Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate

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Leith Hill

Castle Hill Village, Canterbury

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 30 ?

Gnarl Factor: 76 ?

8.3km

660m

660m

1384m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Combo

Very hilly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup

20%
20%
20%
40%

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +16.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -16.4%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

3:00

Slow

2:15

Moderate

1:30

Fast

Start up with the trail through the village, and pick up the marked trail that descends to the Thomas River. You may or may not keep dry feet as you cross the river, and pick up the "Loop Track" as it ascends up onto tussocky terraces and then into the beech forest.

The well marked track then ascends steadily up through the forest until emerging into the prominent basin half way up Leith Hill that is known locally as The "Depression". This is a good spot for a break and a fuel up, before you head off for the more technical stuff. I dare you not to start humming "There is no depression in New Zealand..."

From the "Depression" its pretty much a case of follow your nose to the top. Leave the marked trail behind and follow the long sweeping spur to the north of the basin, picking your way up through mixed scrub, tussock and rocky terrain. The higher you go the better the views get. The first 'summit' is marked with a very large cairn but this is not the true summit! The true summit is to the west (at the end of the gpx trail) . This summit does not have a significant cairn and appears lower when viewed from the cairn ... don't be fooled!

Return routes are either the same way, or conversely you could descend the screes and spur down the south side of the Depression. Pick the track up at the bushline again and complete "The Loop Track" back home to the village. Some nice moderately technical bush trail running as you drop altitude again.

This trail includes the peak Leith Hill .

Half way up you will find yourself in the distinctive Depression, a prominent landmark from around the Castle Hill Basin

Great views all round

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Park up in the village. Pretty safe with lots of friendly people at certain times

0 km

1 minutes

Unknown

No

Moderate.

You'll probably want good weather and visibility for this one as you are off track and above the bushline

Generally good.

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, Map, Gaiters

BYO

Snow and Ice in winter.

You are in the mountains- sudden and hazardous weather can hit rapidly. Check the forecast.

Springfield has a few cafes, and is the closest town with such amenities

Trail Legend

SP

Sonia Panapa

has completed Leith Hill once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Long steep slidy grunty uphill, but it’s pure joy running down the scree! The rest of the downhill is a simple pleasure. Gorgeous views from the top on a fine day. I brought ankle gaiters / putties and was glad to have them for the scree run.

Matt Halverson

March 19, 2021

Long steep slidy grunty uphill, but it’s pure joy running down the scree! The rest of the downhill is a simple pleasure. Gorgeous views from the top on a fine day. I brought ankle gaiters / putties and was glad to have them for the scree run.

Matt Halverson

March 19, 2021

Starts with a nice gentle forest section and then you get into the steep stuff! Got a little frustrated with the scree on the way up but it made for a fairly quick descent. A lovely run and the views would be great on a clear day - unfortunately it was cloudy today.

Stefanie Parks

March 11, 2021

Five stars purely for the adventure you feel in your bones doing this. "Trail" and "Run" are two words that only make their appearance briefly. After the beautiful forest run you'll pop out above the tree line and it's all off track and UP from here. It's steep with no markers but that adds to the challenge to pick the best route up. Zig-zag through the tussocks or straight up the loose scree? Your choice! I used the GPX file to make sure I wasn't wandering too far left or right. A good one to test to quality of your trail shoes on the rocks coming down too!

Sal Aitken

March 5, 2021

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