Last Updated: 21st Apr 2024

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Cloudsley - Enys Traverse

Craigieburn Range

Dead Man Spur, Long Spur

Castle Hill Village, Canterbury

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Apr 2024

Very Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 76 ?

Gnarl Factor: 91 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote



Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +18.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -20.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is one for the more enthusiastic vertical peak baggers who want a big day out. Nothing too technical but its a very committing and very high endeavour. There are significant grunt points on offer here!

Park up in the village and get any ablutions out of the way. Ensure you have lots of water and food, you won't be topping up anything along the way here. Initially follow the roads and trails up to the start of the Hogs Back track. Mind out for mountain bikers at the start here.

Once you get near the prominent "Lightning Tree" it's time to leave the track and get on to the appropriately named Long Spur. Then its relentlessly uphill, through the altitude zones and up, up and more up. Bag Point 1855 on the way and keep following up as it gets progressively rockier and steeper onto Mt Cloudsley itself (2107m). You are now on the crest of the Craigieburn Range, and the 360-degree views are to die for. Soak it up, refuel and get ready for some sweet tops travel ridgeline bashing.

From Mount Cloudsley, Mount Enys lies to the south along the ridge. Traverse over Point 2089 and ascend Enys's curving summit ridge. Enjoy yourself up here - you are now on the highest point of the Craigieburn Range. Views from Mt Cook to Arthurs Pass and beyond.

The next stop is Carn Brea (2090m) to the east of the Mt Enys summit after a short sharp rocky descent to the saddle between. Skirt over Carn Brea and follow the wide and attractive Dead Man Spur. Angle to the north east on the main spur as you get to the lower slopes, you are aiming to get across the lower headwaters of Whitewater Stream before grunting up an additional 300m of ascent up onto Leith Hill - the third named peak of the day. Descend the northern spur of Leith hill and pick up the marked "Loop Track " in the basin known locally as "The Depression".

If your legs have anything left after all the vert it's a sweet beech forest descent to the village. Ford the Thomas River and pick your way through the village back to the car.

This trail includes the peaks Mount Cloudsley, Mount Enys and Leith Hill .

Very high loop of two Craigieburn Range summits, with Leith Hill for good measure. Commanding views in all directions, true alpine stuff

Plenty of places to pull up in the village

32 km

26 minutes



Very hard.

Map, GPS and compass. Ridges are well defined, but you don't want to be going down the wrong one off Mt Enys


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal 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 bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters

None, bring it all in your pack

Snow, ice and avalanche risks during winter, spring and early summer. Actually snow can fall up top any time of year.

Exposed ridges, snowskills in winter- ice axe and crampons required, not really a run at this time of year you may prefer to take skis!

Can be hot and dry in summer, exposed to wind. Take all the right clothes, and sunscreen!

Springfield is the nearest town with any services.

You and Cloudsley - Enys Traverse

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Trail Reviews

A splendid outing, with great views!Like Richard I also barrelled down the screen off Leigh Hill, and realised part-way down I didn't need to. But it was quite fun nevertheless including an entertaining descent down the centre of the "Depression" and was OK with my trail running shoes+ mokie mini gaters (I was more worried about Simon's comment about finding the trail lower down - but at least going that way you a funneled towards the marked trail since it goes horizontally across the bottom of the Depression slide).

Mike Steel

March 9, 2019

Great trail, Great views! Got lost coming down leith hill connecting to the loop track. Missed the start of the trail. So just bushbashed down to the river. After following that reconnected with the track just prior to the car park.

Simon Parkes

January 26, 2019

I was looking forward to running this, but then it snowed so I tramped it instead on 26 May. It was a great day out - fantastic high alpine route with lots of mixed terrain. However, despite the snow I am glad I didn't run it as its pretty EPIC. The mixed scree decent off dead man's spur would have been brutal with runners on. However, when I looked back from the top of Leith Hill I saw that I could have avoided the scree if I kept more NE so don't make the same mistake I did. Also, I think this probably a height of summer run - the wind chill on the ridge certainly didn't lend itself to running stubbies. Thus, definitely an awesome run for the ultra hard core who like to test just how far running shoes can be used instead of mountaineering boots. Thanks for submitting Tony!

Richard McGill

May 27, 2018

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

Leith Hill

Leith Hill

Length: 8.3km

Level: Intermediate

The Loop of Depression

The Loop of Depression

Length: 6.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

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