Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

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Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

Postby ribuck » Sat 08 Oct, 2016 5:38 am

SPAN Unlimited was a Sydney club for bushwalkers and climbers. They had an upper age limit, and kicked you out at 40. They held one last big party for you, then you were out. (SPAN is still around, but they no longer enforce an age limit.)

Each year they held a picnic atop the first of the Three Sisters, in the Blue Mountains. This is currently prohibited, but there was no problem in the early 1980s. I think this trip took place around April 1982.

To make the picnic more interesting, the theme was fancy dress. I wore a wetsuit (a lightweight yellow springsuit) and of course a tie. And in my backpack was a 1920s wind-up gramophone, because why not?

Here we are, gathering at the lookout:
Span-3-sisters 2.jpg
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The rock climbers climbed the sister, so that they could rig some ropes across to the lookout for the rest of us:
Span-3-sisters 5.jpg
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We abseiled diagonally across on two thick static ropes (12mm?), and also had pull-ropes in case someone got stranded midway. I was entirely satisfied with the rigging; nevertheless I was happy that someone twice my weight had already gone across before my turn came. Don't panic ... the picnic chair is not part of the abseiling setup! That guy had strapped the chair to his bum as a way to carry it across (and to pose). By now a large crowd of onlookers had assembled at the lookout and people were jostling for a view:
Span-3-sisters 3.jpg
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This is what it looks like from "mid-flight". I had taken it nice and slowly, but some treated it as a zip-line ("flying-fox") ride. At the end there was still a short (and fairly simple) rock climb to the summit. At the top right you can see me winding up my gramophone:
Span-3-sisters 4.jpg
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And here we are, dancing along to old-time 78rpm records with a fun group of people in an amazing place. A great time was had by all, and after a few hours we abseiled down to the stone steps and returned to the lookout.
Span-3-sisters 6.jpg
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Re: Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

Postby robertoman » Sat 08 Oct, 2016 5:20 pm

Just too brilliant for words. Totes Amazeballs. Thanks for posting
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Re: Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

Postby puredingo » Sun 09 Oct, 2016 11:36 am

Ahhhh, the 80's....is there nothing they can't do?
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Re: Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

Postby johnw » Sun 09 Oct, 2016 3:00 pm

Great piece of history ribuck, looks like good fun. I see the ubiquitous Dunlop Volley was your footwear of choice for the crossing :).
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Re: Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

Postby ribuck » Sun 09 Oct, 2016 5:49 pm

johnw wrote:Great piece of history ribuck, looks like good fun. I see the ubiquitous Dunlop Volley was your footwear of choice for the crossing :).

The legs and shoes in the "mid-flight" crossing photo belong to someone else, though I was also wearing Velcro Volleys that day.
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Re: Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

Postby ofuros » Sun 09 Oct, 2016 5:53 pm

Ahhh, those were the days....
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Three Sisters annual picnic (SPAN, 1982?)

Postby johnw » Sun 09 Oct, 2016 6:57 pm

ribuck wrote:
johnw wrote:Great piece of history ribuck, looks like good fun. I see the ubiquitous Dunlop Volley was your footwear of choice for the crossing :).

The legs and shoes in the "mid-flight" crossing photo belong to someone else, though I was also wearing Velcro Volleys that day.

Doh! Should have read the comments more carefully. Difficult to be winding an ancient gramophone at the summit and abseiling at the same time! :roll:
Glad you were still in vogue though :).
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