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Encompassing Arthur's Pass, Canterbury

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Encompassing Arthur's PassVery Experienced

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Trail Information






Arthurs Pass

Back country - remote



Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Very Experienced

24:00 (Slow)
17:00 (Moderate)
12:00 (Fast)



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Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

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Start at Klondyke Corner, follow trail up Waimakariri River to col which is a very nice mix of river bed and single track (to Waimakariri Falls hut at least). Depending on time of year you may have snow over the col (I used crampons here). Snow was well softening by 9am but I wasn't sinking too much and was able to run down to where Rolleston river gorges which was easier than descending scree. Here you should take a true left sidle that doesn't look too nice, instead I ended up in the river which has a few short waterfalls to down climb and was anything but great. It was quite hard to find any pace through this section. After this you get on Rolleston river route which is overgrown and slow but ok until you pop out near the rail bridge. From here it is easy. Run or bike (I stashed a bike here) to start of Deception and back to Klondyke Cornerover Goat Pass (the C2C run route). This part is covered pretty well in other write ups and is most enjoyable.

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Features of interest

It is awesome to follow the Waimakariri to its source, cross the Divide at Waimakariri Col and descend Rolleston River which is pretty wild for a "tramping route". Have a quick break/lunch near Otira and bike along highway to start of Deception. Re-cross the Divide at Goat Pass running the famous C 2 C trail and finish at Klondyke Corner.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 30%

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each

Goat Pass

Goat Pass

Length: 27.00km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Klondyke Corner, a few kms south of Arthurs Pass on SH73

    Plenty of parking at Klondyke corner, may not be wise to leave valuables in car overnight etc.
    I also stashed a bike and some lunch + hydration at Rolleston River bridge to help me get to start of Deception (road section of about 9km)

    8 km

    9 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Follow description in Waimakariri Col route guide for getting down Rolleston River

    Very patchy.

    Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.

    Plenty from streams

    In high water this will be no go, also there are parts of Waimakariri and Rolleston river that are in avalanche paths so be mindful of conditions. Snow conditions over Waimakariri Col should dictate how this section should be approached as well.

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