Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Craigieburn Traverse

Castle Hill Village, Canterbury

Submitted by Rose Pearson

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 125 ?

Gnarl Factor: 91 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -14.6%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






Begin the route at the Porters Pass ski-field sign. Run 5km up the access road, until deviating off the second to last switchback (the one before I did on my GPX) and ascend the ridge to Blue Hill. From here, stick to the ridge for the next 30km until you reach Baldy Hill. Descend its north spur before heading left near the bottom into a gut that will take you to Cass Stream - sidle left out of it at the last moment to take a nice scree slope the final 50m to the river. It looks scrubby, but you can pick a clean route through. Follow the DoC track back to the Cass Track car park. Hitch or car shuttle back to the start. Route would run as well in other direction.

A tour of the Craigieburn club ski-fields.

Parking on side of SH73 of just off the Porters ski-field access road.

9 km

7 minutes




Nav will be difficult in cloudy conditions. There are few if any places where you have to worry about bluffs, so you could happily follow a GPS trace in cloudy conditions.

Generally good.

Thermal leggings, 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

Tarn basin with a 200m descent just before Cheeseman ski-field.

In winter there is avalanche hazard and it would be better to do as a ski tour.

The Yelloshack Cafe
Springfield, Canterbury
The nearest food between the trail end and Chch. Delicious pizza.

The Springfield Pub
Springifield, Pub
Open late.

The Wobbly Kea
Arthurs pass
Delicious food.

Trail Legend

Sia Svendsen

Sia Svendsen

has completed Craigieburn Traverse once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Tough but fun. Go in prepared for a long day on rough terrain. I recommend taking burly shoes with a rock plate. Be careful with your line choice on the final scree descent. Some of the scree is quite shallow, making for unstable footing.

The views of the Craggieburns, Torlesse, & Main Divide are hard to beat.

Nelson Pearson

March 26, 2021

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