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12-day Ski touring in southern Patagonia: Cerro Castillo (Coyhaique, Chile) & El Chaltén, Argentina

ski tour
ski tour
ski tour
ski tour

Enjoy ski touring in southern Patagonia and discover the pristine snow terrain in Cerro Castillo and El Chaltén on this 12-day program led by AAGM mountain guide Merlín.


11 Days

Aug - Oct




* Have a wonderful time ski touring in southern Patagonia.

* Discover the remote areas around Cerro Castillo and El Chaltén.

* Contemplate incredible views of the lakes, glaciers and peaks in the Andes.


Follow me on this 12-day adventure in Cerro Castillo and El Chaltén and enjoy ski touring in southern Patagonia.

Situated in the Aysén region of Chile, Cerro Castillo is a mountain in the Andes range and a wonderful destination to enjoy ski touring and backcountry skiing.  The base for our runs in this area will be the new Cerro Castillo Refuge,  in the small Cerro Castillo Village.

On a long but very scenic day of driving, we’ll cross the border from Cerro Castillo Village to El Chaltén, mostly through the famous “40 road”. In El Chaltén, in the Argentinean province of Santa Cruz, we can enjoy climbing and skiing while admiring incredible views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers.

The following are some of the skiing possibilities: Loma del Diablo, Cerro Vespignani, Cerro Crestón or Cerro Madsen. These are very remote and seldom visited places from where we can contemplate Fitz Roy and the surrounding glaciers.

For a more detailed description of each day's activities, take a look below. However, consider that this is only a guide. The itinerary might vary due to weather or snow conditions.

Please, keep in mind that it’s mandatory for this program to have ski touring experience and a very good level of fitness. To approach the skiing area, we’ll need to carry our skis with us.

So, does this ski touring adventure in southern Patagonia sound exciting? Then don’t hesitate to send the request and make your reservation for this trip. You won’t regret your choice!

Looking for a shorter program? Then check out this 4-day ski touring trip that I lead in El Chaltén.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

- Group porters

Price details

Not included: flights, personal equipment, personal insurance, restaurant meals, drinks, tips, any service not specified.


Day 1: Arrival - Cerro Castillo Village

On day 1, we’ll meet at Coyhaique Airport and drive to Cerro Castillo Village. We’ll have a brief on the lodge and check the equipment.

Day 2: Portezuelo Ibáñez

On our first day of skiing, we’ll drive to “Portezuelo Ibáñez” and explore different valleys. If the conditions are good, we’ll make 2-3 ski runs during the day.

Accommodation: Cerro Castillo Village.

Day 3: Camp Neozelandés in Cerro Castillo

On day 3, we’ll carry our personal equipment and the porters will
carry the camping equipment and food, to help us on the approach Camp Neozelandés in Cerro Castillo. This will take around 3-4 hs. Optional skiing in the afternoon.

Day 4: Skiing in Cerro Castillo

There will be several ski options according to weather and snow conditions. We’ll enjoy a full day of skiing in Cerro Castillo.

Night in Camp Neozelandés.

Day 5: Cerro Castillo Village

On day 5, we’ll have the possibility to enjoy ski touring in the morning and then head back to Cerro Castillo Village in the afternoon.

Lodging at Cerro Castillo Village.

Day 6: Driving day

This will be a long day on the road. The route goes along the Buenos Aires Lake and then through the historical “40 Road”.

Driving time: 12-14hs.

Accommodation in El Chaltén.

Day 7: Loma del Diablo

Our morning will begin with a drive to Mosquito Creek and then we’ll hike carrying the skis to the starting point. We will enjoy skiing in “Loma del Diablo” (1,800 meters).

Vertical gain: 1200 meters.

Accommodation in El Chaltén.

Day 8: Huemul Glacier - Cerro Vespignani

We’ll drive to Lago del Desierto (1,5 hours) and hike to Laguna Huemul to approach the base of Huemul Glacier ( 1 to 1,5 hours). With our skins on, we’ll go to Cerro Vespignani (2,146 meters). This descent will be fantastic, with breathtaking views surrounding us.

Vertical gain: 1,500 meters.
Lodging at El Chaltén.

Day 9: Glacier de los Tres

On this day, we’ll drive to “El Pilar” and start the approach to Fitz Roy Basecamp (3 hours). After setting
camp, we’ll carry our skis across steep rocky terrain to Laguna de los Tres. Then, we’ll cross a frozen lake and enjoy skiing in Glacier de los Tres, the closest you can get to Fitz Roy Mountain!

Night at Camp Poincenot.

Day 10: Cerro Madsen

After breakfast, we´ll return to Laguna de Los Tres, and skin up Cerro Madsen (1,806 meters), where we’ll get to see fantastic views of the Piedras Blancas Glacier. Back to the camp and hike back to El Chaltén.

Vertical Gain: 1,000 meters.

Farewell dinner with a good “Asado” (traditional barbecue).

Accommodation in El Chaltén.

Day 11: Departure

Transfer to El Calafate Airport. End of the services.



More info


  • Backpacks 30 and 50 liters
  • Sleeping Bag and sleeping mattress (Therm-a-Rest recommended)
  • Headlamp
  • Water bottle and small thermos flask
  • Trekking shoes
  • Merino or synthetic base layers
  • Mid layer fleece and Windstopper
  • Down or synthetic hooded jacket
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • Warm hut and buff
  • Extra socks
  • Waterproof pants and Jacket (Gore-Tex)
  • Lens and goggles
  • Sunblock and lip protection
  • Ski touring set: Skis, skins, boots, ski crampons, collapsible poles.
  • Crampons and Ice Axe
  • Harness and Helmet
  • Safety avalanche set: Shovel, beacon, probe

NOTE: If you need to rent some of these items, please let us know in advance.

Meeting point

Coyhaique Airport.

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

Certified UIAGM-IFMGA Mountain Guide from Argentina.

I live in El Chaltén since 1998. I'm originally from Bariloche and I started with mountain activities when I was 15 years old. I've done climbing and ascents in many mountains of Patagonia, Perú, Bolivia, United States and Europe; such as Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, Alpamayo, El Capitán, Mont Blanc and Aconcagua among others. I'm also a Ski Instructor and I am passionate for backcountry ski.

I speak fluent English, Italian and French and have been leading trips and expeditions for more than 20 years. I work together with a group of guides, so if I'm not available for the trip you request, one of my colleagues will guide you!



Request more information

What people are saying about Merlín



The guide was Valerie not Merlin. Valerie was super helpful and we had one of our best days in Patagonia! We hope that our use of Explore Share website ensured that the local guide was well compensated. Everything was well organised, the talk on the way about the trek was super interesting. The views stunning.



Teo was our guide and he was great! He was very knowledgeable about the different wildlife and plants. Without him we would have never attempted to summit or descend (which was worse - his belaying and short roping was totally awesome and we felt in good hands). The weather wasn’t the best but he definitely helped guide us on what to do with the crazy winds we got. His English was very good as well. Totally recommend this for anyone seeking a great adventure and these guys made us feel very ready with all the questions and information they gave us before the day! If you want a real adventure do this and not just Laguna de los Tres!



Great hike, exhilarating and so much beautiful scenery! Thank you Marco. Grateful for the hiking poles on the incline to the Laguna.



Teo was a lot of fun and very knowledgeable about the area. He was very considerate of how I was getting on. I had an amazing time!



Merlin is the top climbing guide in Chalten. Anything from simple sport climbing to hard multi pitches. I did a sport day with my brother and our girlfriends. We went to two different crags in Chalten, and climbed 10 routes, fun for the whole family. I got to lead climb and had my girlfriend belay me for the first time. Thanks Merlin and Martin! I want to return to climb Guillaumet with Merlin!

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