Among The Amateur Athletes
A Strenuous Walk
By " ALL ROUND" .
From Walsh's Creek (Mc'Veighs), on the Yarra Valley, to Walhalla, on the other side of the Divide, is no more than a round 50 miles — nothing outrageous, in point of distance, for a walker to undertake as a four or five days' outing. But the absence of settlement- between the two points makes it necessary to carry all the tucker required oil the jqurney, and that, with blankets or sleeping bag, and adds considerably to the difficulties of the way. Moreover, there is an astonishing amount of uphill going, so the pedestrian feels, as he nears his journey's end, that he has completed a fairly strenuous trip. Four of the older members of the Melbourne Walking Club broke away from the programme a week ago to traverse this so-called Baw Baw track. They went to Warburton by train and to M'Veigh's by motor, had lunch at that picturesque resort, and with swags up, set out on the bridle track on foot about 2 o'clock. The gradient was very gently upward, there is a good green forest to tramp through, and the Yarra was never out of sight, so the seven miles to Contention Gully were agreeably passed. A second dip in the river, and camp was pitched under the stars. Next day was devoted to the eight miles from Contention Gully to the first shelter-house. There are two huts here, both serviceable, and both provided by a paternal Government with wire stretchers, enamelled mugs and plates, a table, some forms, an axe, a broom, and a number of billies.
The dip this time was in Falls Creek, along the right hank of which is a track leading to the Yarra Falls, one large and five smaller cascades of considerable beauty. Now the land began to rise in earnest. A zigzag pull of over a mile tested the wind and strength of the party, and landed it on the top of the ridge between the sources of the Yarra and the Thomson rivers. Beech groves and flowering mintbush were notable features, and the gum-trees were huge specimens of mountain ash. A second hut, placed in a desolate and exposed -position oh Mount Whitelaw, came into view at nightfall — 14 miles for the day. Here the well-known runner and walker, Jack Lewis (East Melbourne Harriers), was in camp for the night. He is patrolman for the Forests Commission and does all his journeys on foot. "When the area he has to cover and the tracks he must take are considered it is readily seen where he gets the stamina which enabled him to win a Marathon race and the twenty-five mile walking championship of Victoria. He met the walkers with, a welcome which was greatly appreciated, and the party left him and his two mates next day. with genuine regret. Shelter Welcomed .Sunday, the fourth day out, was wet, and the views were obscured by fog and cloud. Marshy spots disfigured the pad; altogether the eight miles to the third hut, perched high on Talbot Peak, were found quite sufficient, and there was for once no question as to whether sleeping under shelter or sleeping outside was the more advisable. A rift in the clouds revealed a magnificent prospect of deep valleys and high mountains, and before this hut was departed from, some wonderful views were obtained. On the way out on Monday, opportunity was taken to cross the top of Mount Erica (5000 feet) and observe a still wider panorama. Immediately afterward began the descent, a slide of 3500 feet in about three miles, and then easy gradients to the river level. A variation from the customary route was made in taking a timber track to Knott, and next day inspecting the Lime Kilns at Platina before marching in to Walhalla. The afternoon afforded time to examine the remains of that , fast-disappearing township, one of the quaintest in Victoria, and on Wednesday, the seventh day after leaving the city, the morning train was caught to Melbourne. The time could, of course, have been greatly shortened had there been any need to cut it down.