Mt Cassidy is situated in Arthur’s Pass National Park, 2 hours away from Christchurch. This national park is popular with overseas visitors and undisputedly a tramper’s heaven. (Well, actually the entire New Zealand is!) It has numerous tracks ranging from easy strolls to advanterous mountaineering.
Mt Cassidy is one of the less visited peaks from Arthur’s Pass Village. The beginning of the track (Cons Track) follows a ridge north of the famous Devil’s Punch Bowl Fall.
If you are thinking about visiting Mt Cassidy, make sure you have adequate alpine experience. The top gets really rocky, and we had to traverse across a few steep avalanche screes. Caution and strong foot ware would be your best companions on this trip. Personally, it would not be my idea of a wintery tramp, because rocky foot traps can lurk underneath snowy surface. Crampons and Ice axes would definitely be required if you are attempting it in winter.
More track information can be found here. (A note on timing: DOC says it’s 3-4 hrs return to bush line, and Pat Barrett’s “Canterbury Foothills and Forests” guide says 3-4 hours (one way) to Mt Cassidy summit. It took us nearly 3.5 hrs to summit, so the entire trip was close to 6 hrs including lunch and time for soaking up the view. Our trip was in summer. Any snow would make the trip even longer. P.s We are not exactly slow trampers, being able to get up Avalanche Peak via Avalanche Track in 2hrs. Tramper.co.nz normally have good indication on timing, but it’d be wise to add a few hours to this one just to be on the safe side.)