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Cloudsley - Enys Traverse, Canterbury

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Cloudsley - Enys TraverseVery Experienced

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info
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Trail Information






Castle Hill Village

Back country - remote



Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Very Experienced

8:00 (Slow)
6:00 (Moderate)
4:00 (Fast)



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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 the start of the Hogs Back track. Mind out for mountainbikers at the start here.

Once you get near the prominent "Lightning Tree" its 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 Cloudsley, Mt 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.

Next stop is Carn Brea (2090m) to the east of the Mt Enys summit after a short sharp rocky decent 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 very its a sweet beech forest descent to the village. Ford the Thomas River and pick your way though the village back to the car.

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Features of interest

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

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 70%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single 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

Leith Hill

Leith Hill

Length: 8.30km

The Loop of Depression

The Loop of Depression

Length: 6.00km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start/ Finish in Castle Hill Village

    Plenty of places to pull up in the village

    32 km

    26 minutes



  • Staying Safe

    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!

  • Post run indulgence

    Springfield is the nearest town with any services.

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