Sore & Satisfied (Part One) – High Above Glade Burn

“On a Mish” #312 Sore and Satisfied (Part One). Peak 1543m. Glade Burn. Fiordland National Park. 7.12.2021. After a major injury you have two options. Option One is to give in to the ailment and live the rest of your life using it as an excuse to not do anything. Or there’s option two: to test your limits knowing you are going to pay for it later. To finish sore and satisfied is much better than to have done nothing at all…

I know that going on a mish will cause pain, but the mental stress relief and benefits for my body make it more than worth it. Sore but satisfied is what I expect after a big mission these days, and little did I know I was about to really test the limits of what my broken body can do.

Having the option of transport up to the top of Lake Te Anau to the start of the Milford Track and the Glade Burn is an excellent perk I had when working for Real NZ (Real Journeys). Being in a location that can only be accessed by boat or by a difficult mountain pass gives the place a very remote feeling, and that is what I go out looking for when on a mish.

If you want to save some money and not take a boat up the lake, then you can access the Milford Track area via Dore Pass(1390m). This challenging route takes you from the Eglington Valley (location of a section of the Milford Road), over the rugged Earl Mountains into the start of the Clinton Valley at the Glade Burn (stream).

My original plan was to bash my way up to Glade Pass(1248m), but after reading a few trip reviews I decided that Dore Pass(1390m) was a more realistic target to aim at. With gear packed, it was time to head down to the Real NZ base building to get a lift to Te Anau Downs Wharf and the Fiordland Express. The Express is an old Foveaux Straight ferry which is living out its retirement on the tranquil waters of Lake Te Anau. In comfort I traveled to the top of the lake and the easy part of my adventure.

After bidding my fellow workmates goodbye at Glade Wharf I began my short hike up the Glade Burn, looking for a suitable spot to pitch my tent and spend the night. Although I didn’t have far to travel (just over 1km) the rocky riverbed made forward motion difficult. Along with the rocks it was humid and cloudy, the weather that Te Namu / sandflies love. This gave me the impression that rain was on the way as the nasty little buggers come out just before the skies open up. However, according to the forecast, it was breaking up with the chance of the sun peeking out later in the evening.

Eventually I saw the perfect spot to camp on the other side of the river (Glade Burn). The area had been hit with heavy rain over the last couple of days and this meant the river was up. After scrambling around for a while, I found a spot to hop, skip and jump my way across the river to the other side. I was now where I needed to be and all that was left to do was to set up camp and let the area’s epicness soothe my soul and distract me from my aching hip and back. As I sat at my camp contemplating tomorrow’s adventure, I could definitely feel that I was a little sore from carrying my gear up the valley. But along with the soreness was the unrivalled satisfaction of being in Fiordland on a mish…

View from my camp in Glade Burn

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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