Blow Hard and backBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Jen Harris
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
The Blowhard Track is sometimes used by horse riders, mountain bikers, trampers and the odd dirt bike. Mt Richardson track won't have any dirtbikes or horses.
Leaving the end of Maori Reserve road, go through unlocked gate and start on the 4wd track heading uphill, this peters out to a bush track, after you leave the bush line at the top, go past first clearing and then you come to the DOC sign, take the Bypass track to the left, continue down hill (mostly), take the track to the right, cross the bridge, the next track to the right (another foot bridge) onto the Mt Richardson track, then its a steady slog to the top, take the required photo at the top then continue on the track back towards the Blowhard. There are some steep shingly parts on the Blowhard track.
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Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 25%
Moderate Single Track: 40%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
Take the Birch Hill Road and turn off at Maori Reserve road, this a gravel road and keep to the left until the end. There is a grassy parking area outside Birch Hill Camp. If coming from Oxford take the Ashley Gorge Rd. Maori Reserve road will be on your left
Limited parking on grass outside Birch Hill Camp at start of the track. There are no toilets
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
There is no water on the Blowhard Track. There are a couple of streams at the bottom of the Mt Richardson Track. Suggest you take enough water with you for drinking
Can get windy on the ridges, track will be slippery on the steep sections after rain
Listen out for dirt bikes and keep off the track to allow them to pass. I've done the Blowhard many times and only seen dirt bikes twice.
Post run indulgence
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