Big mountain lines, ski movie terrain, and plenty of walking. Bring your spare underpants.
 Temple Basin is big on walking, but those lines in the background are a lot closer than they look.

Temple Basin is big on walking, but those lines in the background are a lot closer than they look.

Temple Basin is on Highway 73 between Christchurch and Greymouth, just west of Arthur's Pass township. In fact, Temple Basin is on Arthur's Pass itself, putting it right on the main divide. This location means that Temple bears the full brunt of any northwesterly storms that come through, which usually bring plenty of snow and the odd bit of rain. On the other hand, it doesn't get much snowfall out of southerly or southeasterly systems that often make for great skiing at the other club fields. This makes Temple a bit hit and miss, even by New Zealand's standards. Some seasons it gets amazing snow, other seasons it has barely enough to open.

One thing you can be sure of at Temple is the terrain. You could film a ski movie here in the right conditions. Inbounds there are great beginner and intermediate options, fun advanced terrain and plenty of chutes and cliffs to keep things interesting. But the real appeal is the hiking. Temple is surrounded by gentle bowls, steep faces and tight chutes, with options for the mellow, adventurous and super-rad. You'll have to earn you turns here. Just getting to the field involves a 50 minute hike up from the highway (your gear can travel up a goods lift, so it's not as bad as it sounds).

Temple has a large accommodation lodge on the hill and (unlike the other club fields) offers ski rentals. Given the walk, it's another great place to get snowed in.