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Mt Somers - Over the Top V1, Canterbury

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Mt Somers - Over the Top V1Intermediate

Submitted by Mike Steel

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


6:30 (Slow)
4:45 (Moderate)
3:30 (Fast)



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The route combines a variety of tracks plus a short off-trail section and takes in the summit of Mt Somers.

From Woolshed Creek head up the steep Rhyolite Track and traverse along, then take the South Face track which undulates through open tussock, streams and bush sections. At the signposted turnoff take the Mt Somers summit track for a grunty climb up to the summit ridge. Pleasant running along the airy ridge top to the summit.

After taking in the views, head down open gentle tussock slopes (no trail) north-west for 1.5 - 2 km (staying near the northern edge of the flat wide ridge) till you can see a clear route (mostly a step wide screeslope, but some minor rock near the top) down to the col which is the highpoint of the Mt Somers walkway. Now you're on the popular and cruisy Mt Sommer walkway - follow it to Woolshed Creek hut, and then back to the car.

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Features of interest

Interesting volcanic features (basalt columns etc) and old mine workings passed en route. Good views of Mt Cook, D'Archiac and Alps from the summit on a clear day.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 10%

Technical Single Track: 70%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Woolshed Creek carpark, end of Jig Road (inland from Mt Somers township, about 1.5 hours South-West of Christchurch)

    Plenty of parking at car park.

    46 km

    35 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The section from the summit back down to the Mt Somers walkway requires some navigation skills, especially if cloudy (i.e. map+compass handy). Don't head straight down (north) from Mt Somers - there's some serious bluffs below.


    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 blanket, Cellphone, Map.

    Water at Woolshed Creek carpark and hut. Streams on south side should be fine to drink.

    In winter, Mt Sommers often is coated in snow, which can be hard (i.e. requiring crampons).

  • Post run indulgence

    Stavely store
    Classic old-style country store with great food and atmosphere.

  • Sponsor this trail

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


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