MT. KAZBEK WITH BACKCOUNTRY SKIS
Mt. Kazbek is the third highest mountain in Georgia standing at 5054 meters and is one of the most popular climbing routes in The Caucasus in summer, however, what could be better than reaching the kazbegi-skitour of Mt. Kazbek on skis in the winter months? We offer you an exceptional itinerary for the climb along with unique accommodation and the highest quality service. For acclimatization you will be spending four nights at 3014 meters on Mt. Kazbek in the comfort of this brand-new mountain hut, Altihut 3014m, built to a standard to rival any in the Swiss Alps, right here in Georgia awaiting your stay!
kazbegi-skitouring Mt. Kazbek on skis requires adequate preparation, altitude training and good acclimatization. We will be providing two days of altitude training, more than any other tour provider working on the mountain. Nestled in a cozy, warm and comfortable mountain hut, skiing fresh powder in a stunning alpine setting, having the whole place to yourself and your friends.
The tour offers a unique opportunity to kazbegi-skitour this stunning Mountain in the winter months. With a near iron clad guarantee to have the whole mountain to yourselves, for an unrivaled backcountry adventure and a ski mountaineering experience that will stay with you for life! and is one of the most popular climbing routes in Georgia. Heading North on the military highway towards Russia you will enter the stunning region of Kazbegi National Park in the North East of Georgia. Known primarily for the iconic Mount Kazbegi, the region is a stunning mix of tundra and high mountains with a feeling of wilderness like no other. Bordered by Russia in the north and dotted with ancient villages the area is a trekkers paradise.
It is a condition of booking that you are adequately insured during the tour. The insurance must cover medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue).
We grade this as an advanced level ski tour. Participants should have previous ski touring experience, be able to execute a good up-hill kick turn and be familiar with using boot crampons and carrying an ice axe. Skiers need to have a good ski level where you can ski off-piste in all snow conditions including powder, crusty and heavy snow where you can link controlled parallel turns in the fall line at a regular speed and stop in control. It is useful to have previous experience of using crampons on steep ground (snow, ice and rock) as well as some basic rope skills.
Day 01 - Arrival
Arrival at Tbilisi International Airport (TBS) and transfer to a Hotel in Tbilisi (or Stepantsminda depending on flight schedule) Check in and rest for the night.
Day 02 - Pre tour briefing and equipment check, Transfer to Gergeti, Skinning up to Altihut.
This morning after breakfast you will meet your Mountain guide. You will have an introduction and briefing about the plans for the tour. The guide will check to make sure you have all adequate equipment and clothing for ski touring on Mount Kazbek. After which we transfer to Gergeti village. We drive towards Trinity Church to the furthest possible point (depending on snow conditions on the road). From here we start the ascent to Altihut, the best basecamp at 3,014m altitude for climbing Mt. Kazbek. It will take about 4 hours to reach the hut where you can relax and enjoy the views.
- Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
- 7km 4 hr. skinning time 800m-1000m Asc
- Overnight in Altihut
Day 03 - Altitude training
Today will be the first day of altitude training for acclimatization. After a sumptuous breakfast at AltiHut we head in the direction of north-west and skin up the east face of mt. Ortsveri that stands at 4222 m next to mt. Kazbek. After climbing 700 m (at this high altitude 700m is much more demanding than in lower elevations) There are number of options in this sublime ski touring area to find goods turns and first runs through softly curving snowfields that lead right back to the cabin door. Depending on weather /Snow conditions We might do 2-3 runs on the upper part of the track.
- Breakfast lunch and Dinner
- 6 hours, 700-1000 vertical meters asc/desc, 900m .
- Overnight in Altihut
Day 04 - Altitude training
Today is the second day of altitude training and is a fantastic adventure in the true wilderness of the Kazbek region. We start by skinning from AltiHut heading towards Mt Kazbek. First, we cross the Gergeti glacier (We’ll take this opportunity to go through glacier safety, skins, crampons and ski touring techniques) and aim to reach the old, former soviet meteo station (3700 msl) that serves as a refugee for mountaineers attempting to kazbegi-skitour Mt. Kazbek in summer. After a short break we continue on the path leading to the kazbegi-skitour, a famous and frequently used path in the summer months but rarely seeing humans in the winter period, until we reach the black cross at around 4000msl. Here we turn back and enjoy an incredible decent back to Altihut where we can relax and prepare for the kazbegi-skitour push on the following day.
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- 6 hours, 700-1000 vertical meters asc/desc
- Overnight in Altihut
Day 05 - kazbegi-skitour day
With good weather conditions, today will be the kazbegi-skitour day. A truly monumental day of skitouring. So, make sure you’ve taken on plenty of carbs at dinner and be prepared for a very early start at around 2am. Your guide will assess the weather conditions for attempting the kazbegi-skitour, if he decides they are unfavorable there will be a day to relax in preparation for the following day’s attempt. If it’s good to go, we will skin up from Altihut along Gergeti Glacier until 4,400m where we reach the plateau. After this we move to steeper terrain and skin as high as possible with the skis, before transitioning to crampons (in very rare occasions the snow conditions could permit us to skin up to the kazbegi-skitour). When we reach the saddle, we’ll climb the last steep slope (40-45 degrees), leading us straight to the long-awaited kazbegi-skitour. Finally, after 10 hours, we will switch back to our skis and enjoy the awesome decent back to Altihut where we can relax with a few beers recounting the week’s highlights.
- Breakfast, lunch pack and dinner
- 12 hours, 2054 vertical meters asc/desc
- Overnight in Altihut
Day 06 - Reserve day
Reserve day in case of bad weather
Day 07 - Transfer to Tbilisi
After a hearty breakfast we ski down from AltiHut to Stepantsminda to our waiting vehicles in the valley below and transfer back to Tbilisi to your hote
- Transfer to Tbilisi
- Breakfast included
Day 08 - Airport Transfer to Tbilisi International airport
- Free time
- Airport Transfer to Tbilisi International airport
- English Speaking Mountain Guide
- Driver and vehicle for transfers from to Tbilisi
- 4x4 Vehicle and driver for Gergeti transfer
- Two overnight stays in Tbilisi 3* hotel
- Accommodation in Altihut 3014m x 4
- Accommodation in Stepantsminda x 1-0
- All meals as per itinerary
- Flights to and from Georgia
- Travel insurance / overseas medical insurance to cover emergencies
- Snacks, drinks, alcohol and personal expenses
- Equipment rental or purchase if you did not bring required items
- Tips for your guides (optional) P
- Group of 1 — 2'600 EUR per person
- Group of 2 — 1'800 EUR per person
- Group of 3+ — 1'450 EUR per person
Personal Climbing equipment:
- Skis – with ski touring bindings mounted
- Ski touring boots
- Telescopic Ski poles
- Ski crampons
- Crampons – Crampons should be automatic or semi-automatic.
- Harness – Standard climbing lightweight harness with 2 screw karabiners. Recommended to be a harness which can be worn with crampons on. Harness should be able to fit with your mountaineering jackets on
- Ice Axe
- Shovel – preferably with metal blade
- Avalanche Transceiver
These items can be rented at MPLUS
Clothing and non-technical equipment:
- Sleeping bag 3 season
- High protection sun cream SPF 50
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Water bottle, Thermos
- Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc.)
- Sun hat or scarf
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Goggles (optional)
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Gaiters (optional)
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket
Other recommendations are:
- Mobile phone
- Adaptor if you bring any electrical equipment for charging batteries and/or your phone (two pronged)
- Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)