Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


I've done it Done

Save Trail Save

Libretto Traverse

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


I've done it Done

Save Trail Save


Grunt Factor: 78

Gnarl Factor: 99





Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)


Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +18.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -19.5%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






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.

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

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




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.

Mumbles Cafe
Hamner Springs
Good Coffee

Trail Legend

Peter Savage

Peter Savage

has completed Libretto Traverse once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

So long as you tag the peaks - Faust, Mephistopheles & Mt Lucia - it doesn't matter which direction you complete the traverse or precisely what route is taken.

You and Libretto Traverse

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Right up there with the best ridgeline routes! You can even bag Travers peak for extra peak bagging points before dropping back down to the treeline (best to get across to the west ridge of Travers peak first then it's easy enough hiking to the summit)
Would totally leave a high vis at your bike if you're biking back - the road can get pretty busy at times.

Ben Brown

January 4, 2022

Just ran this amazing point to point today. It was stunning and totally agree with Steve a favorite ridge line travel run route . Another great run loop appear to be Mt Faust loop for a shorter outing. Awesome day and was great going but check weather forecast . Thanks Nelson for the trail route.

Sia Svendsen

March 14, 2021

This has to be my favourite type of run; point to point, open tops, ridgeline travel, no trudging up and down valleys. Doesn't get much better!
The scrambles up to Mephistopheles and Lucia were pretty straightforward.
I took the advice of the author and peeled off the final ridge a bit earlier than the gpx, which made for an easier route to bypass Travers.

Steve Hanmer

February 14, 2021

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Other trails nearby
Fowlers Pass - St James

Fowlers Pass - St James

Length: 64.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Balmoral Fire Lookout

Balmoral Fire Lookout

Length: 3.0km

Level: Beginner

Hanmer Old Forest Loop

Hanmer Old Forest Loop

Length: 10.0km

Level: Beginner

Nina Valley SH7 to Swingbridge

Nina Valley SH7 to Swingbridge

Length: 6.5km

Level: Beginner

Find more trails and peaks nearby