Accessing the Backcountry from Temple Basin

There are multiple easily accessible and regularly used areas of backcountry adjacent to Temple Basin Ski Club with some of the best skiing you’ll find anywhere. Whether you’re popping into the Mingha for a few cheeky laps, or planning an ascent of Mt Temple, there are a few things you need to do before heading off.

Before you arrive

Check the avalanche forecast

One of the most important things you need to do before heading off is check the avalanche forecast and plan your trip accordingly. The avalanche forecast for the Arthurs Pass region can be found on the New Zealand Avalanche Advisory website

Plan your trip

Have a clear plan in mind before departure including the routes that you are going to take- ascents and descents, as well as how much food and water you will need. Make sure you get a good idea of the route from websites, forums and peers.


Make sure you have all the gear

It is very important to carry and know how to use avalanche safety equipment when entering the backcountry. An avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe are necessary items. Crampons, ice axe, first aid kit, GPS and a personal locator beacon (PLB) are also highly recommended. We strongly discourage anyone accessing the backcountry from Temple Basin if they do not have the necessary equipment. 

Take an educational course

Consider taking a backcountry education course. These courses will teach you the basics of backcountry travel or provide an opportunity to hone your skills. Temple Basin provides these courses through the New Zealand Snow Safety Institute (NZSSI). More information on the courses that NZSSI offer can be found on our website 


Check the weather

There are many different websites from which you can try and piece together what the weather is going to do. But remember things can change rapidly, so make sure you are prepared for the wind, cold, rain, snow, hail, blistering sunshine or a combination of it all.

Remember to always take weather forecasts with a grain of salt and look at a range of different sites in order to try and best paint a picture of what will actually happen.

Useful resources for weather:



When you arrive


Talk to ski patrol

If there’s one thing that ski patrollers love, it's talking about skiing and snow conditions. Once you arrive please talk to one of our friendly ski patrol team who will provide you with a wealth of knowledge on safe routes, good areas to check out, and most importantly, where the good snow is.

*Note, once you exit Temple Basin Ski Area boundary lines you are responsible for your own safety and rescue.

Fill out an intentions form

Once you’ve talked to ski patrol and know where you are going to go, pop in to our ski hire and ask to fill out an intentions form. This will record where you are going, what you are doing, who’s going and what kind of emergency equipment you are taking. This is all important information that will help us find you in the case of an emergency. And don’t forget to come back past and sign out when you leave. 

Respect the mountain and those on it

Heading out in the backcountry can be one of the best experiences you can have with your skis on. It is important that you respect the mountain by taking only photos and leaving only skin tracks.

Leave No Trace

Also always abide by the following:

•       Respect closures, do not ski through or travel through closed terrain within Temple Basin Ski Area

•       Do not travel through areas that might endanger others, especially those below you (rockfall, sluffing etc.)

•       Listen to ski patrol. If they tell you not to travel somewhere it is for good reason

•       Have fun!