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

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.




Trip Duration

11 days

Mountain Range


People per Guide

4 people

Trip Level


Offer Period

Aug, Sep, Oct

Type of Trip

Private and Group


  • 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.

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Price per person

Group of 2
4099 USD

Group of 3
3400 USD

Group of 4
3099 USD


Price includes

  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • Transport during the trip
  • Group porters (transport of tents, cooking equipment, etc. for the group)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 Not included: flights, personal equipment, personal insurance, restaurant meals, drinks, tips, any service not specified.


  • Day 1Arrival - 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 2Portezuelo 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 3Camp 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 4Skiing 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 5Cerro 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 6Driving 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 7Loma 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 8Huemul 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 9Glacier 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 10Cerro 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 11Departure

    Transfer to El Calafate Airport. End of the services.


Other details

Skill level required


Fitness level required


Meeting point

Coyhaique Airport.


Cerro Castillo Village, Camp Neozelandés

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.


About the 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!



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What People are Saying about Merlín Lipshitz


Merlin was great—very knowledgeable, encouraging, and safe. I would definitely climb with him again and recommend his services very, very highly!
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Dorothy K
Could not recommend both Merlin and his touring itineraries more. He went above and beyond from guiding us to lines I will never forget to showing us how an asado is done to renting me his *personal* skis for 2 weeks to make sure I had the best equipment for the adventure. He’s not like other guides I’ve had before, pushing us to get the most rewarding experience possible. Already looking forward to the next adventure.
Read review
Jamie McCroskery
Merlin is a very experienced mountaineering guide. It was a great trip. We can recommend him very highly.
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R. Mathes
We had a great time!
Read review
Bethany Forrester

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