Storm vs Tent (Part One) – Borland Saddle Ridge Camp

“On a Mish” #68 Storm Vs Tent (Part One). Borland Saddle Ridge Camp. Fiordland National Park. 3.5.2019. As big as Fiordland is, there is a place that draws my attention time and time again. Some think going to the same place might get repetitive, but those are words spoken by someone who hasn’t been to the Borland Saddle(990m). Although the saddle itself is a small area, the adventures that can begin from it are almost endless depending on your adventure imagination…

The ease of access to the open tops and interesting ridges adds to the unique appeal of the Borland Road and the wild area that surrounds it. For its massive 2.1 million hectares, Fiordland National Park only has three roads that make their way into and through this enormous national park, and only two of these roads are accessible from the New Zealand public road system. The most famous of these roads is the world renowned Milford Road (including the Hollyford Road) which travels north from Te Anau into the park at the Eglington Valley, then over the Divide into the Hollyford Valley and up to the Homer Tunnel. The upper section of the Hollyford Valley is one of the most breathtaking roads in the world. At the top of the Upper Hollyford the road enters one of New Zealand’s crowning achievements, the Homer Tunnel.

Finally after travelling through the tunnel the road winds its way down the Cleddau Valley to finish in one of New Zealand’s greatest tourism gems – Piopiotahi / Milford Sound.

There is also the Wilmot Pass Road, which starts at the West Arm of Lake Manapouri and travels over Wilmot Pass(671m), then finishes in another incredibly scenic location of Patea / Doubtful Sound.

Then we have the Borland Road, which was forced up the Borland Valley into the Grebe Valley, and finishes near Percy Saddle (near West Arm on Lake Manapouri). This is a place I simply can’t get enough of, and the opportunities the road offers has kept my adventurous cravings satisfied .

On this mish I was after an easy camping experience, but with all the extras of a Fiordland expedition without the long, tough approach through the dense forest to get onto the open tops. Also the weather forecast was for rain developing during the afternoon the next day, meaning I didn’t want to travel very far.

So my plan was to follow the Borland Ridge north to Peak 1227m, then set up camp on the narrow ridge overlooking the Borland Burn.

The mission had to fit into an afternoon / evening / morning so luckily I didn’t have very far to hike, making the Borland Saddle the perfect location for what I was looking for. I headed up the road in the afternoon, and was on the Saddle around 4pm. Ahead was a wander into the alpine tussock and rock of the Borland Ridge, and with the sun going through its last work for the day I began to wander…

Camp on the Summit of Peak 1227m

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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