Argentina: Central Patagonia 10-day ski excursion through San Carlos de Bariloche, San Martin de los Andes and an 8,000-foot ski descent of the famed, dormant Lanin Volcano.
This 10-day adventure is designed for advanced to expert skiers wishing to challenge their limits and abilities in the central Patagonian Andes. We will visit 3 distinct areas of Argentina’s Lake District while skiing Bariloche’s Nahual Huapi National Park, the Cerro Chapelco ski resort just south of San Martin and then spend 3 nights in Parque Nacional Lanin, skiing the northern slopes of the Lanin Volcano, along the Chilean border. A ski mountaineering trek of this nature will allow participants to improve steep skiing skills, travel through the core of Argentina’s Lake District and foster relations with follow trip members. The cost for this privately guided 10-day adventure is $2500 per person or $2000 a head if you sign up as a group of four or more.
Day 1: All trip members are encouraged to arrive at the La Bolsa Hostel in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina the night before the tour begins; we will be departing for Bariloche’s largest ski resort Cerro Catedral (2,338m), early in the morning. This informal and easy-going day will enable group members and guides to better understand social dynamics, snow safety awareness and physical abilities. We will spend the evening enjoying a home-cooked meal at the hostel and prepare for our forthcoming time at Refugio Frey.
Day 2: Upon returning to Cerro Catedral for an early cable-car ride we will begin a 4-hour off-piste ski tour along the Rio Piedritas, headed for the majestic Refugio Frey. The Refugio offers an alpine view of the surrounding peaks, home-cooked traditional foods, domestic wines from the North and powder turns just out the hut front door.
Day 3: Group members will awaken sandwiched between huge, Gothic looking pillars and be able to chose from countless couloirs and steep bowls that with a full, challenging day of skinning and touring will become our objectives. Our second evening in the Refugio will be filled with uncompromised laughs, more red wine and a casual discussion presenting the fundamentals of a “Decision Making Framework” when ski mountaineering.
Day 4: After a relaxing morning lounging around the Refugio we will depart the backcountry hut and return to the La Bolsa Hostel for a quick evening of shuffling gear, dining at the al Baricho restaurant where grilling is performed on “parillas”, or small wood burning grills, and then a relaxing night at the hostel will give the group time to prepare for the following days bus ride to San Martin de los Andes.
Day 5: An all day, rather posh bus-ride will lead to a casual afternoon in the quaint, somewhat touristy town, of San Martin de los Andes; resting along the calm shores of Lago Lacar. Our accommodations will be at the friendly and central Puma Youth Hostel , we will dine out enjoying a fine dinner of locally caught trout and tender venison hunted locally, all while discussing our strategy for the next 3-days on the Lanin Volcano.
Day 6: After breakfast, a 3-hour transport will bring us to the village of Tromen, at the absolute base of the Lanin Volcano , situated with the national park. Tromen is essentially a boarder control community, given its close 20km proximity to the Chilean boarder and basic amenities and provided in the base-area. Thus, an evening of rest below the towering volcano will allow the group to get well fed and hydrated during an all night barbeque while preparing for a grueling following day.
Day 7: The longest, most enduring part of the adventure occurs as the group plods up the northern shoulder of the Lanin volcano. However, a five-hour climb will bring us to the rustic environs of the Lanin Refugio, situated at 2,315m. The tin-can accommodations, literally strapped to the side of the inactive volcano, are ideal for fostering teamwork and developing a better understanding for the needs of others.
Day 8: Rising at dawn, we will skin the remaining 1500m to the summit: where views from the 3,776m summit include the neighboring LLaima and Villirrica Volcano’s near Pucon, Chile, the Huechulafquen and Alumine lakes, and the Pacific Ocean to the immediate west. The nearly perfectly conical peak will allow us to choose from a variety of descent choices, aspects and snow types. A second night in the bivouac shelter will be filled with Scotch Whiskey, chocolate bars and easy laughter.
Day 9: Upon departing the shelter in the morning we will be treated to another 1,100m of smooth, corn while descending fall line to Tromen and easily catching the noontime bus back to San Martin and the gear we stashed at the Puma Hostel. After a casual, afternoon siesta we will indulge in a traditional Argentina Asado, which includes an evening-long goat roasting adventure completed over wood-burning coals, accompanied with liters of bottled beer and of course, more laughter.
Day 10: Our final, formal day will be spent skiing the slopes of San Martin’s Chapelco Ski Resort, where we will be afforded another view of Lanin and a host of familiar Chilean summits. Thus, given the buses in Argentina typically depart in the evening; our trip will end with a happy-hour drink or two as group members head their separate ways. However, if desired, any or all members are encouraged to remain in the country and explore further with either new friends, continued guided excursions or head to the Las Lenas ski resort.