THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to members of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565.
To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||Ray Hookway Telephone 9411 1873 Email rraymondozemail com au|
|Business Manager||Elizabeth Miller 1 The Babette, Castlecrag, 2068 Telephone 9958 7838|
|Production Manager||Frances Holland Printers: Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven, Les Powell, Tom Wenman|
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||Bill Capon|
|Social Secretary||Elwyn Morris|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Frank Grennan|
|Conservation Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor||Ray Hookway|
|Committee Members||Anthony Crichton & Spiro Hajinakitas|
|Delegates to Confederation||Jim Callaway & Wilf Hilder|
OCTOBER 1999 Issue No. 779
|2.||September General Meeting Report|
|3.||Letter from Alex Colley.|
|3.||SBW Web page now active|
|3.||SBW Younger Members Group proposal.|
|4.||The August Capon-Steele Budawangs Expedition by Bob Duncan|
|6.||Coolana Barn Dance advertisement.|
|7.||Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons by Tony Holgate|
|8.||Mid Week Activity.|
|8.||Willis Dinner Invitation|
|10.||A Mania for Tasi. by David Trinder|
|11.||Blue Mountains Canyons. Request for information.|
|12.||Kosciusko-Xmas 1943 by Barry Duncan|
|13.||SBW Photo competition advertisement|
|15.||Special Coolana Report Information Night advice|
Alpsport front cover
Eastwood Camping Centre 9
Bogong Jack Adventures 11
Paddy Pallin back cover
U Relax 4 We'll Drive 10
Willis's Walkabouts 5
It was around 20.10 when the president, presiding, called the 16 or so members in the hall to order and commenced the meeting. There were apologies for Gretel Woodward, Tony Holgate and Tony Crichton. New members Graham Condon, Christopher Dowling, Shirley Martin, Alan Rowland, and Sheila Zaman were called for welcome to the club, with Shirley and Sheila unable to be present on the occasion.
The minutes of the August general meeting were read and received with no matters arising. Incoming correspondence included insurance certificates, a copy of the title deed search details for Coolana, a copy of the title transfer for Coolana and an opinion on the Coolana trust deed from Richard Brading. We also received an invitation to serve on a National Parks and Wildlife Service committee and advice from Confederation that the office bearers for this year remain unchanged from the previous year.
The treasurer's report indicated that we began the month with a balance of $14,323, expended $5,611, earned income of $2,468 and closed with a balance of $11,179.
Bill Capon's presentation of the walks reports began with Wilf Hilder's midweek walk on Thursday 12th August. Conditions were described as nice for the party of 7 who attended. There was also some comment about steps having disappeared from some of the sand hills and the Harboard Tunnel having been replaced by a rabbit. Mushrooms! What mushrooms?
Rik King and Bill Capon had four starters on their shared Colo River/Wollemi Creek walk over the weekend of 13, 14, 15 August, thus avoiding any problems with the applicable party limit. Maureen and David Carter's walk out from Kanangra Walls went, but there were no details available ,to the meeting. The six starters on Dick Weston's Saturday, walk from Neates Glen to Perrys Lookdown enjoyed a cool day, with early snow, followed by some scattered sleet. Frank Grennan's Sunday walk, out to Mount Solitary and back encountered better weather, with a beautiful clear day for the party of 9. Tony, Crichton had 11 on his visit to Bluegum Forest from the Mount Hay side.
Bill Holland reported a party of 3, decreasing to 2 after a tough lunch, on his midweek walk, in Berowra Regional Park on Tuesday 17th August.
The weekend of 21, 22 August saw Wilf Hilder leading a party of 10, reducing to 8, on Stages 5 and 6 of his Great Illawarra Coast walk. The reduction in numbers was occasioned when Gretel sprained an ankle along the way. There were the usual references- to scaling fences, skirting rubbish dumps and encountering other man made artifacts that seem to feature so often in Wilfs resuscitation of pre-industrial routes.
Eddy Giacomel entertained the party of 10 on his Saturday Mountain Lagoon trip with a good solid day featuring a couple of decent hills. Lucy Moore cancelled her programmed Sunday walk in the Brisbane Waters area, but Nigel Weaver reported 28 starters on his trip in Muogamarra Nature Reserve which featured views and, curiously enough, wildflowers.
Bill Holland had 12 starters for his midweek stay at Currawong Beach over 24, 25, 26, 27 August. They engaged in a couple of day walks and avoided the wet.
Wayne Steele and Bill Capon amalgamated their car swap trips in the Budawangs over the weekend of 27, 28, 29 August for the party of 7 who attended. Eddy Giacomel had 10 starters on his Saturday walk from Govetts Leap to Govetts Leap. It was reported as a good walk with good pace and some rain during the last half-hour. David Trinder's Saturday, walk on the Barren Grounds attracted a party of 8 in variable weather on what was described as a great walk. The weather on Sunday was not so clement, with Tony Crichton reporting rain all day for the 20 walkers on his trip out from Canons Farm. The Coolana midweek trip was cancelled.
Wilf Hilder led the mid week walk on September 2nd out from Wondabyne with the party of 11 enjoying wildflowers on a fine sunny day. The sprained ankle amongst the party doesn't;seem to have impeded progress to any extent; they still caught the early train.
September 4th was the day for the six-foot track in a day. There were 27 sprinters with 10 in the support party and the weather was kind, with sunshine and a cool breeze. Eddy's navigation exercise walk in Dharug National Park must be judged successful for the five who attended as at least one of them had returned and was at the meeting to report. Apart from the studious perusal of map and compass, there were light showers, and wildflowers for entertainment.
Bill Holland, modesty a fault as ever, described his Tuesday September 7th mid week walk in the vicinity of Botany Bay with a party of 10 decreasing to 9, as magnificent.
Confederation report brought news of an upcoming 'walk against wood chipping' by the wilderness society from 2nd to 10th October. A proposed development at Lake Wollomboola is to be opposed. A submission has been lodged on the draft plan of management for Ku-ring-gai Chase National; NPWS have suffered a reduction in funding in the order of 15%. This has been masked by the transfers of funding and expenses for items not previously attributed to them. Confederation S & IZ'Orktice will be conducted over the Weekend of 16, 17 October.
There was no general business, so after the announcements the meeting closed at 21.12.
I would like to express my appreciation of the report of the Coolana Committee and extend my thanks to the Committee members for the time and effort entailed. The tenure, purpose and management of Coolana are amply covered and the report will no doubt assure newer members of the value of the property to the Club. 1 hope that Coolana continues to be managed as a small but very significant wilderness area. Yours sincerely, Alex Colley October 1999
The SBW Web Page Is Now Active.
By the time you read this the SBW Web page should be active thanks to the work of Barbara Bruce's nephew Mathew Bruce. The SBW page can be found on the Confederation site at: http://www.bushwalking.org.au/nswclubs/sbw.html
The committee would welcome comments from members regarding this facility.
SBW Younger Members Group
Following repeated requests, the committee has decided to form a Younger Members’ Group.
This will be an informal association of younger club members. While there will be no strict cut off age limit, this group will cater for members aged up to their mid thirties.
The intention is to encourage younger members to join and to continue with the club. Volunteers to assist with organizing the group and members wishing to enquire about the group please phone me.
Eddy Giacomel President Phone 9144 5095
Reported by Bob Duncan Leaders: Bill Capon & Wayne Steele Troops: Angus Dudley, Bob Duncan, Spiro Hajinakitas, Wendy Lippiatt, Fazeley Read
Maps: Corang 1:25 000. Budawang Sketch
Five cm of rain fell in Sydney on the Thursday night before the trip. However the weather improved during Friday, and when we arrived by car at Yadboro flat the Castle, Byangee Walls, and Mt. Owen were silhouetted against a clear bright moonlit sky. But, alas, the rain returned during the night and on Saturday morning we woke to drizzle and mist.
The walk was programmed as a two-party cross-cars trip, but because we numbered only seven, the leaders abandoned this idea, and opted for a single-party trip. This meant that Fazeley would have to share camp with a known snorer, but the leaders said that their decision was irreversible.
The new route was to begin near the junction of the Yadboro River and Belowra Creek, walk up and along the spectacular Wirritin ridge which divides them, and then drop into the upper Yadboro and return down the river to the junction. So after breakfast we drove 6 km south along Long Gully Road, left the cars at the start of a closed-off fire trail and walked down this towards the junction of Yadboro and Belowra Creek, before its end we cut down to and crossed Belowra Creek to climb one of the spurs leading to Wirritin Ridge.
Spiro & I were delayed slightly by the creek crossing, and in the dense wet vegetation lost sight of Wendy who had been immediately in front of us.
After crossing, we climbed the spur immediately opposite. However on reaching the top we found no Wendy nor anyone else; they had all, I think, gone downstream to climb an adjacent spur. So we began to retrace our steps, but were met by Wayne, followed by the others, who had come to look for us. Having found us, they decided they might as well go up our spur anyway. After the initial steepish pinch we walked south-westerly across the tops. The vegetation was wet, and the weather drizzly and misty, but nonetheless, we wondered why Wayne kept walking into trees until Wendy admitted that she had forgotten to put demister on his glasses at breakfast-time. But the going was good: a gentle climb, first through open landscape with lots of flowering Boronia and pink Eriostemon, and later along a rocky ridge.
After perhaps an hour we dropped into a saddle, and then began the long steep 350m climb to Wirritin Ridge itself, reaching the first summit knoll at about 12:15pm. We were on a high narrow rocky ridge and could sense that the view was awesome, but everything, including Wirritin Mountain about 1.5 km to our east, was hidden in mist and cloud. We contemplated going a little further, but instead decided to have lunch in the mist on this knoll. Angus ate especially well in preparation for starvation on his coming Annapurna circuit trip. No sooner had we finished lunch and saddled up to move again than heavy rain began. Once again the leaders had shown remarkable prescience; had we not had an early lunch, it would have been a long time before we could have had a comfortable one.
But now, in the rain, we walked north to the next knoll, and then west and across other knolls along the top of the high Wirritin ridge. Once again, there was little scrub, and the going was mostly easy. In mid-afternoon, we turned down a side ridge on our right towards the Yadboro River. Wayne had just remarked that we were losing little height when we came to a cliff. We easily bypassed that but further on, reluctant to climb in what was meant to be a descent, we decided to sidle rather than cross a high knoll. This proved exciting, and once we had regained the ridge top we sat down to regain our composure. Bill used the break to point to the route of his coming flexible-date walk via Currockbilly and Mt. Corang; he assured us that, had it been visible through the mist and cloud, it would have looked spectacular; no one should miss that trip.
Eventually we got down to the Yadboro River, but there was no possibility of camping; the river valley was narrow, rocky, and scrubby. We waded and scrambled downstream for perhaps 30 minutes and at last came to a shelf on which camping was feasible but less than 1-star; the ground was flat but covered with angular scree. Wayne favoured camping but as it was only about 4.30 and we still had plenty of daylight the majority voted with Bill to move on. Bill assured us that the river could only continue to open out, and that only 2 km downstream was a beautiful grassy 5-star campsite.
And sure enough, as we waded and scrambled downstream we to came to successive camp-able shelves, none quite reaching 1-star but each a little better than the last. At last we came to a 2-star site, Wayne again urged us to camp, but we again ignored him and pushed on. We soon regretted our decision. Now, the further we waded the narrower, rockier and deeper the river became, and despite Bill's constant assurance that a 5-star site was around the next bend, as sunset came closer morale sagged.
We all wished we had accepted wise Wayne's and ignored blundering Bill's advice.
But then, after the 37th bend, just as morale reached zero, the terrain improved, and pushing through vegetation on the left bank, Wendy discovered by far the best camping shelf to date: easily a 3-star. We were now uncertain whom we should adopt as paramount leader. On the one hand, this site was good, so we had undoubtedly benefited by accepting Bill's advice to push downstream towards the alleged 5-star site.
On the other hand, just because it was good, and because of fear of what might lie ahead, we were now determined to take our advice from Wayne and make camp. So within moments, sleeping spots were claimed, and flys erected. Angus's fly was by far the most spectacular: at least 3m tall and more like a church than a sleeping shelter; Fazeley's was the most distant: well beyond hearing range of even my snoring. With soggy wood Wayne and Bill somehow lit a hot fire, the rain held off, and we had a most pleasant evening cooking, eating, chatting, and drying clothes.
That night as we lay snug in our sleeping bags, the rain resumed, and although it had slackened to a drizzle by the following Sunday morning, by then everything was so wet that, rather than attempting to light a fire, everyone breakfasted on muesli bars and nibbles in bed. Then, in the intermittent drizzle, we broke camp and set off wading and rock-hopping down the river again. We had gone just around the 38th bend since reaching the river yesterday, but the 1st today, and no more than 400m from our sleeping site, when we came to Bill's long-promised campsite. It certainly was magnificent, probably more than 5-star, but we had no regrets; 3-star had been perfectly good enough for us; what advantage is beautiful surroundings when it is dark and you are asleep? After an hour or more progress the drizzle stopped and we sat down for a more formal breakfast; Spiro brewed delicious Turkish coffee, with which we washed down scrumptious nibbles. Then onward we waded, rock-hopped and scrub-bashed until around about noon the river opened out to a wide flat valley giving easy walking on grass, through open forest and tree-ferns.
In late afternoon, after two or three hours of this delightful walking, Bill, noting a black stump and some wombat droppings at a bearing of 163 degrees, announced that we should cross immediately to the right bank of the river, where after another 23.4 metres, we would find a bridle track. He was 0.2 metres in error. We were approaching the junction of the Yadboro and Belowra Creek, and this track sidled up their dividing ridge.
We had almost come full circle. We walked up the track a short distance, crossed the ridge, dropped into and crossed Belowra creek, and climbed up onto the ridge on the opposite side. Eighty metres up we reached the crest of the ridge and the fire trail we had walked down on Saturday morning. We soon regained the cars, and after changing into civy clothes in the rain, began the drive home.
It was an unsightly group that walked into the Princes Highway cafe for tea. Spiro hobbled painfully on a bruised thigh; Angus waddled with feet 1m apart because of severe crutch chafing; I wore one trouser leg rolled up because of a heavily bleeding leech bite. Only Wendy and Fazeley looked beautiful. However it was a happy group; thank you Bill and Wayne for a fantastic walk.
Coolana Barn Dance Don’t miss the Coolana Hootenanny November 5.6.7 Consult the walks program for details
by Tony Holgate
Following the recent incidents with the four missing snow boarders in the Snowy Mountains and with Robert Bogucki in the Great Sandy Desert, there has been renewed interest in the practice of carrying an EPIRB when travelling in remote areas.
For those not familiar with the term, an EPIRB is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. It is basically a small radio transmitter, that, when activated sends a signal on one or more specific emergency radio frequencies that are monitored worldwide.
EPIRB’s will be familiar to anyone doing offshore boating, and they are also carried by some 4WD drivers on remote trips. Apparently a group of kayakers who were attacked by a crocodile near Thursday Island said they had had a response from a helicopter within 2 hours after setting off. Their EPIRB. That is exceptional.
EPIRBS are getting smaller, lighter and cheaper and some bushwalkers now carry them for safety. Some units weigh only about 250g and cost between $200-$300. This could be justified as group gear for more remote walks. Some people are even suggesting that they should be compulsory for all bushwalkers. Given the fallibility of mobile telephones, due to the poor coverage, they certainly would be more effective in 95% of the Australian continent at attracting attention. Of course these devices only send a “Help” signal, and you cannot give particular instructions, but in an emergency that may be sufficient. I know of one bushwalking club that carries at least one EPIRB on most of its walks.
There has been some concern expressed at the possibility of these devices being misused by people with blisters or broken fingernails, or by people just wanting a quick way out of the bush. It is true that a spate of people “crying wolf” would overload the system and possibly lower its credibility. However, it should be pointed out that the law specifies that you must be in a life threatening situation before you activate one of these units.
There are two types of EPIRB, those that operate on frequencies of 121.5 & 243.0 MHz and (IIRC) 406.0 MHz. 121.5 MHz is the standard distress frequency for all civil aircraft (the military also use 243MHz) and is detectable by the distress reporting satellite constellation. Its exact location requires two passes of the satellite and can take up to 6 hours to be detected and downloaded to the reporting earth stations. Overflying aircraft will detect the signal immediately. The satellites detect EPIRB’s operating on 406.0 MHz almost immediately. Top of the line EPIRB’s incorporate GPS and will not just tell the world you are in trouble and roughly where you are, they will tell the rescue services exactly who and where you are.
Of course some people will have concerns about technology infringement into the “bush”. Why? Consider the following:
1. You do not need to activate these units unless necessary.
2. The rescue services, whether Police or S&R are limited resources and if we can reduce the time taken in search and rescues then we increase the time available for other possible emergencies.
3. What is worse, carrying the equivalent of an extra chocolate bar among the group or losing somebody?
No piece of gear or technology is a substitute for carefully managing the risks out in the bush. Even with all the latest gear you can still get hurt. So walk safely . . .
The GME MT310 personal beacon operating on 121.5/243mhz costs $299
Further information on EPIRB’s
The COSPAS-SARSAT organization has a ‘constellation’ of four satellites in low Polar orbit.
In Australia these satellites are continuously monitored by AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) at their Canberra RCC (Radio Coordination Centre), on three receivers located in WA, Qld and in Wellington NZ.
AMSA currently investigate about 300 incidents per month on 121.5 and 243mhz, most of which are false alarms.
When the signal is confirmed as genuine the search phase is usually handed over to local police to handle. Major distress situations such as the last Hobart Yacht race are handled from the AMSA RCC operations room.
Emergency Beacons are located by means of the Doppler shift of the transmitted signal as the satellites passes over and in the case of the 406mhz beacons are identified by their registration number. There is a personal, Canadian made, 406mhz ‘Satfinder’ EPIRB on the market which can be registered with AMSA and which could speed up a search.
As reported on page 19 of the September magazine our next mid week activity has not been shown on the Walks Programme. It will be a four day residential event. There will be walks around our local area; optional bicycle rides, swimming, a barbecue and other activities.
Mark these dates in your calendar and let us know if you can attend either the whole four days or just visit for a day or two. Here is the program:
Dates: Tuesday 2nd November to Friday 5th November
Where: At our house 216C Quarter Sessions Rd Westleigh
Events: Tuesday Afternoon walk followed by a barbecue.
Wednesday: Optional bicycle ride along Parramatta River bicycle path with the distance to suit the rider's enthusiasm. Alternatively, there will a walk in the local area, with all returning to a “fondue party” in the evening.
Thursday: Day walk, dinner with Russell with slides etc.
Friday: Activity to suit as we prepare to leave for the “Hootenanny” weekend at Coolana.
There is ample accommodation. All are welcome to join us for the four days, for one day, or for just the Thursday night dinner. For further information, please phone Frances or Bill Holland 9484 6636.
Invitation to Dinner
Join us at our house for dinner with Russell Willis (of Willis's Walkabouts) on Thursday November 4th. Come and meet Russell, or renew acquaintance. He will show slides of highlights of recent trips and answer your questions re future trips and new areas.
The address is 216C Quarter Sessions Rd Westleigh 2120
There is no charge but please phone in advance and bring a contribution to the table.
Frances and Bill Holland 9484 6636
A request for magazine articles.
Any magazine is only as good as its contributors. Articles on any subject relevant to bushwalking are always welcome. Articles can be submitted as typed copy, on IBM compatible floppy disk or by email. (see page 1 for the email address). Copy submitted should be unformatted with no line returns or carriage feeds etc.
by David Trinder
Advice about a future Tasmanian trip.
After experiencing central Tasmania on three trips over the past three years, my mania returns me to the southern and western areas on a trip from 28th Jan to 6th Feb next year, and I would like some other club members to come with me.
The Western Arthurs provides some of the most spectacular walking in Australia. We will be walking south from Lake Pedder to the western end of this jagged range and will be camping on the range at Lake Cygnus. On the second day we will explore further up the range, and on the third day return to Lake Pedder.
Our second trip will be an ascent of the magnificent white quartzite dome of Frenchmans Cap, the most prominent mountain peak in the Franklin, Lower Gordon, Wild Rivers National Park. On the first day we will walk into the Lake Vera hut that is close to the mountain.
An early start on the second day should allow us to successfully make the ascent and return to the hut and on the third day we will return to the start point on the Franklin River.
The National Park limits the party size to eight, if more than that join the party, we will find another leader and split into two groups.
Tasmania is difficult country for walking, we could strike bad weather and mud and there will be plenty of climbing, but the rewards are there.
Bookings should be made before the SBW summer program is published because airline bookings need to be made early and tickets are cheaper if booked at least 21 days before departure.
Global Positioning Satellite (GPS ) Receivers
The article on GPS receivers, and their use for navigation in the bush, has been held over until the November issue due to space limitations.
Blue Mountains Canyons
A request for assistance with a research project to determine the impact of the sport/activity of ‘canyoning’ on Blue Mountains canyons.
Nigel Hardiman, a Phd candidate at the University of Western Sydney is pursuing research in the field of Environmental Science, to determine the impact that the recent increase in ‘canyoning’ by individuals, clubs and commercial canyoning enterprises is having on the future of the Blue Mountains canyons, and how such activities could result in controversy and potential conflict between the dual management objectives of conservation and recreation in the National Parks of NSW.
Nigel would like to receive feedback on canyon activity, from club members who have taken part in any canyoning trips. His questionnaire would take about 20 mins to complete.
All responses would be in the strictest confidence and no names would be used.
A copy of the questionnaire, which can be returned to him in the reply paid envelope supplied, can be obtained by contacting Nigel at:
69 Mitchell’s Pass Blaxland NSW 2774 Phone 02 4739 0865 (H) 0409 606544 (M) email: email@example.com
His original letter to the club is too long to publish in full but can be read on the club noticeboard.
The editor would also welcome articles on canyoning and/or abseiling to publish in the SBW club magazine.
SBW Photograph and Slide Competition
Wednesday 24th November 1999. $300 total prize value For full details refer to page 6 of the May 1999 Magazine or page 12 of the Winter Walks program. There will be a $50 gift voucher for the winner of each category, kindly donated by the following bushwalking shops: ALPSPORT EASTWOOD CAMPING KATHMANDU 1045 VICTORIA ROAD 3 TRELAWNEY STREET Cnr KENT & BATHURST St WEST RYDE NSW 2114 EASTWOOD NSW 2112 SYDNEY NSW 2000 Phone 9858 5844 Phone 9858 3833 Phone 9261 8901 MOUNTAIN DESIGNS MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT PADDY PALLIN 499 KENT STREET 491 KENT STREET 507 KENT STREET SYDNEY NSW 2000 SYDNEY NSW 2000 SYDNEY NSW 2000 Phone 9267 3822 Phone 9264 5888 Phone 9264 2685
from a diary by ANICE DUNCAN Compiled by Barry Duncan
With the winter skiing season over and Christmas Snowy trips being planned, it is interesting to read about an early walk in the area. These diary extracts of former club member Anice Duncan compiled by her son Barry, of an extended walk in the area in 1943, shows how it was done in wartime Australia prior to the Snowy scheme and using the primitive maps then available.
Six (1) of us set forth, on the so called Kossi Express, to Cooma on Dec. 17th. What a crowd! As we had our seats booked the night passed fairly well. Frank & Johno’s witty remarks received appreciation far above their worth from 2 or 3 of the occupants of the carriage.
Arriving about 1½ hours late seemed to give the hotel people the impression that we did not want any brekkey but they managed to find us a rather small breakfast & we toured Cooma for an hour or so before we were finally whisked off in two cars and arrived at Charlottes Pass about 3 O’clock.
In Cooma we had been told that Lord Gowrie (2) and staff were staying at The Chalet & our drivers seemed quite determined that we should be deposited down there. We had to say quite firmly that we did not belong to his party & didn’t intend visiting him.
It was very misty and the drivers deposited us and our gear, at the foot of a snow drift just on Charlottes Pass and seemed thankful to get away. I suppose they thought we were a bit mad to be camping mid snow and drizzling mist.
Foreman’s Hut (3) was inspected but the presence of a dead cow (4) in front did not impress us, so we made camp among the trees and rocks overlooking Foreman’s.
During the night there was a heavy frost and during the night many voices were heard and mutterings such as “never been so cold”.
Duch was up at 5.30 making a fire and we had some hot cocoa to thaw us. Our tents were frozen and the ground was heavy with frost. The dawn was glorious - blue sky - the mountains tipped with pink. The sunshine gradually crept down the valley and the large patches of snow greatly added to the beauty of the scenery. After the mist and rain of the night before we were all delighted. Before us lay the three peaks of Carruthers, Lee and Clarke.
After early brekker we went up Guthrie just behind the tents and looked down on The Chalet, noting that Lord Gowrie and his entourage are not early risers.
We decided to do a tour of the lakes and started off by crossing the Snowy. The Blue Lake looked glorious in the sun so we all had a dip except Johno, who apparently dislikes cold water. Hanna said she had a dip but nobody saw her, so we accepted her word for it.
Skirting the Blue Lake we climbed up and lunched on Twynam. From Twynam we skirted Club Lake & walked along a cliff track overlooking Lake Albina. Rudi & Hanna mentioned how they had skied over it in the winter.
Rudi, Frank & Johno climbed Townsend while we lazed and meandered back to camp after a glorious day. A large tea was eaten and an enjoyable campfire made and we sat round until 11 O’clock. As Duch was cold on the first night, four of us slept in the one tent and all had a good night.
We were up late this morning - packed up our spare food and deposited it at the workman’s hut near Charlottes Pass (5) and then went along the Kosciusko road. We turned off south onto the Rams head Range. Rudi said he climbed THE Rams Head but as there were several very similar, opinions differed.
After prospecting, we found a good track leading down to Dead Horse Gap. We lunched on the way down in a lovely wooded glade and camped in another pleasant wooded glade at the junction of the Bogong Creek and Thredbo or Crackenback River(6). The home dried vegies were voted a great success and we retired to bed.
Left at 7.45 and climbed over Dead Horse Gap and followed down the creek where Rudi, at one crossing, measured his length in the mud. The height here by Rudi’s altimeter was about 5,500 ft. We climbed over a spur of South Rams Head and had morning tea between Big Mick and Little Mick on Leather Barrel Ck amidst lovely tall gums.
Arriving at the Murray we had lunch and a glorious swim there in the altogether. Some crossed over to Victoria and walked along the paddocks past Tom Groggin. We crossed the swinging bridge over into Victoria but there was nobody in residence at the huts. Two miles further on we camped amid tall timber and made our 1st damper.
Woke up to heavy mist which gradually cleared & we left at 9. Leaving the Murray we climbed over several shoulders through tall timbers until we reached the junction of Geehi Creek & Swampy Plains River (8). Duch had Blistered heels & we were all suffering a little from sunburn, so we decided to have a free day on the morrow. After an enjoyable campfire & our usual damper making ceremony it was into bed.
Duch & I spent the day in the Geehi Valley. Johno, Hanna, Rudi & Frank decided to climb The Pinnacle & explore. Later in the day Johno & Frank arrived back exhausted having struggled through heavy bracken and undergrowth & lost their lunch. Rudi arrived back with a bad gash in his leg that was cut to the bone. It was decided to start up Hannels Spur (Hannels Ridge) (8) no later than 6 next morning.
We were up early & left at 6.30 before the sun reached the spur. It was very pleasant climbing in the shade, gradually climbing out of the tall timber. As the track rose, the trees became more stunted & much timber seemed to have been killed by fire. The track was lined with low bushes, profusely covered with a pretty white daisy, Olearia & a low creeping Goodenia covered with yellow flowers. There was a delicate scent from a broom like tree, probably a Dylwinnia (Dillwynia).
Duch walked all day in stocking feet & was very tired by the time we reached the Wilkinson. So Johno & Frank decided to climb up to Kossi - go down the road to the workman’s hut, pick up our food and meet us at our old camping spot under Guthrie.
On the way down from Kossi, Lord & Lady Gowrie’s car drew up and they were invited to have a lift. Thus what we had been joking about all during the trip came to pass. Each time they had shaved up to now they said it was only to meet his excellency and lo and behold when they did meet him they hadn’t shaved for days and Johno had holes in the seat of his pants. This did not detract from the jolly time had by all. Johno & Frank seemed to have been impressed by their friendliness(9).
Duch and I were the last arrivals at the camp, very tired after a long and glorious day. It was Xmas Eve and we had to sing a few carols and make a damper and so to bed.
We had an easy time on the Snowy, washing & bathing in the ice cold water. After lunch we packed up, having replenished our food from the cache at the workman’s hut, and set off along the Charlottes Pass Road, turned along Spencers Creek and followed the track to Pound’s Hut (now Illawong). We camped below the hut and the sky clouded over and we expected rain but the cloud blew over and the night was starlit.
Up early & away by 7.30. We crossed the Snowy and climbed up Tate with a terrific wind blowing. Had our usual magnificent views and arrived at Whites River Hut for lunch. Far more snow daisies were seen today than any other day, and the Westringia was out - a sweet scented heath plant. We camped a little way from the hut right on Whites River (10) - a lovely stream - hardly a river.
While we were having dinner, 4 boys passed who had travelled from Tumbarumba & were making their way back. We had an extra large dinner & Johno & Frank passed appreciative remarks. Had a good campfire and retired about 10.30.
Left camp at 8.30 and made for the Alpine Hut over Gungartan, leaving the Kerries on our left and crossed the Valentine (Creek) and then descended the Brassy thru thick scrub to the hut.
On Gungartan we tried shooting a snow slope. Duch and one of the others slid down on their bottoms. Rudi came down in fine style. We had lunch not far from the hut and then the rain came. Had tea in the hut and decided to sleep inside. Hanna made bread!!!
Decided to climb Jagungal without packs. The distance is about 8 miles. We left the hut in a northerly direction and then bore north-west across the Bogong Swamps and across the head of the Valentine.
We had a good view of Jagungal all the way and the final scramble up the rocks rewarded us with a magnificent view. Mount Buffalo and Feathertop could be seen to the south. The Dargles (Dargals) to the west. To the north was Tabletop Mountain and further North the Franklin Range.
The main alps we had climbed looked very interesting, with Kosciusko dominating the range. From here one could see that Kosciusko really was the highest Mountain and this was the most interesting view we had of it. We had about 1/2 an hour here with a chocolate ration and Frank took a few photos. Then back to the Alpine Hut via Mawson’s.
We left our last camp of the trip near Alpine Hut & made our way east over Brassy Gap. There was quite a good track.
Notes Added by Barry Duncan March
(1)Party members were. Hanna & Rudi Lemberg, Duch (Eva) Drewell, Johno Johnson, Anice & Frank Duncan. Now all Deceased.
The Duncans,Duch and Johno were SBW members. The Lembergs belonged to the KAC and the Bush Club.
(2) Lord Gowrie was GG of Australia from January 23rd 1936 to January 30th 1945.
The Kosciusko Chalet was closed to the public for most of the war but was made available for use by the Gowries at the time.
(3) Foreman’s hut burnt down and now only the chimney still stands on the west bank of the Snowy River.
(4) Cattle were removed from the high country snow leases within the State Park in the mid-fifties.
(5) It was common practice up till quite recently to leave food in huts to be collected later but it is not recommended now.
(6) Now the Thredbo river.
(7) What was Geehi Creek is now a continuation of the Swampy Plains river.
(8) Hannels Spur was cleared about 1930 as a stock route and re-cleared in 1946 by the State Park Trust.
(9) The Gowries invited Frank & Johno to drop in at the Chalet if they ran short of anything. Anice thought that they could have asked for a bottle of whisky. They never did call in.
(10) Whites River on early maps. Munyang River now.
All SBW members should have received the special report on Coolana, compiled by the special Coolana sub-committee.
A Special information night is to be held at the meeting room on Wednesday October 27th at 8pm to permit club members to question any Coolana sub-committee members about any item of the report.
A proposed agenda for that meeting is shown below but this can be modified on the night by the meeting.
1. Election of a Chairperson
2. Attendees at information night agree to or modify agenda (5 minutes). The proposed agenda may be accepted, modified, substituted as the meeting sees fit:
3. Each member of the subcommittee to be allocated 5 minutes to speak followed immediately by 5 minute questions from the floor.
4. General question and answer session
Questions or comments can be made to me before the meeting by post at 17 Putarri Avenue, St Ives 2075, by fax 9144 5096 or by email
Regards Eddy Giacomel
GPS receiver use for navigation The first SBW walk down the Colo