• Overview
  • Description

This trip is an alternative to the ski touring package, designed for experienced ski tourers and alpinists primarily interested in skiing on summits ranging from 4000 m to 5000 m. The main objectives of the tour include  Mkinvartsveri (or Kazbek, 5054 m) and Maili-Khok (4600 m). As the snow line is likely too high to ski around Stepantsminda, we head directly to the Altihut, a comfortable and cosy base for all tours. The comfort of the hut and full board ensure good rest before each trip. The trip is limited to a maximum of 3 people and requires a strong background in ski touring and good physical fitness.


About The Guide

The guide for this trip is Peter Schön, an ACMG-certified Ski Guide, who has pioneered ski tours and first descents in the area since 2006. Peter also involved in running the avalanche forecast for the wider Gudauri - Kazbegi area, and therefore up to date about snow and avalanche conditions in the area.
Ski Guide - Association of Canadian Mountain Guides
Canadian Avalanche Association Level 3 & Professional Member

First (reported) Ski Descents:

• Mkinvartsveri (Kazbek, 5054 m)
• South-east face direct (50°)
• South-east ramp
• North-east face to Abano glacier - Article in Mountain Life
• South face
• Traverse over summit

• Maili-Kkoh (4600 m)
• Ortsveri (4365 m) north face
• Skhhara (5193 m) south pillar (55°+, 5A, ski descent to 4300 m)
• Janga Tau (5058 m) south face
• Chatyn-Tau (4310 m), south-east couloir (55°+) and west face - Article in Mountain Life

Other Ranges
Pik Pobeda East (50°+, 6762 m) north-east ridge, Tian Shan
Lap Nazar (50°+, 5990 m), Pamir
• Cerro de los Piuquenes (6025 m), Andes

Of those, only the following have reported repeats:
• Mkinvartsveri SE face direct (Buta Eloshvili and Bekar Phajishvili)
• Ortsveri north face (Buta Eloshvili and Bekar Phajishvili)
• Chatyn-Tau south-east couloir (Miroslav Peťo and Maroš Červienka)

Day 1:

Meeting in the morning in Tbilisi and equipment check at MPlus. Most equipment can be rented here before we leave if you need (or have forgotten) gear. Soon our driver takes us to Stepantsminda. After a short food break in Stepantsminda we tour to AltiHut.

Vertical meters: 900; time: 4 hrs.

Driving: 3 hrs.


Day 2:

Ski Tour to Kesi Pass (3619 m) for acclimatization. While not leading to a summit, one is rewarded with great views to the surrounding peaks of the Caucasus and a great ski descent back to AltiHut. Since the tour is short, we can do several runs.

Vertical meters: 1000 – 1200 m; time: 4 - 5 hrs.


Day 3:

Ski tour to Ortsveri (4222 m), the closest 4000 m to AltiHut, with an introduction to glacier travel and safety and the use of crampons.

Vertical meters: 1250; time: 4 – 6 hrs (depended on conditions along the summit ridge).


Day 4:

Well-acclimatized, we depart for an extended tour up the Gergeti glacier. Depending on weather and snow conditions and considering group fitness, we aim to climb and ski Spartak (4517 m) or Maili-Kokh (4600 m). Both are excellent, glaciated ski summits, with stunning views to Mkinvartsveri and other 5000 m peaks (Peter has climbed and skied all 5000 m peaks of Georgia and can provide information on most high peaks visible). The tour leads up the Gergeti glacier to the Kazbek plateau (4450 m), and turns west towards Spartak, with the option to continue to the elegant east ridge of Maili. Some refer to this tour as the “Road of Dreams”. When you are there, you will understand why. Very few people ski on these peaks despite their high alpine character and moderate terrain.

Vertical meters: 1500 (Spartak) – 1700 (Maili-Kokh). Time 7-8 hrs.


Day 5:

Easy ski tour (ca. 800 m vertical) to rest the legs a bit. The tour is chosen based on conditions. This day may also be a reserve day in case of poor weather.


Day 6:

Ski tour to the summit of Mkinvartsveri! This is a big day with 2000 vertical meters. An early start ensures we can keep a moderate pace that preserves energy. The tour leads up the Gergeti glacier to the plateau (4400 m) and a saddle at 4880 m. The steep (to 40°) last 100 – 150 m may require crampons and an ice axe. Depending on conditions, we ski back the same route or, alternatively, the more direct south face (to 35°).

Vertical meters: 2000. Time: 8 - 9 hrs.


Day 7:

Ski descent from Altihut and drive back to Tbilisi.

Vertical meters: 900 (down); time: 1 hrs.

Driving: 3 hrs.


Day 8:

Flight home. Optional: a city tour with Peter through vibrant Tbilisi