Patagonia. The name it self conjures images of adventure and discovery. Equal parts Chile and Argentina, the southern backbone of the Andes hosts an untouched wilderness of incredible beauty. It is a land of legendary allure and mystique, home to lofty Andean peaks, massive glaciers, and deep fjords.
Tidewater glaciers spill off of the edge of the continent and shape the majestic fjords and waterways of Patagonia. The wild, untouched landscape and rugged beauty of this area is home to one of the largest systems of glaciers on the planet. Fjords extend out from the mountains into a maze of islands and islets. The dynamic weather and terrain of this glaciated environment make for exceptional mountaineering, sea kayaking, and trekking expeditions. Whether you come here for one course, or a whole semester, the skills gained and tested in this place will serve you on future expeditions anywhere.
Our mountaineering courses take place on Patagonia’s famed southern ice field, one of the least explored mountain areas of the world. Here the rugged spine of the Andes meets the Patagonian steppe. IWLS courses access mountain areas around Fitzroy and Cerro Torre that provide an incredible environment for developing mountaineering and leadership skills.
12 and 24 days
In Patagonia, you’ll explore lush fjords teeming with life on land and sea, tidewater glaciers spilling huge icebergs into the sea, and enjoy the long days of the austral summer. From our base in Puerto Natales, we paddle the Ultima Esperanza inlet and access stunning glaciers such as Balmaceda and Serrano.
12 and 24 days
The IWLS Backpacking course is taught in the shadow of the unique glaciated mountains of Los Glaciares National Park. You’ll hike beneath the stunning peaks of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre while developing leadership skills. We begin our course in the small outpost of Chalten, located at the bottom of the South American continent.
For students trying to rapidly gain substantial wilderness leadership experience, an IWLS Patagonia semester is a solid choice. Through active participation as an expedition leader while paddling fjords, climbing granite spires and trekking through some of the most celebrated wild places on the planet, you will learn and refine the skills that make a competent, qualified leader.