Very, Very Sore & Satisfied – High Above Glade Burn (Part Four)

“On a Mish” #312 Very, Very Sore and Satisfied (Part Four). Peak 1543m. Dore Pass / Glade Burn. Fiordland National Park. 8.12.2021. Is being stubborn a terrible thing when it helps you achieve your goals? After my injury I had to put my love of the outdoors to the test, due to the grinding discomfort on my hip and lower back with each step. I have come to accept that I will be sore after any sort of a mish, I just only hope that the satisfaction will outweigh the pain…

I was very familiar with the mountains and valleys around me, but I’d never seen them from this aspect before. The deep valleys of both branches of the Clinton River (north and west) hung far below the rock giants that tower above them. The deep blue of Lake Te Anau acted as the centrepiece when looking to the west, and beyond the lake was a blur of continuous Fiordland scenery.

The air was still, and the sun was just at the perfect temperature to cool me down after a solid climb using a broken body. After a bite to eat and a few photos I managed to get myself moving again. I traversed over to the peak north of the mountain I was on, and after my last up for the day I could look down at the tiny boxes which were the Glade House complex.

After my double summit morning everything was leading to the inevitability of the descent back down to the Glade Burn. This part of the adventure I knew would really test my current abilities to the extreme. What goes up must come down, so here we go.

After a quick down climb off the summit rocks, I was back at the top of the gut leading down to the track. It was here that I was happy I had my trusty walking poles with me for extra support / 4wd. Slowly I crept back down the steep terrain to the highpoint of the Dore Pass(1390m) Track. Getting back on the track was a relief, and from there it was a lot easier ground to cover ‘quickly’.

I knew my limp was increasing as time went on and this put extra pressure on my good leg. This is when my stubbornness helps activate autopilot and I slowly plodded from one orange track marker to the next. I sure if someone else was with me the conversation would not be very good!

Summit of 1543m

After what seemed like days, the sound of the Glade Burn (river) was music to my ears, and as I burst out of the forest onto the riverbed, I finally was sure I was going to make it back to camp. I barely had time to remove my boots before I was sound asleep in my tent.

I woke up from my nap sometime later and found it a struggle to sit let alone stand up again. I checked my watch and then proceeded to teach the birds in the area a couple of swear words. I had a boat to catch, and I was not planning to spend another night here with the sandflies. Eventually I struggled my way up on to my feet and began the process of packing up my campsite.

My pack was an ugly mess of everything stuffed in and strapped on, but there was no time to make it look pretty. After many stumbles I got to the wharf and with about ten minutes to spare I ‘casually’ strolled onboard. I found a quiet spot and returned to checking the insides of my eyelids.

The job was done, and I was a very sleepy satisfied. Now all that was left was to attempt to manage the soreness I had created. While looking at my photos back at home I knew that eventually the pain would fade but my adventure above the Milford Track was going to be a mish I would never forget!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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