THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc., Box 4476 GPO, Sydney 2001. To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor:||George Mawer||42 Lincoln Road, Georges Hall, 2198||Telephone 707 1343|
|Business Manager:||Joy Hynes||36 Lewis Street, Dee Why, 2099||Telephone 982 2615 (H), 888 3144 (B)|
|Production Manager:||Fran Holland|
|Editorial Team:||Barbara Bruce, Bill Holland, Jo Robertson & Maurice Smith|
|Printers:||Kenn Clacher, Kay Chan, Barrie Murdoch,Margaret Niven & Les Powell|
THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS INCORPORATED was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy, Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday.
|Public Officer:||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary:||Morrie Ward|
|Social Secretary:||John Hogan|
|Membership Secretary:||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary:||Bill Holland|
|Conservation Secretary:||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor:||George Mawer|
|Committee Members:||Denise Shaw & Maurice Smith|
|Delegates to Confederation:||Wilf Haider & Ken Smith|
|2||A Novice Camps in the Snow||Maureen Carter recounts the trials and tribulations of her first Ski-Touring adventure|
|3||Annual Coolana Reunion||Greta invites us to take advantage of this opportunity for a Club Gathering..|
|5||On The Receiving End||A few Gems from Fran Holland's list of amusing telephone calls|
|6||Development||The unending threat to our natural areas. Alex Colley keeping us informed about this disturbing issue|
|6||Historical Walk||Nancy Alderton|
|6||Postscript||Judy O'connor - a follow up on Judy's broken ankle|
|9||From the Clubroom||Maurice Smith|
|9||Position Vacant -Columnist(s)|
|9||Advance Notice - Sasha Litvak still has vacancies for his Nepal trip|
|10||The Gardens of Stone||An interesting report on one of Oliver Crawfords walks in this area. Alan Wells|
|10||Flowers of the Royal Epacris Obtusifolia Another flower from Judy Mehaffey|
|13||General meeting Notes||Barry Wallace|
|14||Search for a Lost Aeroplane||Here is a chance to get into the history books. You could be the one to find it|
|4||Eastwood Camping Centre|
|12||High Tops Equipment|
My special thanks to all of those people who have written to me about mobile telephones and other modern means of communication. We could only publish a few of your letters but the others were not wasted effort. They will all be considered in forming the Clubs “Recommended Code of Conduct” for the use of these electronic contraptions.
by Maureen Carter
At 2am I lay awake in my warm (but heavy) sleeping bag listening to the wind howling outside the tent and precipitation hitting the sides. Was it more sago snow or rain? If it was snow we were safe, as the strange looking pegs which we found in the garage and hoped would be snow pegs, would become frozen in and we would remain secure. However, if it was raining hard on us, there was a good chance that the rain would melt the snow holding the pegs in place and, who knows what would happen to the tent with the next gust of wind.
This ulcer-making experience occurred in mid-August whilst camped, quite safely as it turned out, near Pounds Creek in the Snowy Mountains.
Ever since my first tentative steps on cross-county skis in 1985 I had wanted to try camping in the snow. I almost persuaded David to try this in perfect conditions in November 1992, when we skied to the summit of Kosciusko in glorious sunshine and we could have easily camped on grass near the Snowy River. That time I was seduced by the promise of another delicious plate of fajitas at the Balcony Restaurant in Jindabyne.
I had discussed the possibility of snow camping with every keen cross-country skier I met and had amassed a veritable bible of information on the subject. I had talked about doing it so often that if it didn't happen in 1994 I would lose face, even though my photographs prove that it snowed on my tent on 27 December 1993 at Round Mountain. I was too unconfident to book onto a Club ski trip without first proving to mhyself that I could balance with the full pack on skis.
Then an invitation came from long-term SBW members Vic and Valery Gosbell to join them on an overnight ski trip. The big dump of white stuff had arrived, the weekend was free, so no excuses, we would give it a go. We agreed to meet at Guthega on August 13th - I should have looked closer at the date!
Vic was most informative about what to take. He explained how to make a reflective candle holder out of a beer can and ski retainers out of venetian blind cord. We readily agreed on the route and I was pleased that the proposed camp site was not too far from the cars, in case I needed to beat a hasty retreat if I could not cope with the conditions.
We discovered at Guthega that the weather forecast for wild winds, which had torn up trees at Jindabyne, would continue for some time. If I had known then what I knew later, I would have stayed in the coffee shop all day. Vic was still keen to take us novices out in such foul conditions, as he had every confidence in our strength of character, due to witnessing our survival of a Kenn Clacher long weekend.
I cannot adequately describe the frustration of my transformation from a reasonably confident cross-country skier, who enjoyed dodging through the trees and “hooning” down hill, to the clumsy, tentative, full-pack carrying whinger who fell over every time a slight slope was encountered. This was partly caused by too many clothes in the pack (just in case) and a chest injury sustained whilst alpine skiing two weeks earlier when I collided with a Granny Smith apple - but that's another story!
After four hours of agonising falls, freezing winds and white-outs I had reversed my usual weekend catchphrase and instead of “beats working” was saying “wish I was working”. Mid-afternoon David whispered, “do you really want to continue”. I knew he was thinking of the warm lounge room at the Snowline Caravan Park. I had no strength to answer. Next time I fell I was quite willing to stay curled up on the snow for ever. It seemed easier than struggling to my feet for the thirtieth time that day. I tried crying but the wind carried my whimpers away from the others, and where on earth were they anyway. The clouds and my depression hung heavily around me.
The Gosbells acknowledged my stress and found a sheltered spot for the night. I thought it was exposed, but I am a novice remember. I naively expected that we would erect the tents and be sipping tea in ten minutes. I didn't know that we would spend an hour re-arranging the landscape with a shovel. I couldn't even muster the strength to empathise with David who had broken through the snow into the creek whilst collecting water. Wearing five layers of clothing I watched the MSR perform its usual explosion, but, this time it was in the vestibule of the Salewa and just knew it would burn the tent down. It didn't. Oh no, not a blocked jet now. Eventually the cup-of-soup materialised and tasted like nectar of the gods.
All night I worried about the thousand disasters that could strike us. I even agonised about fouling the environment by digging a toilet hole in the snow, so I would have to contend with constipation the next day as well. I dreaded the effort I would expend in hauling myself into a vertical position on the skis and rehearsed the many intelligent reasons why I would prefer to never snow camp ever again. My friends and family would be glad that I had admitted that I was too old for that sort of thing. I found my fourth pair of gloves (just in case) and fitfully slept.
At dawn nature called us to paint a patch of snow yellow. I did not relish the prospect of baring my backside to -1O degrees, or worse. Then, what a glorious sight lay before us. A pink streaked dawn, the quiet hush that only a snow covered landscape can bring and the promise of a windless day with snow the consistency of velvet under the skis.
Before breaking camp David and Vic swiftly skied to the nearest steep slope to practise telemark turns whilst Val and I slowly emerged from our warm cocoons and remembered how rewarding it is to slip down the slopes with only the gentlest of breezes behind us.
We soon packed our weekend world into the Macpacs and Vic announced that it could take us five hours to return to the cars. I assumed that this included the frequent falling factor. I readily agreed to an early start to get it over with and return home, triumphant that I had survived. Of course I would pretend that I had actually enjoyed the experience.
My frozen boots had thawed out, the ice had melted from my pack and l felt rested and strong. Everything would be perfect, if only I could emulate the others and ski as if the encumbrance on my back held only my lunch and a spare jumper.
Thirty minutes later we sighted Illawong Lodge which I knew was close to civilisation. Suddenly, I could do it! I could actually balance the pack and even perform rudimentary snow plough turns without falling. What a magnificent day - mostly clear with no wind at all. We dropped our packs and I remembered the bliss of a down-hill run and the freedom of moving uphill without even resorting to herring-boning. I even executed a swift parallel turn or two. We investigated a two bedroom snow cave. I photographed a group of striped snow gums and enjoyed lunch with companions who had supported me in my tribulations and joined in my triumphs.
I cannot express the elation of competently traversing back to the bridge over the Snowy River and would have even enjoyed the trip on the flying fox if the water had not been covered by hard packed snow. The climb out was gradual and every stop was an opportunity to marvel at the mountains clothed in winter garb. I felt the same as I always do after a week-end walk - if only it could go on for ever.
The children were wrong - I am not too old to endure the rigours of snow camping. Who said it was hard anyway. I enjoyed every minute of the week-end. Didn't I?
by Greta James
The Annual Club Reunion is being held on 15th and 16th October at the Club's beautiful property, Coolana, on the Kangaroo River. This event is for everyone, including prospective members. It is a wonderful opportunity for people to bring along their children and participate in this very special Club event. Older members are particularly welcome.
Come along sometime Saturday and take the opportunity for a leisurely chat and a billy of tea with old and new friends. One of the highlights of the weekend will be on Saturday night when the campfire will take place. There will be much singing mixed in with other entertainment. Instrumentalists and strong (and tuneful) singers are particularly valued although enthusiasm, not talent, is most important. On Sunday morning the world renown SBW damper making competition will be run followed by our very own version of the Olympics in which our athletes, who are disabled by their lack of “Volleys”, will be able to compete with the elite. There will be events to suit all ages, shapes, temperaments and inclinations (horizontal, vertical and all angles in between).
For those who can drag themselves away from all this revelry, Tony Holgate is leading an easy 10km walk on Sunday. So there is something to suit everyone. Looking forward to seeing you at Coolana. Let us REUNE.
Kimberley Coast Expedition
March 26 - April 28 1995
Join us on our longest ever exploration of the rugged Kimberley coast region between the Berkeley and Drysdale Rivers. Come north when the land is green, when the rivers and waterfalls are at their incredible best.
We begin by exploring the area around Berkeley Falls and Gorge then move overland to King George Falls where the river plunges 90 metres into the sea at the head of one of Australia's most spectacular gorges. Finally, we walk to the Drysdale River where we are met by a float plane and flown back to civilisation.
Too long? The trip is divided into three sections. The float plane will bring in two food drops and provide transport for those doing only one part of the trip.
Chartering boats and float planes is not cheap so this trip will be expensive. However, help us by booking early and we'll help you with a discount of up to 20%. For more information about this expedition and the rest of our bushwalking program contact:
Willis's Walkabouts 12 Carrington Street, MILLNER NT 0810 Ph: (089) 85 2134 Fax: (089) 85 2355
Come in and discover for yourself the fun of browsing through mountains of outdoor equipment…
- be assisted by knowledgeable, friendly staff
- realistic prices for everyone
by Fran Holland
Hello, yes this is the SBW contact number!
“I'm trying to get some information about the Sutherland Bushwalking Club but I cant find their number or contact in the phone book. I know they meet on a Monday night, somewhere in Caringbah I think. Could you give me the address and meeting time?”
“My wife has just been told by her doctor that she has minor heart problems and she is to walk each day just around our suburb. Could you please advise what sort of shoes she should wear?”
“I'm interested in joining a bushwalking club and see that your address is Kirribilli. I live at Mosman and was wondering if you could tell me of a club that is closer to my area?”
“I'm doing an essay for Uni on bushwalking and wonder if you could help me with a few questions - what preparation must one do two weeks before a walk, one week before the walk and one day before the walk commences - also what precaution's must one take while the walk is in progress?”
“I am ringing on behalf of my boss who would like to go on a bushwalk with his family. He would like it to be of about 7 hours duration on a clearly, marked trail. He has been on a walk in the mountains at Wentworth Falls which he was told was one of the best walks in Sydney. Could you please suggest another walk he could do that is similar to that one. It must, however, be on very clearly marked trails as he does not want to get lost.”
“I am doing a research project at Uni on the Ku-ring-gai park and bush areas and we are to find out how many commercial and community groups make use of these areas. Could you tell me if you make a charge for leading people when walking there and how many times a year you would use these parks?”
“I have been asked to go on a bushwalk with my boyfriend and some friends to Barrington Tops for a few days, could you tell me if I will need to take any warm clothes? I haven't done any bushwalking before and don't know what to take.”
“Next month I am going to walk in Kakadu for a couple of weeks, could you give me some information about walking there please?”
“Could you please give me some information about how to join your club?” …“Oh! that sounds really great - would you mind ringing my mother and inviting her to come along? Her name is …, just tell her that her youngest daughter asked you to give her a call.”
Thank you for calling the Sydney Bushwalkers.
by Maurice Smith
Due to a change of circumstances I am unable to lead the Warrumbungle's trip set down for the October long weekend. If any member feels they would like to take over the leading of this walk please contact me as soon as possible on (02) 587. 6325.
There is no end to development threats to national parks. In the last issue the proposal to permit 400 helicopter flights over the Blue Mountains was described. Two further threats have surfaced recently - a subdivision at Helensburgh on the Hacking River catchment and a horse manure composting proposal for an inholding in Wollemi.
The Lady Carrington Estate at Helensburgh would comprise 1,300 lots. Camp Creek, below the subdivision, which contains one of the last patches of rainforest near Sydney would be cleared and turned into a series of artificial ponds designed to prevent run-off from reaching the Hacking River. Such containment ponds are notoriously unreliable. Over 10,000 local residents petitioned against the proposal which has been twice rejected by Wollongong Council and opposed by Sutherland Council. There would be a high risk of sediment and pollution entering the Hacking. Nevertheless the Minister for Planning has ordered a Commission of Inquiry to look into it.
The proposal by Mushroom Compositor Pty Ltd to transfer its operations from Ebenezer to an inholding at Mebbin Swamp on Tinda Creek poses a very serious threat to Wollemi National Park and wilderness. The company is under pressure from the Land and Environment Court to relocate its Operations from Ebenezer, where they are definitely “on the nose.” Some 1200 tonnes of horse manure per week would be taken to the Tinda Creek drains into the protected waters of Wollemi Creek and the Colo. The 3.3 km access road crossing the swamp would be upgraded and sealed. In the park the operation would be out of sight and well away from residential land.
In view of the impending shortage of waste disposal sites and the reluctance of councils to accept them in their area, approval of Mushroom Compositor's application to use an inhoIding would set a very unacceptable precedent. There are a number of inholdings and enclaves of privately owned land in national parks which might be used for waste disposal. Such sites are a temptation to subdividers and sometimes bar access to the parks.
For these reasons it is to be hoped that the $20 million made available to the NPWS for land acquisition will be used to acquire such sites.
by Nancy Alderton
The group comprised one member and one prospective (three interested people having withdrawn at the last minute), as well as the leader. The party walked from Linden to Kings Cave, which is a marvellous cave once used by the Aborigines and by the King's Men supervising the building of the road from Penrith to Bathurst. After inspecting Caleys Repulse (Caley being the first man to reach Linden before Blaxland Wentworth and Lawson crossed the mountains in 1813), we walked on to Bulls Camp where a stockade was built in the past for 300 people. New roads at the Woodford bends have changed the access to walking along The Great Western Highway. The party then walked to the eastern side of the area and saw the remains of the original Old Bathurst Road and the marks of carriages which used it, as well as two convict built homes on the edge of the ridge. Then the group stopped at Woodford Academy, now a National Trust Property, and in the past an Inn where gold was stored en route from Bathurst to Sydney, and at the turn of the C20 a teaching academy for boys. After leaving the Academy the party dropped down into the valley to enjoy the fresh air and birds at Mabel, Edith and Hazel Falls. Then the group took the homeward track to Hazelbrook.
by Judy O'Connor
Members and readers will remember I was unfortunate enough to give myself a nasty broken ankle on a walk in the Nattai N.P. led by Bill Holland about this time last year. Among the many horrible memories I have before, after and during the experience was the 30 hour waiting time it took to get to hospital.
However, my recovery has been excellent, although not 100 percent, and I have been walking again for some time. With this in mind and feeling that the whole sorry thing was in the past, I decided to take up the specialist's advice to have the steel plate and eight screws that had been inserted to help the heeling process removed. His advice was in the form of “In old people we don't bother…but you're YOUNG so you should definitely have it out.” I guess it was ego rather than medical evidence that convinced me.
So I cheerfully booked in for what I was promised would be a quick, safe, pain free and even happy little operation. All went well until about a week after leaving hospital when I started feeling a lot of pain and noticed swelling and redness that didn't go away. I carried on at work for a few more days until I realised that I couldn't actually put any weight on the foot.
I limped back to the doctor who organised an X-ray and after a quick look sent me straight to the North Shore Hospital where I was diagnosed as having a well advanced Golden Staph infection and admitted poste haste. I was hooked up to an intravenous drip and given jumbo doses of antibiotics for four days, confined to bed (no, no, not another bed pan, please) but worst of all, my ankle was put back in plaster! Could this really be happening?
My spirits dropped, figuratively speaking, from the top of Perrys Lookdown to Blue Gum in about five seconds flat and then dropped a bit further (wherever that could be) when I saw the crutches leaning against the wall for when I was ready to hop around again.
I never know how, when or why the infection occurred although its commonly associated with hospitals - and if not treated “aggressively” as the medicos quaintly put it, can lead to “bone death” especially in an ankle where there is little flesh and the circulation is not terrific.
However, the crutches were thrown aside after a week or so of leaving hospital and I'm pleased to say I have now shaken off the nasty bugs and re-emerged into the able-bodied world again. Total recovery time: about eight weeks.
Please, whoever's up there, don't let there be a post post-script to this story. Thank You.
Outfitters for the serious bushwalker
Guided walking holidays in South West France.
Sasha Litvak is planning a trip to Nepal in late October for a month, high altitude trekking to Everest Base Camp. People who may be interested in going on this trip and would like more information should contact Sasha without delay.
Sasha Litvak Phone (h) 663 0755; (w) 385 4158; Fax 663 1222
by Maurice Smith
Fungi, Flowers and Pioneers: The club room has seen several interesting sessions in the past few weeks. These sessions were all presented by SBW club members. First we had Frank Tacker with his slides of Australian fungi. Then followed Ron Howlett with slides Of West Australian wildflowers, followed in turn by Peter Christian with his video presentation of interviews with several early and long standing club members.
Frank's slides of fungi, both edible and not so edible was a source of amazement. I hadn't realised that Australia had such a diverse and colourful range of fungi. While I have seen some of these fungi during the course of bushw alking, Frank has devoted many years to searching them out and then photographing them in their bush environment. Apart. :from the delicious mushrooms that I buy from my local fruit and vegetable market, 'I doubt that my delicate taste buds will ever be tempted by the visual delights that Frank provided to a rapt audience. Thanks to Frank for the slides. ' - Ron Howlett, who enchanted us not that long ago with his slides of Australian orchids wasP back again. This time it was slides of West Australian wildflowers. These slides were taken on a trip to W.A. several years ago. The vibrant colour. of these flowers and varied forms is testimony to how plants adapt 'to climatic conditions in their constant Struggle to reproduce. The beauty of these flowers had the large audience really enjoying the show. Ron generated many gasps of amazement from his audience withthe beauty of the slides. The piece de resistance of the evening was the Queen of Sheba orchid. Ron; we certainly enjoyed the session. When is the _next slide session and what is subject? 1 shall certainly put that session in my, diary: Thank you for coming into the clubroom and sharing your experiences. Peter Christian's video of interviews with Frank Duncan (after whom. -Duncan's Pass off the end of Narrowneck is ,named), Dot Butler and. Alex Colley was an interesting evening. The interviewees spoke about the people and scenes 'in the early photographs. What a pioneering group of people we had in the club, both in the sense of bushWalking and in conservation. We are hugely indebted to the early Members who set the scene for us. The video unfortunately was too long to be able to be shown in one session. Perhaps we can look forward to seeing more of it on another evening. Peter we thank you for taking the interest; the time and the effort to capture the memories of our early members. Position Vacant “Columnist” Due to other commitments, after next month's column I will be - unable to continue to write this column. George Mawer our editor is interested in hearing from one or more members who would like to take over this role.' If you have an interest but can't commit to being able to attend most club nights, job sharing can certainly be arranged. Maurice This is a necessary job. The pay isnt all that great but Maurice assures me that job 'satisfaction makes it worthwhile, George
by Allan Wells
20th & 21st Aug 1994
After missing out on Oliver Crawford's Freshwater Creek walk and being told how fantastic it Was by Jan Mohandas I was determined not to miss this one!. After picking :kip my mate Dave at 7arn we headed offfor the Baal Bane Gap area near Newnes'. vvhere we met Oliver and the“ others at 8:20. Introductions 'completed and John Hogan having weighed everyone's pack (“Oh no” said Dave, 'Not one of those Walks!”): we - headed off for 'Maclean's Pass at an easy pace, NE, along a dirt road: for a short distance before heading into the bush. We had to carry 4 litres of water each as the area is extremely dry. We soon came to a deep and beautiful grOttO which would make a top campsite, opening out to views of the Wolgan valley. After signing a small visitors book contained in a glass jar we backtracked, climbed out and pushed on to a deep ChaSm. “Good grief' I thought. ''How on earth :do we get across this?.”' Someone had warned me to take a rope or tape when walking with Oliver but I thought they were joking! No worries. An easy scramble in and out sobn had us at our morning tea spot a large, flat, rock' area with strange wart like Stones scattered over its surface. Almost surrealistic, with excellent ArieWs Of the Capertee Valley and Pantoney's Crown. After MT. we 'pushed on past Mts, Jamison : and Davidson, delighting in ; the magnificent pagodas and stone formations, to Blue Rock Gap and Hughes Defile near which we partook of lunchunder a rock overhang. By 2:45 we had arrived at our 4 star campsite near the end of a long spur in Woolpack Gap. (GR 338207 Ben Bullen). What a magic place for a campsite! It had started to rain so flies and tents were quickly erected and a fire lit. As there was still plenty of daylight Dave and 1 decided to explore an enormous rock formation across the gully. We returned to find the others had already begun “happy hour” and it was only 4:10 pm! Pleasant conversation around the campfire was interspersed with plenty of jokes from John and limericks froth Oliver. An early dinner saw everybody hit the sack by 8:30. Huey let rip with a couple of heavy showers through the night, one '- person managing to fill his billy with the run off from his fly. (Why didn't I think of that?). Next morning, after a laid back breakfast we left at 9:10 with 'Oliver adding plenty. of interest and variation to the return' route. One pass led us onto a narrow cliff ledge. with spectacular views of the Capertee Valley as We edged around into Blue Rock 'Gap. In Maclean's Pass we came across this. amazing dome like chamber about 9 metres high sculpted out of a sheer cliff face in the gap. Soon, after the pass another Wonder to behold as we, went down a steep, narrow, but beautiful dry canyon which I was convinced would lead to a cliff edge but in reality brought us, into a secluded hidden valley. Easy level Walking through knee high bracken and then. onto an old overgrown timber cutter's road led to thefl dirt road , to Baal Bone Gap in one direction arid the Cars 1.5k in the other direction. We' dropped packs here and 'had a pleasant level walk towards Baal Bone Gap to check out, where a creek passed under the road. This confirmed it as a reliable source of water. in the. driest of weather, Heading back to collect our packs we arrived , at the cars around 4 pm to finish off one of the most interesting walks' I've ever been on Thank you Oliver! Oliver Crawford (leader), John Hogan, Lubo Huang, Dave Thurston,, Wells, Keith Bradbury, ob
Epacris obitusifolia Blunt-leaf Heath Family EpacridaCeae Not as common as E longiflora, or E microphilla, this epacris is an erect shrub, 50-150 cm high, growing mostly in sandy swampy ground. Epacris. obtusifolia From NPWS
|Name||Address||Home Phone||Business Phone|
|ARCHIBALD MR JOHN||13/146 OBERON ST COOGEE 2034||665 7175||231 0519|
|BRADBURY MR KEITH||26 JUDITH AVE CABRAMATTA 2166||601 1046|
|CARTER MS ANNE||13/146 OBEFION ST COOGEE 2034||6657175||332 6478|
|GOHARI MR JOHN||5 CURRAWONG RD BEROWRA HTS 2082||456 3541||952 0665|
|HAYNES MR. PAUL||89 GROVE ST EARLWOD 2206||7874382||828 3776|
|KERR MS JOANNE||68 EVANS ST IROZELLE 2039||810 0583||563 2184|
|MALLETT MS LINDA||89 GROVE ST EARLWOD 2206||787 4382||818 5222|
|RODA MR HENRY||86 GORDON ST MANLY VALE 2093||948 2715|
It was around 1958 when the president called the 16 or so members present to order and began the meeting. There was one apology, from Patrick James. New. members Keith Bradbury, John Gohari, Anne Carter, John Archbold, Linda Mallet, Paul Haynes, Henry Roda and Joanne Kerr welcomed into membership in the usual way.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received with no matters arising except a comment regarding a $200 donation to Careflight.
Correspondence was comprised of an outgoing letter from Alex to the NSW minister for the environment regarding access to the Morton N.P. and a response to that letter. There was also a letter from the Kowmung committee regarding the plan to raise the height of the Warragamba dam wall, and a letter from Confederation about the need to pay our subs by the due date. (1 September 1994). There were no matters arising, apart from a reassurance from the treasurer about the Confederation subs.
The treasurer's report was next. It seems that we earned or otherwise acquired income of $293 and spent $8,227 to close the month with a balance of $___.
So then it was on, on, at a maddening pace to the first of the walks reports. This covered Tony Holgate's walk over the 15, 16, 17 July from Mt. Hay into the Grose River area. The walk was described as semi exploratory and sooty. There were 14, reducing to 12, participants and the survivors came out after dark. Don Brook's trip from Little Wobby to Wondabyne on the Saturday attracted 18 and went well apart from a continuing serial argument between Wilf and Zol over navigation, route finding, life, the universe and everything. Dick Weston's Sunday walk to Mt Solitary had a party of 14 and was described as enjoyable.
July 23,24 saw Bill Holland and a troupe of assistants conducting an instructional weekend at Coolana for around 30 prospectives. Jan Mohandas cancelled his walk in Bungonia Gorge due to the lack of water. Morag Ryder led a group of 7 on her Saturday trip from Faulconbridge to Blaxland via Glenbrook Creek. The walk was described as pleasant but there was mention of a continuing serial argument between Wilf and Zol. Morrie Ward's day walk in the Wattagans on the Sunday had a patty of 26 enjoying pleasant weather on a delightful day.
The weekend of 5,6,7 August saw Spiro and a party of 13 enjoying a cool sunny weekend as they dashed out to Mt Colong and back.
They even carried water handicaps up to the top of Colong to remedy the excessive dryness there. Morag Ryder led a party of 14 on an enjoyable Saturday walk from Blackheath Station via Grand Canyon. They either started early or had a bolter or two in the group for they were all out by 1530. Peter Miller reported 28 on his Sunday walk from Berowra station to Cowan station with off-track variations. David Robinson cancelled his Otford to Bundeena trip due to track closures to bring the walks report to an anticlimactic end.
Confederation report consisted of reminders about the forthcoming AGM and Bush Dance at Mudgee.
Conservation report covered such matters as the problem of increasing helicopter flights over natural areas, particularly the Blue Mountains National Park. There is a plan for up to 40 flights per day initially and possibly 400 per day into the future. “The air is alive with the sound…”. Developers are still pushing to go ahead with extensions to Helensburgh, with the State government in close support and just about everyone else in opposition. Odd thing that, “of the people by the people for the people”.
There will be a photographic display for Blue Mountains heritage on 27 August 1994. The latest version of the environmental shame file indicates that 11 of the new wilderness areas promised have not yet been declared and that at this date plans of management for 32 national parks are in suspense. On what one can only hope is the brighter side, plans for the Royal, Heathcote and Garrawarra are due out mid September for comment by 20 February 1995.
The call for general business brought no response and apart from a few announcements that was all there was to it. The meeting closed at 2049.
On 14 August 1981, a single engined Cessna crashed into wild mountains near Barrington Tops. A search by land and air was called off after nine days. It was felt that with conditions as they were, the airmen would not have survived. Bushwalkers have often returned to the search - for practice and perhaps to solve a mystery. This will be the sixth search, but with a new pattern.
Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue* will be conducting a Search Practice at Barrington Tops during the weekend beginning 14 October 1994.
For those who like going in style, a special bus will carry those fast enough to book (apply by 16 September) at the subsidised price of $20. Please ring John Tonitto (w)7892527 (h)5286174 to book a seat.
Please contact your club's Search & Rescue Contact Officer so that we know who is corning.
Gloves and secateurs will be useful tools in speeding progress.
* Operating through Confederation of NSW Bushwalkers and Volunteer Rescue Assn. of NSW