A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476 G.P.O., Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
|Editor||Stuart Brooks, 5 Ingalara Rd, Wahroonga. 484343.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Lola Wedlock|
|Typed by||Shirley Dean|
|At our April Meeting||Alex Colley||4|
|Letters to the Editor||R. Duncan||5|
|Letters to the Editor||B. Davies||7|
|The Genesis of the Blue Gum Forest||J.V. Turner||8|
|Report of 1961 Expedition to the Carstensz Mountains of Neth. New Guinea - Pt. 1.||C. Putt||14|
|Glen Afric||J. Bookluck||18|
We knew a blase walker,
Who called all snakes his friend.
Till he sat upon a log one day,
And one got him in the end.
W.S. circa 1600.
The moral would appear to be not to sit while you're walking, but it goes a little deeper than this. At one extreme we have a complete indifference to hazards that normally surround us, at the other, a complex of danger that transcends all logic. Either of these extremes qualifies you very nicely for the 'accident prone' group.
Some say that there are no such things as accidents - that all accidents would have been avoided. This can lead to tedious, fruitless argument. Let it suffice to say that we can best serve ourselves by being aware, at all times, of just what we are doing.
Good stuff, this! Rolls off the tongue very well! But don't miss the message. Every minute requires a mental application that comes only from conscious practice; whether you are bushwalking, cooking the dinner, painting the house or lying on the golden sands at Burning Palms.
One thing is crystal clear.
Every accident that happens has nearly happened on several occasions previously.
The moral of this is, profit by near misses. Naturally, we are concerned here with those particular hazards associated with bushwalking. Bushwalkers have a wonderful record of freedom from accidents. We can keep it this way by practising constant mental awareness of each situation in which we find ourselves.
We are fortunate in having in our club a number of members who have had wide experience in avoiding accidents in “borderline” situations, but more than this, they are prepared to give up their time to pass on the knowledge they have so laboriously gained.
When a 'safety weekend' is programmed therefore, take full advantage of a fund of knowledge that would normally only be acquired by long, possibly unpleasant experience.
Also on the credit side, be aware that in Search and Rescue, (S. & R.to most) bushwalkers have an organisation that for ability, determination and unstinted honorary effort is unsurpassed anywhere.
Support it! You can even join it.
(or What made the Labyrinth turn Blue)
- The Count.
Overheard at Euroka - A man will soon have to go to Centennial Park to find some bush to camp in.
Seen at Euroka - An Ex-president and another old member famed for his seafaring exploits, alight from cars, twenty five yards from campsite.
Already one can see the effect of the new fire roads. At Glenbrook Creek near the causeway, there are more broken bottles, paper and tins than at Garie Beach and as the father of the Dionne Quins said “That is sure some litter”.
In future years, shall we read items like this in the walkers programme;-
A few mistakes that could be made in the future.
The taxi driver going out spoke of other wars
And revolutions made a Pole or little Russian
By his name, before I was born and the others
Of the nonpariel. I didn't know him. He died beaten
And emaciated in a salt marsh. (My father rode
A charger to Damascus fighting the Turks)
Climbed to.the Rock at dawn heard them talk
(In the dark I walked past Carlon's horse
Then it coughed, snorted at the morning air)
That's nearly half my lifetime ago, but among
Mountains it seems always.only yesterday
Or perhaps the day before.
Between the Rock and a long pass. Between desert
And a salt marsh. Between Grief and nothing
There being no new members first business after the minutes was the correspondence, which was duly received, with the exception of advertising matter. In correspondence was a request for our support of the N.P.A.'s proposal for a deputation to the Prime Minister for the reservation of a primitive area to include the high country around Mount Kosciusko. It was decided to support the proposal, but to point out that since this area was now the site of many large scale public works it could never again be primitive, and that further areas should be set aside. It was also decided to support Federation's request to the Minister for Lands for the resumption and addition to Garrawarra Park of two areas (portions 8 and 9) South of Garrawarra. Federation delegates were asked to make inquiries as to the price and ownership of the land, in case it might afford a suitable purchase with the Era and Arnold Rae funds.
In making his monthly report Treasurer Gordon Redmond gave a brief explanation of its form, which was simply a statement of the balance at the beginning of the month, to which was added income received during the month. After deducting amounts paid out during the month we were left with the balance at the end of the month. We had started the month with £139.3.6 and ended up with £82, although 55 members had paid their subscriptions. This was partly due to the purchase of the new duplicator.
In his Walks Report, Wilf Hilder told us that on the first walk of the month Bill Rodger's party had jointed up with Jack Gentle's working bee at Bluegum and, much to the joy of the workers, it was found that a flood had removed the log they had gone down to dispose of. Bill Burke had 6 members and 1 prospective on his Bindook Gorge trip. Good relations were established with Mr. Lang of Bindook Station, who offered the party the use of his wool shed. On 25th David Ingram's walk had joined up with John White's working bee at Lovett's Bay and the track to Willunga trig was not in good condition. Sheila Tadman's walk from Bowen Mountain to Linden was attended by 4 members. An interesting, but rather severe, time was had by all. Wilf also reported that new maps of Mount Kaputar and Glen Alice were available. He had heard rumours that the St. Albans map would not be reprinted. Yarramundi bridge was washed away in the last flood.
Denise Hull reported that the new duplicator was working well, although the full implications of the various knobs and levers thereon had not yet been plumbed.
After the election of room stewards for the next month the meeting ended and planning for Waster was resumed.
High Altitude Observatory, Boulder. Colorado. U.S.A. 19.2.62.
After much cogitation I have made a snap decision on my return schedule. I shall leave here immediately after breakfast on May 15, spend two weeks in Britain and Europe, and arrive back in Sydney on June 1, plus or minus a few days or weeks. The worries that beset a peanut preparing to launch off on such a trip stagger description: I have to pay my U.S. income tax, take the name plate off my office door, clean out my shelf on the refrigerator at the flat, and do a thousand and one other jobs, and have only three months in which to do them.
I am sending a lot of my junk out from America - old boots, car anti-freeze, snow-shoes, beaver-fur nose mufflers - and a whole wop-load of stuff that will be no use in Australia, but which is too good to leave here.
It is a long time since I heard from any of the Bushies but I suppose you are all thriving; I hope so. Now is Bushwalker Reunion time, so I'll picture you all sledding down mud slopes and torturing initiates at Wood's Creek. It is ceremonial season here too. Yesterday I was supposed to climb Green Mountain, behind Boulder, as one of the induction rites to full membership of the Climbing Club, but it was snowing heavily, and I was recovering from a cold, so I stayed in bed. This cold is the second I've had in America and the worst. On Saturday last weekend I was out for tea and was plied by Vodka, Benedictine, and pickled horses doovers till all hours of the morning, and this must have been too much for my constitution. On Sunday when I went skiing I felt dopey, and on Monday it was clear that I had a bad attack of the dog's disease with aching joints, bronchitis, fever and a wet nose. I feel normal today for the first time.
Although much has been slanderously alleged, I have never been a white-ant in Australia. When I have subverted trips the motive has never been muscular laziness; it has always been a desire to exercise and perfect my expertise in psychological persuasion. However, in the latter field my skill continues to improve. Two weekends ago when setting of for a climb of two 14;000' peaks Duncan cunningly suggested that the passengers should bring skis in case the car broke down and they had to ski out. On reaching the foot of the climb, the air being soupy with snow, Duncan suggested that it would be dangerous to climb in such weather and that, although it was only 3 a.m., the party should retire to a nearby decadent skiing resort and wait until it opened. To a man the party consented and spent the whole day in decadent skiing. On the next weekend came my greatest victory. I wasn't on the trip (I was downing grog and caviare as earlier reported) yet my spirit carried the day. Even before the party left Boulder it was obvious, and was being openly stated, that they lacked resolve and conviction, and sure enough, when the day came, Grey's and Terry's were not climbed. Although the weather was good, the party spent the whole day at another decadent ski area with only a token attempt to do any climbing.
I told you in the last letter that David Carthorse from CSIRO, Camden, was in America; he's back in Australia already; it was a quick trip. The week-end he was here the temperature was about 70 degrees and practically all the snow had melted. It was the only week it has looked like that this winter. Everything is buried under snow again now. It was a pity because the normally attractive scenery of Boulder looked miserable; no snow and yet no vegetation - just bare earth. At Kosci as soon as the snow goes the vegetation peeps through, but here everything seems to die completely in Winter and doesn't grow again until Summer.
I will be spending three weeks in Britain and Scandinavia on my way back. I might have a little dekko at other countries, particularly the Alps, but as I will be by myself I think I'll concentrate on the countries where English is spoken and where I have contacts. I'll have a good look at Scandinavia because I'm thinking of spending a year there at some later date.
The newspapers here allege that a giant gozonkopedal sea monster is roaming the west coast of Tasmania eating everyone and terrifying the rest. What is it all about?
My skiing has improved enormously. I can get down moderate slopes, probably steeper than anything in Australia, in a fairly jazzy manner with parallel skiis and no movements save a slight waggle of the backside. I can also get down the extremely steep advanced slopes, but on these I look a bit like a pregnant duck. I am very anxious to learn how to handle these properly before I leave, and time is running out on me so I think I'll have to take lessons - something I've been too ikey to do until now.
The big Spring clearance sales of ski equipment and clothes are on here now, and things are extremely cheap, from half to a third normal. If you're fast you can snap up a cheap pair of beaver skin underpants with matching ear protectors.
I went climbing last week-end for the first time in about three months. High-altitudes no longer make me sick, but above 13,000 ft. I certainly slow down and become light-headed. One symptom is the trouble I have in speaking properly - and Americans have trouble enough with my accent normally. Last weekend, a bloke asked me for a tin opener to open a tin of lemonade which they call pop, but then I noticed him drinking something else so I tried to say, “Do you still want to open the pop bottle Ed?”, but instead I said “Do you still wantle opple your popple bottle E dle?” He stared at me and muttered, “I can't understand these goddam Australians,” so I tried again, but the same thing came out, so I gave up. At those altitudes I find it impossible to put a consonant at the end of a word.
Best wishes to Everyone,
The Federation route has been much improved and marked by our members over the last two years and in some places there are now beaten tracks. It can still be tough however.
We have always advocated a light primus for “high altitude” trips - it means a great deal in bad weather! I cannot agree however that a slasher should be omitted - bedding is scarce and prickly but needs to be gathered if you are to get off waterlogged, cold ground in exposed sites.
Over the last 18 months we have plagued the government to reopen the sou-west tracks and they have now agreed to do this over a period of years. No. 1 priority is a low level Picton route but when it will start remains to be seen. With the new tracks no doubt we will get more hunters and fires but the government will not declare the area a park or fauna reserve in spite of strong lobbying. I feel that an occasional letter to the “Mercury” from mainland bushwalkers who visit us here would aid our cause immeasureably - but that can only be done when people feel strongly enough to espouse our cause.
Last year my bush sorties were the Mt. Anne Circuit (superb) and another visit to Federation. This year I led a trip from Port Davey (with a few magnificent days in that area) up the Davey River to the Doherty Ground, thru Jones Pass to Pedder, then over the Sentinels to Adamsfield. Later came the rather sad Picton search and a month ago a trip so wonderful that it ranks probably as in the “best yet” category. This was the full traverse of the Western Arthur Range - 32 lakes - 30 peaks and a technically difficult route which in some sections puts the Eastern Arthur - even Pedder to shame. This route was first accomplished in Dec. 1960 by Barry Higgins (an ex Sydneysider), Pat Conahagn (ex-Queensland) and John Elliott. John Elliott and another of our members Allan Cross did the 2nd traverse in December 1961 and our trip is thus the third traverse. The route is narrow, exposed, hellish, beautiful, awe inspiring and… of well, forgive this raving! I've been in the Western Arthur before - but never realised the potential of the full high level route. If you have some keen types in Sydney, this is the route for them!
Hospitality is one of those happy traits that differentiates man from beast. No one would deny young Peter has it in large lumps and when he invited the Putts to dinner on the eve of the last general meeting, they were pleased, but not surprised. To Peter, such hospitality was so commonplace, so natural, he didn't mention it to Dorothy, he even forgot about it himself!.
It was a chagrined pair of Putts who arrived at the general meeting, having cooled their heels for some time at a darkened, inhospitable Stittery. (The Stitts were out!)
The Stitts finally arrived at the meeting, big smiles, a big cheerio to everyone, and were greeted by an indignant pair of Putts - “What about our invite to dinner?”
And the St. st. st.
The following are briefly the recollections and records of the First Honary Secretary of The Blue Gum Forest Trust, J.V. Turner.
As his records are very brief, he relies mostly upon his memory but thinks that in general the information is pretty accurate but of course he is open to correction on any points which can be proved to be wrong.
“At the outset I would like to say that I had hoped and always made every effort to have the forest called The Blue Gum Forest, it being in my humble opinion the only one of its type, but in common useage it generally appears to be the Blue Gum Forest.
My recollections start with a meeting of The Sydney Bushwalkers when there was discussed the question of trying to preserve a magnificent area of blue and grey gum at the junction of the Grose River and Govett's Leap Creek “discovered” it was understood by a group comprised mainly of members of The Mountains Trails Club and which appeared to be doomed to extinction by the Lessee of the area Mr. Hungerford, his intention being to clear the land and grow walnuts upon it.
After considerable discussion and the statement by one member of the Club that it appeared that it was too late and nothing could be done about it, I suggested that it was a challenge to the Club and moved and had passed a resolution electing a Special Committee to go into the whole matter, of which Committee I was one.
Then followed a series of Friday night (mostly) meetings of the Committee generally at Thorne's Cafe then in Castlereagh Street and it was subsequently learned that Mr. Hungerford was agreeable to having his Crown Lease cancelled provided he received compensation of £130.
After various appeals including an appeal to the Wild Life Preservation Society (of which Roy F. Bennett was then President and which Society donated £25) we managed to get together the sum of £50. It was then we approached the then Commissioner for Railways, W.J. Cleary and he agreed to advance us £80 on loan.
We were then in the happy position to approach the Government who promised after cancellation of the Lease to reserve the area as a Public Reserve in perpetuity. In addition to doing this the Crown also set aside an area along each bank of the Grose River upstream for some distance, I think it was 6 chains, back from the water's edge as a Public Reserve and they did the same thing up both banks of Govett's Leap Creek as far as “The Junction”.
I can well remember the important occasion of the meeting in the Forest between Mr. Hungerford and a number of the members of various Clubs and Mrs. Lockley at that time “Redgum” of the Sydney Morning Herald. Mr. Lockley incidently was a man of about 70 years of age and I shall always remember how he made the trip down and back without a complaint. He afterwards said when we had succeeded in naming “Lockley's Pylon” after him, “It was not given to all men to have a pylon named after them.”
We then had to set about raising funds to repay Mr. Cleary and various methods were adopted including many successful - both socially and financially - Balls at Hordern Bros Gallery.
When the time arrived to present the cheque to Mr. Cleary he accepted repayment apologetically saying “Well gentlemen, this is a pleasant surprise as, when I advanced you the money I practically kissed it goodbye not expecting its repayment.”
The Blue Gum Forest Trust was then set up with Roy Bennett as President and myself as first Honorary Secretary and many is the visit we made to this place and many the working-bees organised by the various Clubs when some magnificent work was done towards trying to restore parts of the forest and prevent further erosion.
I will never forget the occasion when having borrowed tools from the then Blackheath Municipal Council including a six foot cross-cut saw and supplied by the Council with explosives detonators the epic journey over Perry's and down the steep slopes to the Forest. I had the doubtful privilege of having detonators tucked away in the centre of my rucksack and at the same time assisting with the carrying of the cross-cut saw when half way down to the Forest we encountered a fair size black snake.
The work down in that weekend was prodigious and the camp fire at night which really was a large log across the river to which we had set fire was one the like of which I do not remember having experienced either before or since. I well remember Ernie Austen being the chief singer on the occasion and between times our enjoying the child-like delights of pitching into the centre of the log and detonating many lap-stones.
A very funny incident during the day was the attempt at exploding this very log. All preparations were made, holes bored explosives inserted and fuse wires attached and all made for cover behind logs, trees etc. We waited expectantly for a terrific burst but the result to our disappointment was a mere “fizzo”.
This about ends my story but I know that there are many others who can contribute to the history of this place, anecdotes of some considerable interest and, I think more humour.
However the main thing is to get on record evidence as to how this place was created and I hope that future generations will be able to enjoy what we in our day have endeavoured to preserve for posterity.
Engadine - Kangaroo Creek - Uloola Falls - Waterfall. 10 miles. The Kangaroo Creek area of National Park isn't visited often enough. This walk aims to correct that. Suitable for new members. Leader David Ingram. Train: 8.50 am. Cronulla Train from Central Electric Station to Sutherland. Change at Sutherland for rail motor to Engadine. Tickets: Waterfall return 5/9. Map. Pt. Hacking Tourist.
Waterfall - Mt. Westmacott - Myuna Creek - Heathcote. 12 miles. Another opportunity to explore the Waterfall District. This time on the Western side of the Illawarra railway. Very pleasant hill and creek walking. Both this and last week's walk are opportunities for a cheap day's outing. Train: 8.20 am. Cronulla train from Central Electric Station to Sutherland. Change at Sutherland for Waterfall. Tickets to Waterfall 5/9. Map: Port Hacking Tourist or Camden Military. Leader: Ted Child.
Cronulla - Launch to Bundeena - Marley - South West Arm Ck. 12 mile. Another excursion through National Park, this time along the Eastern seaboard and then across country to Audley. A full day's walking is assured. Train 8.50 am: Cronuala train from Central Electric Station. Tickets to Cronulla 5/4. Launch fare to Bundeena 1/6. Map: Port Hacking Tourist. Leader: Ramon U'Brien.
Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
For what can an antelope say?
Herein lies the complete charm of observing nature. All day you can peer at ants, dissect plants, hammer stones or dig up bones and they never answer back! This is a most inviting prospect in our modern, noise-filled existence.
We intend to present here a series of pars from the world of science which we hope will interest you and perhaps even add to the enjoyment of your days in the bush.
It goes without saying that contributions will be welcomed, but keep them (if any) short. The field is unlimited.
The other evening I gave a lift to a young University student who works at CSIRO Food Research, Ryde. His particular job at the moment, is examining eggs, and in the course of the day, he cracks open 12 dozen eggs, and eats, in the interest of science, about 1 dozen. Brother, did he hate eggs!
The eggs are obtained from a variety of sources, much as you or I would get them; and CSIRO is interested in their freshness, size and preservation.
The freshness is determined by the height of the yolk and stiffness of the white. A poor egg when cracked into a pan flops down flat and runs. The yolk should “sit-up”. The medium size eggs are the best buy. They represent better value for money and are of better quality, coming as they do, from the younger birds.
Preservation of eggs is a tricky business and no real progress has been made. “Water glass” and various other sealing coats have not proved effective. The method at present being tried and which holds out some hope, is to warm the eggs for several hours at 57°C, which slightly coagulates the white, though this is not detectable to the eye. This process stabilises the protein and should add to the “fresh life” of the egg.
While no one, we hope, would mistake a jew lizard, goanna or gecko for a snake, it is not so easy to select as lizards the skinks whose legs are reduced to small bumps, and the legless lizards in which the front legs are entirely missing, and the rear legs are tiny flaps. The difference lies firstly in the eyelids. Lizards have these while snakes do not, their eyes being covered by a clear scale like a watch glass. Secondly, a snake's tongue is long, rodlike and forked and can move in and out with the mouth shut, while the lizard has a more conventional tongue, broad flat and fleshy, only just nicked at the end, being protruded with the mouth open.
And thirdly, if you're still not satisfied, a snake has no external ears, while in most lizards, the ear is represented externally by a hole in each side of the head.
So next time you see an unidentified sliding object look at it closely in the eyes. If it winks at you, its a lizard.
Eucalypts get their name from two Greek words. “Eu” meaning “well” and “kalyptos” meaning “covered”. These refer to the hard, tight fitting little caps which cover the flower until the expanding stamens force them off at maturity. There are over 500 different species of Eucalypts in Australia, 210 of which have been found in New South Wales.
The lyre-bird's large rounded nest is constructed outwardly of sticks and twigs and other forest debris; the inner portion of bark, dead leaves, rootlets and mosses mixed with soil. The egg cavity is warmly lined with soft lyre-bird feathers. The nest may be built close to the ground, even upon it in some instances, or at a height of from anything between 12 and 60 feet up in a tree. Sometimes the crown of a tree fern is chosen as a site, a rock ledge or a sloping bank. Again, the bulky structure may be wedged in the fork of a dead gum tree. This bird obviously needs a few tips from Frank Leyden on how to select a good camp site.
The human eye can see about 5000 stars. Of course if you sat down and counted them you wouldn't quite reach this figure, as half of them are on the other side of the earth from you. With binoculars, this figure rises to 117,000; with a 17 inch telescope 32 million; and with the Mt. Wilson telescope, 1500 million can be seen. This is by no means the end of it, but the shimmer produced by warm air currents limits the effectiveness of giant telescopes and astronomers are undoubtedly eagerly awaiting the construction of a telescope outside the Earth's atmosphere. The brightest star in the sky, by the way is Sirius, which is a blue sparkling star to be seen almost directly overhead in Sydney in the early evening in autumn. (Provided you can drag yourself away from the T.V. set).
The Nullabor plain is a region of blowholes and caves. Numbers of caves have been partly explored; hundreds more await the speleos. In some of the known caves are lakes of water. The largest Nullabor cave explored so far measures 1200 feet in length and its floor lies 300 ft below the surface of the plain.
Going Hiking? By M.H.
“Going hiking, eh?”, is what they'll say
Just smile and nod, it's best that way
Explaining the difference doesn't pay
It's nuts to them, Bushwalking.
And then they'll ask, “And where's it to?
Ah, what's the use, they've not a clue
“It's near to so-and-so”, say you
They won't know that place, either.
“But you're not WALKING all that far?
You sure do like it tough, ha, ha,
No good to me… I'd go by car
You won't catch me at that one”.
And where do you sleep when you're out there?
“In tent and sleeping bag”… they stare,
“But surely they're not all in there?”
“Of course,” you say, so smugly.
“A bucket, and billies for my stew,
Lots of food, and first aid, too
A torch, to mention just a few”
You've really got them gaping.
If you're a femme, there'll be another…
“I'll bet you get some bloke or other
To carry that…” a laugh you smother,
How utterly fantastic!
“You might get lost, or bitten by
A snake or something, then they cry
“Just tell us all the reasons why
You're mad on this Bushwalking”.
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. BM2685.
Leader Colin Putt.
The expedition visited the Carstensz Mountains of Netherlands New Guinea in June and July 1961, with the object of climbing the major peaks of this range and carrying out scientific work. Because of an acute shortage of suitable aircraft in the country at the time the planned airdrops of food and equipment were not made, but the expedition, using native food and minimum equipment, covered a walking distance of approximately two hundred miles through little-known country, established a feasible route to and up the North wall of the range, climbed two minor peaks, carried out botanical, meteorological and topographic work, and made geological discoveries of theoretical and practical importance.
The Carstensz Mountains, which are the highest mountains of Australasia, lie at approximately Latitude 4.04' and Longitude 137.10' about fifty miles inland from the South Coast of West New Guinea; the peaks reach a height of nearly 17,000 feet. The range, which is a mass of limestone thrust above the level of the surrounding high plateau, is in the shape of a horse shoe, with the opening facing West, and is capped by a large icefield drained by several glaciers. Another small ice cap exists on Idenberg Top, some six miles to the West on the main dividing range. The highest peaks are Ngga Poloe, at the East end, 4 and the Carstensz Pyramid, on the South Side of the horse shoe; there is some doubt as to which of these is the higher. To the North East of the mountains is an extensive high plateau at ten to twelve thousand feet above sea level, the way on to this pleateau lies through swamp, jungle and moss forest. To the South and West the country is deeply incised with large river valleys; access has been gained to the mountains from the South coast by two of these valleys, the Tsinga and the Otomana. The Carstensz range and its surroundings are notable for the very high rate of precipitation at all times of the year, and for the regular unremitting nature of the rain and snow fall.
The Carstensz Mountains were first seen from the coast by the Dutch navigator Jan Carstensz, in the seventeenth century, but the first expedition to reach the mountains was that of Wollaston, who in 1913 reached the foot of the icefalls feeding the Tsinga river, but because of the length and difficulty of the access route, was unable to climb further. In 1936, the Dutch expedition of Colijn, Wissel and Dozy, using an amphibian aircraft for aerial reconnaissance and to airdrop supplies, reached the centre of the “horse shoe” by way of the Otomana river, and in the space of three weeks climbed the ice peak Ngga Poloe, performed extensive geological and botanical investigations, and made several attempts on the Carstensz Pyramid, which is a rock peak of considerable difficulty.
In 1950, Veurman and Mickelson travelled by native tracks up the Kemaboe river from Eneratali on the Wissel Lakes, and crossed the high pass just to the East of Ngga Poloe, went down the Tsinga to inhabited country, and travelled west across the grain of the country to another pass on the west of Idenberg Top, which brought them back to their inward route on the Kemaboe. In 1951, the missionaries Rose, Troutman and Titahelieu followed the same route up the Kemaboe, but, staying on native tracks on the North, of the main range, discovered the densely populated Ilaga valley, and continued through the west and east Baliem rivers to reach known territory at Lake Babbema.
In 1960, geologists of the Obst Borneo Maatschappij followed the 1936 expedition's route from the South coast and made detailed studies of the copper ore body in the entrance of the “horse shoe” which was discovered in 1936.
The three expeditions which reached the snow all approached the Mountains from the South coast, this is, under good conditions, a fairly arduous journey of about 14 days, requiring the use of porters brought in by air from outside. However, during the 1950's mission organisations have established stations, with landing strips suitable for light aircraft, in some of the river valleys to the North of the main range, and the C.A.M.A. strip at Ilaga, in particular, is 7,600 ft above sea level and only six days' march from the plateau below the North wall of the Carstensz range. However, up to 1961, it was not known whether there was any way up on to the range on this side, as no explorer had closely approached the wall from the north, while distant views had shown that much of the wall was high, nearly vertical and unbroken.
By the end of March, 1961, the information which had been gathered indicated that June and July should offer as good weather in the Carstensz Mountains as any other time of year, that it was quite likely that a way would be found on to the crest of the range from the North by way of the Dajak pass which was reached but not crossed from the South by the 1936 expedition, and that the North wall might be reached from the Ilaga airstrip in five days. Because of the rough nature of the country and the small loads taken by the native carriers, it was decided to airdrop the expedition's food and equipment near the Carstensz range. The party would be flown by light aircraft from the airline terminus at Wamena to Ilaga and would walk in from there carrying minimum equipment, helped by a few carriers. It was found that our 1800 pounds of airdrop could be dropped on parachutes from a heavy aircraft, or free dropped in a series of low level runs by light aircraft, for the same cost; it was decided that the drops would be made from the Mission Aviation Fellowship's Cessna 180's, as in this way members of the party could do the dropping before the march in, without any need to get a ground party in position before the airdrop, and the operation could be combined with a thorough preliminary aerial reconnaissance. At this stage our information was that light aircraft should be available at almost any time, and that there should be no difficulty in getting permission to use the Ilaga airstrip, this permission had already been asked for.
It was decided that the whole project would be completed in six weeks, this being the extent of the leave available to most of the members, and that one member would fly to Hollandia, the capital of Netherlands New Guinea, two weeks ahead to make final arrangements, while the main party would arrive on June 6th and fly straight on to Wamena and Ilaga allowing a week each way between Wamena and the Carstensz Mountains, four weeks would be available for climbing and scientific work.
An 8-watt short wave transmitter was built, to enable us to call up carriers from Ilaga for the walk out, and for use in emergencies.
The cost of the expedition, including fares to and from New Guinea was estimated to be £2,400 stg.
The members were as follows;-
To be Continued.
Especially planned to holiday requirements of bushwalkers & camping club members.
Tour “N” Departs Sydney Sat. 5th May. Tour “I” Departs Sydney Sat. 14th July. Travelling via Dubbo, Bourke, Cunnamulla (Q), Charleville, Blackall, Mary Kathleen, Mt. Isa, Flynn Memorial, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs (2 days), Ayers Rock (2 days), Mt. Olga, Coober Pedy, Pt. Augusta and Broken Hill. Fare £55, 0. 0.
Tour “J” Departs Sydney Saturday 11th August. Itinerary as Tours “N” and “I” and including Daly Waters, Mataranka, Darwin, and Rum Jungle. Fare £66. 0. 0.
Tour “K” Departs Sydney Saturday 15th September. Travelling via Newcastle, Kempsey, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville (1 day), (Magnetic Is.), Paronella Park, Atherton Tablelands Area (3 days), Lake Eacham, Lake Barrine, Mareeba, Cooktown (1 day), Daintree, Cairns, (Green Is.), Charters Towers, Clermont, Toowoomba, Tenterfield and Tamworth. Fare £54. 0. 0.
Tour “E” Departs Sydney Saturday 15th September. Travelling via Albury, Bendigo, Bordertawn, “Barossa Valley”, Pt. Augusta, Ceduna, Nullabor Plains, Norseman, Esperance, “Stirling Range National Park”, “Porongorups National Park”, Albany (1 day), Frenchman's Bay, Denmark, “Valley of Giants”, Pemberton, “Kingdom of the Karri”, Cape Leeuwin, Augusta and Margaret River Caves Area (2 days), Perth (3 days), Kalgoorlie, Nullabor Plains, Renmark, Mildura and Katoomba. Fare £69.10. 0.
Tour “M” Departs Sydney Monday 6th August. Travelling via Taree, Brisbane (1 day), Rockhampton, Townsville (2 days), (Magnetic Is.), Cairns (2 days), (Green Is.), Cooktown (1 day), Atherton Tablelands (4 days), Kurumba (Gulf of Carpentaria), (1 day), Mt. Isa, Mataranka (1 day), Darwin (2 days), Rum Jungle, Wyndham, Derby, Broome (1 day), Marble Bar (1 day), Hammersley Ranges (3 days), Carnarvon (1 day), Geraldton (2 days), Perth (3 days), Margaret River Caves (2 days), Albany (1 day), Esperance, Nullabor Plains, Adelaide (1 day), Melbourne, Gundagai. Fare £125.10. 0.
Other tours to Flinders Ranges (Tour “L”) duration 19 days, departs Sydney 15th October. 1962. Fare £40.10.0.
Tour “O” gold Coast, Lamington and Carnarvon Ranges National Parks. Duration 3 weeks. Departs Sydney 2nd June, 1962. Fare £39.10. 0.
V. C. Penfold, Greyhound Pacific Ltd., P.O. Box 50, Coolangatta. QLD.
On 10th April, Edna Stretton sailed in the “Oriana” for Southampton via Suez, and on the same date, Eric and Norma Rowen and family sailed in the “Orsova” for England via America and Panama. Edna will visit Bev and Don Read and Sheila Binns during her stay in the United Kingdom. Eric will be paying his first visit to his native Liverpool for a number of years. Edna will spend a week touring with the Rowens, when a visit to Blackpool is promised!
Prior to sailing, Edna was entertained at a bush “send-off” at Euroka Clearing, a notable occasion when several of the senior members were able to motor right into the clearing on the new fire trail. An enjoyable week-end was had by all and the parting guest was presented with a reel of Kodachrome film so that she might record some of the highlights of the trip for subsequent viewing in the Clubroom.
For all your transport from Blackheath contact Hatswell's Taxi & Transport Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour - day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 of W151.
Booking office: 4 doors from the Gardners Inn Hotel (look for the neon sign).
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote trips or special parties on application.
Do you need new roof, guttering and downpipes??
Or does the roof and guttering need re-painting??
Or perhaps a new water service or hot-water installation??
No job is too small - for any plumbing installations or alterations
You need Roy's friendly plumbing service.
Contact Roy Craggs in the S.B.W. Club-rooms or contact Joe Crags, Carpenter and Painter, 41 Rosamond Street, Hornsby, Telephone JU2203.
Remember - you need Roy's friendly service!!!
The grandeur of the highlands couldn't be better captured than in Glen Afric. Some Scots may say Loch Maree, others Gairloch. To me Glen Afric will always remain a vivid picture of yesterday.
The beautiful always remains fixed in one's mind even though it is difficult to describe, for the beautiful doesn't exist. It is a feeling brought about slowly by natural impulses and it is not easily presented. Often it requires much labour. Walking is such a pastime that requires a great amount of effort, and it is during periods of relaxation that our eye sees the most and then nature succumbs it with the scenery around which can vary from placid to the grandeur of mountain peaks amongst clouds. A memory is impressed.
It was my bushwalking instinct that chose the way. I left Inverness, a large town, pleasant though not yet over run by mechanisation, in a bus and travelled to the road junction. From there I walked to a hostel which would be a starting point before setting off along the track to Glen Afric.
At the hostel the usual pleasant faces greeted me but to my disappointment all had come from Glen Afric and the weather was not promising. However pictures on the wall from the Scotsman convinced me of what lay ahead despite the bleak weather, and little did I realise that a fault in my camera would make the return. The fault I discovered while taking a snap of a little loch that reflected its heather surrounds and the-blue sky in its placid waters. “Strange”, I thought, “such a lot of photos on one ro11.” I'd had this trouble before. The time had come to investigate. It was as I suspected, film slipping on the cogs. I didn't swear, I didn't curse the camera. Instead I decided to retrace my steps, not from the west coast, but from Inverness. For my pains I was well rewarded - I saw Glen Afric under two weather conditions.
Whilst walking to the hostel I came across a gorge. As I stood gazing thru the delicate form of a silver beech that overhung it and overlooked the wild white stream flowing between its steep side, a well rounded voice interluded, “Beautiful isn't it?” “Soon it will be filled with water. For years I've been coming here. Next year it will be full.”
I agreed it was a very beautiful place and added that there were many others like it, despite the electrification of Scotland, and went on to say that if I lived in England I'd have my holidays cut out for the next twenty years before venturing onto the Continent.
“It's what I've been telling the wife for years” be replied excitedly. “You must have a cup of tea and perhaps I can offer you a lift.”
The road from the hotel led to a gate. On the other side was a lodge and a small gravel road. Ahead were the lochs to whose edge clung the narrow road winding in graceful contours. Occasionally it ran thru the heath and heather surrounded by pines - the true pines of Scotland. Today the elements were at peace and lazy white clouds drifted over the p1acid waters which reflected the blue in the heavens above. Stillness reigned, occasionally broken by the greeting of a smiling tourist who ventured along the track as far as the loch where it ended in a stream meandering in a grassy river flat surrounded by mountains.
Soon the stream stopped its meandering and the grassy hills which closed in on it gave way to the mountain slopes mantled in green. The track sought higher ground, winding round the little burns which fed the stream below. After a few hours walking, a distant building appeared, dwarfed by the mountains. Drawing closer I could discern two more buildings. One was rather dilapidated - the mens bunk-house. A creaky creepy old barn thru which the cold north wind blew, freezing its occupants who were huddled in half a dozen blankets or sandwiched between mattresses. A few tales of the supernatural would soon settle the question of sleep.
As I drew nearer I could discern in luminous white letters against its grey background - “The Warden is a lazy – ”
“Where's the warden?” I asked. “He's fishing,” came a casual reply.
Eventually he came in carrying a couple of tiddlers which he threw on the table like an experienced fisherman and turned to meet me. He wore the largest plus fours I've seen; large enough for me to get in one leg. They were tucked in loud checked socks that were held up by garters. His face was bearded. There was a friendly look in his eyes and he spoke with clear firm tones. His mate a student of dentistry spoke with a rich well modulated voice, the type that the English envy. He was clean shaven with high cheek bones and clearly chiselled features that wore an air of friendliness. His hair hung heavy to one side like an Englishmen.
“How many nights will we book you in for?” Ross asked. “One,” I replied. “You'd better stay to-morrow, we need some help, so that's two nights. After that you may get the itch and stay on longer”.
The next day I worked leisurely all day. Outside it drizzled occasionally. Grey skies reigned. There was no inspiration to be out so I worked well and pleased the warden with my construction of shelves which David and Ross wanted to decorate in the fashion of great artists.
Since you worked so well, to-morrow you'll be allowed to join the 5 gallon club. My eyes beamed as I thought over the club. Surely the warden, of all people, wouldn't keep 5 gallons. And yet it is feasible, for at this hostel anything happens. I didn't go to bed that evening, we discussed so much. However I got to bed about 4.30 a.m. After a couple of hours sleep I awoke. The 5 gallon club was my only thought. I quickly rose, looking forward to seeing David.
David always carried his fishing lines whenever he left the hostel. Today he carried also an odd shaped rucksack frame on which sat a drum. “What's that”, I asked. “That's it”, he replied. That…. I repeated exasperated, that's only a five gallon kero drum. “That's right, you'll be carrying it on the return journey - FULL.”
Along the track not far from the loch, and for some unknown reason, I felt sick. Perhaps it was the thought of 50 lbs on my shoulders. Physiological-mythological-pathological or not I must rest. Here the grass was dry and a few rocks protruded above it, or sloped gently into the crystal stream running smoothly over its pebble floor. It was on such a rock I reclined lazily to rest my eyes on the green hill yonder.
Only a few seconds did the hill remain green. David that good Scot who couldn't stand seeing people idle-handed gave me a fishing line - oh for the Irish. “You may as well make use of this line while you're here.” I took the line and put on a piece of bait much to the disapproval of David and Ross who claimed bait was the lazy way, the continental way. Not long after they had gone and I was relaxing and breathing deeply the still air when I felt a strong tug at the line. The rod almost doubled. I cursed my luck, probably the only trout in the river where keen fisherman stand all day hoping for such a catch. Wishing to be rid of the source of annoyance, I wound in fast only for a couple of turns. The reel had jammed. So I stood up and hauled in the line like a lifesaver. Line was everywhere and the trout kept jumping around. The hook refused to come out. It seemed to be set in. This is terrible. I tried to kill it by methods I'd seen but it kept slipping out of my hands. I'm sure some one greased him up. He just wouldn't die. So we both lay down to our fate.
“What a mess”. I looked up. It was David. “But I forgive you”, he said picking up the fish, “it's the best I've seen - I'll stay behind and try my luck”. “You were quick”, I said. “There were no provisions to be picked up”, replied David. “That's god”. “But we have the kero and I hope your feeling strong enough to carry the pack and make yourself a member”, said Ross.
After crossing the grassy river flat and dodging around and about the muddy parts I ascended to higher ground where it was drier except where a burn crossed it. Here the track followed the contour of the land in a gentle grade and that encourages walking. Soon I covered the mile. The girls who followed behind were anxious to become members also. So I gave them the drum gladly.
Along the track I had visions of trout fried in butter. Ross and David didn't get a bite. David didn't think it proper to cut up a delicious trout to make fish balls for five. Nor did we catch any fish the next day, after spending all day in the rain. I'm sure that fish was fated for David. The following day we left. The Afric itch had worn itself off. The girls and I went on to Ratogan Hostel and Ross returned to Inverness.
It filled me with sadness as I looked back along the track at the hostel so small in a mammoth world of treeless green soon to be swallowed up in it.
Along the track followed the girls wheeling their cycles. They were of dauntless character and were doing this trip with cycles against advice given in the hand book (when Scots warn - they mean it), and also to prove they were as good as the boys of their club.
The track had been easy, the worst to come. It came near the saddle where the green hills lost their cloak are rocky clefts protruded as formidable mountains. Until the saddle the cycles had been wheeled considerably, and now had to be carried all the way. The track over was steep and down steeper and parts the mountain side practically fell into the stream below. Sometimes I would wait, but they would accept no help. For once I was worried - the girls hadn't turned up. It was late. I spoke to the warden, but he didn't seem worried so I went onto the porch to watch a sunset that reflected its golden light in the placid loch till it ended in a sharp edge silhouetted by mountains above which the etherial light poured its fantasy of colour. “Hullo there”, came clear voices familiar. It was the girls.
Hear Ron Knightley tell of some of his experiences overseas in a talk entitled “Around the World in 80 Weeks”.
Mr. F. McCamley of the Conchology Section of the Royal Zoological Society will give a talk illustrated with slides on “Shells and their Animals”.
The Bush Music Club (previously known as the Bush Wackers)….. Wacko!
27th June, 1962.
Scenic and non-scenic.
6 slides only from each entrant and slides to be in the hands of the Society Secretary not later than 13 June for judging. Please mark your slides clearly for easy sorting after the showing.
The Bushwalker Annual. The next issue is planned for January 1963. A committee will be formed at the April Federation Meeting and anyone interested in any phase of magazine production will be welcomed.
Paddington TOwn Hall, Friday 14th September 1962. The Federation felt that 6 months' notice should enable most indefinite bushwalkers to decide whether he/she will attend or otherwise.
Proposes a further re-enactment of the Crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1963, 150 years after the event. Likely participants please keep in mind.
Mr. Laing requests no cars in Winter time. The road can be dangerous when wet at any time of the year. Mt. Werong is the last point on the Oberon Stock Route to which cars may be taken without risk of damage.
Portions 8 and 9 Parish of Balgo. Three years ago, Federation suggested that Portions 8 and 9 Parish of Bulgo, immediately South of the Garrawarra Primitive Area boundary, be added to the Park. It is now suggested that all Clubs write to the Minister for Lands, Box 30 GPO Sydney, requesting that this be done in an effort to keep speculators out.
This matter was discussed. It was pointed out that the purpose of each area was quite dissimilar. National Park is now easy of access and caters for many different kinds of public recreation, whereas the Primitive Area has been left mainly in its natural state, with limited use by the public generally, and is of considerable educational value for naturalists and nature lovers.
The Forestry Officer for the area denies the proposal.
New lists of volunteers have already been requested from each Club. When prepared, three copies of each list would be appreciated.
“Due to increased public interest, we are now able to put on a full feature each week-end.” (Nin. Melville).
March 4. Late Sunday night search for a member of this Club, who was missing after a day walk. He subsequently made a donation, in kind, to the searchers. Owing to the nature of the donation, the recipients have decided to conduct a competition and the proceeds will augment S & R funds, which are currently taking a bashing. (As one of our Members was concerned, a generous response will be appreciated).
March 10. D. Cussiter, 17 yr. old student, missing from Leura for a week. Leura Police could not locate the victim, so asked for a complete re-search of the area. 108 turned up on Saturday morning. The body was sighted from Elysian Rock by one party after a 90 minute search, and was also located shortly after by a party working from the bottom of the cliff line.
March 19. The biggest job yet tackled when Richard Donaghy fell over a cliff on Kanangra Rivulet while helping others of the party. Dr. Bob Binks was, fortunately, in the area and was able to descend to the patient and give whatever aid was possible. 32 rock climbers and others turned out. Loose rock and scree slope rendered rescue difficult. Russell Kippax finally brought the patient up the worst part of the ascent strapped to his back. Federation will inquire whether any award for bravery can be awarded for the feat. Members of S & R Executive asked that their appreciation be conveyed to Elsie Bruggy for her work in organising a second carrying party at short notice.