A diverse and exciting program designed to keep everyone interested and busy throughout their stay, balancing plenty of action, learning, social and free time.
WEEK 1: ORIENTATION
The program begins in the humble mountain village of El Chaltén, Argentina. This is the gateway to Patagonia’s most famous treks and the Los Glaciares National Park. All areas that you will come to know well and feel forever connected to.
Orientation is a bit like your first week at college. You will get to know the local area, learn local customs and culture, get to know your program mates, and really absorb the plan for your program.
Your Pure Exploration program leader will lead you on tours, challenges, games and practical tasks to help turn you into a team, immerse you in South American culture, learn ‘how things are done round here’ and help you find your way around town! By the end of the week you’ll feel as though you’ve known your program mates for a lifetime, and will be getting used to sharing daily life with them!
MONTH 1: INTRODUCTION TO ADVENTURE SKILLS & LEADERSHIP
TREKKING INTRO & CORE GUIDING SKILLS IN LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK
Hiking, camping, geology, flora & fauna, history and natural interpretation skills all start with a walk and a tent! So you will too. An exciting local discovery process around the town of El Chaltén and Los Glaciares National Park will inspire your inner adventurer and smash any doubts you had about making the big trip south to Patagonia. In the heart of the region you’ll be blown away by the scenery of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre ranges and love learning the core skills which will stand you in good stead for the rest of your outdoor life.
Professional guiding is a little different to what most hobby outdoors people think - a lot more involved than just the skills required for the sport! You’ll learn about risk assessment, leadership theory, nutrition, weather analysis, and group dynamics among much, much more. This module includes some classroom elements to introduce theoretical components of professional instructing & guiding. This short stage is followed by full-on practical tasks, challenges and field assignments.... Intensely practical, fun and learning by discovery.
You’ll also get the chance to experience rural Patagonian life, riding horses across stunning landscapes and chatting to locals about the ups and downs of living life in one of the world’s most dramatic regions.
MONTH 2: BECOME AN EXPERT
BECOME AN EXPERT
HUEMUL CIRCUIT, LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK
It’s time to start putting your skills and knowledge to the test, as we start to push your limits and see if we can create some outdoor diamonds! After getting loads of practice in the bush and on the rock. You will continue developing your abilities in the outdoors. In small groups, you’ll receive training to satisfy qualifications in Hiking Leader and Rock Climbing Leader certifications. In these four weeks, you’ll hone your skills in alpine hiking environments. Time in the saddle can’t be beaten in regards to preparation, and you’ll experience a range of weather conditions, situational scenarios, and group simulations to prep you for anything. This is the true nuts and bolts of the course where you’ll emerge a true leader, skilled practitioner, and confident and enthusiastic guide!
MONTH 3: PEER ASSESSMENT AND EXAMS
ADVANCED HIKING MODULES
We will be diving deeper into our hiking modules and taking you to the next level. As well as sharpening our flora and fauna skills we will hone our navigation in the backcountry to make you an all-rounder in the outdoors.
Throughout your program, we will facilitate time to jump into guiding! You’ll have the opportunity to lead one another and practice teaching your newfound rock and bush skills! Each individual will have a minimum of 5 days as a lead or associate guide in bushwalking and rock climbing.
Buckle down and consolidate your learning in preparation for your assessments. We’ve had a fantastic pass rate so far of 98%, so as long as you do the hours and are fit and healthy and raring to go, you’ll be sweet!
As well as completing your 2 x disciplines to qualification standard, you’ll also complete an International Wilderness First Aid Certificate to add to your repertoire.
After assessments are over, there is some great time at the end of the program to rest, reflect on your adventure, celebrate at a fun graduation dinner and start planning your next epic international mission with your new best mates! We absolutely love seeing where our Pure Ex grads end up, some in guiding roles, some continuing traveling, some back to study or their careers, some joining us to work for us or our partner company Pacific Discovery! Some find the trajectory of their life has completely changed post-program, and head off to climb more mountains with new friends, new priorities, and new values. The journey is just beginning!
This is a sample guide to what you can expect to do on the program. Please note that activities, locations and the order in which the activities occur may be subject to change, due to seasonality, operational requirements or health & safety.
We have a number of exciting programs in a range of countries that you may be keen to experience. These include: