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Climb Mount Ushba in the Caucasus, Georgia

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Climb Mount Ushba via the Classic Route with an experienced IFMGA/GMGA Guide – a guided ascent on one of the Caucasus’ most sought after and mystical peaks. During these 8 days, I will guide you up through a wild and legendary route – free of mountain huts or people. My team and I have successfully summited Mount Ushba multiple times and we know how to safely measure risks and conditions to ensure the optimal outcome. This peak is for advanced climbers only and is not recommended to attempt this summit without a local guide.

Private

Caucasus

10 Days

Jul, Aug, Sep

Fit

Advanced


Highlights

  • Join an experienced IFMGA guide on a Mount Ushba ascent.
  • Discover a hut-free and crowd-free route in the wild Caucasus landscapes.
  • Explore Georgia's ancient and historic region of Svaneti.

Description

Mount Ushba is one of Europe’s most incredible and wild ascents. This iconic double summit offers a breathtaking landscape that is still is awe-inspiring for me – even after personally summiting this mountain multiple times with my team. We are the most ideal and professional team to be with during your ascent on Mount Ushba, and we do not recommend attempting this ascent alone. This is a wild climb for fit mountaineers, with apt experience; taking an experienced local guide is a must.

Our expedition is highlighted in the below itinerary, which I have designed based on my experience and knowledge of the logistics and time needed for this remote and wild climb. I recommend all my guests who are on an expedition in Svaneti with me to fly into Kutaisi airport, which is a 5-hour drive from the base of the expedition (or Tbilisi – 8-hour drive to Svaneti).

This classic route to North Ushba summit is a technical alpine snow and ice climb. Therefore, it is very demanding – you will need significant prior mountaineering and ice climbing experience to make this ascent. You should be able to climb 60-degree ice and be in top physical shape.  In addition, you should be acclimatized before the climb. If you would like, I can guide you to the summit of Mount Tetnuldi in Svaneti before tackling Ushba – please write to me if you prefer this acclimatization option.

There are no huts on Mount Ushba. This means we will have to set up camps along the way and carry equipment. This is the ideal ascent for those who like isolation in the wilderness and a remote experience. The breathtaking views and landscapes during the climb will reward all of our efforts.
I look forward to guiding you to the top of one of my favorite peaks in the region.

Please contact me so we can begin planning your expedition on the legendary Mount Ushba.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

The driver will meet you in the airport (TBS or KUT) and transport you to the hotel in the arrival city (Tbilisi or Kutaisi). Check-in and rest for the evening. If you prefer to go directly to Svaneti (depending on your travel time and arrival time), the driver will transport you directly. (5 hours from Kutaisi, 8 hours from Tbilisi). If travel and weather conditions allow it, there is an option to fly from Tbilisi to Svaneti. In this case, we will plan accordingly.

Day 2: Trip briefing and equipment check

Early breakfast in the hotel. The driver will meet you and transfer you to Mestia, Svaneti. Check in to the hotel where you will meet your IFMGA/GMGA certified local guide. You will have an introduction and briefing about the plan for the days ahead. Weather conditions will be discussed at this point also. The guide will check to make sure you have all adequate equipment and clothing for climbing Mt. Ushba. This day will be reserved for renting any necessary equipment. Rest for the night (Breakfast, Dinner included)

Day 3: First Climbing day

Early breakfast. Check out of hotel. The driver will take you from the hotel with the guide to the village Mazari, where the trekking begins. We will load the horses with our equipment and head to Base Camp 1 at 2800m, which will take about 5 hours. Set up the basecamp dinner and rest. (Breakfast, lunch box, dinner)

Mestia altitude: 1500m

Mazeri altitude: 1650m

Base Camp altitude: 2800m

Vertical gain trekking: 1150m

Travel time trekking: 5-6 hours

Day 4: Camp 2

Early breakfast. We will prepare our bags with climbing and camping gear and
proceed to Camp 2 at 4,000m on the Ushba plateau. During the route, we will rope in
and cross a tricky glacier with crampons. Set up the camp, dinner, and rest. (Breakfast
and dinner on the mountain)
Base Camp altitude: 2800m
Camp 1 altitude: 4000m
Vertical gain climbing: 1200m

Travel time climbing: 7-8 hours

Day 5: Camp 3

After breakfast, we will continue climbing the glacier and reach Camp 3 at 4250m. Set up camp, dinner, and rest. This is the camp we will base ourselves from for the summit attack. We will reach the camp early so there will be time for acclimatization.
(Breakfast and dinner on mountain included)

Camp 2 altitude: 4000m

Camp 3 altitude: 4250m

Vertical gain climbing: 250m

Travel time climbing: 2 hours

Day 6: Summit Day

We will wake before sunrise, have breakfast, and prepare for the summit attack. Start
the climb and reach the summit. In total, with descent, we will need about 10-12 hours. Reach the camp and rest. (Breakfast and dinner on mountain included)

Camp altitude: 4000m
Mt. Ushba North

Summit: 4690m

Vertical gain climbing: 690m

Travel time climbing: 6-7 hours to summit

Descent time: 4-5 hours

Day 7: Reserve Day

Reserve day in case of bad weather on summit day. If we are unable to leave the camp and attack the summit, we will spend this day resting in the camp and reserving our energy to summit the next day.

Day 8: Descent to Camp 1

After breakfast, pack up camp and descend to Camp 1, and set up. The descent will
take 6-7 hours. Rest and relax. (Breakfast and dinner on mountain included)

Day 9: Mestia

Descent down to Mazeri village where the driver will meet us and take us to Mestia hotel.

Check in. (Breakfast included)

Day 10: Departure

Departure day to Tbilisi or Kutaisi airport. The driver will transport you from Mestia hotel. (Breakfast included)

 

Details

Accommodation

Hotel Tbilisi or Kutaisi (1 night) Mestia (2 nights) Basecamp tents (5-6 nights)

More info

1:2 Guide Ratio

Meeting point

Pick up at Tbilisi or Kutaisi Airport

Photos


Equipment you will need to bring

Other gear: Equipment you will need to bring Technical Gear and Equipment:  Harness – Mountaineering or climbing harness with 2 screw karabiners and 60cm sling. Harness should be able to fit with your mountaineering jackets on.  Helmet – Standard climbing helmet.  Alpine Climbing Boots – Shoes should be waterproof, insulated, and with a solid sole. Preferably, semi-automatic or automatic crampons should fit the boot. (B2 or B3 crampons). The boots should be designed for alpine mountaineering and ice climbing.  Overboots / Gaiters – Gaiters are essential to avoid getting the boots wet. Protecting you from getting wet and from hitting your trousers with crampons.  Crampons – Crampons should be automatic or semi-automatic. Designed for ice climbing. 12 point steel with anti-balling, which is preventing snow sticking.  Ice Axe – with adze and sharpened picks. 1 pair needed  Trekking Poles – Telescopic to suit your size and for different terrain. Personal Clothing & Gear:  Main luggage bag (up to 80L) – All gear can be packed here and extra items which is not needed on trekking day. The horse will take this directly to the basecamp as to alleviate weight from your other bag.  Backpack (35-50L) – This size bag is recommended because larger is unnecessary and leads to excess weight. Recommended to bring a waterproof cover in case of rain. This bag will be on your back during trekking to the basecamp and for the summit.  Headlamp – Fit to size.  Eye protection – sunglasses for mountaineering that fit face snug and tight. Should be 3-4 th  category  Waterproof Shell Jacket (1)  Down Jacket (1) – Light-medium weight preferably. Hooded or without hood is fine.  Mid Layer Jacket (1) – Fleece Jacket to put on top of thermal layer.  Thermal Base Layer Shirt (1) – Can be a synthetic or wool layer. Should be long sleeve, preferably ¼ or ½ zipper for ventilation.  Waterproof Shell Trousers (1 pair)  Thermal Base Layer Underwear/Leggings ( 1pair) – Can be synthetic or wool.  Beanie hat, buff, balaclava – Gear to keep the head and face warm.  Water Proof Insulated Gloves or Mittens – 1 Pair.  For the summit  Trekking Gloves – 1 pair. Should be warm, but not bulky. Only for trekking and on the base camp.  Socks – Lightweight and medium weight mountaineering wool socks. (3 pairs)  Base Camp Slippers – Comfortable slippers for tent and basecamp wear.  Comfortable trekking trousers (1 pairs) – For leisure wear in base camp and for trekking  Basecamp kit and toiletries – Includes toothpaste and toothbrush. Deodorant. Soap. Baby wipes or wet napkins. If you wear contact lenses, bring lenses solution, contact holder, and bring extra lenses incase of losing a pair.  Microfiber towel – Used for drying hands and face. Body size is not needed, as there is no shower at the basecamp.  Mess kit – Bowl and utensils for base camp and climbing meals  Sleeping bag – Suitable for -15 Degrees – -10 Degrees Celsius  Sleeping mat / pad – Rollable or inflatable. Other Essentials:  Reusable water bottle – Up to 1 liter. Water bottle should be light and with you to keep you hydrated on trekking days.  Thermos – Up to 1 liter. Thermos will be used in base camp and taking to the summit, which will keep liquids warm.  50+ SPF Sun protection – SPF for lips and face.  Batteries – Extra batteries for headlamp.  Any personal medication  Mobile Phone Equipment Provided:  Ropes  Equipment for climbing and crevice rescue  First Aid Kit  Basecamp shelter (tents)  GPS


About the guide

I am a IFMGA/GMGA certified mountain guide, with more than 10 years of experience in the Caucasus mountain region.

Mountain Guiding and alpine sport is the most gratifying passion in my life. As an official team member of the United Federation of Georgian Mountaineers, I have led some of the most challenging ascents and expeditions in the Caucasus. In addition, I have completed successful ascents in Himalayas, Tian Shan, Pamir, Alps, and more. Aside from climbing, I have a big enthusiasm for ski mountaineering. I have completed many first ski descents in the region, such as Mt. Tetnuldi West Face descent, and more. In the winter and spring season, I enjoy guiding my guests on the backcountry of the Caucasus mountains, and sharing my experience and love for this region. In the summer season, I guide groups up iconic peaks such as Mt. Kazbek and more.

I am the founder of The Alpine Project, a full-scale mountaineering tour agency. My team and I are experts in the region, and we are deeply inspired by guiding our guests and welcoming them to Georgia. Please contact me if you have any further questions about my experience and my offers.


What people are saying about Beka Phajishvili


Prices per person

Group of 1

EUR 3506 Each

Group of 2

EUR 2578 Each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price details

Price Includes

 8 days with IFMGA/GMGA certified local mountain guide (English and/or Russian

speaking)

 All vehicle transportation during trip from arrival to departure.

 Hotel Tbilisi or Kutaisi (1 night) Mestia (2 nights) Basecamp tents (5-6 nights) *

 Breakfast in hotels

 Breakfast and dinner on the mountain/base camp

 Lunchbox on first trekking day

 Some provided equipment (check equipment provided)

 Tents for basecamp nights provided (to be carried by the group)

 Cooking gear

 Group Allocated Horse for transporting basecamp gear and equipment

Price Does Not Include 

 Airline tickets

 Travel insurance

 Alcoholic beverages and snacks

 Lunches during the trip except for the first trekking day

 Dinners while staying in a hotel (guide will provide local recommendations for best

restaurants and Georgian cuisine)

 Equipment rental fees

 Personal clothing and gear




 

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