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Libretto Traverse, Canterbury

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Libretto TraverseExperienced

Submitted by Nelson Pearson

Info Info
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Trail Information






Hanmer Springs

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)


Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


Not Suitable (Slow)
7:30 (Moderate)
5:00 (Fast)



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Start at Boyle Village and travel North beside SH7 across the Boyle River Bridge. After the bridge, take a right onto the well marked Faust Loop track. This track climbs steeply for 3km to the bush line at 1320m.

Follow the the ridge line north along the duration of the Libretto Range. It finishes abruptly in a steep saddle before Travers Peak. Along this section, the route gains some legendary peak names - Faust & Mephistopheles, along with Mt Lucia. It is possible to follow the top of the ridge line for the duration of this section. The saddle before Mephistopheles & the climb up to Mt Lucia both involve a short scramble.

Drop into the saddle at the northern end of the Libretto Range, then continue north towards Travers Peak by climbing to regain the ridge line. Follow this ridge line towards Travers Peak, but drop off the west side of the ridge line before it becomes steep & rocky. Continue west along the south face of Travers Peak and regain the western ridge. Follow the cairn marked trail on this ridge line west, descending towards the ridge line. Note - the south face of Travers Peak has some sections of scree. These can be avoided by dropping off the ridge line earlier than is done on the GPX file for this route.

From the bushline, follow the well marked Foleys Track back to SH7, finishing across the road from the Deer Valley Camp Site.

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Features of interest

Panoramic views of the peaks & valleys around Lewis Pass & St James.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 75%

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 14%

Sealed Road: 1%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The Boyle Village DOC parking lot just off of SH7

    Parking at start of trail - Boyle Village DOC carpark. Parking at end of trail - Deer Valley DOC Campsite. Leave a car or bike at the end of the trail. Hitchiking from the finish can be challenging as SH7 has a narrow shoulder.

    56 km

    42 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The majority of this route is unmarked, but follows the high point of the ridge line in a northerly direction.
    The section around Travers Peak to the western ridge does not have a natural line. Feel free to diverge from the route marked in the GPX file for this section of the traverse. A lower traverse than what is in the marked file would likely be easier travel.


    Waterproof leggings, Lightweight fleece top, 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.

    As this is a ridge top traverse, fresh water is scarce. Be prepared to travel 5km between water sources.

    Tarns are plentiful in the approach to Faust.
    Tarns are present near the midpoint between Mephistopheles & Mt Lucia.
    Tarns & streams can be found in the saddle at the northern end of the Libretto Range.

    This route follows an exposed & untracked ridge line for the duration without shelters. The rocky sections may be slick when wet.
    This route should only be attempted in good conditions, with low wind, good visibility, and no rain.

  • Post run indulgence

    Mumbles Cafe
    Hamner Springs
    Good Coffee

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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