Explore-Share logo and link to home

Svaneti Ski Touring in the Georgian Caucasus

1 backcountry svaneti
3 ski backcountry mestia
5 svaneti backcountry skiing

On my Svaneti Ski Tour program, you will discover some of the most visually stunning ski areas nestled deep in the Georgian Caucasus range offering deep powder backcountry areas, scattered with fascinating medieval tower landscapes. Myself or my team of IFMGA certified guides will guide you through an exciting 10-day adventure through mountain huts and warm welcoming guesthouses, offering traditional Georgian cuisine after long days of skiing and adventure.

Private

Caucasus

10 Days

Feb, Mar, Apr, May

Fit

Intermediate


Highlights

  • Experience a once in a lifetime cultural ski tour in the Georgian Caucasus.
  • Ski through the UNESCO heritage protected site, Ushguli.
  • Discover 9th century-built watchtowers, deep powder glaciers, and more.
  • Follow a local IFMGA guide on an amazing 10-day tour.
  • Stay in both mountain huts and local guesthouses.

Description

I am offering my guests a unique and unforgettable tour through the region of Svaneti Georgia, where time truly stands still.  Our base for the tour will be the town of Mestia, Svaneti, which is a 5-hour drive from Kutaisi airport and an 8-hour drive from Tbilisi airport.

Your tour with us begins when we pick you up from the airport and head towards Mestia. Each day following, we venture into different areas of Svaneti, which is a wild, remote, and isolated region.  I will guide you through multiple premiere locations for reaching deep powder snow and exciting vertical drops, while also experiencing a rich cultural aspect on our hikes up through interesting landscapes and ancient villages. Expect to ski through Svaneti’s beautiful Chalaadi glacier, Ushguli, Tetnuldi Ski resort, and more. I have designed the below itinerary after guiding and skiing this region for more than ten years – it combines everything one must see in Svaneti in 10 adventure-packed days. 

My program detailed here is for intermediate to advanced skiers. You will need good off-piste skills and you should be able to ski through multiple types of terrain including deep powder, heavy and crusty snow. Additionally, you should also feel comfortable managing ski touring equipment.   A good fitness level is a must as we will be spending up to 7 hours a day in the mountains with an elevation gain of around 1000m per day.

If you would like a different skill level program, you can contact me and we will tailor it to your preferences and skill levels. Just send us a message and we will create an adequate proposal.

I look forward to welcoming you to Svaneti and be your guide through an incredible 10 days here in Georgia. Through my years of guiding this ski tour is still my personal favorite, and I enjoy sharing this experience with my guests. Please contact me and I will be happy to begin planning your next memorable ski holiday in Georgia.

I also offer ski options in Gudauri.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Lift tickets

- Transportation start and back

- Transport during the trip

- Breakfast

- Dinner

Price details

Price Includes:

 7 days with GMGA certified local mountain guide (English and/or Russian speaking)

 Ski lift passes

 All vehicle transportation during the trip from arrival to departure.

 Accommodation - Hotel Tbilisi or Kutaisi (2 nights)* Guesthouse Mestia (6 nights)* Guesthouse Ushguli (2 nights)

 Breakfast and dinner in Mestia and Ushguli hotels

 Breakfast in Tbilisi or Kutaisi hotel

Price Does Not Include:

 Airline tickets

 Travel insurance

 Alcoholic beverages and snacks

 Lunches during the trip

 Dinners while staying in Tbilisi or Kutaisi hotel (guide will provide local recommendations for best restaurants and Georgian cuisine)

 Equipment rental fees

 Personal clothing and gear


Itinerary

Day 1: Airport pickup

You will arrive at Tbilisi or Kutaisi international airport and be transferred to your hotel in Tbilisi or Kutaisi. The hotel will be close to sightseeing, restaurants, and cafes.

Day 2: Mestia

After breakfast, the group will be driven to Mestia, the capital of Svaneti. After a few brief stops, the trip will take between 5 and 8 hours from Kutaisi and Tbilisi. As we ascend and come closer to Svaneti, there will be a lot of beautiful scenery to take in from the roadside. Meet your local guide after checking into the hotel. At the welcome dinner, you will be able to sample authentic Georgian food and talk about the schedule for the next few days. Additionally, we'll go to the Svaneti ethnographic museum.

Day 3: Tetnuldi Ski Resort

After an early breakfast, the group will drive you to Tetnuldi Ski Resort. In order to prepare for the next few days, we will perform a number of off-piste runs from the ski lifts here. We'll do a quick ski tour that lasts around an hour from the Tetnuldi ski resort's summit. From here, we have an exciting 1,300-meter ski descent to the stunning village of Adishi, which is tucked away in a deep valley. We will return to Mestia and spend the night at the hotel in the 44 vehicles.

Vertical ascent: 200m / Vertical descent: 1,300m

Breakfast, dinner included

Accommodation in Mestia

Day 4: Etseri Valley-Mt. Simzagari

We'll leave after having breakfast and head to Becho Valley. We will take a ski tour via an old abandoned settlement and the historic Mtavarangelozi Church from the village of Bagvdnari, located at an elevation of 1,600 meters. We will ascend the slope to 3,300 meters on Mount Kheldra's ridge. Get closer and closer to Mt. Ushba, one of the most recognizable mountains in the Caucasus, as you ascend. After admiring the beautiful peaks all around us, we'll make an amazing 1,700-meter drop to return to Bagvdnari town. We will be met by the driver, who will then take us back to the Mestia hotel where we can eat and rest.

Vertical ascent: 1700m / Vertical descent: 1,700m

Breakfast, dinner included

Accommodation in Mestia

Day 5: Mt. Laila

We will have breakfast this morning and then head toward Tskhumari Village to reach Mount Laila. At 1,350m, the ascent will start. We will have a number of alternatives to continue skinning up at 2,250. We can climb to 3,400 meters, which will give us the best ski descent of a 2,050-meter vertical drop, depending on the group's health. We will drive back to the Mestia hotel after skiing back to the starting point.

Vertical ascent: 2050m/ Vertical descent: 2050m

Breakfast, dinner included

Accommodation in Mestia

Day 6: Chalaadi glacier

One of the most fascinating tours of the trip will take place today when you visit the powder-covered Chalaadi glacier. From our accommodation in Mestia, we'll travel for around 10 minutes before beginning the ascent at 1,500 meters. On Mt. Koruldi, the ascent will take place through a stunning alpine forest as it rises to 3,320m. At the base of Mount Ushba and the Chatini Mountains, we will ski down a different path across the Chalaadi glacier from this point. As you carve through new powder snow while observing the formidable presence of these summits above you, the sensation is otherworldly. We will be met by the driver in the valley, and he will transport us to the hotel in Mestia.

Vertical ascent: 1820 / Vertical descent: 1700

Breakfast, dinner included

Accommodation in Mestia

Day 7: Ushguli

Breakfast and hotel check-out in Mestia. We will travel for two hours to Ushguli, the highest point of human habitation in Europe, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ushguli will astonish and pique your curiosity at the feet of Shkhara and the enormous Bezingi wall. Because it is the most isolated part of Svaneti, these historic villages have been meticulously conserved. We'll check in at our hotel. We'll climb Mt. Lamaria, which is close to the settlement, from 2,200 meters to 3,070 meters. From there, we'll have a stunning view of Mt. Shkhara's nine summits and the main ridge of Svaneti. We'll ski all the way to Ushguli and spend the night unwinding in the inn.

Vertical ascent: 870 / Vertical descent: 870

Breakfast, dinner included

Accommodation in Ushguli

Day 8: Mt. Gvibari

From the village, we will skin up to Mt. Gvibari at a height of 2,943m. The best terrain and snow conditions may be found on the mountain's northern slopes. The first time is never enough, so we will run this line twice today. After a tiring last day of fantastic skiing, we'll travel to Ushguli and recuperate in the inn.

Vertical ascent: 1750m / Vertical descent: 1750m

Breakfast, dinner included

Accommodation in Ushguli

Day 9: Tbilisi or Kutaisi

After breakfast, we will depart from Ushguli and drive back to Tbilisi or Kutaisi. Register at the hotel and spend the night there.

Breakfast included

Accommodation in Tbilisi or Kutaisi

Day 10: Return

Transportation to the airport from hotel and departure.

Breakfast included.

 

Details

Accommodation

Accommodation - Hotel Tbilisi or Kutaisi (2 nights)* Guesthouse Mestia (6 nights)* Guesthouse Ushguli (2 nights)

Meeting point

Tbilisi international airport or Kutaisi international airport

Equipment you will need to bring

Other gear: Technical Gear and Equipment:  Skis – with ski touring bindings mounted. Make sure the bindings are correctly fitted.  Skins  Velcro ski tie – for carrying skis on your backpack  Ski touring boots  Ski crampons  Crampons – Crampons should be automatic or semi-automatic. Designed for ice climbing. 12 point steel with anti-balling, which prevents snow from sticking.  Harness – Standard climbing lightweight harness with 2 screw karabiners. Recommended to be a harness that can be worn with crampons on. Harness should be able to fit with your mountaineering jackets on.  Ice Axe – General mountaineering ice axe, suitable to your size. 1 single axe is needed.  Ski poles – Telescopic (with large disks at the bottom).  Helmet  Shovel – With metal blade  Probe  Transceiver Personal Clothing & Gear Backpack – 40-50L Ideally you should be able to attach your skis to straps on the backpack. Ski Goggles Headlamp Sunglasses – sunglasses for mountaineering that fit face snug and tight. Should be the 3-4th UV category. Beanie hat, buff, balaclava – Gear to keep the head and face warm. Hat for the sun Waterproof Shell Jacket (1) Down Jacket (1) – Light-medium weight preferably. Hooded or without a 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-sleeved, preferably ¼ or ½ zipper for ventilation. Waterproof Shell Trousers (1 pair) Soft Shell trousers – Tough & windproof Thermal Base Layer Underwear/Leggings (1 pair) – Can be synthetic or wool. Water Proof Insulated Gloves or Mittens – 1 Pair. For cold weather. Trekking Gloves – 1 pair. Should be warm, but not bulky. Only for ski touring and on the base camp. Technical Ski Socks – Medium weight good quality ski socks. Bring a few pairs. Other Essentials: 50+ SPF Sun protection SPF for lips and face. Thermos– Up to 1 liter Reusable water bottle – Up to 1 liter Any required medication and first aid kit Mobile phone


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.

Languages

Russian | Georgian | English

Certificates

IFMGA | GMGA

Residence

Tbilisi, Georgia


What people are saying about Beka Phajishvili

Zono shibata

5.00

July, 2022

We fully enjoyed our trip to Mt. Kazbegi with professional guide Beka! And also thanks so much for Explore-Share online support, they are so kind to support us to book guide!

Dirk Batschke

5.00

June, 2022

Had a great time with Beka on Tetnuldi. He's a very competent and credentialed guide. He genuinely wanted to make sure that I had a great experience. In addition to the climb, he provided a lot of extra knowledge and history about the local region, and introduced me to some great Georgian cuisine. I will be using him again for future climbs in beautiful Georgia.


 

Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.