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

“On a Mish” #312 Very Sore and Satisfied (Part Three). Peak 1543m. Dore Pass Area. Fiordland National Park. 8.12.2021. It is amazing what you can achieve once you put your mind to something and you find the motivation to get going. Unfortunately, humans are very good at finding an excuse to take the easy way out. I find motivation in beautiful places and that usually gives me enough power to keep pushing on when the going gets tough while on a mish. Arguably some of the best scenery on earth is found around the world-famous Milford Track and I knew I would need to call upon the scenery to help me achieve my goal…

Back in 2012 I had got to a spot below the mountain I wanted to climb, and ever since then I have wanted to return to stand on the top. After leaving my job with Ultimate Hikes on the Milford Track I did not think I would ever get back to see the incredible location again. Luckily, fate had different ideas and now I was looking up at the mountain with the potential of getting to the summit.

After getting above the treeline I needed a rest as by now my hip was really starting to slow me down. Having a break was no issue as the stunning view needed to be admired for at least a couple of minutes.

My original goal of getting to the top of Dore Pass(1390m) had now been upgraded to the summit of Peak 1543m. I was incredibly surprised how good my hip was feeling at this stage. It definitely wasn’t in good shape, but it was a thousand times better than I expected. Now with the motivation of bigger and better views I continued on upwards.

The short distance was agonisingly slow as the track steepened. Above the treeline, a challenging section of the trail had me digging deep for much needed energy. I was breathing hard, hiking slow, and many breaks were needed.

I got to the high point of the track and looked up at my target. I had to think about it for a second or two, before summit fever took over and provided the motivation needed to push on. Summit fever is both a blessing and a curse. It can get you moving, but it can also cloud your judgement and lead you into making bad decisions. I hoped that my climb wasn’t going to come back to haunt me later.

Above the track I had to climb a steep gut to a col between two 1500m plus peaks, one being the peak for which I was aiming. Strangely I stopped for breaks less on this part than when following the track earlier in the morning. I guess the fact I was (possibly) going to get to the summit of a real Fiordland Mountain overshadowed any pain in my hip and back.

As I scrambled up the last couple of metres to the summit, the thought of being sore had been removed from my mind (temporarily). I took in the view after being focused on getting to the top for so long. As I looked around at the unbeatable alpine scene, I started to realise how high I had climbed and how good I was feeling about it. Yes, I was very sore, but it was worth it!

Summit View

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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