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Backside Basin

Heading off the backside of Temple Col

Ski Touring Moderate

9.1 km
1.3 km
1.3 km
5-6 hrs
Low Point
884 m
High Point
1.8 km
Backside Basin Map

If you are reading this than you must have some knowledge of Temple Basin. This is a special ski field with some of the most aggressive inbounds terrain you can find anywhere on the planet. If you have had this place to yourself on a powder day then you’ve been spoiled with how good it can be. But if you are here a few days after a storm you can still find good snow and there is a great chance this is the place to go. The backside basin is relatively big so it can handle quite a few groups tracking it out but the best thing is this place seems to hold the best snow in the area as it gets loaded with the western winds.


Leaving from the Temple Basin Track make your way up the numerous switchbacks until arriving into the upper basin where the lodge is located. Once there you can buy a lift ticket and use the nutcracker lift to make your way over to the lower traverse or just hike the small ridge until arriving at the traverse. Now make your way over to the upper lift and use that or do a semi steep sidehill climb until arriving up at Temple Col.

From the Col you are standing on top of the backside bowl and can ride the East facing slopes but remember whatever you descend you will have to climb back up. Dropping in don’t get caught in the gullies as they cliff out so instead stay on the high ridge for as long as the good snow allows. If you aren’t the first person out there a bootpack should be put in but don’t expect it. From the bottom of the run head back up to the col after taking a few laps. When it is time to return back to the base start your descent on the west side by doing a long skiers left traverse to make it back down to the lodge via numerous steep descent options or if you want to stay mellow stay in the basin until you make it over to the lower traverse. From here you can see the lodge and easily make it down do it, it is of vital importance to not get stuck in the Western Twin Creeks basin.

Once at the lodge and ready for your day to end you can throw your ski gear on the good lift if it is still working or just hike down with your gear in hand. Before long you will be back at the parking lot and exhausted from your well earned ski turns. For more info and additional pictures check out the full trip here https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/new-zealand/powder-day-temple-basin/



Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between August and November


  • Bowl
  • Alpine
  • Ski Safari

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area