it, but he didn't go far, and as leader I had my turn at putting one leg into a lightly snowed-over crevasse, but my devoted team brought me to a swift stop. We kicked our way up a really steep slope, being careful not to dislodge the whole face in an avalanche which would land us up over the rock bluffs a thousand or so feet below, then we turned round a curve of slope and got on to another and steeper one on the other side with a really ferocious view of glaciers and broken snow and rock faces waiting for us below. But we could see our summit so “press on regardless”. The snow was beginning to get icy at this height, and it was more difficult to dig in the axe and anchor. Then came a place where the recent fall of snow lay on top of a consolidated under layer, which is most dangerous as it can just sheet off and away you go with it so when we came to an area of snow face in the shade of a rocky outcrop hard and icy, I put it to the boys, “Do we go on or do we go back?” “You're the leader,” said Snow. “You decide.” “Well, I hate to disappoint you,” said I, “but this is getting dangerous for beginners, and it will always more difficult to COME down than go up, and a mist is coming over and we'll be blotted out for the descent. Let's return.” “Right,” said Snow, “They're my sentiments entirely. I'd rather be down and disappointed than down and dead.” So we started off on the return, with the actual summit only a couple of hundred feet away. Don't you think that shows very creditable restraint?
The mist swooped over and blotted everything out as we very carefully returned, Snow and I anchoring George as he descended, then Snow would move on to George, then I would follow. I was rather glad the fog had masked out the godawful depths of space down below - made it much more cosy not to be able to see the broken glaciers five thousand feet down below waiting to receive us if we made one slip. It took a long time getting off that slope but eventually with relief we got round on to the sheltered face out of the wind, and poking their heads over the top George and Snow took photos of the country laid out below. You'll see them at a slide evening.
We went carefully down the next snow-slope, then got on to safer terrain and the tension relaxed and we strode or slid down the remaining slopes to our lunch site down in Wright Col. We took off boots and wet socks on a warm rock and sunbaked as we ate, then off again on the descent, down to the tussock-covered slopes with little tarns here and there, and so down to the vast amphitheatre called Kea Basin, at the lower end of which, just on the tree line, George had seen a cave on his way up. It was a beaut cave with a thick mattress of tussock grass on the floor, a thicket of gooseberries to hand for the picking, a nice log fire up one end, and a magnificent view from its entrance of waterfalls and snowfields leading up to Earnslaw's snowcapped summit. Here we spent a delightful night and next day in leisurely fashion returned across the valley to 25-Mile hut. Here we learnt from trampers coming through from the Dart and the Matukituki valleys that the weather was very bad over there, so we cancelled that part of our trip and spent the next five days returning to Glenorchy, having a trip up the Routeburn Valley, and going on to Queenstown, from which place we set out on our final fortnight of real mountaineering at Mt. Cook, which you shall hear about in the next magazine.
On the night of 22nd May, something different is programmed. The evening will be at the A.B.C. Theatrette at 264 Pitt Street, City, between Park and Bathurst Streets, The A.B.C. has invited the Club to appear in the “Any Questions” session which is broadcast every Wednesday evening through 2FC and we have jumped at the opportunity, particularly the opening to publicise bushwalking and place our name before thousands of listeners. As the accoustics of “Ingersoll Hall” were unsuitable we will repair to the above address, where the A.B.C. requests we should be seated not later than 7.45 p.m. Bring your friends. The idea is that we have the opportunity to ask a special Panel of Five various questions which our Social Committee will prepare and we would like to have as many members assemble as possible to give the Club room atmosphere background (without the usual whispering confabs in the back-rows, we hope). Roll up and help the new membership drive in this way.
RHYMES OF THE THYMES
Used to go on two legs
Thought this was too few legs
Tried to go on ski
Pranged into a tree Now he goes on three
What happens in Spring? The birdies sing
Girls come out in dimples
Girls come out in summer dresses
Trees COME out in summer tresses
I COME out in pimples
Still more significant I own
Duncan's beard gets mown.
Now Manning, John his legs are long
But Matthews, Don His aren't
And Manning, John Can stride out strong
Where Matthews, Don He can't.
In rivers deep John has no fears
While Dons behind, just disappears
Has Jackie Wren
Been at it again?
His statement could be clear
But we try to glean
What he may mean
Bout the little Wrens at Era.
One fine day - Melbourne - I found myself thinking of Henry who made the classic remark “My abdomen is distended” but when a young spinster finds herself thinking these things it is high time to go and investigate so I took myself to the doctor for SOME tonic water. To be told that an operation was necessary was indeed disconcerting to say the least. Not even a bottle of pills was I offered and so I took myself back to work. All were sympathetic but it didn't help the zip fastener. At 2 a.m, in the dead of night it dawned “an Operation” - I must go home - I packed my bags and at noon the next day flew back to Sydney. My chief and his secretary met me at the Air Port and took me back to the Office whore after looking me over and saying “What have YOU been up to?” phoned “his” doctor. The thought Struck me - My God! what if the doctor in Melbourne made a mistake - I shall be undone. However, I took my courage in both hands and 4 p.m. on the next day I Was an inmate of St. Luke's Hospital.
Life in a hospital is fabulous to say the least. I thought one rested a lot and slept a lot. Do not be misled. Day breaks at 4.30am with a thermometer and temperature reading. Tea at 5 am. - 2 cups, and what goes in must come out. This takes lots of time. 6a.m. Bath time. 6.30 to 7.30 catch up with the gossip-with bod in next bed, 7.30 Breakfast, 8 am pills, 8.30 Temperature, 10 a.m. soup, 11 a.m. orange juice, 12.30, Lunch, 1 p.m. pills, 1.30 p.m.'Temperature, 2.30 Tea - what % goes in comes out but this, carries on all day - no need to mention it every time.
And so on until 10 p.m. when one has the knock out pill followed by the hot 'milk to knock the pill and then if one is the lucky type and nothing has to come out sleep until 4.30 a.m. Incidentally did you know that Doctors wear un-ironed white boiler suits - you know like the local painter wears - to do the job in. In such a delicate condition the disillusionment is far too great. I am sure I receded to an all time low so great was the shock. Also I have discovered that in all my experience Doctors are the most secretive of men. Tomorrow Dr. Dutton will call to see you and in due course Sister arrives and presents Dr. Dutton. “Tell me all” says he. I proceed. He taps and pokes and then says “Thank you. 'Good morning”. I draw breath to say tell all, but they are gone.' After we had gone through Drs. Slater and Reventhall in the same fashion, D day arrives and what do they do - give me pills and needles so that by the time I get to the Theatre - operation, I mean - I cannot even see them to check and make sure they are on the job with the exception of Dr. Furber in his whiteboiler suit.
Then we lose nearly a day and by 11 a.m. I begin to take notice and drink water and orange juice; jugs and jugs of it and you know what'll! The poor little nurses - Holdsworth's light was always on. We have a little switch at hand which lights the light on the door. The little nurses must have had lots of experience for they come at the double.
And then comes the day when doctor says you may now get up. Well the old Kowmung River stood me in good stead - the legs were fine - I could stand on them and they didn't wobble, but what had they done to my middle? I came in to have it made smaller and it was so large that I had to carry it with me like a football. It was hardly decent wandering down the corridor holding it in both hands; and I could see the little nurses chuckling to themselves as they thought, now she'll have to take herself. Funny thing I don't drink nearly so much water now.
By now I also have to go to the bathroom for my bath, no more calesthenics in bed. But alack, a day comes when one cannot get in the bath - one sits on a chair in front of the hand basin - a truly ludicrous action when thought about. One cannot even stand up to clean one's teeth, a job I've stood up all my life to do. Then comes the day when I can walk with both hands by my sides and stand up to clean teeth. One is really on the road to recovery and the sense of achievement is terrific. And now I am becoming a nonentity when I put on the light; the little nurses no longer come at the double - I can hear them strolling leisurely along the corridor - the danger period has passed and they can afford to take their time, but it was good being important while it lasted.
(Many thanks indeed for such an enlightening article on your many and varied experiences, Betty. We all wish you a speedy recovery and hope that you'll be on the track again in next to no time, Ed.)
RE SCATTERED FAR AND WIDE
In Canberra, Pat and Ian Wood have, to use their own words, “deserted the wilderness in favour of a flat”. Their new address is: Flat 12, Block 5, Bega.Flats Reid, Canberra City, A.C.T.
Pat adds that, in future, any midnight or dawn visitors during the ski-ing season had better come pussy-footing up the stairs else the Woods may get thrown out on their ears (and from the third storey that might prove to be fatal)
We hear that Colin Brandis has taken a sea trip to Noumea and the New Hebrides. Hope he tucked his Kodachrome camera under his arm.
Yvonne Renwick and Dot Barr have taken off to Queensland for a working - sightseeing holiday. Knowing these two, they're probably up to their ears in adventures, so we are hoping for a story for the Mag. from the Sunshine State before too many moons. Their present idea is that they hope to be back for the Christmas Party. Wait and see.
IS THERE A BOOKBINDER IN THE HOUSE?
If there is, or you know of one, the Club would be grateful if such a person would be willing to bind the Club copies of the Magazine. Please see the Secretary if you can work the oracle.
(Being Copy of a letter from the HOBART WALKING CLUB)
Paddy Pallin, SYDNEY.
Enclosed herein are some notes dealing with rough trips in Tasmania's south-west.
At present, unfortunately, we do not have complete notes on the Federation peak area, as few of our members have been out there. Speaking quite frankly, many of our members leave the area alone until they have had extensive experience, and those who have been there are at present overseas, or else are fast travellers who haven't bothered to make notes. We can give advice on equipment, food drops, and general notes on route, however; and these are enclosed. We also strongly recommend that parties register with our Search & Rescue Organisation and do not attempt this peak unless well equipped and experienced. Many badly organised parties have reached the top in the past,but that is no recommendation to sensible walkers. Some groups have set-high standards in preparation and assault, and we have been proud to be with them on the track.
Other areas in south-west Tasmania vary a lot; there are easy and hard trips, and many routes are a combination of both. Weather is a governing factor, and many Mainland parties seem to leave little margin in allowing for this, influenced no doubt by the time available for annual leave, etc. There are some areas in which it is much better to camp than try to carry on in mist and sleet. Good tents are extremely important, and our club has been most impressed with the ability of Willesden wall tents to take the worst that can be thrown at them. Good warm clothes (including a change of trousers and shirt) are essential, as snow is possible at any time of the year. Maps of the south-west are not very detailed and there seems to be a tendency to underestimate the times required, unless the person concerned has travelled in this type of country before. Our club feels that experience in the Lake St. Clair Reserves, Frenchman's Cap or South-West areas is necessary before attempting Federation Peak.
Hon.BRUCE W. DAVIS Secretary, HOBART WALKING CLUB.
P.S. You will no doubt be pleased the Federation Pack especially, is to hear that your equipment, and regarded as “standard” over here.
ROUTES TO FEDERATION PEAK
No detailed notes are at present available here. I myself am heading to Federation Peak at Xmas (1956) and will endeavour to get an accurate account to you early in the New Year. The Melbourne University Mountaineering Club have, without a doubt, done more around Federation Peak than any other Club, especially as they have had a few months and 6-weeks 'efforts' in the last few years. This club should be able to offer valuable advice, and some Hobart Walking Club members could also give personal advice if contacted here.
1. Moss Ridge via Geeveston, Huon River, Picton Range and Craycroft Valley.
2. Old River from Bathurst Harbour (Port Davey).
3. Ridge Route via the Dial, Goon Moor and Four Peaks, starting from Lake Pedder or Picton and Blandfordia Ridge,
No.l. “MOSS RIDGE.” This is the usual route to bring you to Berchevaise Plateau and the normal climbing gully. The route commences at Geeveston about 40 miles from Hobart and the actual track commences 12 miles away from Geeveston along the Arve Forest Road. Suggest transport rather than “road bash”, and make sure you get on the start of the track leading to Picton Hut and the banks of the Huon River to Blakes Opening. From here there is a very steep climb up Red Rag Scarp and then the grade flattens somewhat as the track is followed through myrtle forest and mixed bush to North Lake on Mount Picton. Watch your step in this stretch as there are some misleading blazes in the myrtle forest and few number plates to guide you to North Lake. From here the route (not track) skirts Mt. Picton out on to the junction of Hewardia and Blandfordia Ridges and then leads south along the tor of the Picton Range. Watch the weather as there are almost no landmarks - the route is exposed and navigation hard in any mist.
Reaching the end of the South Picton Range, a descent is made by Wills Micro Lead to the Craycroft River, and the way made up the Craycroft Valley (buttongrass and some patches of fair to bad scrub) to Paperbark Camp, on the southern bank. From here the hard climb is made up the Moss Ridge - a real “bash” all the way to Berchevaise Plateau. Every obnoxious growth imaginable means a hard climb - campsites non-existent, although there are now a few places where people have bashed a clearing of sorts. M.U.M.C. has also blazed part of the route at least, but it would be easy to lose. Once at Berchevaise Plateau the peak can be climbed by the south-west chimney. This climb is not for those afraid of heights.
N.B. On all routes at least 40 ft, of cord or rope is needed for pack hauling, even if not used for climbing. Holds are plentiful, but long leads are required as belays are few and far between.
Approximate times: Start of track - Blakes Opening - 5 hours. Steep climb from Blakes-North Lake - 6 - North Lake - Craycroft - 1.5 days, Craycroft Paperbark Camp - 3 hours, Moss Ridge - 1 day at least.
Return can be over same route or via Ridge. i.e. from Hobart to the Peak and return at least 12 days should be allowed. Delays of up to 3 or 4 days due to weather are possible.
No.2. OLD RIVER ROUTE. This route involves flying to Cox's Bight and walking to the Kings' home at “MelaLeuca” (Port Davey), transport by boat across Bathurst Harbour to the Old River and following this up to the peak. Advance notice should be given to Dennis King as he would need to take a day off from mining to use his boat across the Harbour.
Few details are available as to the routes although Olegas Truchanas (Hobart) pioneered the route and one or two Mainland parties have since attempted it. It brings you out at Hanging Lake, and the climb to the top from here is definitely not for the novice. It appears to be much clearer of scrub than other routes, but time could be lost waiting for suitable weather for the planes and boat.
3. RIDGE ROUTE (Considering it as a return from Berchevaise Plateau)
From the plateau a steep descent down a rock slide is made to the Craycroft Lakes over 1,000 ft. below; then the foot of the peak is skirted (a fantastic sight), and another steep bash and haul to regain the ridge and plateau on the other side. There is a campsite along the ridge towards FOUR PEAKS and thus far would take a day. It. is pointed out that campsites govern this route, which is extremely rough and exposed. Bad weather here can occur very suddenly, and there is almost no chance of getting off the ridge to shelter.
Passing on the south western side of the Four Peaks, thick richea and dwarf myrtle scrub make for slow going before the ridge is followed over the tops of crags etc to drop down on to Goon Moor. Here there are one or two possible campsites. The next day is spent in traversing the Needles, then down a scree slope and up on to Stuart Saddle. Just off the route is the grave of John Stuart who died here last year. The next problem is to traverse the Needles which brings you out on the shoulder of the Dialand, this is followed down through a patch of forest to Pass Creek. From here it is either a short day to the foot of Blandfordia Ridge which leads to Mt.Picton and Geeveston, or two days to Lake Pedder.
EQUIPMENT: Some notes are contained in the copy of “Club Information” attached, but the most comprehensive list is given in the M.U.M.C. publication “Hints on Equipment”. Most of the M.U.M.C. data is based upon Tasmanian conditions and is thoroughly recommended.
DON'T FORGET: 1. Register with Tasmanian Search & Rescue Organisation before leaving.
2. Hobart Walking Club members will be glad to show slides, maps, etc. of routes if contacted in Hobart.
AIR DROP & TRANSPORT:
CONTACT: Aero Club of Southern Tasmania, Cambridge Aerodrome, Hobart, Special charter rates, etc., on application, and advance bookings if necessary.
(Cox's Bight available, suitable.)
1. Pack all items in soldered tins, wrapped in wood wool, and packed in sugar bags. per person and pack. Approx L5 Hobart - Lake Pedder, L7 Hobart. Cox's Bight and Pedder are the only two landing strips at present and all arrangements are subject to weather being suitable.
2. Keep weight per bag below 25 lbs and leave top of sugar,bag as “handle” for dropping.
(Try flying a plane and dropping heavy weights at the same time, and you will appreciate the pilot's difficulties)
3. Tie all bags securely, is easy, clearly show required.
4. Give the aero Club as dropping is somewhat in good weather, mark strongly so that ground recovery owner, destination of bag, and date much advance notice as possible as air hazardous and can only be carried out.
RECOGNISED DROPPING POINTS IN SOUTH-WEST TASMANIA.
FEDERATION PEAK Hanging Lake. Skill required, but possible in Goon Moor. Good weather.
Bechervaise Plateau requires very good weather for dropping.
LAKE PEDDER COX 'S BIGHT. Planes can normally land and store food under partial shelter from December to March each year.
JUNCTION CREEK. Good dropping area near signpost. This spot is clear and unmistakable.
All the above areas are recognised and unmistakable to Aero Club pilots, but other places can be arranged. NOTE. These points are made without actual reference to the Aero Club, but based on Hobart Walking Club and Aero Club procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: I have no hesitation in recommending the Aero Club as first rate service. The planes used are Austers which normally take pilot, two passengers and two packs at a time. The pilots are highly skilled, safety is drummed into them, and they are reliable. Usual recovery on well packed air drops is 90 to 100% which speaks for itself, considering the difficult terrain.
MAPS AVAILABLE - from Hobart Walking Club Map Custodian:
1. Cox's Bight to Ironbound Range 5/-
2. Sketch map of Arthur Range (including Federation Peak) 4/3, Field West to Cox's Bight 8/-
4. Spring River (Port Davey) 2/-
5, Huon River Tracks 13/-
(All of these are quite up to date and fairly accurate, 2,3 and 5 are useful for normal Federation Peak trip viz Moss Ridge, Prices are based on areas of each map.
Some useful maps and data are in “Tramp” No.8 and “Skyline” No.1 (Launceston Walking Club). I fear Skyline No,1 which gives a good account and map may be out of print, but we have some copies of “Tramp” left. Part of “Tramp” information is now outdated.
S&R SECTION SECRETARY, The position remains vacant and a volunteer is required urgently to fill this important post.
WILLIAMS RIVER SEARCH. The Newcastle Technical College Bushwalkers tendered their thanks for the part, played by the Search and Rescue Section in organising a relief party. The Club forwarded a donation of 16.9.6 for the S. & R. Fund,
FAUNA PROTECTION PANEL: The Chief Secretary's Department notified Council that the nomination of Mr. T.W. Moppett had not been accepted and that Dr. Robert Carrick of the Wild Life Survey Section of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation had been elected to the Panel. Council resolved to write to the Chief Secretary suggesting that the Act be amended to provide for a nominee for the C.S.I.R.O. in addition to a nominee representing the voluntary organisations.
PROPOSED NATIONAL PARKS ACT. A deputation of representatives of interested conservation bodies received a cordial reception from the Minister of Lands when a proposal was put forward that legislation may be brought down to enact a National Parks Act.
WILLIAMS-ALLEYNE RIVER AREA The Minister for Conservation received a deputation which pressed for the creation of a National Park in this area which was at present a State Forest.
FEDERATION REUNION. The Camp Committee reported that approximately 180 attended the Reunion at Euroka Clearing on 617th April, 1957 and that an enjoyable time was experienced by those present. A profit of L2.17 resulted from donations received to offset expenses.
BUNGONIA GORGE. It was reported that specimens of the Queensland Stinging Trees exist in this area and walkers are warned to avoid contact with these plants.
FEDERATION BALL. A Committee was formed to take the necessary steps to organise the function for 1957.
MARATHON AND RACING WALKS. It was resolved that Council adopt a policy of non-support for any proposal to organise any form of competitive walking races between Clubs, whether in the bush or otherwise.
CODE OF ETHICS. It was decided to circularise Clubs enquiring whether their members were being supplied with a copy of the Code on joining and if supplied were required.
Paddy has just got back from an Easter jaunt with the old Buffers Bushwalking Club. Each year these ruthless (and toothless) old veterans take large doses of vitamin pills, throw away their crutches, leap out of their bath chairs, and spurning their wives, hot water bottles and similar comforts, head for places beyond the black stump.
This year these doughty walkers horrified the shivering inmates of well closed cars at the Summit of Kosciusko by leaping out of a taxi and heading off into the known in the teeth of a blizzard of sago snow.
A few days later headlines in the paper screamed, “Hikers lost in the roughest country in the world”, but no: it was not the “Old B's Club”, they turned up at Kiandra safely at the appointed time. And so the aged ones get home to the comfort of their bath chairs.