Backcountry Skiing

When you think of backcountry skiing or touring skiing it comes to your mind: mountains, ungroomed virgin snow, unbelievable landscape and leaving a trace with your skis where nobody has skied there before! There is an ‘unwritten rule’ in backcountry skiing if we ski in groups we must never pass on someone else trace, each one leaves its own mark on the mountain.
The backcountry skiing season in Patagonia (Chile & Argentina) goes from August to October in some areas even in November.

Southern Patagonia backcountry skiing (starting point at El Chaltén)

Cerro Madsen

 Dificultad:  Moderate     Duración: 1 Day

Satellite mountain of Fitz Roy range.

INFO

Season: October to November
Required minimum age: 18 años

Itinerary:

Early departure from Chalten, Rio Blanco trail to Laguna de los Tres. From there we start to ascent. Depending the time of the year, we will use snowshoes, ropes and safety gear, or simply hiking shoes. Skiing all the way down.Estimate round trip: 12 hrs. (L)

Includes: Transfers, meals as quoted (L: lunch, D: dinner, B: breakfast), beacons, mountain and ski guiding service. Also group equipment: first aid kit, shovel, probe, GPS, and radio.

Not included: hotel/inn or camping lodging at El Chaltén, personal gear, clothes, boots, skis, backpack, insurance, dinner and beverages not detailed, porters.

Circuito Paso Guillaumet- Glaciar de los Tres

 Dificultad:  Tough     Duración: 1 Day

We start early from El Chalten, hiking to Piedra del Fraile and Piedra Negra where we put up our skis going up to paso Guillaumet and Superior along Fitz Roy range from there backcountry skiing downhill with the best views of Paso Marconi and ice cap.

INFO

Season: October to November
Minimum required age: 18 years

Itinerary:

We leave our car at Electrico river bridge, from there we hike with our skis in our backpacks to Piedra del Fraile, (hiking time: 2hs). From there to Piedra Negra we have 2 hs more hike and a 600 mts level difference. There we put on our skis and we start touring ski to Paso Guillaumet which is 1500 mts above sea level. From here we get an amazing view to Paso Marconi and the South Patagonian ice cap while we ascent. Here we stop ascending and begin an hour traverse along the Fitz Roy range just at the begining of the wall, from where we descent to Paso Superior. From there onwards: the best downhill ski slopes such us stairway to heaven, de los tres glacier, ending at the lagoon which is frozen and covered with snow! We pack our skis in the backpacks and begin our 3 hours hike on a trail that will lead us to the car and back to Chalten. Total roundtrip time: 12- 14hs (L-D)

Includes: Transfers, meals as quoted (L: lunch, D: dinner, B: breakfast) beacons, guiding service. Also group equipment: technical gear, first aid kit, GPS, shovel, probe, and radio.

Not included: Hotel/inn or camping lodging at El Chaltén, personal gear, clothes, skis, boots (You may rent it at our office), backpack, insurance, dinner and beverages not detailed, porters.

Cerro Vespignani

 Dificultad:  Tough     Duración: 1 Day

For snowboard and ski lovers is, a perfect mountain with beautiful view.

INFO

Season: October to November
Required minimum age: 18 years

Itinerary:

We departure from El Chaltén by car to Lago del Desierto (38 km). Start ascent at dawn, towering main glacier, which, after crossing few snow bridges and cracks, will lead us to the top, where we will have an outstanding view of the Ice Cap and Fitz Roy range. From there we touring ski all the way down with amazing slopes. Estimate round trip: 10 hrs. (B-L).

Includes: Transfers, meals as quoted (L: lunch, D: dinner, B: breakfast) Guiding service, beacons, shovel and probe. Also group equipment: tents, stoves, technical gear, first aid kit, GPS, and radio.

Not included: Hotel/inn or camping lodging at El Chaltén, personal gear, clothes, boots, skis, sleeping bag, backpack, insurance, dinner and beverages not detailed, porters.

Cerro Gorra Blanca 2920 mts

 Dificultad:  Tough     Duración: 4 Days

Mountain located at the Ice Cap, easy access, close to Paso Marconi. This is not a very technical mountain to climb since it’s location, however we’ll give this ascension the commitment that a great Andean climb involves. The days at the Ice Cap we will have to melt snow to drink and build protections with snow blocks for the tents.

INFO

Season: November to March
Minimum required age: 18 years

Itinerario:

Day 1: Transfer to Rio Electrico, hike to Piedra del Fraile and camp at La Playita. Camp 1. Trekking time: 6 hrs. (B-L-D)

Day 2: Hike to Paso Marconi and Gorra Blanca basecamp. From now on our camps we’ll be set up over the ice or snow. Camp 2. Trekking time: 8 hrs. (B-L-D)

Day 3: Ascension to Cerro Gorra Blanca the backcountry sking all the way down. Back to basecamp. Trekking time:10 hrs. (B-L-D)

Day 4:
 Back to Piedra del Fraile, where we spend our last night at the mountain. Camp 4. Trekking time: 8 hrs. (B-L-D)

Note: We do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, however this itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions.

Includes:
 Gear (ropes, crampons, harnesses, backcountry skis and boots), Mountain guide. Transfers, camping and hotel lodging, meals as quoted (L: lunch, D: dinner, B: breakfast) . Also group equipment: tents, stoves, technical gear, first aid kit, GPS, and radio.

Not included: Personal gear, clothes, boots, sleeping bag, backpack, insurance, beverages and meals not detailed, porters, hotel or inn lodging first and last day of the backcountry skiing trip.

Northern Patagonia: Ski the Andes & Volcanoes in (Argentina & Chile)

Refugio Frey

 Dificultad:  Very Tough     Duración: 3 Days

You can’t miss Frey at Catedral mountain if you are in Bariloche and love back country skiing. Spectacultar Andean scene. Amazing couloirs and slopes, for intermediate and expert skiers.

INFO

Season: July to September
Required minimum age: 21 years

Day 1: We drive from your hotel in San Carlos de Bariloche to Cerro Catedral ski resort base station, there we take the ski lift. We touring ski Van Titter valley, through Col del Viento.We reach Van Titter river, climb to Frey mountain hut. If there is energy left, we can make another ski line, close to the Refugio Frey. At night. Relax. Good and warm meal. Sleep in the hut.

Day 2: After good breakfast, we choose for between a steep couloirs or a south face powder spot for our backcountry ski lines. Back to the mountain hut. Warm up. Dry our clothes on a wood stove. Pizzas and beer.

Day 3: After breakfast we take the regular trekking trail to base station of Cerro Catedral ski resort. First part (1 ½ hour) touring ski through the woods. Then we take our skis off, and walk – trek for 1 more hour down. Back to the city of San Carlos de Bariloche.

ncludes: Transport in-out hotel, lunch box, beacon, probe, and shovel. 2 nights in Refugio Frey + 2 dinners and breakfast. Mountain Guide.

Not Included: Touring Skis and Boots. Lift Tickets.

Volcanoes Casablanca & Puyehue

 Dificultad:  Moderate     Duración: 5 Days

Starting from San Carlos de Bariloche we cross the border to Chile where our ski expedition begins combining great backcountry skiing on volcanoes with great views of the Andes and the Pacific ocean.Staying at cozy mountain hut with great chilean food.

INFO

Season: July to September
Minimum required age: 18 years

Itinerary: 

Day 1: Arrival to Bariloche, gear check and meeting with the guides and whole group. Lodging and dinner at a Hosteria. (D)

Day 2: We drive to the West, to the Argentine – Chilean boarder crossing at Paso Samore heading to Puyehue hot springs where we will stay in a cabin in a small village called Aguas Calientes. We will enjoy the hot springs in natural outdoor ponds or in a indoor swimming pool. Great Chilean dinner. (B-L-D)

Day 3:  Ascent to Casablanca volcano located just 30km away from Aguas Calientes. We have a 900mts level difference so a great downhill backcountry slope with amazing views of the Andes mountain range! We start ascending this volcano at the base station of Antillanca ski resort, so we do not need to hike with our skis in backpacks, we just put on the skis as we stop the car. We return at late afternoon to Aguas Calientes hot springs and cabin. (B-L-D)

Day 4: We drive for about 60 km away from Aguas Calientes to an estancia at the foot of Puyehue volcano. After paying the ascent fee and filling the permit forms we head to the volcano mountain lodge. After 3 and a half hours trekking with our skis and sleeping bags in our backpacks we get to the mountain hut where we have dinner and stay for the night (B-L-D)

Daya 5: After a hearty breakfast we put the skis on just a few meters from the mountain hut, from there we have 1000 mts height difference to the summit! The last 300 mts, according to the snow conditions, we may need to use crampons and a safety rope to ascent. This volcano does not have a snowed cap or a summit covered with ice because it has still warm crater. It is an amazing crater of 5 km circumference, we will be right at the edge of it. From the summit we can see all the volcanoes of the area, including Villarrica which is still active with smoke around it summit. We ski down to the mountain hut, we pack our things and continue skiing to the car. Then we drive back (crossing the border) to San Carlos de Bariloche, arriving late in the afternoon. Dinner and lodging at a Hosteria. End of our services. (B-L-D)

Includes: Mountain guide. Transfers, hosteria, mountain lodge and cabin lodging, meals as quoted (L: lunch, D: dinner, B: breakfast). Also group equipment: technical gear, first aid kit, GPS, and radio arvas, snow shovel, probe.

Not included: Personal gear, gear (backcountry skis and boots), clothes, sleeping bag, trekking boots, backpack, insurance, beverages not detailed, porters.

Volcanoes Lonquimay and Llaima

 Dificultad:  Moderate     Duración: 5 Days

From San Carlos de Bariloche crossing the boarder to Chle. Skiing adventure combining great volcano backcountry skiing, some mountaineering and hot spring baths with delicious ethnic meals.Amazing views to the surrounding volcanoes, araucaria forest (indigenous primitive pine trees) with lodging in mountain lodges.

INFO

Season: Julyt to October
Minimum required age: 18 years

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to Bariloche.Meeting with the guide and gear checking. Hotel. Dinner. (D)

Day 2: Departure from Bariloche. 8 hour drive through Chilean route to Curacatin, small village where we’ll get food for our ascents. Hotel Termas del Manzanar. Hot-springs water in between the forest. Good dinner. (B-L-D)

Day 3: After breakfast, 40’ drive to the base of the volcano, where it is placed the little ski resort ‘Corralco’. Without using the lifts, since we arrive earlier to opening, we make 1200 m. fall to the summit.
The crater filled with snow and beautiful view from other volcanoes surrounding: Llaima, Tolhuaca, Villarrica and Lanin. Generally we get to the top with skies.
Descent is fabulous. Powder snow in winter and spring snow the months after.
In the afternoon we have the option of paying for the lifts and stay skiing at the ski resort. Back to hotel, hot- springs water bath and tasty Pisco Sour at the pool. (B-L-D)


Day 4:  
Leave the hotel after breakfast. We have 1.30 h. drive to the base, where we put on our skies. 2000 m fall. This is a more challenging volcano. The last 400 m fall, depending on the conditions, we use crampons and piolets. The strong smell of sulphur tells us we are close to the crater, which smokes and it’s active. At first we descend with crampons, then great touring ski to the Araucaria forest, where we’ve left the vehicle.
Back to village. Change hotel, and enjoy another nice and ethnic chilean food. Deserved rest after 2 day of great activity. (B-L-D)

Day 5: Back to Bariloche, through other border crossing, depending on snow conditions. We choose it at departure moment. 8 to 10 h. drive. Hotel and farewell dinner. End of our services. (B-L-D)

Includes: Mountain guide. Transfers, hosteria, mountain lodge and cabin lodging, meals as quoted (L: lunch, D: dinner, B: breakfast). Also group equipment: technical gear, first aid kit, GPS, and radio, beacons, snow shovel, probe.

Not included: Personal gear, gear (backcountry skis and boots), clothes, sleeping bag, trekking boots, backpack, insurance, beverages not detailed, porters.

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