8 Days / From $2,695 / Call: 1-888-565-7158
Group size: 6 maximum. Single travelers welcome!
Reserve This Trip
Come winter in the Southern Hemisphere, powder covers the lofty peaks of Patagonia’s gorgeous Lake District and outside of Bariloche. With the stunning scenic landscapes, undiscovered terrain and charming backcountry huts, this is South America’s ski touring heaven! This 8-day guided randonee and ski mountaineering expedition includes nights at the rustic yet cozy mountain huts; Refugio Frey and Jacob.
Dine on fondue or pizza and top it off with a stunning Argentine vino tinto. We finish our hut to hut tour in Bariloche with a celebration dinner on the town and if you still have the energy, some of the best nightlife in South America.
- 8 day hut based ski and split board tour in Patagonia, Argentina
- 6 guests maximum
- 2 certified guides on every trip. Lead ski guides are certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), or the Argentine Mountain Guide Association (AAGM). Meet our guides
- All trip logistics are handled once you arrive to Bariloche
- Outstanding culture and landscapes of Patagonia
- Ski tour some of the best backcountry terrain in Argentina
- Experience the fantastic Hut to Hut system in Nahuel Huapi Park
- Great nightlife from quiet cafes to energetic bars and nightclubs for our last evening in Bariloche
PowerQuest’s Patagonia hut tour was an all-time trip. Getting all the logistics of a weeklong backcountry hut trip would have been nearly impossible for my first trip down to South America. PowderQuest did all the hard work and delivered a trip that went far beyond my expectations. From the insane terrain in Patagonia, to the great snow conditions, to the cozy yet comfortable Frey and Jakob huts, to our mountain guide Jorge, and Suzi and the the folks at PowderQuest — the trip was super well organized and a ton of fun. This trip was filled with moments I’ll remember vividly forever – heart pumping climbs, cherry pow lines, and good times with great people at night in the huts. – Tyler G.
Check out Tyler’s full trip report with some great photos.
Starts & Ends: San Carlos De Bariloche, Argentina (airport code BRC)
Day 1: Arrive to Bariloche airport no later than 4:30 PM to meet up with the group and guides at 5:00 PM, Bariloche hotel check-in, group and trip intro, prep for tomorrow’s departure, dinner on the town.
Day 2: Breakfast, depart to Catedral ski resort for some warm up runs and then access our backcountry route, ski to Refugio Frey Hut, dinner.
Day 3-4: Breakfast, 2 days of ski touring between the beautiful granite spires and steep powder chutes, overnight at Refugio Frey Hut, dinner.
Day 5: Breakfast, full day skiing touring on the Refugio Frey-Jacob hut traverse. Overnight Hut Jacob, dinner.
Day 6: Breakfast, touring and skiing around Jacob’s backcountry, overnight Jacob Hut, dinner.
Day 7: Breakfast, more skiing and ski tour out of the Argentina backcountry, over night in Bariloche, dinner and fun night on the town.
Day 8: Departure day. Breakfast at the hotel. We include a group transfer at 11:00 AM to Bariloche Airport to meet your flight out to Buenos Aires. Please schedule your return flight to Buenos Aires anytime after 12:00. If you decide to not take the 11:00 AM shuttle, your transfer to the airport will be an additional cost payable to the driver or taxi. This can be arranged via the friendly hotel staff. If you want extend your stay in South America check out our suggested add on tab at the top of this page of some great ideas!
Enjoy your vacation and concentrate on the adventure and brilliant culture. We take care of the rest!
- Certified ski guide. An assistant ski guide will join us when we have 6 guests
- Ski lift ticket to get to Frey Hut via Catedral
- Avalanche Safety Introduction
- Group in and out transfer from airport
- Hut breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Welcome and last night celebration dinner in Bariloche
- Overnight in backcountry huts
- 2 nights with comfortable double occupancy with private bathroom for nights in Bariloche
You are responsible for your inbound and outbound flights (our agents can assist you), and required travel insurance.
Booking This Trip
$2,695 per person. For our two nights in Bariloche, single travelers will be placed with a roommate or you may request a single room upgrade for $360 if there is availability. Single rooms are not available in the hut system.
Payment: A 30% deposit is required at time of reservation. Final payments are due 60 days before trip departure. We accept most major credit cards, PayPal, E-Checks (ACH), and bank wires.
Discounts: Save $50 on trips paid via domestic bank wire or E-Checks (ACH). Discount is applied to your final payment. Both the deposit and final payment must be paid via wire or E-Check to receive the discount.
- Single travelers as well as small groups of 2 or more guests are welcome!
- If we have less than 6 guests sign up, the trip will have one guide.
- When booking your trip you need to agree to our Terms and Conditions and Trip Release Waiver. You will need to sign the Release Waiver at the start of the trip with your guides.
Arriving and Departing- Airport Details
You need to fly into and out of Bariloche, Argentina (airport code BRC), via Buenos Aires. See this trips itinerary in the Overview tab for details on when to schedule your arrival and departure. We have travel agents we can recommend to help you with your flight reservations. Contact us for their info.
Meeting The Guides
Your guides will meet you at the Bariloche airport the first day of the tour. An official meeting time and place will be emailed to you a few weeks before the tour. On the last day of the tour, we include a group shuttle to the airport to catch your return to Buenos Aires.
Extending Your Stay
Extending your stay is a great way to get in a few more powder days, check out the urban culture of Buenos Aires, visit a classic vineyard, and more. See the Extensions Tab for suggestions.
Telemark, Splitboard or ski touring set up with skins. Dynafit set up recommended. Skis should be 85 -110 mm underfoot.
Boots and Boot Crampons
Shovel, Beacon and probe
Ski crampons obligatory
Ski touring poles
- Backpack 40 lts ski pack
- Sleeping bag 600 grs down or equivalent (small and compressible). Avoid bulky sleeping bags
- Headlamp (Petzl Tikka plus, Black Diamond or similar)
- Pocket knife
- Small roll of toilet paper
- Waterbottle Nalgene or Camelbak
- Thermos style bottle for hot drinks
- Crocs or light weight sandals (optional)
- 2 pairs of sintethic ski socks (smart wool or similar are recommended)
- Quick dry pants with schoeller fabric -or liner below ski pants (North face, Mammut or similar) Capilene/Polipropilene/
- Merino wool base layer and underwear
- Thin fleece
- Thicker fleece windstopper or similar for skinning
- Recommended down jacket or warm puff*
- Water proof Goretex jacket
- Water proof Goretex pants
- Fleece thin gloves for skinning
- Winter ski gloves
- Warm hat
- Sun hat
- Sunglasses with UV filter + goggles
- Sun screen and lipbalm
- Ipod or MP3 player- optional
- Earplugs (for Mt huts)
- Tooth brush and paste
Passports, Visas, Entry Fees
PowderQuest recommends bringing a rubber band to keep all your documents secure in your passport. It is also a good idea to bring a photocopy and have a backup of your passport to keep separate form the original.
A passport, valid for the length of your stay is required for most countries.
As of March 24, 2016 USA passport holders no longer have to pay a reciprocity fee to enter Argentina. read more.
As of July 1, 2017 the reciprocity fee for Australia passport holders has been waived.
Upon arrival in Argentina, this receipt must be presented to immigration officers where it will be scanned to verify the data and authorize entry to Argentina.
If you traveling with a passport from another country, it is a good idea to check online with the Argentine Embassy for updated requirements.
Required Travel Insurance
Personal travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation coverage is mandatory to travel with PowderQuest. Click for details and to book online
What to Expect When Traveling in South America and with PowderQuest
For most of us who are from North America or Europe, we are used to and expect that things run smoothly. We are not only on time but usually at least 5 minutes early. With the exception of trains, buses and most flights, Chilean and Argentine services are not known for their punctuality.
We provide the following information in good faith so you will have a clear picture of what to expect before you arrive.
Meals and Restaurants
A true highlight to the trip! All meals, with the exception of some lunches are included with your tour. Our guides selection of wine and mineral water is included with dinners on most tours. This will generally consist of 2 glasses of wine and a bottle of water. Should you want to drink more, including beer and mixed drinks, this will be an additional cost.
In addition to the delicious food included with our stay at many of the resorts, PowderQuest guides have selected great restaurants serving everything from local favorites to international. Many guests say they have eaten the best meals of their lives with us!
The norm in South America is lunch around 2pm, a smaller tea and cakes snack around 6pm and then a late dinner. We will usually be having our dinners between 8pm-9pm as most restaurants don’t open before 8.
Extra costs will include lunches not included with your trip, additional drinks and activities outside our described tour itinerary. You are responsible for any airline/airport taxes and charges due to excess, oversize or overweight baggage, including on flights that are included with the cost of the tour.
On the days we cannot get on the mountain (Rain, wind, poor visibility, etc.), PowderQuest will arrange trips such as whitewater rafting, hot springs, snowshoe trips etc, at no extra cost to our guest.
Chile and Argentina are two of the most modern countries in Latin America. With quality foods, no yellow fever or malaria, and an abundance of well-stocked pharmacies (including personal items for women), the only discomforts travelers occasionally have, are upset stomachs and a temporary bowel disorder. This is common with travels anywhere in the world, and can be avoided by drinking bottled water, avoiding side salads, and uncooked foods.
With active tours including full days in the snow and sun, it is important to stay hydrated. Backpacks are great ways to carry your essentials. Da Kine makes great packs. Keeping updated on vaccinations, especially tetanus, is always a good idea. There are no health requirements for entering Chile or Argentina.
Sunburn is always a concern in the mountains especially with the snow reflection and higher elevation. Sunglasses, goggles like Smith Optics, and quality sun block with SPF factor 35 and higher are a must in the Andes.
Frostbite can also be a factor in the Andes. Staying warmly dressed, well hydrated, and regulating body temperature by using layers and ventilation in the outer layers are good ways to prevent the skin from freezing.
Ski Resort Infrastructure
Overall expect later starts than you are used to at home. The 7:00 tram line up simply does not exist in the Andes. Most ski resorts open by 9:00 am but full mountain operations can be delayed until mid-morning for no apparent reason. When there is fresh snow or a current storm, these delays can be even longer. However, due to longer natural light, you can also ski later into the afternoon in South America. Some resorts do not stop running lifts until as late at 5:30 pm.
The ski resorts in the Andes vary from modern with millions of dollars in infrastructure to rustic areas with little more than a small cafeteria and a few tow-lifts. In many ways, we find this positive. This is not written to discourage you from visiting this beautiful part of the world, however, if you are accustomed to North American ski resort amenities, you will find the infrastructure of some resorts we visit more rustic, especially the speed and layout of the ski lifts. South America simply runs on a different pace.
The good news is, we find it all evens out. Some lifts may be slower, however 45 minute lift lines are virtually non-existent in the Andes. In addition, you do not have thousands of skiers fighting for those untracked powder runs. If you come down with an open mind you will find this part of the world fascinating and quite often comfortably relaxing!
Snowboarders should expect to encounter long traverses to access some of the better terrain at several ski resorts.
Weather forecasts are available and our guides are competent in understanding weather maps and local forecasts. However weather is not an exact science and the info available is not like in North America and Europe. Sometimes just like anywhere, forecasts are completely inaccurate.
Winters in Chile and Argentina can throw anything at us from warm and sunny “spring-like” days to bitter cold, blizzard like conditions. Fog can be common at lower elevations, while bluebird skies welcome us once reaching the snow.
Rain is common at low elevations including many of the towns we will be visiting. The resorts generally receive deep snow from Pacific storms and can be accompanied with winds. Preparation for all types of weather and ski conditions is recommended.
There may be days that there is so much wind or snow that lifts close down or simply never open. When the visibility is poor due to a storm or low clouds it is very difficult to see and for safety reasons we may choose not to go out.
Although we do not refund money for unused lift tickets, we do cover the expenses of alternate activities. We have many fun optional activities tucked up our sleeves for when these glitches in scheduling occur. Not a good day for riding in the mountains? How about a day of surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or a relaxing massage, or perhaps exploring Patagonia on horseback?
Sometimes road conditions are poor due to rain, snow, mud etc. Heavy snow and high winds can quickly stack up snow on the roads we travel. Maintenance can be slow so there may be times when you find yourself delayed on leaving our hotel in the morning, stopping to put on chains, or outside pushing the transfer through a tricky spot on the route. Some ski areas we visit have dirt roads. Dusty when it is dry and snowy and muddy after a storm. 4×4 is often needed on the roads to our cat skiing destinations.
Ski Patrol in South America is not always up to international standards. This goes not only for hasty assistance on an injury, but also snow safety. One of the reasons PowderQuest works with certified guides recognized by international guide associations. See our Safety Document for more details.
Groomed runs are not what you find in Aspen or Vail, and mountain hazards and boundaries are not marked as vigorously as you find at home.
Off Mountain Safety
As our guest, your safety is a priority to PowderQuest both on and off the mountain. Security in Chile and Argentina, even in the larger cities is quite safe. Common sense should be used, especially in busy city areas where pick pocketing can occur.
Cell phone coverage and general internet access are surprisingly good. Before your trip you will receive a list of phone numbers of our accommodations and guides where you may be reached in case of emergency. We have done our best to secure accommodations on most tours in areas where there is internet access available but few locations it is either unavailable or slow at best. Take this in stride and revel in the luxury of being disconnected for awhile!
Spanish is the official language of Chile and Argentina. Dialect between the two cultures is quite different. Chilean Spanish tends to be more difficult to understand as they cut their ‘s’, and slang is used in all age groups. Chileans have adopted many words from the English language, and are used in everyday conversation.
Argentine Spanish has greater influence from Spain, even a bit of Italian, and you can pick it out in the accent.
We hope you will want to get to know the locals of both countries. A few Spanish lessons and a phrase book will get you further than you think. Both cultures are patient and are very excited that you want to practice their language. Don’t be surprised if they want to practice their English with you.
Currency and Exchange Rates
The official currency of Chile and Argentina is the peso (Chilean peso and Argentine peso). Both currency value on the dollar fluctuates. For daily updates, click here.
Use of a credit card and ATM’s are your best bet for good exchange rates during your stay. In Argentina some U.S. dollar cash can go a long way if you are willing to exchange on the black market, easily found in most towns. In addition many shops will accept dollars at a higher rate than the official exchange rate.
Although travelers checks are accepted in some areas, the exchange rate is poor, and can often send you running around town looking for places to accept them.
Time throughout the winter months in Chile is the same as EST (New York City). Argentina is one hour ahead.
Measures and Voltage
The metric system is used in Chile and Argentina. For power, 220 volts AC, 50 cycles. Be sure to buy a plug adapter & converter if you plan on bringing electronic equipment. Quality batteries are easy to find, but less expensive if you bring them from home.
Laundry service is available in just about every town and resort we visit, and can generally be dropped off and picked up within the same day.
PowderQuest covers the gratuities at dinners. 5-10% is a normal gratuity in bars restaurants and pubs. Tipping your hotel staff, driver and ski guides is encouraged if they have provided you with excellent service. Your guides will be able to help suggest amounts to leave for your driver and hotel staff. For the guides, 5-10% of the cost of your tour is the industry norm.
We encourage you to embrace your trip to South America with all it has to offer, and if that means that things are not right on schedule, let that be part of the adventure! For more info have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page.
For our 5 nights in the backcountry, we will be in rustic, yet comfortable, shared backcountry huts with a friendly staff. Sleeping bag required. There are no showers at the huts.
In Bariloche, PowderQuest has hand selected a mix of comfortable, small to medium size bed and breakfasts and inns. Family run with cozy beds, private bathrooms, and include breakfast, WIFI.
If you have some extra time before or after your guided trip with PowderQuest, come wander the colorful neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, sample the local wines, get in some more powder days, or venture off to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world in the rainforest bordering Argentina and Brazil. Argentina has a lot to offer.
Below are some of our staff’s top picks.
Often ranked as one of the top destinations of all South America, Buenos Aires should not be missed. We offer a wide range of comfortable hotels, transfers, unique city tours, tango lessons, world-class shopping, and more. Add This to My Trip
Why not spend some extra days in the mountains lapping up more powder! We’ll set up your lodging, transportation to the ski hill, lift tickets and more.
Add This to My Trip
With a height of close to 270 feet and close to 2 miles wide, Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil is truly breathtaking. Ranked as one of the World’s most spectacular waterfalls by Travel and Leisure.
Add This to My Trip
Mendoza, Argentina produces outstanding wine, including the countries top Malbecs. Stroll the vineyards, sample the award winning wine, and take in the vistas of surrounding Andes Mountains.
Add This to My Trip