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Foggy and Castle Hill Peaks, Canterbury

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Foggy and Castle Hill PeaksIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Sarah Coxon

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

4:30 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:30 (Fast)



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The climbing starts as soon as you leave the car park area at the top of Porters Pass. Initially, there are a few orange-topped warratahs to guide you, but they run out almost straight away. There's still enough of a trail to follow - it splits and rejoins and splits again, but you can't really get it wrong - you're just heading up, up, up!

Soon, the grasses and shrubs give way to scree and rock. Don't feel bad about stopping often to catch your breath, these are good opportunities to enjoy the views unfolding behind you. Eventually, you reach the large rock cairn at Foggy Peak and can see the lovely broad ridge you'll follow around towards Castle Hill Peak.

Carry on over the top of Foggy Peak and enjoy a short dash through the scree to a small saddle on the northern side, before climbing some more. Continue along the ridge line - faint tracks appear then disappear, but you can just make your own way along the top. About 5km in, the ridge narrows a bit for the climb up to Castle Hill Peak but it's all scree, no scrambling required.

Tag the trig and grab a bite to eat. When you've had your fill of the views, return the way you came. Enjoy the chance to open up and stretch the legs, especially over the section back to Foggy Peak. From there, the descent can be a little slippery on the gravel, but all good fun.

It is possible to carry on from Castle Hill Peak.... if you're after more and have the time and skills/experience, perhaps check out the Torlesse Traverse route.

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Features of interest

Beautiful views from every angle, including of Lake Lyndon, the surrounding peaks and back across the plains.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 100%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Porters Pass. There's a carpark and lookout area on the bend at the top of the pass.

    19 km

    16 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The route is unmarked almost the entire way, but just head up and stay on the tops. In cloudy or foggy weather, the lack of landmarks could make navigation difficult - best avoided or use a GPX.

    Very patchy.

    Thermal 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.

    None. Take what you need.

    Best avoided in heavy fog or a howling north west wind.
    Lots of snow/ice in winter, in particular, the final ascent to Castle Hill Peak may require crampons.

    You're in an exposed, alpine environment. Conditions can change quickly, so check the forecast and take sufficient gear.

  • Post run indulgence

    Sheffield Pie Shop
    Simply the best pies around. Make sure you're back in Sheffield before 4pm close!

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