Argentina Semester

Leadership & Guide Training Courses
(40+ days)





Argentina Semester Schedules:
2018/2019 Option 1

  • December 31, 2018 – 20 day Argentina Mountaineering
  • January 23, 2019 – 20 day Argentina Aconcagua Expedition
    • Semester Cost: $8,692.50 + tax
2019/2020 Option 1

  • November 14, 2019 – 20 day Argentina Mountaineering
  • December 7, 2019 – 20 day Argentina Aconcagua Expedition
  • December 29, 2019 – 12 Day Argentina Rock Climbing
    • Semester Cost: $11,685 + tax
Contact us for more details or other options!

The IWLS Argentina semester is one of the most comprehensive skill based professional education programs available. The locations you learn in are important international guiding destinations. From the tallest peak in the Western Hemisphere to the exciting rivers that flow from its slopes, you’ll discover the high desert wilderness of the central Andes and develop a well rounded set of technical skills and leadership experience.

Our Argentina Semester can consist of mountaineering (either on Cerro Aconcagua or glaciated technical peaks in the area), backpacking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and first aid and rescue training.

Mountaineering Glaciated peaks surround Aconcagua’s flanks and offer students world class mountaineering objectives. From the summit of El Cuerno (17,920ft/5,462m) and its ice fields to the airy ridgeline of Cerro Tolosa (17,821ft/5432m), this mountaineering course offers students a fine balance of altitude, mountaineering skills, and international travel.

Aconcagua Cerro Aconcagua dominates the region at a height of 22,841 feet (6,962m). It offers a unique educational opportunity for students seeking the skills and experience of participating in a high altitude climbing expedition in a foreign country.

-Ted Roxbury

Rock Climbing With more than 200 routes, walls reaching heights of over a thousand feet, climbs varying from challenging sport routes to long alpine climbs, the Cajón de Arenales is a rock climber’s paradise.

Whitewater Rafting The Mendoza River rushes through Potrerillos and the Cacheuta Canyon on its way to the plains. The Swiftwater Rescue Technician and Raft Guide training portions of this program offer students exciting Class III and IV rapids amidst a dramatic mountain landscape.

First Aid & Rescue Professional Incident Response skills are built into the Argentina Semester, semesters may include a Wilderness First Responder Course and certification.

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.

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

  • Leadership: Opportunities to lead the group will be abundant and you’ll have the time to learn and practice multiple styles of leadership.
  • Navigation: Learn how to take a bearing, read a topographical map, triangulate your position, and navigate in a whiteout.
  • 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.
  • Environmental Ethics: As adventurers in some of the most pristine environments on the planet it is our duty to respect the natural world. All of our courses practice and teach Leave No Trace ® principles.

-Austin Peters

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.

  • Belaying: Should we use a fixed belay or a running belay? Our team will learn and practice the finer points of different belay techniques such as the hip belay, running belay, boot axe belay, fixed belay, and more!
  • Ascending: Fixed lines are an important tool for large groups and guiding applications. We’ll learn how to efficiently use, build and maintain them.
  • Rope Teams: Rope team travel is a complicated endeavor that requires skill, technique and teamwork. We’ll cover everything from prussic arrangement to team management.
  • Objective Hazards: Rock fall, river crossings, and avalanches are examples of objective hazards. Learn how to identify such hazards and minimize group exposure.

-Eli Fierer

IWLS BACKPACKING CURRICULUM prepares students for exploration into remote, backcountry settings. Here are some points we’ll cover on your course:

  • Pre-trip Activities: Learn how to plan and prepare for an extended wilderness expedition. We’ll cover everything from technical camping equipment to group and personal expectations.
  • Stoves and Campfires: The ability to repair a broken stove, make an emergency fire after being submerged in an icy river, and melt snow efficiently for water are key components for leading a group in the wilderness.
  • River and Stream Crossings: In river crossings, attention to detail and safety are #1. You’ll learn and practice safe techniques for wading across a small stream or doing a Tyrolean traverse across a raging river.
  • Geology: From plate tectonics to granitic batholiths, you’ll learn the history of the land you are exploring and how these forces create and influence the environment around you.

-Kevin Forster

IWLS ROCK CLIMBING CURRICULUM is designed to create safe and strong technical climbers. Below are some examples of what you’ll learn:

  • Climbing Technique: Whether stemming an inside corner, jamming an off-width, or friction climbing on a blank slab, you’ll learn the techniques to climb efficiently on a variety of different features.
  • Rock Protection: Pitons, nuts, cams, hexes… learn the nuances of quality placements. You’ll have the opportunity to place protection in a variety of settings and rock quality.
  • Route Selection: Where to set up the fixed belay? How to avoid rock and ice fall? How to select the most appropriate route from far below? You’ll learn the answer to these questions and more as we climb a variety of established routes in addition to possible first ascents.
  • High Angle Rescue: What happens when things go bad? We’ll practice escaping the belay and getting to the aid of an injured climber.

-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. The vibrant Argentine culture makes for a unique and educational international experience.
  • 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 expeditions in the Central Andes.

IWLS WHITEWATER CURRICULUM prepares students for extended river expeditions and whitewater safety. Here are some points we’ll cover on your course:

-Bob Daffe

  • Swiftwater Rescue: You’ll learn the skills necessary to descend a river safely and how to correct things if problems occur. From learning how to pluck swimmers from rapids to righting flipped rafts, this comprehensive course sets the standard for river rescue.
  • Hydrology: Rivers are a powerful force of nature. An understanding of river hydrology helps us to identify and assess features on the river for safe navigation. You’ll learn the fundamentals of pourovers, eddies, holes, standing waves and more.
  • Group Management: Learn how to distribute resources for effective risk management, designate a lead boat for scouting and keeping the group together, and establish a sweep boat with critical rescue equipment.
  • Paddle Captaining and Commands: The captain of the paddle raft communicates to paddlers how to maneuver the raft. Learning how to paddle captain requires managing a group of paddlers to provide a safe, fun, and rewarding experience on the river.

-Adam Clifton

IWLS FIRST AID & RESCUE CURRICULUM prepares students to handle wilderness emergencies and manage liability. Here are some points we’ll cover on your course:

  • Incident Response: From gathering witness statements, communicating with the press, and managing incident command, you’ll learn the skills to effectively mitigate liability following an incident.
  • CPR: All IWLS first aid courses incorporate CPR for the professional rescuer.
  • C-spine Stabilization: Learn to recognize mechanisms of injury, maintain in-line stablization and properly use a backboard.
  • Patient Assessment: Patient history, signs and symptoms, and a detailed assessment are critical tools for identifying appropriate medical care in the backcountry.

CERTIFICATIONS Upon completion of the semester, participants may qualify for the following certifications:

Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Level 1
Rescue III International

Swift Water Rescue Technician
International Wilderness Leadership School

20 Day Guide Training Certificates of Completion
International Wilderness Leadership School


Wilderness First Responder
International Wilderness Leadership School


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