Intro to Mountaineering

Paso Superior


Day 1

We meet at 9 am in our office. We check the gear equipment, filling forms, briefing and departure from El Chaltén at 10 am. We hike through a Lenga forest (Beech Forest), where if we are lucky we could spot a Magellan woodpecker, until we reach the lateral and terminal moraines. There, we are going to find our camp. We will leave our camp equipment and food for six days.

We use the afternoon to cover topics that will expedite learning when we’ll be in glacial terrain.

  • Camp & tent setting, models, recommendations, etc.
  • Harness and crampons fitting. Different types of crampons and harnesses pros and cons
  • Glacier travel and crevasse rescue knots.
  • Rope management and roping up for glacier travel.

Dinner and rest.

Day 2

Early breakfast and departure at 8 am. We approach the glacier and we´ll cover the following subjects:

  • Safety procedures on glaciers
  • Glacier morphology and movement
  • Ice characteristics
  • Flat footing/French technique/10 points technique with crampons
  • Hike on glacier and practice technique (you will gain confidence on the gear)
  • Classics ice axe technique, how to use ice axe while walking
  • Self belay and self arrest with the ice axe.
  • Fronting pointing/German technique/12 point technique with crampons
  • Piolet traction technique
  • Ice screw placement
  • Top rope ice climbing
  • Belaying and communication
  • Basic ice anchors

Come back to camp and cook dinner.

Day 3

Early breakfast and departure at 8 am from Camp site. Today we’ll get on these subjects:

  • Review yesterday’s subjects
  • Warm up ice bouldering on the glacier
  • Knots in situ and with gloves
  • Rope management on glaciers. Glacier travel
  • Route finding on glaciers.
  • Snow bridges crossing
  • Self or partner arrest while falling
  • Basic crevasse rescue
  • Load transfer to an anchor
  • Teamwork and communication

We come back to our camp to have dinner and make a review of what we’ve learn today.

Day 4

Early breakfast and departure at 8 am. Today we’ll get on these subjects:

  • Consolidation and review of what we’ve learned so far
  • Warm up ice bouldering on the glacier
  • Advanced crevasse rescue. Example: unconscious partner, pulley system, etc.
  • Descent and ascent on fixed rope
  • Advanced ice anchors
  • Rappel

Return to camp, have dinner, rest and prepare last minute details for the ascent. This will be according to fitness and technical level of guests in the group

Day 5

Appoach and set up camp day. We´ll also cover how to put toghether you alpine back pack, clothing and gear

Day 6

Early wake up call, around 3 am, known as Alpine start. We want to take advantage on the over night freezing. We´ll put everything we have learn into practice through out the day. Later on return to El Chaltén, final dinner, feedback and hand out certificates.

Guides and group sizes

Ratio is 1 Mountain Guide per 6 guests on the instruction days and 1 Mountain Guide per 6 guests on the Cerro Solo ascent.

Difficulty and perquisites

No mountaineering experience is required, however if you had some it helps a lot.

These are all physically demanding days and participants must be in good hiking shape.

Guests are required to carry a backpack with their personal gear (clothes, sleeping bag, pad, etc), group (tents, pot, stoves, etc) and food. About 20 to 25 kg, only on day 1 and 5. Personal porters could be arranged in advance.


Participants are responsible for their own transportation to El Chaltén, Argentina. Your travel agent should be able to arrange this for you. You could get there either by flying to Buenos Aires, and then flying to El Calafate and a bus ride to El Chaltén.

Accommodation & Meals

All meals and accommodations (in tents) are included from lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 6. Tents are provided in double and triple basis.

Please let us know if need us to arrange accommodations (Hotel/hostel) for you before and after the course.

Please let us know of any special food/allergies preferences while booking.

Weather consideration

The fame of the area regarding wind and fast changeable conditions are not a legend. Be ready to experience nature and all its beauties and power. Program might change according to weather.