Temple Basin

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Temple Basin
Templebasin.jpg
Location Southern Alps
Nearest city Arthur's Pass
Coordinates 42°54′32″S 171°34′32″E / 42.908811°S 171.575463°E / -42.908811; 171.575463Coordinates: 42°54′32″S 171°34′32″E / 42.908811°S 171.575463°E / -42.908811; 171.575463
Top elevation 1753ft
Base elevation 1326ft
Skiable area 320 hectare
Runs Backcountry
Lift system 3 Rope tows
Terrain parks 0
Snowmaking no
Night skiing yes
Web site http://www.templebasin.co.nz

Temple Basin is a club skifield in Arthur's Pass, in New Zealand's South Island. Operated by two clubs, the Temple Basin Ski Club, and the Canterbury University Snow Sports Club, the ski area has 3 rope tows, two on-site lodges, two shelters and a ski school and ski shop. The tows cover an elevation range of 1326–1753 metres, for a skiable domain of 320 hectares. Its natural terrain has been highly recommended by adventure skiers on several occasions.[1]

Temple Basin is home to the New Zealand Snow Safety Institute. The New Zealand Snow Safety Institute runs a series of courses throughout the year on aspects of mountaineering and mountain safety. These courses are aimed for climbers, skiers, snowboarders and trampers. The lodges at Temple Basin allows for students to stay on field and watch the snow pack evolve over time aiding the learning of these skills.

Top of main rope tow

Temple Basin is approximately 2 hours from Christchurch by car, followed by a 45-minute walk. Like many club fields, a good portion of the skiable area is accessible only by hiking, including some hiking between lifts.

The field consists of 4 main basins. Cassidy Tow accesses a smooth open basin with beginner and intermediate terrain. Temple Tow accesses an intermediate slope. Between Cassidy and Temple tows a stream gut offers rock faces and snow traps. A short walk from the top of Temple Tow brings users to Downhill Basin and the fields highest Tow. Downhill consists of a wide open bowl with Blimit and Mt Temples peaks above. A traverse and hike from the top of temple tow gives users access to Bills Basin, an intermediate basin with a collection of chutes at the bottom. From the top of Downhill tow one can also hike to the peak accessing the Mingha Valley over the ridge. The Mingha, whilst not patrolled, is commonly used by backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

This field is just on the Western side of the Southern Alps and so receives significantly more snowstorms than those areas further east.

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