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Broderick Pass Assault, Canterbury

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Broderick Pass AssaultIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Giles Fairbrother

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote

Out and Back


Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

14:00 (Slow)
10:30 (Moderate)
7:00 (Fast)



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Leave the hut after writing in intentions book and head on true right track over the hill to the flat up to the Main valley forks. Turn up the Huxley here.
You can follow the river bed the whole way to Huxley Forks or the track.You choose. We did the track on the way in and river on the way out.

After leaving the Forks hut the valley closes up considerably and you shuffle round the side of the river and sometimes up on the terraces. It's very up and down until you reach Broderick Hut. Stand back and take it all in. You are in true rugged back country here. The hut is at high avalanche risk in winter and you wouldn't want to be around.

Follow your nose and the white poles across avalanche chutes to the base of the climb to the pass. This is a very solid climb the whole way. There are tarns up near the top - or there was in January- but fill at least your bottle up and conserve just in case. Stop and enjoy the different look outs on the way up - it is mind blowing. And keep an eye out for poles as they are far apart at times and hard to find. Keep reading your map for the contour lines and do not veer off trail or you will get bluffed!! Do not attempt in fog.

Once at the pass you will look down Mackenzie Creek to the mighty Landsborough on one side and down the Huxley on the other. Mount Strauchon and Mount Mackenzie tower either side of you. Soak it up, the re-trace your steps.

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Features of interest

General 5 star nz mountain scenery from start to finish. The Huxley Valley is a special part of this area.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 40%

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 10%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 20%

Route Data


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  • Access

    From Twizel head to Ohau and drive to the road end where the Hopkins Valley starts. From here you will need a proper 4wd to get to Monument hut where we started. Alternatively you could mountain bike to the hut - it is mostly flat, or run to include the extra milage but it will be turning into a pretty tough ultra if you do.

    Park where sensible to hut uses.

    60 km

    63 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    the last climb to the pass - see description


    Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal 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, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.

    Good water the whole way with little or no stock

    Do not attempt if:
    - forecast is changable even slightly
    - there's a norwester or southerly blowing or forecasted
    - it has been raining in the hills
    Do not attempt any time outside summer/autumn - winter is dangerous and spring is very dangerous, especially avalanche season

    it is the usual mount hazards. Tree roots, slippery rocks, deep rivers, falls from bluffs

  • Post run indulgence

    Ohau Lodge
    Lake Ohau Road
    Handy to finish but it is tourist prices beware. good coffee and beer selection accomodation and good food

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