Whatever you're into, grab a copy of this years e-brochure
Who wants to wait for the postman when you can instantly download your copy of our most recent brochure today.
Qualify as a ski or snowboard instructor in Argentina this summer with Peak Leaders!
If you’ve never been to Argentina then you are missing out! Argentina is probably one of the coolest places on the planet; great snow, epic mountains, fun terrain and a nightlife that only Latin America can boast.
Peak Leaders are proud to be the only instructor training company to offer a variety of ski and snowboard courses leading to BASI accredited qualifications in Bariloche, South America’s winter sports capital.
It’s fair to say that Bariloche is not your average ski resort; it’s definitely off the beaten track. Nevertheless, for the past ten years Peak Leaders have been taking ski and snowboard trainees down to this winter sports Mecca to become qualified instructors and they’ve all loved it. In fact we’ve been running courses in Argentina for over 10 years so you’ll practically feel like locals when you arrive.
Bariloche is an exciting and unbelievably beautiful place with some of the best accessible terrain to ski or snowboard in the whole of South America, so riders of all levels will constantly feel challenged. Combine this terrain with a hand picked crew of the best Argentine ski and snowboard instructors and BASI trainers and you’ve got a recipe for an unforgettable learning experience. Needless to say you’ll find plenty of opportunities to build powder kickers, shred the park and discover some of Bariloche’s most secret powder stashes on your days off.
During your time on the course not only will your ski or snowboard skills improve dramatically but you’ll be able to sample some incredible wine and food, Argentine Steak is the best on the planet, discover some breathtaking scenery, learn Spanish and mix with the locals in beautiful Bariloche and bustling Buenos Aires. If all that wasn’t enough you’ll have the opportunity to try your ‘feet’ at the tango, explore the Andes on horseback, take part in a traditional Argentine BBQ with a local gaucho and his family and canoe on the lake outside our stunning hotel.
Organise an instructor job for the winter season. For those trainees wishing to have their instructor qualifications ready for the start of the Northern Hemisphere season this course will give you plenty of time to apply for an instructor job in your dream resort. Our course leader and office team will help you to apply for instructor jobs while in resort. Peak Leaders have contacts at ski and snowboard schools all over the World and really strong relationships with a vast array of ski and snowboard schools around the World that provide our trainees with instructor training. If your Spanish is strong there’s nothing to say you can’t spend your future summers/winters in beautiful Bariloche teaching the Argentinians.
Whether you’re planning a gap year, a career break or you’re looking to qualify as a ski or snowboard instructor before the start of University this course can accommodate you. We’re really proud of this course and feel that our Argentina course not only offers brilliant skiing and snowboarding but a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for trainee instructors to experience living the life of a Patagonian. The Peak leaders Argentina instructor course is the benchmark for all summer instructor training courses.
If you are heading to university, you can leave the course after Week 8 to get back in time for Fresher’s Week. There’s a reduction in the course price – just ask us for details.
“The Peak Leaders Argentina instructor course offers two unmissable experiences in one: a visit to the lake district of Patagonia – one of the most beautiful places on earth – and off course the opportunity to do a winter season.
In 2009 I was fortunate enough to assess the Peak Leaders trainee instructors in Cerro Cathedral, Bariloche. The resort is the best of the South American resorts and has a large number of pistes as well as easily accessible and enjoyable off piste. Peak Leaders team up with the Barilorche Alpine Club to provide training prior to the BASI course, some of the most professional people I met while traveling in South America. This combination of challenging terrain and quality coaching prepares the students well for the technical part of the BASI course.
If you are considering a gap year course, and perhaps want something a little different from what the European resorts have to offer, I would highly recommend Argentina. Who knows, you may even learn another language!”
Blair Aitken, BASI Trainer
In Bariloche we stay at the magnificent El Retorno Lodge right on the shore of Lago Gutierrez (see photos) a stunning lake behind Cerro Catedral. Breakfast and dinner is served in the hotel's restaurant. There's a bar and free Wi Fi & Internet Services. This is the view from the hotel...right outside the front.
An Argentine welcome is like no other. After travelling from the airport through stunning scenery of mountains and lakes, the group is given a welcome meeting and their first taste of the legendary Argentine asado (BBQ).
For the past 9 years we have used the 3* El Retorno hotel. We are about a 12 minute drive to the ski slopes or to the centre of down town Bariloche. The hotel is in the most magnificent setting, surrounded by mountains and with stunning views across the lake.
On days off the Peaks guys either hang out at the hotel to relax after big days of ski and snowboard training, have a glass or two of Merlot, go to Bariloche shopping, or if you are feeling active, go exploring on the hotel’s mountain bikes.
Rooms are usually twin, but please contact us if you wish to pay for a single room supplement.
Included in the cost is breakfast (7 days) and dinner 5 days per week. Breakfast is continental with croissants, ham, cheese, fruit, yogurt and cereal. Lunch is included on coaching days. Once you get back the hotel you can start all over again! Another reason to choose our course! Feedback from previous courses showed that our clients preferred the flexibility of eating out at the weekend. You can work your way through the list of excellent restaurants in Bariloche.
Cerro Catedral: The ski area at Cerro Catedral is the largest in South America with 67 km of trails and 27 major lifts with a capacity of 20,000 skiers per hour. The top of the mountain is 2050m and the vertical drop is 1000m. It is one of the best places in the world for ski / board freeriders where you can blast your way through thigh deep powder in one of the mile long chutes and take in the stunning views across Lake Nahuel Huapi to the surrounding high Andes. The off-piste runs on the best tree covered slopes of South America are magical.
Cerro Catedral is world class and attract athletes from every corner of the globe. In the past Peak Leaders groups have brushed shoulders with British Race Team member, Noel Baxter whilst he was training at Cerro. (I think they may have beaten him at table football, go Peaks…) and legendary freestyle ski guru Pep Fujas in the terrain park. Freestyle coaching is given by Argentine sponsored riders & skiers. On days off, the course leader encourages the group to practice on the mountain for the exam as well as getting in some free riding and park time.
You can see condors at Cerro Cateral. The Andean condor is the largest bird of prey in the world. Condors are usually seen in the air in numbers ranging from one to sixty or more. Its range is now reduced to only several South American countries including Chile. They roost and nest in the mountains, although not usually above 18,000 feet (5,500 meters). Their normal food is carrion, dead, dying or sometimes newborn animals. Condors have commonly been killed for their feathers (used for decoration) as well as for being considered pests. Some Indian religions considered a hunted condor a rite of passage for men. In captivity condors have reached ages in excess of 70 years. Condors have wingspans exceeding 12 feet (four meters) and weigh up to 25 lbs. (11 kg).
Bariloche is the main ski resort town in Northern Patagonia. The town is also a favourite party destination for students from Buenos Aires and Peak Leaders' trainees as well as being an adventure sports' town.
Located in the western area of the Province of Río Negro, Bariloche is in the heart of the Nahuel Huapi National Park. Not only is San Carlos de Bariloche a rite of passage destination for students on graduation, but it also welcomes visitors from all over the world who come to one of the main ski resorts in South America: Cerro Catedral.
There is a wide range of activities for visitors. During the summer, adventure tours are popular: rafting, hiking, mountain biking, horse-riding and fly fishing excursions. In winter it is all about snow sports.
Likewise, lake excursions across the Nahuel Huapi provide access to spots that are unique in the world, such as the Myrtle Forest and Victoria Island.
(Buenos Aires, Esquel, Traful horseback trips)
During your time with Peak Leaders in Argentina, there are trips organised, when you'll experience the richness and fun of South American culture. You'll go from the Atlantic to the Andes, ride with gauchos, learn spoken Spanish, see the soaring condors of Patagonia, travel across the pampas on the Patagonia Express steam train (optional), stay in vibrant Buenos Aires and watch Tango danced in the streets ( have a go maybe...), visit Evita's house and the thriving La Boca. Life, happily, will never be the same again.
We will spend two days in Buenos Aires on the return trip. The course leader, alongside our longstanding friend and Argentine guide , show the group some highlights of the city. Here’s a snippet from Lucie Archer one of our Course Leaders:
“[The day] consisted of a walk through the city to see the sights. We visited Recoleta, where there is an amazing cemetery (Evita is buried here), and then had a coffee stop (or for some a breakfast stop). Café con leche and dulce de leche ice cream were the order of the day. This was followed by a walk through the city past Teatro Colon (a very famous theatre) and on to Plaza de Mayo. We then headed to La Boca (the mouth), which is the old docks area of the city and renowned for the place that the tango was created! It is a very colourful part of the city – literally, as all the buildings are painted in yellow, red, blue, green..... Some of the group ate here for lunch and watched the tango, some of the group even danced the tango. The evening saw us all eventually (with the help of Mel’s linguistic skills) make it to a small Flamenco restaurant for tapas…The Flamenco was fantastic to watch, sitting very close to the action, it was a mesmerising performance.”
We will visit the steam train known as the Patagonia express or La Trochita. There are over 400 km of line still operating what we see today is only a small part of the original, unaccomplished Patagonian railways project. Its original character has been kept largely unchanged, like virtually nowhere else in the world.
The train runs along the imposing landscape of the Andean foothills, where over 600 curves can have a surprise waiting just around the bend. And the many old stations and stops where the train must pause to refill its water tank, as the locomotives can consume water at a rate as high as 100 litres per km.
You will be introduced to the rituals of Mate, (pronounced ma-tay) Many of the locals drink mate instead of tea. Yerba mate is a species of holly native to subtropical South America.The infusion made from the plant is called mate and is prepared by steeping dry leaves (and twigs) of yerba mate in hot water, rather than in boiling water like black tea or coffee. It is a slightly less potent stimulant than coffee and much gentler on the stomach. Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd with a metal straw is an extremely common social practice in Argentina.
In Argentina we offer the British Association of Snowsport Association qualifications. The qualification is recognized worldwide and is crucial if you want to teach in France later on in your career. BASI level 1 is the introductory level taken early on in the course, with BASI 2 (more advanced) taken towards the end of the course. In 2007 we had 100% pass rate for BASI 1! Other qualifications on offer are the first aid course, avalanche awareness & backcountry Module, ILM Leadership award. See below for more details!
*New from 2009* Included this year is an extra week of BASI coaching - giving you even more time to perfect your skills!
Peak Leaders run professional courses which deliver more all mountain technical training and skills than anyone else. After three years of intense assessment, Peak Leaders UK Ltd are members of the exclusive "Year Out Group"; the governing body for structured year out opportunities.
We pride ourselves in offering certification in aspects above and beyond the snowsports qualifications, so preparing you for a variety of jobs.
BASI qualifications are offered in Bariloche - BASI Ski or Snowboard Instructor. Successful trainees will be able to ski to a competent level, and have the knowledge, ability and understanding to teach safely on marked pistes up to and including parallel.
BASI is a dynamic, foreword thinking, members’ association whose Snowsport Qualifications are recognised world-wide. The BASI Mission is:
“To create a National and International reputation for excellence through the provision of the highest quality of training and support services for Ski and Snowboard instructors"
BASI offers a full range of ski and snowboard training courses in all disciplines - giving a clearly defined path of learning, leading to some of the most respected and in-demand qualifications in the world.
You will learn to recognise the conditions under which avalanches take place and how to avoid them! You also learn what to do in an emergency situation if an avalanche occurs. This gives the essential knowledge and skills to feel confident with a guide in the backcountry away from marked trails and patrolled areas. This module provides essential training for powder-hungry skiers and riders and covers avalanche theory, snow stability and search and rescue techniques. There will be classroom sessions and practical work on the mountain.
You will be shown how to bring together the skills you have learned on the avalanche awareness course and will be introduced to navigation and route selection with a view to backcountry travel. You will learn about risk assessment, using a beacon, shovel and probe, avalanche dangers, snow conditions and building shelters.
The Mountain First Aid course covers: emergency action principles; airway and breathing emergencies; cardiovascular emergencies/strokes; CPR; bleeding management; shock and prevention of disease transmission.
Peak Leaders have the amazing opportunity to provide trainees with training and certification through the ILM. It will provide a huge in-site and knowledge into what it takes to be a leader in any profession. Great for the resume!
Whatever level you are, lessons can be arranged. Evening classes focus on spoken Spanish and are conducted by qualified teachers. The aim is to give people the basic technical vocabulary for an understanding of mountain safety and for day to day living in a Spanish speaking society. For trainees who already have an understanding of Spanish, the aim is to learn more snowsports' related vocabulary.
Who wants to wait for the postman when you can instantly download your copy of our most recent brochure today.