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:||George Mawer, Jan Roberts & Barbara Bruce|
|Printers:||Kenn Clacher, Tom Wenman, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven & Les Powell|
|Clubroom Reporter:||Jan Roberts|
THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS INCORPORATED was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8pm 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:||Eddy Giacomel|
|Social Secretary:||Jan Roberts|
|Membership Secretary:||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary:||Bill Holland|
|Conservation Secretary:||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor:||George Mawer|
|Committee Members:||Morie Ward & Annie Maguire|
|Delegates to Confederation:||Ken Smith & Wilf Hilder; Jim Callaway|
|2||The Man From Medlow Gap||Jim Brown|
|5||“The Club” Recipe||Jan Roberts|
|5||First Aid Training Weekend||Fran and Bill Holland|
|6||Tales of the Snowy Mountains||Esomer|
|6||Venomous Bites||“Action Magazine”|
|7||Bolton's - Gotcha||Kenn Clacher|
|9||General Meeting Notes||Barry Wallace|
|10||Eastwood Camping Centre|
In the July edition of the magazine the editor SBW records the passing of early member, Margery Croker, saying his source of information was a letter from another senior member, Graham (Mouldy) Harrison. The Crokers were a bit before my time, but I have clear memories of Mouldy, who I always think of as my “man at Medlow Gap”.
On the Saturday, of the Australia Day (then Anniversary Day) week-end, 25th January, 1941, a scrawny young fellow of 22 1/2 years set out from Wentworth Falls on what was planned to he an eight day walk via Kedumba, Cox's River, Jenolan Caves, Kanangra, Yerranderie and Wollondilly Riven to Bowral. At the time this skinny, ill equipped. character had an ambition of becoming passible bushwalker because it was a pastime which he found a great deal of satisfaction, but he had misgivings as to his physical capacity, and was far from sure he had the resolution to persevere with what could be a testing apprenticeship. Yes I admit I was not at all sure I could make it.
The Saturday night was spent in tiny overhang in Kill's Defile, but on Sunday morning I found a lush growth of nettles along the grassy banks of Coxs River. At the time I didn’t know the botanical name for nettle was “urtica”, but I found, they 'urt orribly, and at Black Dog Ridge I gave the rest of the river away, and toiled up towards Medlow GaP, headed for Megalong, where I had hidden a cache of small tins of food intended to get me as far as Yerranderie.
Just as I came up to Medlow Gap I saw a small party of walkers, equipped with a lot of well-made gear, coming down the last slope from Debert Nob. A sturdily made woman was in front, and close behind a slender man, who I took to be a few years older than I was. Drawing closer, I realised the man must have suffered from polio in his earlier years, and his arms and legs were so wasted that even my skinny limbs looked almost corpulent by comparison. He was stepping carefully down the last steep pinch, but gave me a cheerful grin and a “hello, where are you off to?”. We all exchanged a few pleasantries before heading off on our different courses.
Turning north east towards Glen Allen, Canlon's, and Megalong, I found myself considering the difficulties that would confront a man with such a problem, and at one stage said aloud to his image in the forest around “Struth, mate, you're game!, but I guess if you can do it, I should, be able to.”
Over the next few years, whilst undertook some unintended-walking in 'the bush of Western Australia, and even a 'bit in New Guinea Bougainville, I often thought how wonderful it would be when I could Walk again in our Sydneyside bushland. Then I would mutter, “That's if your still up to it” and usually answered myself, “Just think of that man at Medlow Gap! if he could do it, you can too”.
Six years later I met again some of the people from Medlow Gap - Edna Garrard and Mouldy, this time in the SBW Clubroom, but didn't speak of our earlier encounter.
And quite a few years later, there was at least one occasion, maybe, more when Mouldy travelled with us to a Club Reunion. I recall thinking, “Well, there he is sitting about a metre behind you- your Man from Medlow Gap… the bloke who told you that could be a bushwalker if you wanted enough to do it… not in so many words, but after seeing him you knew all you had to do was to get shut of your doubts and give it a go; it worked for him… and it worked for me. It's been wonderful”.
Congratulations to the Carr Government
The cancellation of the planned raising of the Warragamba Dam has ended yet another of the threats to the Blue Mountains wilderness which the Colong Foundation has been continually fighting since its inception.The decision has very significant implications. The raising of the dam would have permitted residential subdivision low lying rural land, which development would inevitably spread under the policy of unlimited population growth followed by all previous governments.
Numerous pairs of volleys,
bound together with tapes and glues;
Various other boots; KT261,
and “those perfect walking shoes”;
Woollen socks galore;
colours and sizes never matching;
Frayed canvas gaiters,
desperately needing patching;
Favourite pairs of nickers
that up the bums won't creep;
Shorts so stained and grungy
even the Salvo's wouldn't keep;
Ripped cotton shirts,
not worth two bob for the lot;
Holey flowered gardening gloves
(leather ones are too hot);
Hats with floppy brims
to shade faces, ears, and necks;
No jewellery, lippy or mouthwash
to impress the opposite sex;
Bananas, sandwiches, chocolates
tossed in the bottom of packs;
Raincoats, lollies and cameras
shoved in the remaining cracks;
One broken compass and
a few tattered topographical maps;
Strictly for safety purposes,
a mobile phone perhaps;
Introverts and extroverts
of every shape and size;
Maybe even a few normal folks,
but certainly in disguise;
Who are all these people,
are they all off their rockers?
Good gracious no,
they're just Sydney Bushwalkers..
Jan Hodges 30/10/95
This is another residential first aid weekend, giving you the opportunity of gaining a senior first aid certificate.
Cost is only $58.00. (about half normal cost)
Qualified St John instructor Alan Donally.
The course will be held at Fran and Bill Holland's place with overnight accommodation provided. Please phone 484 6636 to secure a place.
Overland Track Upgrade
One of Tassie's most popular outdoor attractions, the 85 km walking track from Cradle Valley to Lake St Clair, which traverses the World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain in Lake St Clair National Park, is being upgraded. With the aid of a $65,000 Commonwealth grant, Tasmania's Parks and Wildlife Service will be placing a dual plank track through about 2.5 km’s of Pine Forest Moor, which often proves to be a muddy hassle.
Work is also almost complete on the rough sections of Frog Flats, Pelican Gap and Windermere. Work should be finished by early December in time for the annual sharp increase in walkers and will go a long way towards improving walking conditions as well as dramatically reducing erosion and protecting the fragile alpine flora.
Our lovely Coolana is suffering from weed infestation in some places. Although this is quite common for most bushland close to developed areas, we of course we don't want the problem to grow to unmanageable proportions. Accordingly some club members are currently assessing the extent of the infestation and the best methods of control and will shortly make recommendations for a plan of management.
As it is simply not possible to eliminate weeds permanently (they keep coming back), a “Coolana Bush Care Group” is being formed to provide a workforce of members who are prepared to go to Coolana occasionally and to work under supervision to do weed control work.
If you feel that you might be able to spare a few weekends throughout the year (or even a few days), please phone me to register your name.
It is hoped that we will get about thirty or more people to register so that from time to time the various members of the group can be contacted until we get enough to form a working party. Or perhaps a notice in the magazine and or the walks program will advise of “Coolana Weeding Days”
George Mawer (02) 707 1343
How the Schlink Pass to Munyang & Half Marathon' was Born, or, how the maid of the mountains was right, after all.
With some early snow falls on the Snowy Mountains, two heroes and a lady decided to make an early start to the ski season. On their trip down to the snow it became clear that all the snow that had fallen had been washed away by rain storms and some very temperate weather. Thus with all their wealth of knowledge of the area, their many years of skiing, and many days of battling the elements in that rugged country, they discounted the possibility of there being any snow on which to ski once they reached the high parts of the 'high country' and that if it did by some unlikely event actually snow whilst they were there, well there would not be enough to ski on anyway!
Notwithstanding the opinion of their companion, a mere novice and a woman as well, the two heroes made the decision that they would leave their skis down with the cars and walk across the tops, camping on the splendid snowgrass slopes which the precipitate thaw had exposed. Well it was a very wet tramp to the first pass and very wet and somewhat disenchanted they eventually decided to stop the night in an old hut which was equipped with an admirable potbellied stove and a plentiful supply of fire wood. The weather was very wet and stormy outside and they were very cosy in their little hut with a good fire going. They were obliged to make it a very early, night as they only had a small candle and anyway had had a fairly strenuous day. So they talked in the dark and gradually fell asleep as they listened to the rain and wind lashing the hut - all very satisfying.
The morning came and they awoke and rather slowly and reluctantly abandoned the pleasant warmth of their sleeping bags to put on boots and in the small area of the hut, get their breakfast. A glance out of the window revealed an extraordinary sight, the whole area was covered with snow! They ventured outside. Covered with snow and to a depth of about one foot! They would have been the only skiers on the mountains, completely surrounded by snow, and without their skis! Definitely an embarrassing moment.
Needless to say, the lady companion was rather superior about the matter. They tramped through the snow back to Schlink Pass (which rather described their feelings on encountering other skiers, WITH skis) and it was here that one of the heroes, no doubt seeking to redeem some of his wounded pride, offered to run down to Munyang, get the skis and return. A fierce argument developed, for the other hero had some pride too, but he eventually agreed to this.
Thus it was that the Schlink Pass - Munyang 'half marathon' was born and our hero became the proud record holder for 1995. It is hoped to run the event in future years, and it will probably be restricted to males. Women don't seem to have the need to indulge in this sort of thing.
St Johns Ambulance has released a new snake and spider bite first aid kit - an “envenomation pack” that conforms to the latest recommended treatment for venomous bites and stings.
The old treatment of cutting and sucking the wound and applying a tourniquet is now known to do more harm than good. Walking the bite victim around to “keep them awake” is even more dangerous as it speeds the spread of venom in the bloodstream.
These obsolete notions have now been replaced by the use of a “pressure immobilisation bandage”, combined with rest and reassurance and, of course, urgent medical aid.
The pressure immobilisation bandage exerts moderate pressure around the whole of the bitten limb to slow down the circulation of venom without cutting off the blood supply completely, as with a tourniquet.
An elastic bandage about 10 cm’s wide is applied firmly around the bitten area then along the limb towards the fingers or toes, and finally up to the armpit or groin. The limb is then immobilised using a splint if necessary, with a second bandage.
Usually, a pressure immobilisation bandage is not required for non-lethal bites and stings, such as those of bees, wasps, and red-back spiders. A cold compress will suffice.
The St John Envenomation Pack contains two 4.5 metre, heavy duty elastic compression bandages and a single use, instant ice pack. Also included is an information sheet on bites and stings and a first aid quick reference booklet.
The pack is available from St John Centres or by phoning 008 809187. St John has a range of high quality first aid kits for all situations such as home, workplace, motoring, boating and special interest groups.
The article in the September 1990 edition of the newsletter of the NSW Nordic Ski Club, Kick and Glide, caught my eye. It explained how Ian Wolfe had embarked on an excursion of discovery to find the elusive Bolton's Hut which, it seems, had picked up its foundations and gone walkabout. According to the CMA Mount Kosciusko 1:50,000 map Bolton's is located at GR 298 811. What Ian and his intrepid party found was a pleasant lunch site near the Finn River, minus the hut. I determined to try to track down the disappearing dwelling and solve the mystery of the hut that got away.
by Huts of the High Country and the Kosciusko Huts Association. Chris was not able to nominate the grid r
Klaus Heuneke in Huts of the High Country describes the hut thus:
“ the most primitive stockmen's hut in the mountains. A simple vertical slab building, Bolton's has no windows, a dirt floor and is without creature comforts like a bunk or table. Today's hut is built on the site of an old hut that could have been built last century. The new hut must have been built between January and April in 1941.
” in 1975 the only things visible were the four corner posts and the iron roof; all the bottom. plates had rotted and the slabs lay on the ground. We replaced the bottom , plates with large flat rocks and in no time had the slabs back in place. The fit is not perfect and the hut has plenty of natural air-conditioning but I suspect it was never much better, even in 1941.“
This was the edifice that we were to track down.
Like Ian, I was thwarted by the elements for a couple of years, but the signs early in the 1995 season were auspicious. By a week before the planned trip they were decidedly inauspicious, but then the heatwave-breaking snowfalls of early September occurred and guaranteed sufficient snow for the trip.
The party of five gathered at Munyang on Saturday morning and were away early. The day was perfect after some overnight snow, then rain. The snow, although being skiable after just a couple of hundred metres elevation gain up Disappointment Spur, was far less than perfect. In fact, it was the gooiest, most gelatinous snow I have encountered since skiing in “Sierra Cement” in the Sierra Nevada a few years ago. It stayed that way for the whole weekend but this did not deter our band of hut-hunters. Up, up into the beckoning blue we plodded, through Gungartan Pass then pushed ourselves downhill to a late lunch at Tin Hut. This hut is claimed to accompany the highest dunny in Australia.. Whatever its altitude, it could have been about three metres higher; this would have enabled entry without the need for an abseil down through the snow to get to floor level.
At Tin Hut we met Chris, who asked if we realised that Bolton's Hut was not in the marked spot. We replied that yes, we knew where it is not, but we did not know where it is. Chris volunteered its location on the map by covering about two square kilometres with a stubby finger and saying “its there”. The problem was, this was a little away from where its location is suggested eference he was trying to finger he has been there so many times he just knows where to go, without bothering with maps. He also suggested that the position shown on the CMA map is that of the original hut and that the “new” hut was built on a different spot, which accounts for its apparent wandering ways. At least this gave some encouragement that we would not have to actually chase the hut through the snow as it tried to sneak away on detecting our approach.
After lunch we pushed on over Mount Porcupine and into the headwaters of Farm Creek. An earlier plan to ski along Bar Ridge was abandoned in favour of skiing along the creek, as the timber on the ridge looked rather thick and the snow cover thin. An exciting descent into the creek was punctuated by occasional head plants in the gooey snow but we eventually made it to the flats. Having been told by Chris at Tin Hut that Farm Creek was a little rocky 'just before the hut, we left the creek at the bend at 305 822 with the intention of skiing over the ridge and down to the hut. This discounted my famous capacity to encounter scrub where more sensible people fear to tread. Well we had skied around 20 km, a short walk presented a welcome change in the means of locomotion. The next time I would still go over the ridge but somewhat closer to Farm Creek, as the timber is less dense close to the creek. The line of approach was however intended to cross the path of the hut. Just as was thinking that it might be somewhere close by if it were indeed in the location nominated by Huts Of the High Country, I almost skied right into it. Perhaps our unusual point of approach caught it unawares, not giving it the chance to race off and hide.
What we found was a really delightful hut that it provided luxuries like wooden floors, benches, bunks and the like are not high on your list of priorities. The hut is about 2½ metres wide and 3½ metres long, not counting the fireplace. Because of its relative isolation there is plenty of dead wood around the hut, and the fireplace works well.
There were half a dozen cut logs for stools and the usual useful hut hardware; old rabbit traps, old bottles with burnt-out candles, bits of wire and an old jumper. You would not want to sleep in the hut unless in a dire emergency because the floor is somewhat damp, but the airiness mentioned by Klaus Heuneke was not particularly evident. Perhaps we had had too recent an encounter with Teddyonditioning. You do have to keep the door open if you want any natural light.
None of this worried us as we pitched our tents nearby and were treated to one of the most agreeable nights I have spent in the mountains. Absolute stillness, together with a clear sky and full moon, made it a night to cherish. All that was missing was good snow on which to ski on in the moonlight. That would have made it perfect. On the return journey we took a more direct route than on the outward leg and skied up the Finn River. The going was a little slow because of thin snow cover near the river, but we pressed on steadily and caught up with our outward tracks near Gungartan Pass. By now some wind and cloud had arrived and, surprise surprise, the Rolling Grounds were in whiteout! Still, to get home from there was a mere formality as, alternating flowing poleplant and headplant, we pushed our way downhill through the goo, now somewhat diminished from the previous day.
As for Bolton's Hut, it was last seen lurking on a small scenic saddle at around 303 810. But don't count on it staying there until next you are in the vicinity. May it be free to forever roam around the lower reaches of the Finn River and give shelter to those who are fortunate enough to have it cross their path.
From The Clubroom
Sorry folks but our clubroom reporter Jan Roberts simply couldn't do the reports for this month due to workloads, circumstances and pressures beyond her control.
by Barry Wallace
It was somewhere near 2008 and around 22 members had arrived and begun to generate that wall of sound that is so characteristic whenever groups of people assemble. The gong was gonged and the multitude called to some semblance of order. In the absence of the president, laid low by a particularly vicious strain of flu, and the vice president who was unable to attend due to prior commitments, your humble scribe chaired the meeting. There were apologies from Greta, Fran, and Bill.
New members Ann Jonquieres, Geoff Oxley, Merrilyn Sach and Jennifer Trevor-Roberts were welcomed into membership with badge, membership list and constitution. The minutes of the previous general meeting were read and received with no matters arising.
Correspondence saw the receipt of letters froth Maurice Smith as Confederation secretary public liability insurance and sports injury insurance. There was a letter from a member pointing out the growing tendency for some walkers to dash off to catch the early train, leaving the rest of the party to make shift as best they can. We also received a preliminary response to our questions to interstate walking clubs regarding their experiences with the accreditation process for walks' leaders. The South Australian walking clubs' confederation have provided a preliminary response by way of a clipping from one of their local newspapers and promised more when their secretary returns from holidays. A letter from John Faulkner, federal minister for conservation, provided us with a news release from his office. As far as I recall he wasn't boasting about renewing extended woodchip export licenses or explaining why Australia's main response to greenhouse gas reduction strategies is to resist them.
Someone else sent us survey forms asking that we provide information for a project examining the folk-law of cooking (?). Outgoing mail was sent to the ACF, providing information requested for a Green Pages listing, to Wild magazine providing information they requested, audio various interstate bushwalking clubs asking for the information mentioned above. We also wrote to our new members.
There was some debate on the matter of walkers dashing off at the end of walks to catch early trains and even one report of a leader leaving the end of walk before all party members were satisfactorily accounted for. There was general agreement that such practises were unacceptable. Mention of this will be incorporated into leadership training nights in future.
The treasurer reported that we earned $5,488, spent $2,247 and closed the month with $2,557.
Walks reports were next, with Alan Wells leading his Coxs River walk out from Canons over the weekend of 16, 17 September, one week later than programmed. It was a mistake! The party of 4 experienced wet, wet, wet conditions. The 17 walkers who went on Morrie Ward's Kanangra to Katoomba Saturday walk started out in fog and drizzle and conditions got worse as they went along. In any case they all made it to Katoomba in reasonable shape. Ian Debert had similar conditions on his Perrys Lookdown to Lockleys Pylon car swap trip. The party of 9 must have hurried a bit, they were out at the park by 1530. There were no reports of anyone bolting to catch the early car, however. Geoff Dowsett led 17 on his Sunday walk in the Wattagans. They started late, ended late, and it rained all day.
The Coolana training weekend over the weekend of 22, 23, 24 September, was conducted at Bill Holland's place. Ron Howlett's walk in the vicinity of Orroral Tracking station went, but there were no details. Eddie Giacomel cancelled his Coxs River walk due to lack of interest. The two people who did go on the walk said it was pleasant enough until steady rain set in after lunch on Sunday. There was no report for Allan Donnelley's Narrow Neck walk and Maureen Carter's Bungonia trip was cancelled. Morag Ryder's walk to Mount Solitary went, led by Greg Bridge. There were 4 starters. Dick Weston led his Grose River walk on the Sunday with a party of 3. They modified the route somewhat on the return leg. I must admit that when the reporter started talking about the need to “keep both feet on the ground at the same time” whilst returning up the ridge I lost the thread somewhat. I feel sure it was a nice walk. Errol Sheedy led a group of 8 on his walk from Heathcote to Sutherland in coolish conditions. The Gymea Lilies and Waratahs along the route were great to behold. Ken Smith and the party of 7 on his Glenbrook area walk had paused to view the kangaroos at Eurolca Crater when a busload of tourist turned up and put them all to flight. There was no information on Geoff Dowsett's walk along the Great North Walk on Thursday.
The October long weekend saw Bill Capon with a no- go for his rather nebulous proposal for a walk in the Budawangs. There was no report for Ian Wolfe's cross country skiing trip, but one would think it may have been hampered by lack of an essential ingredient. Tony Holgate led 16 on his Danjera Plateau walk. They had a problem with access to the starting point due to a rough section in the fire trail but otherwise it was a pleasant trip with abundant wildflowers. Dick Weston and Don Brooks led the party of 3 who went on Dick's walk down the Grose River. The Grose, as is its way, was rugged and slow going. The party managed to do the classic thing of almost camping on a heap of rocks as light faded only to go on another 500 metres and find a perfectly good campsite. It is not known whether they were successful in keeping both feet on the ground at all times whilst climbing the ridge. Ian Rennard led 17 on his walk out from Budthingeroo. They reported pleasant weather. Jim Rivers had the 6 on his Talaterang mountain walk back at the cars early enough on the Monday to have afternoon tea back at Moruya. The party of 4 on Ken Smith's Monday walk from Starlight's Trail up the Nattai River to Mittagong fell foul of the imperceptible transition from Nattai River to Rocky Waterholes Creek. Their noses should have told them. The Nattai at that point usually smells faintly of all the cheap detergent perfumes in all the world.. They caught a Taxi back from Hilltop after emerging very close to their starting point
Undaunted by all this Ken Smith was out again over the weekend of 6, 7, 8 October with a party of 3 on his trip in the Snowball area. They reported the area as spectacular and pleasant. Eddie Giacomel had 15 on his Saturday walk in Dharug National Park. Bronny Niemeyer reported 23 brave souls venturing out from the Town Hall steps in rain and drizzle on her Sunday walk along the Sydney Harbour Foreshores. The weather improved as the day wore on and the ferry ride back was considered a fitting finale. Things were so tough that only 17 survived the succession of ice cream and cappuccino stops. One participant even left a set of keys at the ice cream Shop at Parsley Bay. The owners handed them on to the Rose Bay police station so if whoever is still living on the footpath outside, that's where to find them.
Geoff Dowsett almost had to refund deposits to the 28 who came on his Sunday walk in the Wattagans. There was no rain and no leeches. David Trinder's walk on Narrow Neck Plateau went, but no details were available. Maurie Bloom's cycling trip around Hilltop went, with a party of 8. Conditions were generally good, with some rain. Here endeth the walks reports for this month at least.
Conservation report brought news of a demonstration at the Sydney Water Corporation Limited's headquarters building. The demonstrators sang some of the songs from the old chronic operas. The issues haven't changed all that much it seems. We are told that the new NSW government has plans for 24 new National Parks. The department for the environment, either state of commonwealth, has had a budget increase so watch for more glossies telling how well it's all going. The National Forest Policy debate is proceeding, but given the three week period allocated by the government to decide all the issues successive governments have evaded for the last 150 years or so, it will probably be over, rather than completed, by the time you read this. Confederation report indicated that discussions are continuing on the Sydney Water Corporation Limited regulations. Natural Areas Limited has held their AGM. It seems there will be a move to enlist support from shareholders for regeneration of the bushland held.
The meeting closed at 2128.
Regrettably the “September General Meeting Notes” printed, the October issue of the magazine were if fact the meeting notes for September 1994. I was quite amazed when Spiro phoned and told me about it. This was very easily done with the way the magazine files were stored in my PC. The correct notes follow sorry Ed
The September General Meeting.
There were around 20 members present by 2011 so the president called the meeting to order and began proceedings. Apologies were tendered on behalf of Joy Hynes and Ian Debert and Bill and Fran Holland. The minutes of the September general meeting were read and received with no matters arising other than a mention that Maurice Smith would address the meeting later on behalf of Confederation.
Correspondence was the next item called. We received a request for contact information from the ACF. Wonder how they got in touch with us? Confederation have sent us a copy of their strategic plan and Wild magazine have asked that we fill in a questionnaire. The KNC (our landlord) have sent us two new keys for the meeting rooms. We have received a copy of Natural Areas Limited's annual report. A fax from our insurer indicates that our cover does not extend to joint activities with other organisations. Joan Rigby has written to us pointing out some of the weed infestation problems at Coolana and suggesting we see what can be done about this. The letter appeared in last month's magazine so you know the details if you read the magazine. We wrote to our new members welcoming them. We wrote to the KNC about the fact that we will not be using the Gallery on 25 October when Peter Tressider will entertain us at St Alloyisus College. No Virginia, that's not my spelling. Alex Colley our conservation secretary has written to Pam Allen, the relevant state minister, protesting about the latest gazetted Sydney Water Corporation Ltd restrictions on access and activities in areas under the control of the Corporation.
At this stage new members Patricia Bickley, Ken Cheng, Bill Ridley and Dianne Stewart were welcomed into membership with badge, constitution, and membership list.
Then it was the treasurer's turn to regale us with tales or monetary splendour. It seems we closed the month with a balance of $300.
The walks reports began at the weekend of 11, 12, 13 August with no report for Kenn Clacher's XCD trip in KNC. We did a bit better with Jan Mohandas's Cloudmaker trip, the same weekend, but not much. There were somewhere around 12 people on the walk. The first aid instructional weekend was transferred from Coolana to Bill and Fran's place due to the prevailing inclemency. All in all it turned out to be a fairly social event with some people sleeping over and others, who were not doing the course, dropping in for the barbecue(s). You can probably understand why we have no hard numbers for this one. We started out very well on the report for Alan Mewett's Saturday walk from Wondabyne to Kariong Brook, with someone from the floor providing a most detailed report. It all came apart badly when someone else pointed out that the description fitted one of Alan's other walks and that our reporter had confused the two. Nothing is ever as it seems somehow. Don Brooks had 12 on his Sunday walk from Cowan to Hawkesbury River and Eddie Giacornel led 20 something on his Evans Lookout to Perrys and return along the cliff top track the same day.
The weekend of 18, 19, 20 August saw Spiro conducting his annual visit to Mount Colong with a party of 18. Conditions that weekend were hotter than usual and the party managed to enjoy an appropriate level of suffering during Saturday afternoon by hauling the necessary water to the top of Colong to arrive at around 1800. The trip back to Kanangra provided a full day on the Sunday with the party reaching the cars after dark. There was no report for Maurie Blume's weekend walk to Mount Carrialoo but there was a general belief that it did go. Tony Maynes led 4 starters on his Bundeena to Otford the hard way trip on the Saturday and Sandy. Johnson had 9 walkers on his walk around the old sites near Medlow Bath the same day. Sandy's mob had to contend with rail problems due to track works but nonetheless reported it as an enjoyable walk. Dick Weston carried the flag on the Sunday with a party of 12 on his Govetts Leap to Bluegum and return trip.
Maurice Smith led a group of 12 on his Budawangs trip over the weekend of 25, 26, 27 August. The scrub was scratchy in the hot conditions that prevailed throughout the day on Saturday and the clear balmy evening around the fire gave no indication of the cold wind and rain that turned up in the early hours of Sunday morning. It was certainly, a surprise to Peter Miller who had elected to sleep out under the: stars. Reports indicated Peter struggling with a wind blown fly sheet and failed torch in the darkness and driving rain. Was it Pat Harrison who was seeking after people who did eccentric things? Ian Debert cancelled his Gingra Creek walk that weekend. Someone said he went bush dancing instead, though why he did not combine the two activities was not clear. Rosemary MacDougal had a warm day for the 5 starters on her Winmalee to Faulconbridge via Grose River walk on the Saturday. Morag Ryder was also out that day leading some 7 souls through hot conditions on her Grand Canyon walk. They managed to catch the 1620 train despite the temperatures. Sunday saw David Trinder with a party estimated at 15 travelling fast to complete a Victoria Falls to Evans Lookout car shuffle. George Mawer's walk out from Glenbrook the same day had no report. Over the period 30 August to 11 September Ian Wolfe led group of 7 on his extended XCD trip in the Victorian Alps. They broke the trip into two segments of 4 days and 5 days. The views were good but there was a problem with some unnamed official at one of the resort ski areas who threatened to arrest them for trying to go outside the resort boundary markers. The Six Foot Track in a day stampede went to program with some 35 or so pounding the track in cool wet condition. There was no report for Steve Ellis's Megalong Valley Sunday walk. Wilf, still operating asynchronously, led a party of 3 in warm conditions tempered by a breeze on a triumphant entry into Goulburn as the final section of the Great South Walk. All those of you who were oiling your cranks, or cranking your oils, or whatever it is cyclists do as preparation, will have had to wait until 7 October for Wilf's scheduled bicycle trip along Cooks River Cycleway. Bill Holland's Sunday stroll along the wetlands boardwalk of Grosvenor Track went with a group of 12.
Kenn Clacher's ski touring trip over the weekend of 8, 9, 10 September went, with an undetermined number of skiers. The snow was good on the upper slopes but fair to lousy lower down. There were no details for Peter Miller's instructional walk out from Glenbrook that same weekend. Three Saturday walks went that weekend. Alan Mewett led his trip from Woy Woy to Wondabyne in reverse with a party of 12. They came across large displays of wildflowers and even a few Warratahs. Greg Bridge had 5 on his extended car shuffle trip out along Narrow neck to Carlons Farm and Ron Howlett conducted a leisurely tour of a section of Warrimoo Track. It was an easy day, with stops to admire the wildflowers, and even fish if you had that much faith. Sunday saw Wilf Hilder leading a party of 13 on his walk from South Head to North Head. It went against the grain a bit when they were initially intercepted while surveying possible ingress points onto the navy land and then given a group pass to visit the chapel, legitimately! Greta James led 13 starters on her Bundeena to Bundeena walk the same day. The more observant of the party saw waratahs along the way. Not only that they ended the walks reports for this month.
Conservation report indicated that the re-gazetted Sydney Water Corporation Limited regulations prohibit anything but walking around in circles in the outer catchments. These areas include large chunks of the Upper Blue Mountains National Park. Discussions are continuing to try to resolve the problem in some way other than the Corporation agreeing to turn a blind eye. Watch this space.
Confederation report indicated that the strategic plan was further discussed and amended at the AGM to shift the focus outward a little more. The view still persists within Confederation that we can influence the course of events in the accreditation debate despite all signs to the contrary. A motion at the AGM that our organisations withdraw from participation in the process was defeated.
General business saw Ian Debut and Patrick James, smarting from the most recent chain cutting incident at Coolana, moving a motion to provide funds to reinforce and refurbish a second hand sump-buster obstruction device. Was that Acme brand? The motion passed after an amendment to increase the amount to $200.
Announcements included notice that Natural Areas Limited will hold their AGM on Friday 22 September and that they are considering forming a bush care group. We were also invited to join in the bicentennial re-enactment of a walk across the Blue Mountains by Everingham over 5, 6, 7, 8 October.
Maurice Smith addressed the meeting in his capacity as secretary of Confederation, pointing out the services they provide to member clubs and answering questions from the floor.
The meeting closed at 2209.