Hut-to-Hut Backcountry Skiing in Patagonia

Patagonia | Argentina
5.00
4 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing in Argentinian Patagonia

  • Trip Highlight

    Vast off-piste areas just miles from Bariloche

  • Trip Highlight

    Rustic backcountry experience in the heart of the Andes

  • Trip Highlight

    Combine an alpine adventure with Argentinian cuisine and wine

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.

Season

September

Nearest city

Your adventure starts in Bariloche, Argentina

Duration

8 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Patagonia Hut-to-Hut Backcountry Adventure

8 days

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.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Bariloche and Cerro Catedral

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.

A wide shot of the shores by the lake near Bariloche covered in snow-dusted conifers with a hotel complex on a small peninsula built to resemble alpine architecture.

Day 2, 3, and 4: Refugio Frey

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.

View of a mountain hut in the Andes with granite mountain peaks in the background illuminated by sunlight during sunset.

Days 5 and 6: Refugio Jakob

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.

Backcountry enthusiasts skiing a gentle slope with a large mountain with rugged granite peaks in the background. The skier looks very small compared to the size of surrounding landscapes

Day 7 and 8: Back to Bariloche

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.

Buildings on top of a hill in the Cerro Catedral ski resort. Behind them there is a towering granite mountain.
Reviews

Reviews (4)

Dillon D. about Arctos Guides

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!

Lynn C. about Arctos Guides

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.

C v. about Arctos Guides

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.

James B. about Arctos Guides

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!!

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Bariloche, Argentina

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’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, ACMG-certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Eight days of backcountry ski touring
    • Backcountry permits
    • Hotel and hut accommodation
    • Meals and wine
    • Private transportation during the trip
    • Avalanche safety briefing
    • Cerro Catedral lift ticket
    • Carbon offset for the trip

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Transportation to and from Bariloche
    • Food and snacks
      Accommodations

How fit do I need to be?

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.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

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.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

    • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
    • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
      • Lightweight snow shovel
      • Avalanche probe

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses or ski goggles
    • Gloves and hat
    • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Down jacket or vest
    • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
    • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
    • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
    • Water bottle
    • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
    • First aid kit
    • Sunscreen
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
    • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

  • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe from Andescross
  • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented from Andescross
  • Splitboards can be rented from Andescross

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 age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 5:1. All prices are per person.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
    • This tour requires a minimum of 4 people to operate.

Ski touring in Argentina can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 40% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is due in fourteen (14) days. If the booking is made less than fourteen (14) 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.

    • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to forty (40) percent of the deposit.
    • For cancellations thirty (30) to fourteen (14) calendar days in advance, the deposit will be forfeited.
    • For cancellations less than fourteen (14) calendar days in advance, full trip amount will be forfeited.
    • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

Getting there and meeting location

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.

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Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
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