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Devils Punchbowl to Temple Basin

Following the Mount Aicken Track before traversing out to Temple Basin Ski Field

Also in Canterbury, New Zealand

Ski Touring Difficult

10 km
1.9 km
1.8 km
7-8 hrs
Low Point
757 m
High Point
1.8 km
Devils Punchbowl to Temple Basin Map

The Devils Punchbowl traverse was a trip that my friend Ryan came up with to explore the area outside of Temple Basin before exiting via its main hiking trail. In a land where approaches can be brutal the entrance and the exit have a established route so it allows for semi easy hiking into the alpine as a bonus there is a nice couloir and a whole valley that you will have to yourself.


Leaving from the Mount Aiken Track make your way past the Devils Punchbowl Falls until arriving on the high alpine ridge. Once there start descending northeast which will take you into the upper basin. By now you should be able to spot the couloir which is surrounded by rock walls. Now start making your way up the main valley as it bends to the north. Arriving at the base put on your crampons and start climbing the semi technical line until arriving at the high point which is a low col. From here you have a great view of the backside of Temple Basin so take in the view before riding back down into the valley below.

Once back in the basin start following the drainage up towards the low col between Mount Cassidy and Blimit Peaks. While I can imagine this climb is a relatively easy skin in powder conditions there is a good chance you will have to bootpack it with crampons on. Once on the high ridge you can ride down the northwest facing slopes which will take you to the Temple Basin Ski lodge.

For the final push of the day you need to make your way down the Temple Basin track which arrives at the ski fields parking lot. Remember that your car is a few kilometres away so it is good to have two cars or more than enough daylight so you can hitchhike back.

For more pictures and the full story check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/new-zealand/devils-punchbowl/



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

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


  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Couloir
  • Ski Safari
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area