Mount Oxford Summit ScrambleBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Sophie Brathwaite
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
Make sure you tag the DoC sign on the summit to qualify for an FKT
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This route is part of the Further Faster Canterbury Hills Collection
Start your run from the Coopers Creek carpark, through the farm gate and over the bridge to start on the 4WD farm track. Follow this track for approx 1.5 km, and watch out for the orange track marker that will steer you left onto the start of the trail. From here you cross over a stepped barrier, then veer down towards the river, cross another bridge, then start the single track. The trail from here is very clear to follow, only mind a few fallen trees! The trail is mostly beech forest, which is cool and stunning, and dog friendly if you have one!
Be wary that the first 2.5 km of the trail can be very muddy and slippery after any wet weather.. not too much of a problem if you take your time or have a hearty pair of trail shoes that are good in the mud! From 3.5 km in, the climb really starts and doesn’t ease until the tree line at 4.8 km.
In late autumn/winter the snow will reach below the tree line, so be prepared with gloves and layers if you plan to go above the tree line or to the summit.
The trail is fairly technical but good fun from here up, you have amazing views, changing tussock colours and a breeze to cool you if it’s in the stink of summer! Some of the trail is hidden by tussock so take care on the loose gravels and narrow trail.
The summit is at about 6.8 km, and 360 views can be enjoyed from the trig. From here you can pop along the ridge to continue the full loop to Wharfdale track, carry on to the Hutts on the west side of the mountain or shoot back down the same trail. Take time for a sandwich and a selfie at the top.. and watch the loose scree on the way down, it’s tricky to enjoy the view and not roll an ankle!
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Features of interest
Stunning beach forests, beautiful views from above the tree line.
Enjoy snow above the tree line between April and September!
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 60%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
Drive to Coopers Creek Car Park at the end of Mountain Road (short dirt road off Mounseys Road).
Car parking spaces for approx 15 cars. Relatively safe but avoid leaving valuables in your car as a precaution.
From the 4WD farm track you start on, follow for about 1.3 km, then look out for the orange track marker on your left. This will lead you onto the start of the trail.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
A river at the start of the track, otherwise nothing.
Beware of the first 2.5 km being very muddy and slippery after rain. If you have one, a hiking pole will be very handy!!
In snowy seasons, the snow can reach below the treeline. Take care to wear waterproof tramping boots OR hearty trail shoes if you are still going for the run! The Oxford Odyssey is run over this trail in May (often in snow) and this is ok to do in good trail shoes. Prepare to get muddy if you are going in winter - it's worth it!
Narrow gravelly trails around the summit are easy to roll an ankle, take care on the downward route!
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