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VKV challenge, Canterbury

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VKV challengeIntermediate

Submitted by Mike Steel

Info Info

Trail Information

10.00km

500m

500m

 

Canterbury

Christchurch

Urban fringe

Loop

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate

1:50 (Slow)
1:25 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)

-13.3%

+13.7%

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Description

A short but pumping circuit that takes you over Mt Vernon, Sign of the Kiwi and Mt Victoria. Has a bit of everything (bush, panoramic views, steep ups and downs, and cruisy ridge running) -- the "challenge" part is to see if you can do this in one hour or less.

From the car park, run to the end of the gravel road, then up steep trails (or steeper shortcuts) to join the upper Huntsbury 4WD track to the main road and then one last direct shortcut to Mt Vernon summit. Stop the watch, climb onto the rock and admire the views! Run back along the Crater Rim Walkway which takes you over three small bumps and some native bush on the Lyttelton side to Sign of the Kiwi, then run down the popular (Harry Ell) track beside Dyers Pass road; cross the road to Victoria park, and continue on the Harry Ell track until you meet some steep steps going down.

At this point sidle right and follow a track directly up to Mt Victoria, passing by the octagonal visitor centre, and round to the right to pick up the descent track. This heads down (north) for 10 metres then loops back to the south, heading down. After about a minute (by a short orange Walkway marker on the left of the track) leave this trail and dive left down through the trees on a faint trail and pick up steep, dusty mountainbike trails through the trees wherever possible - the valley floor is just a few minutes away with careful routefinding, mostly off the main trails (which will take longer). You will eventually come out on a 4WD road, which leads back to the end of the original gravel 4WD road and back to the car park.


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Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 5%

Technical Single Track: 15%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Gravel Road: 10%


Route Data

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Starts and ends at the Bowenvale valley carpark

    Plenty of parking (safe) at end of Bowenvale - also for bikes too.

    7 km

    16 minutes

    Yes

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Moderate.

    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the RunHunters app on your phone. View on RunHunters .

    Mostly on well-marked tracks. On the way up, some shortcuts on faint trails up the side of the hill help (if they are not overgrown).
    On the way down through Victoria Park routefinding is more of a mission (i.e. you won't get seriously lost, but if you want to do this in under an hour you'll probably need a few tries probably to find the right lines!).

    Generally good.

    Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Map.

    Water at Sign of the Kiwi

    Crater Rim Walkway section behind Sugarloaf can get pretty greasy in winter or after heavy rain.

    Watch for mountainbikers on the 4wd section near the start/finish, especially on weekends.

  • Post run indulgence

    Fava Cafe
    236 Centaurus Rd
    Excellent food and coffee

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