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Woolshed Whopper, Canterbury

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Woolshed WhopperIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info
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Trail Information






Arthurs Pass

Back country - remote

Out and Back


Native bush
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

4:30 (Slow)
3:15 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



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This one is a gutbuster. Once you've found the carpark, finding the track end can be tricky if you don't have instructions. So here they are!

The track to Woolshed Hill begins behind Kidson Lodge which is not far from the Hawdon Valley Shelter. The track leading into the beech forest is marked with a big orange triangle, so is easy to spot. It climbs steeply - only the most elite will do anything but walk this section - for about an hour before leveling off a bit and providing some views through the trees to the valley floor.

Not long after the view points the track emerges from the trees altogether into bright orange dracophyllum scrub. Now there are glorious views across to Sudden Valley. Follow the path through the scrub, along the ridge, sometimes passing through bare, rocky slopes and sometimes through a bit of tussock and clumps of trees. The route is pretty well defined and cairned, where in doubt just stick to the ridgeline.

There are a few small tarns nestled between moraine walls that make a lovely rest spot. Frome here continue on to the summit of Woolshed Hill, by continuing up the ridge. It steepens near the top and then opens out to a wonderful 360 degree panorama that invites future missions.

Return the way you came, although there are awesome opportunities to explore further along the ranges and back out down the East Hawdon if you really want to supercharge your day.

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Features of interest

Stunning views of the Waimakariri Basin

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 10%

Technical Single Track: 90%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Cross the Mt White Bridge off SH73, continue up towards the Hawdon Shelter, then locate the private lodge tucked in the bush.

    Park either at Hawdon Shelter or else tuck your car away closer to the lodge if the ground conditions suit.

    25 km

    26 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Follow the orange markers in the bush and cairns/ slight trail on the tops. Blue / pink ones are trap lines, don't follow these!

    Very patchy.

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

    Small tarns near the top in emergence but really you need to carry enough water for the whole trip

    Exposed tops, subject to rapid weather change at any time of year. Can get every windy. Expect to be snowcovered in winter/ spring

    Snow - avalanche risk should be checked in winter/ spring on the tops

  • Post run indulgence

    Anything in Arthurs Pass or the Bealey

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