26 February - 1 March 2022
Three of us left Liz’s place in her car at 7:30am, after she’d finished breakfast. Linda met us at Cromwell after driving down from Hawea. We had lunch a few kilometres south of Frankton. At Te Anau Camp, we met the other PTC members, who’d kindly offered to place our car at the Borland Road for us. From Manapouri, we took a small shuttle boat to the Hope Arm track, Linda and Raymond walked straight to the Hope Arm Hut while Liz and Peter went off to bag the Back Valley Hut, before joining the others for dinner. There were a lot of people camping by the lake, including a stag party, so there was plenty of room for us in the hut.
Away by 7:20am, we followed a good track up and over to Garnock Burn. Then we climbed directly up through steep, open bush, picking our way through small rock bluffs to point 785. It was fairly straightforward travel along the ridge to the bush-line, followed by a short climb up to point 1125. In a light breeze we had lunch, on the tops, with great views. There were no markers but plenty of foot-trails, and we reached the top before 3pm. We took in the spectacular views as the four of us sat on the Summit Rock.
From the summit we sidled around to the west side of point 1677. There are numerous rock slabs and small bluffs on the ridge route to point 1534, so instead we decided to follow an easy route down a scree to the saddle directly below point 1677, and sidled round to the basin of a small stream draining into the North Branch of the Borland Burn. The basin, which lies below point 1537, had reasonable tent sites and water. In the morning we followed the 1100m contour around to the small spur off point 1159, overlooking the Borland Burn. After 150m of bush-bashing through mixed scrub and forest, the forest opened up, and we made a quick descent to the North Borland Burn. Then, it was a 1½ km walk to the no-frills North Borland Hut. The forest track, well clear of the burn, took us to the Borland Burn South Branch bridge, where we spent our last night at the well-used campsite. The big rock bivvy with its sleeping platforms, just below the Middle Branch of the Borland Burn, was worth a look.
Our early start in the dark was dampened by rain which arrived as we were eating breakfast. At the Borland Road, Calum, with our car, was there to meet us. We stopped at Te Anau to visit Fiordland Packs, then Mossburn to refuel the body, took Linda to her car at Cromwell, and then drove all the way home. Many thanks to Callum for the logistical support.
We were: Linda Lilburne, Liz Wightwick, Raymond Ford (leader) and Peter Umbers. (PU)
White boulders and sand near point 1306 on the Titiroa ridge, above Lake Manapouri
Looking up North Borland River