The New Zealand Snow Safety Institute offers professional courses for those wishing to up-skill in mountaineering, back-country skiing and riding, avalanche awareness and snow science, or general alpine and rope-work skills. All courses are conducted at Temple Basin Ski Area in the middle of the Southern Alp’s Main Divide in Arthurs Pass National Park. All course fees include accommodation at 1400m in a warm hut with hot showers, a drying room, a small bar and 3 meals a day. For full course details please visit our courses page.
Our fees are kept to a minimum and all profits go to Temple Basin, a not-for-profit ski club run by volunteers since 1929. Our mission is to provide affordable alpine education courses, enable safe access and exploration of Arthurs Pass National Park and promote outdoor recreation in our natural areas.
Temple Basin is unique in that there is no access road to the top. Instead you leave your car at the bottom and make your way up on foot.
Approximately 800 metres west of the car park you’ll find the Goods Lift which will send your gear skyward and lighten your load. It’s a good tip to hang onto your ski poles as they make the hike a little easier. If there’s snow to low levels it’s best to phone the office for an update as crampons may be an advantage. Generally, hiking boots or running shoes with an aggressive sole are suitable footwear for the track.
Fit and athletic folk pride themselves on completing the track in under 30 minutes. Most people take between 45 minutes to an hour to reach the lodges and lower lifts, not a bad thing as the views and flora are worth savouring.
For an alpine education course, there’s no better place to stay than Temple Basin. Located in the true alpine environment, the lodge is warm and there is a specially adapted lecture theatre featuring rope training mounts. When the weather is inclement, courses can continue inside in this specially designed learning environment. The drying room and warm showers provide relief from a day out in the snow, especially if the weather turns while you’re out!
There is no cell service at Temple Basin, but don’t worry as you’re not too far out of touch. There is limited WiFi on the mountain, just enough to send the important messages to people you need. Most people relish in the escape from the internet and modern communications for their time on the hill.
The accommodation is a variety of modern bunkrooms sleeping from 4 to 6 people. All you need to bring is your own sleeping bag and a towel, Temple Basin staff can look after the rest including hearty dinner, bed and breakfasts, cooked by our in-house chef.
Oh and did we mention that Temple Basin has a liquor license and fully stocked canteen with snacks, craft beers and locally produced wines?