The Higher You Go (Part One) – Mt Bruce(1630m)

“On a Mish” #82 The Higher You Go (Part One). Mt Bruce(1630m). Black Mountain Range. Craigieburn Forest Park. 26.6.2019. The higher up a mountain you climb the better the view. This is also the same when it comes to camping. Having a mobile bedroom means you can choose a spot and then set it up anywhere. A location with a stunning view is what I always look for when I set out with my camping gear in my pack. And to increase the epicness I find the higher you go the better the mish…

Sometimes after finding an epic site, I will spend my time probing around until the perfect position is found. The goal is to unzip the tent’s door and then drool at the incredible sight to behold.

But on the odd occasion I have been forced either by weather or daylight to set up my tent ASAP on the nearest flat spot available. Quickly throwing up my accommodation is never in the plans but it does happen sometimes.

So on my camping trip to the upper slopes of Mt Bruce(1630m), a spot with a view is exactly what I was looking for.

Shaler Range

After escaping the city I drove across the Canterbury Plains and into the Canterbury mountains via Porters Pass. Following State Highway 73 I ended up at the very tranquil Cora Lynn Station. It was a perfect clear still winter day and I was excited about the task I had set myself.

Previously I had hiked over Lagoon Saddle(1180m) to the small hut it’s southern side. On this adventure I wanted to climb higher than before as of course the higher you go the better the views will be.

After taking my first few steps I went from being bathed in glorious sunshine to the darkness of a thick pine forest. These perfectly aligned straight rows of pine are no match for the tangled beauty of a native New Zealand beech forest and I was looking for to hiking in a forest that wasn’t planted by man.

After zigzagging my way up the side of the mountain I got to a point where I was above the treeline and the views were impressive to say the least. With the golden tussock slopes of Mt Bruce(1630m) in the foreground and the massive snow capped Shaler Range above, I had an inspiring sight to walk towards.

I kept pushing on further west until the track swung to the south and began to climb towards the Lagoon saddle. But instead of following the trail over the saddle I headed directly uphill towards what looked like the only spot high on the north face of the mountain.

I found the perfect spot to pitch my tent but it needed ground modification in order for me to have a good night’s rest. To make sure my tent was stable I built a floor of rocks and then covered it in tussock. This minor land modification made the spot big and flat enough to squeeze my little tent onto. What sounds like an uncomfortable mattress made of rock turned out to be perfect to sleep on, once I had put down my sleeping mat of course!

It was late afternoon by the time camp was set up and it was time to sit back and relax, and just like with the tent, tussock was going to be the cushioning and it made for a very comfortable seat to watch the world go by from.

As time rolled on darkness set in, and the night was cool and clear with an amazing display of stars with zero light pollution. It doesn’t get much better than this, unless you climb a little bit higher…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter