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Trad Climbing on Cerro Pantojo in Chile


Spend 3 days on a unique trad climbing ascent of the stunning Cerro Pantojo in Chile's Los Lagos region with the help of a local, certified guide.



3 Days

All year




  • Enjoy climbing on the petrified lava towers of Cerro Pantojo.
  • Discover a unique location in the Los Lagos region of Chile.
  • Spend three days in the middle of nature, with stunning mountain views around you.


Cerro Pantojo stands tall on the border of Chile and Argentina, on the route connecting Osorno and Bariloche. This unique petrified lava tower is a top spot for moderate climbing in summer and more demanding climbing in winter, with a beautiful approach through forests of native trees such as lengas and ñirres. It boasts volcanic ash and enough snow for randoneé skis or snowshoes in winter. The Pantojo offers five pitches of V-grade climbing (or W3/W4 in winter) and climbing it is a unique way to enjoy the surrounding landscapes. On this 3-day tour, we will explore the Pantojo, and climb on its famous trad. routes.

The itinerary we will follow starts and ends in Puerto Varas. From there, we will drive down the Interlagos route to the Cardenal Samoré pass. There, we will sign up for the activity and present our documents to the international police. From there, we still have 20km more to go before we begin our trek to the Base Camp.

The trek will take us through forests of native trees, and we must carry our backpacks with everything we need for the following days. We will cross a river, and some volcanic ash, and after around 7 km, or four hours, we will reach the base camp in the plains.

On the day of the climb, we will start early. We will need about an hour to reach the start of the route, from there an easy climb of about 50 meters will take us to the gutter and a complete first view. From there, we will reach the ridge that will take us to the last climb between blocks and loose rock. The route in summer conditions is graded V as per UIAA classifications, with a 5.7 climbing grade in Yosemite climbing. In winter, the route becomes completely alpine. The approach will require ski touring or snowshoes, and it will be necessary to use ice axes and crampons (difficulty WI3 to Wi4).

In order to join this tour, you need to have experience and knowledge of climbing and rappelling. You don't need to have a high rock climbing grade or experience in trad climbing, but you do need to know rappelling and belaying techniques. Additionally, you will need to be physically fit and ready for adventure!

If you would like to climb the stunning Cerro Pantojo in Chile, then contact us today and we can start planning your adventure!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Rope

- Harness

- Helmet

- Crampons

- Ice axe

- Camping equipment tents

Price details


Mountain guide service in group tour; bilingual ANGM mountain guides (Spanish, English); entrance fees to National Parks and/or private land; excursions, transportation, and food as described in the itinerary; activity insurance; first aid kit for wild areas; all group equipment per client listed here (helmet, harness with accessories, common camping equipment); in areas without cell phone coverage, a 2-way satellite communicator (with real-time online tracking, SOS function), in areas with cell phone coverage, a 1-way satellite communicator and/or VHF radios.

If the program takes place in winter conditions, it also includes crampons, ice axes, poles, and snowshoes.

The program includes meals (dinners and breakfasts according to itinerary) and accommodation in a mountain tent for 2 persons at the camp. We will all carry the group equipment, food and personal equipment in our backpacks.


Tips, additional services or upgrades, personal gear, life and/or travel insurance, porters or horses (if available), extra expenses, alcoholic beverages, meals not specified in the itinerary or not included in the menu, extra nights in cities or due to changes in the itinerary, anything else not mentioned in the program.


Day 1: Puerto Varas- Base Camp

 7 am - Transport from Puerto Varas to the Cardenal Samoré border crossing.

10 am- Trekking to La Junta (4 to 6 hours).

Base camp.

Day 2: Southwest Gutter Climbs

Climbing the route on the "southwest gutter" (5 pitches, +-200m, summer difficulty; 5.7 YDS, V UIAA | winter difficulty: M3 or M4, 80°)

Day 3: Return to Puerto Varas

We will set off at 9 am and trek to the trailhead, we will return to Puerto Varas from there at 4 pm.




Accommodation in a mountain tent for 2 persons at the camp. You must bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping mat.

Meeting point

Puerto Varas

Equipment you will need to bring

Other gear: Appropriate clothes for trekking, climbing, and weather conditions at the time of the program (3-layer system, gloves, and hat), trekking boots, headlamp, sunglasses, backpack (+50lt or large enough to carry your personal items), and those that we will provide you), climbing shoes, sleeping bag comfort temperature -7°C, water bottle (minimum 2 liters), camera, sunscreen (skin, lips), change of clothes. Mountain boots are required if the program is carried out in winter conditions.

About the guide

As a kid I grew up next to the majestic volcanoes and lakes of southern Chile. When I became an alpinist, I started climbing the big mountains of the Maipo Valley and that soon took me to climb in the Alps.

With my wife, dogs and son we live in Austria and in Chile, sharing life in two different places, but in the same way.

Since the year 2009, I'm guiding mostly the volcanoes of southern Chile and, when possible, the big mountains around Santiago and the Atacama desert.

I'm a member of the Chilean Mountain Guide Association (www.angm.cl), with whom we are working to bring the IFMGA standard to Chile, not only to validate our profession, but also to start teaching future mountain guides in Chile.

I work with a team of guides in the Puerto Varas area, so when I'm in Austria, I can arrange for you to climb with one of my colleagues.






Chile and Austria

What people are saying about José Miguel Potthoff Pugin

Creighton Baird


January, 2023

Best experience we could have asked for. I'm so happy we hired a guide for this. Their knowledge, expertise, and personality made the trip amazing. The climb is well worth the effort and I highly recommend.

dan hurley


January, 2023

Miguel did an amazing job managing this trip. He went well above and beyond to ensure a safe and memorable trip to the summit of Osorno and back. I highly recommend this trip!

Stefan Wagner


January, 2023

Great Organization, excellent equipment, perfect guiding and support. Can’t be better. We enjoyed the climb and the refuge very much. Highly recommended. Thanks Juan and also thank you Falco. Great Job!

Thibaud Weiler


December, 2022

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Christian Richardson


December, 2022

I highly recommend the climb to Osorno. The whole experience was awesome and it was only enhanced by my guide and the service provided by Explore-Share prior to and leading up to the climb. Extremely accommodating and quick to respond to any questions or concerns.

Toril Asbjornsen


October, 2022

Falco provided necessary gear to us and took us safe and efficient on the top and down again.

Larry Trias


March, 2022

A truly epic trip on the most northern part of Patagonia. Highly recommended.

Samuel Leupold


March, 2022

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Christina Mrukowicz


January, 2022

I had a wonderful time on my journey to the top of the Osorno Volcano and cannot recommend Huella Andina enough. José and his team were very good at communicating with me from the moment I booked my trip. While I had been initially a little hesitant, unsure if I had enough experience for this trip, José was very clear about what to expect and assured me that my prior experience was definitely sufficient, putting my mind at ease. The trip itself was very well organized. My guide, Falco, picked me up from my hostel in Puerto Varas. I was able to stay in the Teski Refuge the night before the ascent, enjoying a delicious dinner and breakfast prior to the start. The climb became a little technical, as conditions were icy toward the top, but Falco was an excellent lead, telling me exactly what to do once we started to use the ropes. The view from the top was very special as you climb above the sea of clouds and see other volcanoes in the distance. If you are planning a trip to Osorno, I highly recommend Huella Andina Expeditions to take you all the way to the top! Can't wait to come back to Chile and do another trek with them!

Sven Serena


February, 2020

Jose Miguel is a very professional guide and I enjoyed the experience on Calbuco very much. Thanks for everything!

B. Bortot


December, 2019

The traveller did not leave a comment.


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