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Trad climbing in Patagonia: 4-day Introductory course in Bariloche


Craig, an IFMGA-certified mountain guide, offers this complete 4-day introductory trad climbing course around the Frey Hut in Bariloche, so you can acquire all the basic skills needed to become an independent climber!



4 Days

Jan - Mar, Dec




* Acquire the basic skills necessary to perform trad climbing independently

* Amazing views of the massif’s characteristic orange granite spires

* Learn the tricks of the trade from an experienced guide

* Rappel down the granite spires


Cerro Catedral (Cathedral Mountain) is said by many to be one of the top areas for rock climbing in all of South America. Its characteristic orange granite spires make for a spectacular and unique view and offer climbing opportunities of innumerable shapes and forms. The name “Cerro Catedral” actually comes from this very amphitheatre of spires, towering proudly above the scenery.

This 4-day introductory course is aimed at those who already possess beginner skills in lead climbing (5.8 level, 5th French grade) and who want to acquire the complete skill set necessary to become an independent trad climber.

While taking in the unique splendour of Cerro Catedral with its endless granite spires and backdrop of snow-covered volcanoes and alpine lakes, you will learn many aspects of the trad climbing style. This includes movement skills, how to place solid gear for protection and building bomb-proof anchors, so you can feel comfortable to start doing your very own, independent climbs.

In this tour, we will begin with a 3-4 hour hike from the Catedral Ski Resort up to the cozy Frey Hut (1700m/5577ft), with its friendly locals and warm ambiance. From the hut, we have access to a great number of varied and interesting cracks, where we can practice a multitude of skills and enjoy climbing the diverse scenery.

To summit the legendary spires, we will climb several multipitch routes and make good use of all the learning opportunities, both when going up and returning down. On the way down, we’ll enjoy and master how to rappel!

After a fulfilling day of rock climbing on the spires, the Frey Hut offers great pizza and wine among friendly locals and fellow climbers, to fulfil us in other ways and prepare us for the adventures awaiting the following day.

Book this trip now for the opportunity to learn all you need to know to become an independent trad climber while summiting the beautiful, honey-coloured granite spires of Cerro Catedral.

Also interested in summitting the highest mountain in Bariloche? Check out my Mount Tronador 3-day guided climbing tour as well!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

Price details

Price includes ropes, all protective gear and harness (if necessary), chalk bag and helmet. Bring your own shoes.

Accommodation and meals in the Frey Hut are not included. Please note that guests are expected to cover the guide's expenses.

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

UIAGM-IFMGA guide in Argentina

I grew up in Buenos Aires to Scottish parents. I was lucky to travel and camp all around this beautiful country hence developing a great passion for the outdoors.

So once I finished my degree in Physical Educacion and also had a Trekking Guide certification (1997), and after spending my summers as a climbing bum up at Frey, I decided Bariloche was the place I wanted to live in.

My passion has allowed me to pursue my dreams of climbing some big walls in Yosemite, the Bugaboos, some faces in the Alps and Dolomites and other closer to here in Brasil, Peru and Bolivia.

I spent a few season working down in Southern Patagonia, El Chalten at the Base of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Here I learned my skills in dealing with all the minor details of managing groups.

Later when Argentina proudly became part of the IFMGA/UAIGM, I took part in the first course/promotion and got certified as a Technical guide (2005).

I’ve been leading trips with NOLS and Outward Bound for the last decade almost and got to learn the soft skills for personal development which has made my expertise as a Guide a lot richer.

Now settled for sometime in Bariloche with a family (two beautiful daughters Sarah and Camila), I’ve decided to work more and more for myself and directly with potential clients and future friends.

Focusing mainly in tailor made programs specially developed for each individual interest. Backcountry skiing, Mountaineering, Rock cimbing, etc!!!

Looking forward to sharing some great times together!!!


English | Spanish | French



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What people are saying about Craig



I didnt choose the optimal time for my trip. Knowing that, I was kinda anxious about how it would turn out, especially when there was really bad weather and snowfall when I arrived in Bariloche. That said, Craig did its best to still make the best out of the situation. We shuffled the dates around and split the 4 days into 2&2. I just came back from the first 2 days and have two more to go, for which I'm very excited. I'm well aware that this kind of shuffling is only possible because it isnt high season yet and am very thankful for that. In terms of the climbing: I communicated my skill level to Craig and my ambition to learn the basics of trad climbing. I think his judgement in planning the itinirary was very sensible. Craig managed to push me way out of my comfort zone without completely overwhelming me. This allowed me to learn a ton in just two days and leave me hungry for more. If you wan't to "learn the ropes" of trad climbing, stick your hands into granite cracks, send the peaks of frey and have a fantastic time doing it, Craig is the guy to book your trip with


Al Borde de la Concordia on Cerro Lopez was a very cool experience for parachuting into a new area far from home. Craig made it seamless, and we had a really good day on some fine rock in a spectacular setting.



Amazing experience with Craig, he brought me and a friend of mine at la ventana to do beginner routes, teaching us how to climb while enjoying breathtaking view. Greatly recommend.



Craig is a great guide and even better person. I would recommend him 100 times over for any backcountry adventure in Patagonia.


I used Explore-Share to connect with Craig, local IFMGA Mountain Guide from Bariloche, who took our group of 3 for an amazing day of Ski Touring around his home mountains. I met him the day before to check my equipment and go over what we’d be doing the following day. This was my first time going uphill with skis and Craig was super attentive teaching me all the basic techniques and safety procedures during the first part of the program. I felt safe and in control at all time, and the pace he chose was just right for me. We got to do a whopping 4 climbs and descents that day (with over 1000m of total vertical gain), exploring different sides of the mountain, and I have to say the skiing was just out of this world! We had the whole area to ourselves. I will definitely be hiring Craig again in the future for a climbing, mountaineering or skiing adventure in Patagonia and I would highly recommend him to anybody visiting this area. Thanks Craig!!

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