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Start
Contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18

Photogallery
Archive
1940-99


Walk
Magazine
Archive
1949-87


Newsletter
Archive
1949-
The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

a reputation of being rather tough in relation to the cold; this was perhaps fortunate. At one part of the route it was necessary for the group to descend towards a creek. The track went down at a steepish angle but almost parallel to the creek; it did, however, have a decided camber towards the creek. Most of the group made the descent more or less satisfactorily and so did Graham, except right at the last moment he slipped and slid quite quickly in the general direction of the stream. It looked almost certain that he would go straight into the icy waters, but no, providence decreed that he come to rest feet dangling above the water. Without warning, providence changed its mind, and into the stream he fell. From the expression on his face even Graham was having trouble convincing himself that the water wasn't painfully cold. Fortunately there was a fairly complete set of exchange clothes scattered among members of the group, but Graham did seem to be in more of a hurry than normal to get back to the warmth of the cars and civilisation.

In the late seventies and early eighties, when technique was a rare commodity, Chris Thompson stood out from the rest with his natural ability. A sentiment to this effect is recorded in Wilky's logbook. On the way into Wilky Chris, Gary Wills, Geoff Law and Bill Metzenthen had made a few detours to practise technique. The latter two had clearly been a little less successful than Chris. The logbook entry simply read:

Score (number of falls)
Chris
Gary
Bill
Geoff
0
10
247
248

The entry was made by Geoff, and a little frustration with personal performance was expressed by the rather larger size of the 0 in comparison with the other digits.

Chris came close to experiencing his last ski trip one day in 1982 on a tour into the Barry Ranges via The Twins. The Twins can be seen from various vantage points on the Harrietville side of the Mt Hotham and Dargo roads. They are easily recognised from a distance because of their steep sides projecting well above the tree-line. It was on one of those steep and ice-covered slopes that Chris fell and accelerated out of the view of his startled companions. His unplanned descent started above the tree-line but finished below it, good fortune taking him between rocks and trees and away from vertical drops. He climbed back up to his companions in a very thoughtful mood. Merilyn Whimpey found it very unnerving just to stand where Chris first fell and watch his slow progress back up.