Argentina Mountaineering

Leadership & Guide Training Course
(20 days)




Glaciated peaks surround Aconcagua’s flanks and offer students world class mountaineering objectives.  During the IWLS mountaineering course, students explore the Plomo glacier, to the south west of Aconcagua and next to the border of Chile.  The nearby summits of Cerro Juncal, Nevado el Plomo, Tupungato, and many other alpine peaks above 5,000 meters in the area, set the back drop for this mountaineering course which offers students a fine balance of altitude, mountaineering skills, and international travel. Although we won’t attempt Juncal or Plomo, there are innumerable peaks and objectives in the spectacular glaciated environment. 

This course is a significant mountaineering expedition into the central Andes.  After logistics planning and packing in Penitentes, you’ll hike up the Rio Blanco Valley and establish a base camp.  The easy access to the glaciers spilling off the high peaks and a variety of mountaineering objectives provide an exciting classroom for learning to climb and guide at altitude. As the group acclimates, you’ll refine mountaineering skills and practice crevasse rescue before climbing a few of the surrounding peaks.


THE INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES OF IWLS are widely recognized as some of the very best in their field and have practical leadership experience from around the globe. They are well trained and have an uncommon enthusiasm for sharing their skill and knowledge, borne out of a passion for outdoor exploration.

The International Wilderness Leadership Schools’ educational model nurtures leadership development and creates an awareness of the guiding mentality that is essential for leading safe, fun adventures in the mountains. The combination of technical skills training, experiential education and practical leadership experience make the IWLS curriculum world class.

THE IWLS GENERAL CURRICULUM outlines the essential components for effective outdoor leadership. Here are a few points that the course will focus on.

  • Equipment/Clothing Selection and Use: You’ll learn to choose the right gear for the correct application, whether enjoying a sunny afternoon on a snow slope or trekking through a tropical rainforest.
  • Leadership: You’ll have the opportunity to lead the group in a variety of activities and objectives.
  • Environmental Ethics: As adventurers in some of the most pristine environments on the planet, it is our duty to respect the natural landscape. All of our courses practice and teach Leave No Trace® principles.
  • Safety and Risk Management: Safety is always the #1 consideration. As the course progresses, you’ll develop an awareness to appropriately asses risk and make safe decisions.
  • Wilderness Emergency Procedures and Treatment: Learn how to effectively manage safe, efficient, and timely backcountry rescues.

-Darsie Culbeck

IWLS MOUNTAINEERING CURRICULUM is built from countless expeditions in Alaska and around the world. You’ll learn how to be a competent and proficient mountaineer in a variety of different environments. Below are some topics we’ll cover.

  • Self-Arrest: What happens if you fall on a steep now slope? Learn, through hands on experience, how to stop a fall quickly and efficiently.
  • Anchors: Anchor building is a fun, yet intricate subject. We’ll examine single, double, triple and complex anchors, and their different applications. Learn how to place anchors in snow, rock, and ice.
  • Crevasse Rescue: Traveling in glaciated terrain requires that every member of the team be proficient in crevasse rescue. We’ll learn how to get a team mate out of a crevasse quickly and efficiently.
  • Technical Climbing: Rock climbing, ice climbing and steep snow climbing are all included in the IWLS’ curriculum.

-Eli Fierer

IWLS INTERNATIONAL CURRICULUM is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of planning and leading expeditions in foreign countries. Here are just a few topics that will be covered:

  • Cultural History: As visitors to this remarkable place, we place a premium on being respectful and learning about the local culture and history.
  • Language Skills: The ability to ask directions, purchase items, and communicate on any level is an essential element of leading an expedition to a foreign country. Throughout the course, we’ll develop our Spanish language skills through dialog and lesson plans.
  • Trip Preparation: Logistics in a foreign country have the potential to be complex and tenuous. You’ll take part in shopping at the local market, arranging transportation, and securing permits in preparation for your expedition into the central Andes.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL No previous experience is necessary for this course. However, with a desire to learn and an enthusiasm for adventure, you’ll develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of wilderness exploration.

CERTIFICATIONS Upon completion of the 20-day course, participants may qualify for the following certifications:_

Guide Training Certificate of Completion
International Wilderness Leadership School


Level 1 Avalanche Certification*
International Wilderness Leadership School

*Depends on weather and season. Typically only early season courses in Argentina will be able to provide this certification. 

DATES & PRICES Please see our schedule for current dates and price information._