Our field-tested, expert-approved, and barely survived guide to the coolest things you can do on this planet.
Ski steeps for cheap.
There aren't any chairlifts at New Zealand's Temple Basin ski fields, and the bunkrooms are close to freezing, but when you're looking down a couloir full of sweet, untouched powder, creature comforts quickly become superfluous. This 78-year-old public ski field - a nonprofit Kiwi creation where $135 a night gets you a lift pass, lodging, and food - might offer the best lift-accessed backcountry skiing in the world. Three ancient tow ropes ferry guests from the Adirondack-style lodge up to a saddle on 6,275-foot Temple Peak. From there, skiers can hike or skin to any number of peaks or chutes (as well as mellower open snowfields). There's an hour-long hike to the lodge from the parking area on Arthur's Pass, but a luggage lift carries your skis, gear, and whatever other comforts you brought from home - such as extra blankets or a case of local Tui beer. [templebasin.co.nz]
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