Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Mt French

Kumara, West Coast

Submitted by Steve Hanmer

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 42 ?

Gnarl Factor: 101 ?

9.0km

1190m

1190m

1233m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Mountainous

Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup

75%
25%

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +24.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -24.8%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable

Slow

3:00

Moderate

2:00

Fast

Don't be fooled by the relatively short distance of this track.. it's a serious grunt!

From the start of the trail, after a short steep climb it levels off for about half a km, but after that, it's really steep most of the way to the top. There is some slight respite around 800m asl, but it is very short lived and gets even steeper once above the bushline. The trail is rugged and rough, and you'll be on all fours at times. This trail doesn't seem to get as much use as the neighbouring Te Kinga, and hence is a bit more overgrown and rugged. There is quite a lot of large windfall along the way, but there has been enough track maintenance to allow fairly free flow along the trail.

Once you pop out of the bush, the trail steepens sharply and the trails gets slightly harder to follow, although it is well marked. You will pass a repeater station, just before you hit the main, obvious ridge line. From here you can turn left and head a few hundred metres along the ridge to the high point at 1233m (which is described here), or turn right and head along the undulating (poled route) ridge to Mt French itself, in which case you'd need to add an extra 1-2 hours return to your journey depending on how fast you're moving. Either way, on a clear day, you will be rewarded with some excellent views for your efforts.

Head back down the way you came. The descent is steep, and difficult to maintain any real flow whilst running, and so extra care should be taken here, particularly if it's wet.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

There is enough space for a several vehicles by the side of the road opposite the trail head.

17 km

20 minutes

Unknown

No

Hard.

Patchy.

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, Cellphone, Compass, Map

No water on the trail, bring all you need!

Could be treacherous in the wet, particularly on the way down

Trail Legend

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

has completed Mt French twice in the last year.

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You and Mt French

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Trail Reviews

Loved this wee climb and as Katie mentioned worthwhile going to Mt French itself. In wet weather you would get quite wet due to the vegetation so really nice on a good day. This area has really nice charm and met some local trampers who were so nice .

Sia Svendsen

December 28, 2020

This is a great track, definitely worth going the extra distance to Mt French itself. Beware of snow and ice in winter months.

Katie Smith

August 22, 2020

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