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Find backcountry refuge as you traverse Argentinian refugios. Discover untainted landscapes packed with laidback bowls above a frozen lagoon and thrilling couloirs between granite peaks reminiscent of Gothic spires—mere miles from the fittingly named Cerro Catedral. Its slopes are home to an eponymous ski resort, the largest in South America. Starting there, you’ll ditch civilization in favor of hut-based skiing at the Frey and Jakob refugios. After skinning up steep slopes and shredding top-notch powder in chutes with 3,200-ft vertical drops, return to your cozy hut for after-ski with authentic food and vino tinto Malbec—your rustic Andean experience has just begun. Learn more about why this is one of the best skiing destinations in the world from Greg Hill, a world-renowned ski guide.
Vast off-piste areas just miles from Bariloche
Rustic backcountry experience in the heart of the Andes
Combine an alpine adventure with Argentinian cuisine and wine
Embark on an eight-day backcountry adventure in Argentinian Patagonia. Start your journey in Cerro Catedral—the largest ski resort in South America. Say goodbye to civilization as you enter the backcountry paradise with myriad chutes, couloirs, and bowls surrounded by golden granite spires. You will be based in remote Andean huts—refugios Frey and Jakob—and ski off-piste terrains devoid of crowds. The curated backcountry experience is laced up with a splash of Argentinian culture through cuisine and wines.
Arrive in Bariloche, a city neatly situated between an expansive glacial lake and the Andes. It is a vibrant medium-sized city recognizable for alpine-style architecture and high-quality chocolate. After exploring its picturesque streets, you will meet your guide and transfer to Cerro Catedral, a nearby ski resort. Once in the resort, you will settle in your accommodation and enjoy a welcome dinner with classic Argentinian dishes and wines. Spend the rest of the evening in your hotel and take some rest for the adventure that awaits you tomorrow.
After breakfast in your hotel, join your guide for an avalanche safety briefing before heading out to backcountry areas. The adventure begins with a slackcountry descent to refugio Frey, a mountain hut above a frozen lagoon where you will be based for the next three days. Start your days with hearty breakfasts in the hut and tour various sites nearby. The refugio itself is some 50 m (160 ft) above the treeline with the highest peak—Torre Principal—reaching 2450 m (8,000 ft). The skiable area has a vertical drop going from 2,250 (7,400 ft) to 1,200 m (4,000 ft), which is the snowline in the area. You can find great chutes and bowls above the refugio, while the line below Torre Principal offers arguably one of the most thrilling descents on your adventure. After six to eight hours of skiing, return to your hut and enjoy authentic meals and laidback after-skis.
Start Day 5 with breakfast in refugio Frey and head out to your next location. Refugio Jakob is further away from Cerro Catedral which makes it pretty hard to reach and ensures that there will be very few people making turns down its slopes. The hut is the best-kept secret in the area—even among the backcountry community. The refugio is situated close to the lake Laguna los Témpanos and offers weeks-worth of backcountry terrain with countless slopes and some easier mountain faces. Finish your two days there with tasty dinners and high-quality Argentinian wines in your recently-rebuilt hut equipped with everything you need.
Day 7 begins with a hearty breakfast in your cozy refugio. Your guide will decide the best route for touring back to Cerro Catedral. Once you are back, return to your hotel and celebrate an incredible week of backcountry expeditions with a farewell dinner as the adventure comes to an end on Day 8. You can spend some more time skiing the slopes or simply unwinding in your hotel or the resort’s coffee shops. You will later go back to Bariloche and say goodbye to Argentina or continue touring on your own.
Conor is one of the best guides I have ever been out with. He was fully flexible and catered to our group, while still being very safe. He also offers some custom programs and locations that no one else does!
Conor is a very personable, experienced guide. We have toured with him a number of times, and will continue to chose him for all our backcountry adventures. He knows how to keep everyone happy even in our diverse little group. I am not an expert skier, but I ski with experts. Conor knows how to pick lines that we will all enjoy and I can’t say enough about his uptracks, which are second to none, especially for someone like me, who has difficulty on the steep switchbacks due to a bad ankle.
Had an awesome time skiing with Conor! It was an unfamiliar area to me so it made all the difference to have an experienced guide finding the best terrain and forging a skin track through waist-deep powder. Unforgettable trip.
My family and I had the most awesome trip with Conor (Arctos Guides)! He is a complete professional, steadfast in his planning and preparation and a terrific person as well. His knowledge of the terrain and snowpack are invaluable and he made sure that everyone in our group had the best experience. The prepared foods were excellent and we had more than enough to eat. I cannot recommend Arctos Guides highly enough!!
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Argentina, please refer to the websites of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Argentina’s Ministry of Health.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
What’s not included:
To enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to be in excellent physical shape. You will be on your feet for 6-8 hours a day for 8 days, touring 1,200 to 1,500 m (3,937 to 4,921 feet) every day. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.
To participate in this tour, you need to have previous backcountry skiing experience. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on different terrains for 6-8 hours every day. Your guide will take care of the planning, oversee your technique, and teach you how to better manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training necessary to keep you safe.
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
Ski rental locations are in Bariloche, Argentina and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. We recommend that you choose the equipment and the dates beforehand by sending them an email. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Group sizes and pricing:
Ski touring in Argentina can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
A 40% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is due thirty (30) days prior to the trip. If the booking is made less than thirty (30) days prior to departure, the cost must be paid in full. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
To get to Bariloche, most people fly into one of Buenos Aires’ International Airports. From there, you can take another flight to Bariloche.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location in Bariloche.