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||Jan Roberts, 5 Sharland Av Chatswood 2067, Telephone 411 5517 (H) 9925 4000 (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||Miriam Kirwan|
|Conservation Secretary||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor||George Mawer|
|Committee Members||Morie Ward & Jennifer Trevor-Roberts|
|Delegates to Confederation||Ken Smith & Jim Callaway|
In This Issue
|2||proposed amendments to the Constitution|
|3||From the Clubroom||Jan Roberts|
|5||“Wilderness Visions II”||Maurice Smith|
|7||Etrema Traverse||Colin Atkinson|
|9||From the Clubroom||Jan Roberts|
|11||Easter in the Brindabellas||Kris Stevenson|
|13||The April Annual General Meeting||Barry Wallace|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||4|
of The Sydney Bushwalkers Incorporated Annual General Meeting, 1996.
Clarification of Income Taxation Exempt Status
In accordance with the recommendations of the Australian Taxation Office in Draft Ruling TR 95/D18 and Information for Clubs, Societies & Associations it is proposed that two additional clauses be included in the Constitution of The Sydney Bushwalkers Incorporated. To qualify as non-profit, an organisation needs a written constitution and be “non-profit”. This specifically means:
These amendments are essential for the association to be classified as a non-profit association.
Proposed Constitutional Changes
Non-Profit Clause This to be inserted at the end of Part 1, Section 2, subsection f.
g. The assets and income of the association shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above mentioned objectives and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the association except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the association.
Dissolution Clause This to be the subject of a additional part, Part VIII.
55. Dissolution If upon winding up or dissolution of the association there remains, after satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to or distributed among the members but shall be given or transferred to some other organisation or organisations which is itself a non-profit organisation and whose objects are compatible with the objects of The Sydney Bushwalkers Incorporated.
Anthony Holgate February 7, 1996
By Jan Roberts
Marine Conservation - What is being done? April 17
Last month, Marine Project Officer Tim Anderson from the National Parks Association presented the case for establishing Marine National Parks in NSW to SBW.
Unfortunately it seems, much of our marine life is under serious threat as a result of overfishing, sandmining, and coastal development. The Loggerhead Turtle and Grey Nurse Shark are two of the many species high on the endangered list which is growing rapidly we were told.
Tim explained also that far from offering little to the 'underwater walker', many of Sydney's local dive spots also offer some interesting sea life. In his slide presentation, Tim was able to demonstrate a wonderful diversity of marine life, including schools of Sea Horse who have made their homes in many of the Harbor's shark nets.
The National Parks Association is looking for full protection of 15% of the NSW coast which would mean nothing at all could be removed, thereby maintaining important areas of marine biodiversity. This seemed a small requirement to ensure our waters do not become vast lifeless waterways in the future.
Our thanks to Tim for bringing this area of conservation concern to the club, and as a result, our President agreed to table support for the cause at the next Committee Meeting.
Food to Walk On - (April 24) - DEFERRED
August the 21st, 1996 has finally been chosen as the night SBW chefs will demonstrate their culinary skills, and we will all gather a few more food ideas for around the camp fire.
Please contact Jan Roberts for more details on 411 5517 (h) or on the Internet:jroberts@ub com
Club Auction - May 22
Don't miss the annual Club auction for the chance to purchase a special pre-loved camping item, or recycle your bits and pieces to other members and prospectives. A reserve price will be made available for those with really good gear. Be there to be part of the bidding fun with Patrick James leading as honorary auctioneer for the night.
Walking on One Leg - May 29
Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance set a fashion in the 1970s. Is there any relationship between Zen, Yoga, Taichi, Tantra and the Art of Bushwalking?
You can decide on May the 29th, when Peter Dalton tackles this subject with “Walking on One Leg - Meditation and the Art of Bushwalking”.
Walking on one leg,
What's the point?
It's hard enough on two
Said the baby to the fool.
Try clapping with one hand,
Beats pumping iron in the gym.
“Slay the Buddah when you see him”
Said Joshu to his cat.
Who thinks at all
Halfway up a rock face in the rain.
If it works, use it.
If it doesn't throw it out.
But always keep a spare leg in the pack.
Even Zen masters on one leg can need help.
In the last few days I have been reading the book “Myles Dunphy - Selected Writings”, (published by Ballagirin, Sydney ISBN 09588178 04). This book is an extract of some of the journals written by Miles during the course of his life (1891 - 1985). Although I started to read this book for my own relaxation, as it so happens it contains material that is relevant to the issues recently raised in relation to the Grose Valley Wilderness.
Miles Dunphy was a founding member of the Mountain Trails Club in 1914. In 1927 he was a founding member of The Sydney Bushwalkers. If any one person can be said to be the father of the National Parks and Conservation movement in our part of the world, that title belongs to Miles Dunphy. The recently deceased Milo Dunphy, a noted conservationist in his own right, was the elder of Miles' two children.
Miles was also a founding member of the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council, formed in 1932 by members of Sydney's four leading Bushwalking Clubs. This body is claimed to be our first organisation dedicated solely to conservation activities. Of the twelve founding members of NPPA, seven were members of Sydney Bushwalkers! At the risk of boring the reader by repeating myself, our Club has a magnificent conservation heritage.
While the book covers many topics I read with great interest the ideas put forward by Miles as to the distinction between National Parks and (wilderness) areas. Many of Miles' key ideas have borne fruit, some admittedly after long periods of gestation. For example,idea of a National Parks Authority, the distinction between National Parks and wilderness areas. Miles' idea was that a National Park would be open to “motor tourists”, while Primitive areas would be open only to persons on foot (or on horse back) as a means of preserving areas where fauna would be safe to live and breed.
My purpose in writing the letter printed in the March 1996 newsletter was to cause members to review the December 1995 decision to reject the proposal to nominate the Grose Valley as a wilderness.
Bill Holland's letter in the April 1996 newsletter has some useful material!. There are several issues that I feel need to be discussed in relation to Bill's letter and the original decision taken in the December 1995 meeting.
As a member who was not present at the December 1995 meeting I have only one news source about Club decisions and this source is the Club monthly newsletter. I am in the same position as every member who was unable to attend the December 1995 General meeting. Of necessity Barry Wallace's reporting has to be succinct. With the benefit of perfect hindsight, this issue was of such significance that it is one that we probably needed to discuss through these pages prior to making the decision. I also realise that there were time constraints in doing so.
Whether I am the newest Club member or a member of very long standing is in my view, not particularly important. Our Club has a tradition of major involvement in many conservation issues, as a relatively “new member” I'm proud to be a member of the Club that has this history. I believe that our Club members and bushwalkers generally are as strongly committed as ever in the maintenance of that conservation tradition by being in the forefront of the conservation movement.
Judging by the reports published in our newsletter and the recent annual report it seemed to me that the Club members had turned their backs on this tradition. There seemed to me to be no other reasonable explanation.
The Colong Foundation's “Red Book Index of wilderness areas” was cited as a prime source of information for the December meeting decision. The fact that the Grose Valley was not listed in that index seems to have been taken as an indication that it had been assessed and found to be not be worthy of inclusion in the wilderness listing.
I have spoken with Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation. He advised me that the “Red Index” is an evolving listing of wilderness areas. The present “Red Index” is not the complete and absolute listing, for all time, of our wilderness areas. According to Keith it is certain that other wilderness areas will be added to the Red Index. Thus, the fact that the Grose Valley was not listed in the Red Index was to give that fact a greater weight than now seems to be justified and thus may have had an adverse impact in the decision making process.
The April 1996 newsletter contained a lot of information on the subject of the Grose Valley wilderness. In the light of that material, I consider that it would be useful to rethink our original decision to reject Confederation's proposal to nominate the Grose Valley as a wilderness.
To this end I suggest that we need to start again, although it is in some ways an academic exercise, because the wilderness proposal has already been lodged with NPWS. The original decision to reject the wilderness proposal is still on the Club's minute book. I would like to see a motion passed at the June 1996 General Meeting to endorse the Grose Valley wilderness proposal. Our legally minded members can work out the appropriate manner in which relevant motion(s) are worded to achieve this result.
I look forward to a favourable decision to endorse the nomination of the Grose Wilderness in the light of the information now available.
Good walking Maurice Smith.
The Editor, Dear Sir,
It was with regret, indeed chagrin that I read of SBW's decision to oppose Federation's proposed nomination of the Grose Catchment as “The Grose Wilderness.” Therefore, I wholeheartedly support Jim Brown's letter which appeared in April issue of “The Sydney Bushwalker.”
Since the oldest bushwalking club in Australia has always been at the forefront of Nature Conservation in the past, I see no valid reason for a change of attitude or policy. This constitutes a retrograde step in the Club's history.
Conservation, as applied to “the bush,” not only means the retaining of what is left of pristine wilderness (and there ain't much left) but also the restoration of what was previously in this condition.
This is a major river system of the area which, like most (almost all) of our river systems is in a degenerate state, so what little we can do to bolster any attempt at restoration must be supported.
The President Sydney Bush Walkers Inc
Dear Greta, I have just read in the March issue of the Sydney Bushwalker an article on page 14, “Wilderness Visions” by Maurice Smith. As one who was very active in The Sydney Bushwalkers in the 1930s - at the time the Blue Gum Forest was dedicated, I was extremely disappointed to learn that the Sydney Bush Walkers had not supported the Confederation to have the Blue Gum Forest area included in the NSW Wilderness Act.
Now that Maurice Smith has so clearly outlined the situation in those days and the tremendous odds we took to overcome what once appeared to be insurmountable problems, I think that we should again ask the main body of the members of the Sydney Bush Walkers to vote on the question. Hopefully it will be 100% for including support to the Confederation. I think that this should be implemented as soon as possible so that the change can be made swiftly. I would not like to think that the Club no longer has a far sighted view on preserving the bush which we all so much appreciate and enjoy.
L.G.Harrison 27th March, 1996
Anzac Long Weekend 1996 Attempt No 2,
Participants: Jim Rivers, Oliver Crawford, Kenn Clacher, Edith Baker, Colin Atkinson, Ted Kelly, Graham Mitchell.
I had been a part of Jim Rivers' first attempt at this traverse during Christmas, 1995. Unfortunately this had been unsuccessful and so, here I was among 6 other participants, eagerly heading South on Wednesday night 24/4/96, towards a rendezvous on the Yarramunmun Fire Trail with high hopes for a successful Ettrema traverse during the following 4 days walking.
Once again however, the Gods were not smiling upon us. Our car arrived at the meeting spot to be greeted by the disastrous news that one of the other cars had been badly damaged in an accident along the Braidwood Road during the preliminary car swap. The car had left the road and finished upside down in “the scrub” - luckily both occupants had emerged relatively unscathed but the car was thought to be a write off. Needless to say we were not very happy campers when we finally turned in for the night - some to sleep reasonably well, others to have nightmares about hanging upside down in seatbelts with the brain slowly coming to grips with “how on earth do I get out of here”.
Thursday 25/4/96 dawned with the makings of a beautiful day and our group quickly began to try and get some order back into the proceedings. A tow truck was organised to come and get the car and as soon as this had been commenced, two of us headed into Nowra police station to get all the formalities over with. The tow truck driver came out with the quote of the morning - “I thought when you went bushwalking you left the car at the side of the road, not take it with you”.
Surprisingly, all of this was organised by approximately 10 am but it was obvious that the intended traverse would have to be aborted once again and an alternative walk devised.
It was decided that we would still descend Blaydens Pass to Danjera Creek and do a round trip up to the Danjera Plateau, then to Bundundah Creek, Ettrema Plateau then walking around in a clockwise circle via Moneys Saddle back to Danjera Creek and up Crawford Pass to the cars.
We started the descent from Blaydens Pass at 11.15 am with ideal weather conditions and a clear blue sky. We arrived at the Boolijah/Danjera Creeks junction at about 12 noon and stopped for a welcome lunch break where we all attempted to unwind from the hassles of the last 15 hours or so.
After lunch we walked up the ridge to MR553228 (with the extra weight of water for a plateau camp that night), skirted the cliffline to the south-west and then climbed up onto the Danjera Plateau at about MR547225. This is where we commenced to engage in an activity, which would become very dear to us over the next few days - the “plateau scrub bash”. We knew that it was going to be tough going when Jim stopped to put on his special green bullet proof tights. Jim applied some quality navigation to the thick scrub and we eventually arrived at the western cliff face, MR527233, at about 5.00pm. We quickly established a very comfortable campsite and settled in for the night. Not surprisingly nearly everyone was in bed by about 7.30 pm.
Friday 26/4/96 dawned once again with a clear sky and promise of a good day ahead. The group sounded in much better spirits this morning, breakfast finished early and we then had to instigate major earthmoving operations to extinguish the fire - much discussion followed about possible future archaeological excavation of the area leading to the discovery of a “bushwalkers sausage” circa 1996.
We started walking at about 7.45 am.- headed north along the cliffline on welcome rocky shelves and sparse scrub, with beautiful views to our left across the Bundundah Creek gorge. We soon reached the area of Platinga Pass where we planned to descend to Bundundah Creek - we found a suitable pass down through the cliff line in about the correct spot but whether it was “Platinga Pass” or not, we weren't too sure - anyway, we eventually arrived at a beautiful spot on the Creek at about MR518250 and stopped for morning tea.
We then started climbing up a ridge to a small gully just to the south of Pass Point at MR507256, where we found a narrow slot up through the cliff line and had a lovely lunch at approximately 12 noon on a rocky shelf in strong sunshine - unbelievable weather for the end of April.
By this time we had started withdrawal symptoms from the scrub bashing of the previous day and so, lucidly, we were back into it again, thicker than ever. We headed north east to an elusive cliff line running NW/SE and then headed north-west to eventually find the fire trail on the Ettrema plateau. The fire trail was heaven compared to the scrub and we then made very good time and arrived near Dogleg Creek at about 3.30 pm. Kenn then led us to Dogleg Cave where we set up camp for the night. We collected water at Dogleg Creek and then walked down Pauls Pass which was a highlight of the trip for me - Kenn and Oliver continued on to find a cave which had apparently been previously named in SBW history as “Capons Reprieve” (that sets the imagination loose), the rest of us returned to the cave and started dinner. We then had a small problem with a runaway “bushwalker's sausage” - a full cave search eventually tracked it down and it was then cooked to within an inch of its life and roamed no more. The cave was a little smoky and provided good acoustics for those playing tunes on nocturnal nasal instruments but on the whole was a great little spot to spend the night.
Saturday 26/4/96 the morning was again fine and clear (at this stage we had hardly put on a jumper during day or night and this was to continue for the remainder of the trip). We rose early and left from the cave at about 7.30 am for a visit to Possibility Point - this was a high point of the trip with spectacular views in the morning sun and shadows across to Ettrema Creek and the far clifflines in the west. The ruggedness and inaccessibility of this area are extremely impressive and it is easy to understand why it was not until Easter 1952 that Paddy Pallin and Paul Howard finally discovered this route down to the west into Ettrema Gorge and opened the area up for full exploration.
We then returned to the fire trail and headed more or less east to the point where the trail turns sharply to the left at MR523305. At this point we headed back into the scrub again, thicker than even before. Again with expert navigation from Jim we eventually ended up spot on at Packhorse Pass, our intended destination- although we tried our hardest to convince ourselves that it was not the Pass and it wasn't until the 3rd cairn that we finally surrendered and accepted the fact. We then descended Twelve Apostles Spur to Bundundah Creek at about MR549292 and had lunch at a beautiful spot beside the Creek.
After lunch we walked up Atkinsons (no relation, and apparently should be “Atkins” Spur named after Jenny Atkins) Spur to Morley Saddle, then descended a ridge to the east to Danjera Creek at about MR570287 where, after a few false starts we selected a suitable campsite for the night - the time was only 3.30 pm. Kenn, Edith, Graham and I then headed downstream to investigate the “abandoned mines” but all we could find were a few fairly crude timber stockyards - the only mining activity evident was from the local wombat population who seemed to be very active. We then settled down to nibbles, dinner and very pleasant chatting until the sleeping bags called us once again at about 8.00pm.
Sunday 28/4/96 (again clear skies and sunny) we woke and had a leisurely breakfast, knowing that there was a reasonably easy day ahead. We started walking at about 8.45 am upstream along the bank of Danjera Creek. This was ideal walking along mainly grassy banks beside the beautiful creek - much to our disappointment, we seemed to keep walking through better campsites than the one we had chosen the previous night.
We continued to the creek junction at MR562248 where we stopped for morning tea before our final climb. Kenn then produced from his pack full birthday trimmings, including cake and candles (exact number remains a highly classified secret known only to those present) to celebrate Edith's birthday. A very enjoyable time was had by all with yummy birthday cake to provide fuel for our imminent climb and the engineers in the group occupied repairing defective birthday hats and whistles.
We then climbed approximately south-east up a ridge to the nose of the cliffline at MR568238, skirted around the cliffline to the south and climbed up through the cliffline at Olivers Pass. It was then about 12 noon and we stopped for a final lunch on a rock slab at the point of the cliffs with a beautiful view of the Danjera valley and beyond.
Alas, all good things must end and so we walked to the fire trail, headed south to where the cars were parked near Blaydens Pass and then drove back to Sydney after a very enjoyable 4 day walk which ended much better than it had begun.
Thank you Jim, we look forward to the ETTREMA TRAVERSE, ATTEMPT No 3.
by Kris Stephenson
Good Friday found us at the Murrumbidgee Corridor Camp grounds just below the Brindabella Range, where most of the group had arrived overnight, some negotiating a new route via Tharwal. Jan Mohandas rounded us up for a departure at 7.00 am. for a 40 minute drive up the Brindabella and Mt Franklin roads to Bulls Head and Mt Ginini (we were running 20 minutes late). Unfortunately this seemed to set the tone for the rest of the trip. The dirt road was quite winding and this upset Michelle Morgan who got a little car sick. We assembled at the Mt Ginini Air Navigation Station to a brisk breeze, which made us scramble for our thermals whilst we waited for Michelle to recover, then we set off.
With sun shining we headed off down the Goodradigbee River on a steep track, chatting away, renewing acquaintances and forming new friendships, with Jan leading and Jean close behind, Christine and George Floyd, Karen and Richard Brading, Morag Ryder, Geoff Oxley, Ron Howlet, Michelle Morgan, Jo Robertson, Denise Shaw, Kay Chan, Tony Manes, Paul McCann, Jo Van Sommers, Jim Percy and myself. As we got to the bottom of the hill, we seemed to cross the river in two sections, firstly via rock hopping and then a large log. Jan announced that we would need plenty of water to do the next section,. 480 metres up to the summit of Mt Jackson, so we scrambled through brambles and briar, searching upstream to find a side creek which had clean water. Forty minutes later we realised, that where we had crossed the river via rock, was the side creek that we were looking for that fed the river. We quickly filled our wine skins, had a 20 minute lunch and set out up Mt Jackson at just on 1.00 pm.
For the uninitiated Mt Jackson at 840 metres, was not a pretty sight, (a '4S' Mountain)., steep, scrubby, stony and four sweaty hours later, we finally dragged ourselves to the summit, some of us later than others. Still another 20 minutes to get to the fire trail and it was already 5.00 pm. Jim Percy had fallen back from the lead group to usher the stragglers onto the right track. I was so relieved to find level terrain, it brought a tear to my eye. Thank you Jim. We regrouped at a clearing to make decisions, should we camp or continue onwards to find water, as most had consumed their supply in the climb. We continued along the trail until last light, when Jan ordered that we make camp. The men went in search of water- while the women pitched tents. Thankfully plenty( of water was obtained from a small creek not far away. We ate, drank cups of tea and fell into our sleeping bags early.
Jan called for an 8.00 am. start on Easter Saturday, (we were only 15 minutes late this time). Tired, but recovered from the strain of the previous day, we started on the trail once again for a short distance, then off into the scrub to skirt a hill. After a short climb out of a saddle we walked down a wooded hill, Richard discovered a coloured blue and red beetle that had wings that looked like a set of mickey mouse ears when raised. At the base of the hill we came to a narrow creek, we crossed over and walked to the top of a small knoll set in cleared grassland, that was where Jan had proposed our first night's camp site. Alas, but only to dream of what might have been. The next couple of K's were across open grasslands, reminding some of the group of snowgrass country. It was good to be on flat ground. We were making good time and the weather was clear. As I glanced ahead Jo Robertson seemed to stumble and take a fall on a weak ankle, however was soon up and on her way. We arrived at Coolamine Homestead to find unlawful use of the hut in progress (some youngsters bunking overnight). Just as Karen and Michelle were remarking that these youngsters should not be using the huts unless it was an emergency, the National Parks Rangers arrived and cleared the squatters off. Kangaroos looked on as we ate our morning tea. We then explored the historic homestead, and found some interesting reading in the old newspapers that had been used to insulate the interior walls.
Another couple of K's along the Blue Water Holes Firetrail brought us to Caves Creek. I was having trouble with sore heels from my new boots so I opted to stay behind and mind the packs with Kay and Morag, whilst the rest of the party headed downstream for some gorge exploring, Tony Manes with his fishing rod. Did he catch anything you ask? Of course he caught some! But as the story goes they were too small so he had to throw them back, Jo Robertson came back hobbling with pain in her knee, possibly a pulled tendon resulting from her earlier fall. Most of the group returned soon after lunch, but Tony Manes had injured his left leg and came limping back just as we were leaving Caves Creek. A few got the chance to explore the limestone cave, which had many passageways and the usual shawl, stalactites and stalagmites. Running behind time again, we set off across a knoll onto a grassy plain heading south to Pockets Hut. As we left the plain to enter the woods, I came across Jo Van Sommers, attending to her sore feet. As I was in some pain as well, I decided to check my left heel and found a major blister which had broken. We patched our feet as best we could and headed off for camp, a couple of clicks down the road.
We made camp at 5.00 pm. A lovely campsite with a good water creek close by. Due to the number of tent sites with varying drawbacks, eg. bull ants, and the objections to Paul McCann's snoring, it took Paul some time to settle on a suitable location for his tent. With a full moon glowing through the trees, a good evening was spent with stories of other adventures and jokes around the campfire. I bid all a good night, collected my food bags, and went off to my tent. As Kay and I were settling down into our sleeping bags I heard yelling from the direction of the campfire “STOP! THIEF!” “Who has stolen my desert?” We decided to ignore the commotion as it was a long way back to the fire, although i did remark that I might have collected one too many bags when packing up. All at once we were attacked by a wild Michelle foraging through the darkness with a headlight. We offered our packs for checking, whereupon Michelle's Easter desert was found inside mine. I quickly apologised but was chastised nonetheless by the glaring headlight and a loud voice, obviously desperate for the contents of the bag!
Easter Sunday found a few wounded members. Jo's knee wasn't good, I checked my blistered heel, which was looking raw, and Tony was walking with his hands clutching his hips and with a definite limp. Michelle made the comment that men who walk that way usually had other men chasing them, and within seconds Ron Howlett came bobbing and bounding toward Tony in a most peculiar manner. As he reached Tony he gave him a present. It was Easter! And Ron made a great Easter bunny as he bunny hopped to each tent, distributing chocolate eggs.
It started to rain, so of course, breaking camp was a bit late. Again! We walked about a K and a half, after which Jo Robinson announced that her knee was quite bad and she didn't feel as if she could go the distance. I was feeling dubious about my own wound, it was only through Michelle's sterling efforts in blister mending that I was able to wear my boots at all. Jo, Ron and myself left the group to return via Coolamine Homestead and get a lift to Canberra.
The party pushed on, crossing the Goodradigbee river again, climbing the Rolling Grounds Ridge to Leura Gap on the ACT and NSW state border. The weather turned wet and cold and a planned side trip to Mt Bimberi was cancelled. An early camp was made and the party retreated to their tents. A few stalwarts collected wood and built a grand fire to warm everyone. As evening approached, the rain stopped and the party moved into 'Rum and Lemon Barley' singalong mode. Easter Monday dawned to beautiful blue skies and sunshine. The group started the day with a steep 300 metre descent to warm up and then a gradual climb out on a pleasant and grassy fire trail winding through snow gum forests. The only major incident being Karen Brading breaking new records in air running whilst avoiding a snake. Type, still in dispute. Lunch was at a sunny clearing on a saddle, followed by a side trip to Mt Gingra for spectacular views of the Brindabellas. Then a quick visit to Prior Hut and out along the Mt Franklin trail back to the cars at Mt Ginini.
Meanwhile the wounded made their way across the plain through the rain, to Coolamine Homestead to find that an Open Day was in progress, with hot damper, billy tea, home made plum jam and an open fire, just waiting for three bedraggled walkers. A couple of members of Canberra Bushwalkers, Robin and Andeana, rescued us by giving us a lift to the YHA in Canberra (a mere 257 kilometres), without their assistance we might still be hitch hiking. After a hot shower, take away pizza and lemon barley, we hit the old bunk bed. Our Easter Monday was spent at the National Art Gallery viewing the William Turner Exhibition which was well worth the $12.00 entry fee. In both oils and water colours Turner managed to create the translucence effects of smoke haze and mists, from fires, moonlight, snowstorms, and squalls over stormy waters.
We were able to contact the party by mobile phone at 4.00 pm. and arrange for lifts to the arranged Lebanese Restaurant at Queanbeyan. Don't laugh, it was delicious! We finally bid our farewells and separated from each other to wend our weary way home. Although a few unexpected injuries, we all had a great time, and the easter Eggs were delightful.
PS. Our many thanks to our fellow walkers from Canberra, who without their assistance we might still be hitching.
by Barry Wallace
There were around 18 people present when the president declared the meeting open, and, having called for them, received apologies from Denise Shaw and Jim Calloway.
New members Jenny Paton and Roger Sandal were called forward and welcomed in the usual way. The minutes of the February general meeting were, well sort of not present! Teething problems for the new secretary we guess. That didn't stop matters arising bringing up the matter of organising celebrations for the club's forthcoming 70th anniversary. We are assured that they have someone in mind, but stealth is the name of the game right now. Correspondence was limited to one incoming letter, from L.G. Harrison. (Are we youngsters allowed to call him Mouldy, as in GreyHam?) The letter called for reconsideration of the decision of the December general meeting opposing the Confederation's Grose River catchment wilderness proposal.
The treasurer's report indicated that we acquired income of $1,762, spent $2,312 and closed with a balance of $1,557.
The walks report began with a poetic recitation, generally describing a judicial process that led to the defendant (rather than the accused in this case) being sentenced to one more year as walks secretary. Eddie made a seamless transition from blank verse to asking whoever had sent him a blank fax to come forward with more details. Not only did they send the wrong side of the page but they also either switched off or did not program the sending identification.
The report of the walks for the month began with Jim Rivers leading 8 starters on his trip of 16, 17 March to Mount Solitary. There was no report for Tony Maynes' Saturday walk in the Royal. Sunday saw Frank Sandor and a party of 25 struggling a little on a hot, slow version of the Roseville to Hornsby leg of the Great North Walk. Ron Waiter's part exploratory walk in Macquarie Pass National Park went, with the party reported, as “scratched but happy”.
The weekend of 22, 23, 24 March saw Jan Mohandas leading a party of 17 on his walk in a strangely altered version of Barrington Tops. They reported fog for the uphill bits and lookouts on Saturday, and sunny conditions for the downhill bit on Sunday, but no leeches. Kenn Clacher reported a party of 17, reduced to 14 by illness, on his walk to Bibbenluke Mountain the same weekend. They also experienced fog at the lookout points but in their case the leader provided full descriptions of what they were missing. Well, the program did promise spectacular scenery. Paul McCane's canoe trip on Myall Lakes had 8 voyagers sharing the wide lake surfaces with various power boats in generally fine, mild conditions. They shortened the trip somewhat due to slow going and at least one case of sore arms. Of the day walks, Tony Maynes led a party of 8 through a beautiful day on his Heathcote to Sutherland walk on the Saturday and Ian Debett's Warringah Coastal walk the same day attracted 7 starters in changeable conditions. Dick Weston's Sunday walk was undersubscribed and did not go but Peter Miller reported 13 starters enjoying pleasant conditions for his Berowra bushland and barbecue outing.
John Hogan led a canoe fleet with complement of 6 souls on his Cattai Creek canoe trip over the weekend of 30, 31 March. The trip was described as lovely. The rest of the program that weekend was day walks. Saturday saw Alan Wells leading 9 on his Cox River trip in warm conditions with numerous snakes while Ken Smith had 12 on his Leura to Katoomba walk. On the Sunday David Carter had a party of 21 on a Ramble in the Royal. The party split after lunch so that some of them could catch the early train. Sounds familiar!
Ken Smith reported 3 on his “very scenic” April 1 trip from Glenbrook to Warragamba.
Easter weekend saw Tony Holgate leading 10 on his programmed walk from Dead Horse Gap to Tom Groggin. They initially set it up as a car swap but back problems and some tougher than expected going forced a re-think, and on Monday the rains came. The party retreated to the security of a brick tent for Sunday evening and drove home on the Monday. The 16 walkers on Jan Mohandas's walk in the Brindabellas encountered similar weather conditions with rain on the Sunday. Peter Miller and his party of 6 encountered more clement weather in the Blue Breaks but the creeks were mighty dry and conditions were hot. They shortened the trip somewhat by returning to the Kowmung on Saturday, declaring Sunday a day of rest, and coming out up Gingra Creek on the Monday. Bill Capon had 12 plus 1 on his Blue Breaks trip from the Yerranderie side. The trip went to program but there was that curious end note about not dining at the Oberon Services Club because Rick King had been thrown out of there once. Rick King? Our Rick King? Thrown out of well just about anywhere? There has to be an explanation for this. Go for it lads (imputes lasses as well of course)! Ian Rannard's walk along a section of the Hume and Hovel track had 19 starters and a variety of weathers. Friday and Saturday were fine with rain late Saturday evening. It rained most of Sunday but fined late in the day. Monday morning they had a frost.
Day walks over Easter saw Ken Cheng's poetry walk to Appletree Bay on the Saturday with a range of yarns, jokes, and poems, to celebrate his first year in the country. We are told a real atmosphere developed over the day, so much so that he is looking at doing more trips featuring poetic and other cultural contributions. The other Ken, Smith that is, led 8 on his Sunday walk from Glenbrook to Warragamba, and on Monday came back for more with 16 on his Springwood to Faulconbridge trip. All of which brought the walks reports to an end.
Conservation report indicated that the NSW government has declared 8 new wilderness areas totalling around 350,000 hectares and have eight more under consideration. Unfortunately these latter are the areas that are problematic, with other interest (pressure) groups opposing the declarations for a variety of reasons. Matters arising saw the discussion of four matters of concern regarding National Parks areas. The matters were, Vehicles sighted inside the track barriers at Marra-Marra NP, Cattle in the Kanangra Boyd NP, track marking in and vehicle access to Nattai Wilderness (sic.) Area and destruction of the public toilets and subsequent hygiene problems at Werrong Beach in the Royal. In each case it was decided to write to the NPWS advising them of our concerns and asking for a response.
Confederation report indicated that the tourist track proposals for the Illawarra region are still under consideration. There was also passing mention of a comment from NPWS that they would welcome information on what goes on in their parks. In this particular case they referred to our walks program but as you will see we took a broader view. Matters arising saw a move to recommend the publication of the letter from the Outdoor Recreation Council of Australia, hereafter ORCA, with apologies to the cetaceans. I promise you it makes interesting reading.
General Business saw a reinforcement of the command to go forth and celebrate the club's 70th anniversary. I didn't actually hear an “or else”, but it was there!
So then it was a matter of announcements, and the meeting closed at 2139.
Early on Monday May 6th we were notified that two male persons were reported overdue from a 4 day lilo trip on the Colo River, entering at Canoe Creek on Thursday 2nd and due to exit via Bob Turners Track on Sunday 5th.
All S&R team members were notified and three nominated themselves to attend at the police HQ being set up at the Bob Turner track head.
Fortunately the two men found their way to the top of the Colo Gorge and were assisted out by the Police helicopter late afternoon Monday.
Thanks everyone - George Mawer