It is sad to report that an old bushwalking and mountaineering friend died recently. I knew John Atkinson from his days back in the mid 70′s in the Kameruka Bushwalking Club. he was also active in the 1980′s and 90′s in Sydney University Bushwalkers.
John Atkinson drowned in the surf at Scarborough Beach on 4 May 2011.
He was a long time bushwalker, canyoner, ski-tourer and mountaineer.
A little of ten years ago – he retired from his lecturing job in the School of Mechanical Engineering – and moved from Newtown to Wombara on the south coast near Thirroul. He loved the bush and he loved the surf.
He had a brilliant mind, and was a true polymath – with an extensive knowledge on many subjects. He was also a true character, a larger than life character whose presence on a trip was unforgettable.
Two of his wombat series of sketches made it onto SUBW T shirts.
I was with John on many trips. This includes a trip to Patagonia in 1988 and Africa in 1990. New Zealand trips with John included a traverse of the Cameron Mountains in Fiordland (one of the very best walks I have done), mountaineering trips to the Tasman and Murchison Glaciers and a trip to the Garden Of Eden Neve. Tasmanian trips I was accompanied by John included a traverse of the Eldon Range, a traverse of the Eastern Arthurs and a rafting trip down the Franklin River. And there were numerous ski touring trips – mainly to the Jagungal Area.