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Climb Mount Kazbek

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  • 7 Days
  • 1:3 Guide Ratio
  • Technical Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Available June - September

Climbing Mount Kazbek Introduction

To climb Mount Kazbek (5,054m) is to experience one of the most pivotal mountains in Georgian climbing culture. Mount Kazbek is visible from the valleys of Stepantsminda, leading the local people to regard Mount Kazbek as “Mtkinvartsveri” which translates to “the constant ice on the top.”  It is situated right in between the border of Georgia and Russia, in the heart of the Eastern Caucasus. At an altitude of 5,054m, Mount Kazbek makes for the third highest mountain in the country of Georgia.  Although its one of the highest peaks here, Mount Kabek is one of the easiest to climb above 5,000m. This makes it ideal to experience for both first time mountain climbers and experienced climbers alike. Mount Kazbek is also a great pre requisite for climbing Mount Tetnuldi, in Svaneti, also. 

Mount Kazbek is a dormant stratovolcano mountain, comprised of volcanic rock.  The crimson-colored rock resting under the crystal white snow makes for a striking and awe inducing visual. As you gaze up from Stepantsminda, you will see the historic Trinity Church with the mighty Mount Kazbek behind. The juxtaposition of the two is a meeting point of man and nature.

In 1868, a group of Englishmen led by Douglas Freshfield climbed Mt Kazbek for the very first time. The catalyst of Georgian alpine climbing history was when Nico Nikoladze climbed Mount Kazbek with a full Georgian team.  Interestingly enough, there is a local legend that the first to summit the mountain was a local Georgian monk, named Joseph. During the Soviet Union period, a stone meteorological station was built, making it the highest constructed building of Georgia. The station ceased to operate and thus became the designated mountain hut to climb Mount Kazbek.

With all that said, one should not underestimate the rigor or endeavor of climbing Mount Kazbek. Preparing to climb Mount Kazbek, you should be physically fit, and mentally motivated. With the said recommendations and our professional guides, you will be able to experience the true essence of Mount Kazbek.

When to Climb Mount Kazbek

The ideal time to climb Mount Kazbek classical route is from June-September. In this time frame, the weather proves to be more stable and the temperatures are mild. Also in this time, we are able to enjoy trails clear of deep snow, and the crevices become fully visible.  When the crevices are visible, this makes the route much safer as we can carefully avoid them. In the springtime, we are taking our ski touring guests on Mount Kazbek when the crevices are full from winter snow. Our springtime tours on Mount Kazbek are exclusive to ski touring groups.  Check out our Mount Kazbek ski tour here.

Experience Recommended

A general mountaineering experience will be great and useful, but its not required. During your trip, your experienced guide will lead instructions on all necessary techniques for climbing the summit. This instruction will take place on Day 4, which is a full day near the basecamp. 

Fitness Level Recommended

When climbing high altitudes, you should be physically fit. On the summit day, we will be climbing 1,400m on high altitude in one day which takes a great amount of endurance and mental strength.  To prepare for the climb, you should practice hiking mountain trails or trail running. Climbing Mount Kazbek will be more enjoyable the more fit you are. Get motivated and start to train now so you will be ready to take on the adventure with us.

CLIMB MOUNT KAZBEK ITINERARIES 

Mount Kazbek All Inclusive Package
Mount Kazbek Basic Package

Day 1

Arrival to Tbilisi International Airport (TBS) where driver will meet you and transport to Tbilisi hotel (or Kazbegi hotel depending on flight schedule) Check in and rest for the night.

Day 2

Driver will meet you in hotel and transfer you to Stepantsminda. (Unless you were transferred on arrival day)  The drive is around 3 hours. Check in to hotel where you will meet your local Mountain guide. You will have an introduction and briefing about the plans 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 Mount Kazbek. This day will be reserved for renting any necessary equipment.  Rest for the night

Day 3

After early breakfast and checkout from hotel, the driver will transfer our group and Mountain guide to the historical 14th century Trinity Church, where the trekking begins at 2,200m. At this point, we will also be meeting the horses, as they will carry gear to the basecamp. The first leg of terrain is through an open grass valley, which is slightly inclined and rather easy. From the view behind us, we will see the village of Stepantsminda situated in the valley overlooked by Trinity Church and surrounded by the strikingly beautiful mountains.

In 3 hours, after reaching the ridge, the Mighty Mount Kazbek will appear in front of us with all its magnificence. After another 2 hours, we will reach a glacier where we will put the crampons on and begin crossing. With another 2 more hours of trekking across the glacier, we will hike up the Moraine before we arrive to the base camp at 3,653m.  The hut in this base camp was a Soviet Union meteorological station, which is now converted to a mountain hut. There is electricity at the hut, so phone chargers can be used. Tents will be provided. Dinner at basecamp and rest for the night.

Trinity Church Altitude: 2200m

Base Camp Hut altitude: 3653m

Vertical gain trekking: 1452

Travel time trekking: 7 hours

Day 4

We will spend this day acclimatizing and training. After an early breakfast we will then trek up to a ridge, leading us to a small church cabin at 3,950m. Shortly thereafter, we descend back to basecamp and proceed to a snowy slope next to the camp where your guide will go through important demonstrations on climbing, equipment, and safety techniques. We will review crampon, and ice axe usage. There will be exercises for glacier walking and icy slope walking. All of these exercises will further build our foundation and confidence to reach the summit of Kazbek. We will have an early dinner and rest early to prepare for early morning rising.

Base Camp Hut altitude: 3653m

Acclimatization trek: 4000m

Vertical gain trekking: 347m

Travel time trekking: 1.5 hour

Day 5

We wake up at 02:00 on this morning. After breakfast, we gather and prepare backpacks and equipment. At this point, we start the climb to Mount Kazbek with headlamps. When we reach 3,900 m, we rope together and start walking the slightly inclined glacier. After reaching the plateau at 4400m, we will witness the breathtaking sunrise and be able to view the meadows in the Russian territory. Here we can relax and take a moment to soak in the glacier environment around us.  Now we start to gradually incline on a slope (30 degrees) which is leading us to the saddle of Mount Kazbek’s two summits. The most technical part is the last 100 vertical meters from the saddle to the summit. Here we will climb snow and icy slopes (up to 45 degrees). Reaching the summit will be a memorable experience for everyone after a 9 hour ascent all together. After some time, we will start the descent back to base camp, taking around 6 hours total. Now we can decompress, relax, enjoy dinner and rest.

Day 6

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

Base Camp Hut altitude: 3653m

Mount Kazbek Summit: 5054m

Vertical gain climbing: 1400m

Travel time climbing: 9 hours

Descent time to base camp: 6 hours

Day 7

After an early breakfast, we will leave the basecamp and trek back down to Trinity church. Here, we can take the time to visit the Trinity church site, which is a symbol of Kazbegi from the 14th century which is still being used today. The driver will meet the group and transfer all to Stepantsminda hotel to retrieve stored belongings and proceed to Tbilisi. We will stop on the way to Tbilisi in a local restaurant to enjoy delicious Georgian cuisine and congratulate each other on such a journey together. Check in to Tbilisi hotel.

Day 8

Departure day. Early breakfast at the hotel, checkout, and transfer to airport with the driver. 

Day 1  

Meet with your guide at the meet-up location in Stepantsminda. You will have an introduction and briefing about the plans 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 Mount Kazbek. This day will be reserved for renting any necessary equipment you might need. 

Day 2

The driver will transfer our group and Mountain guide from the meet up point to the historical 14th century Trinity Church, where the trekking begins at 2,200m. The first leg of terrain is through an open grass valley, which is slightly inclined and rather easy. From the view behind us, we will see the village of Stepantsminda situated in the valley overlooked by Trinity Church and surrounded by the strikingly beautiful mountains.  

Day 3

In 3 hours, after reaching the ridge, the Mighty Mount Kazbek will appear in front of us with all its magnificence. After another 2 hours, we will reach a glacier where we will put the crampons on and begin crossing. With another 2 more hours of trekking across the glacier, we will hike up the Moraine before we arrive to the base camp at 3,653m.  The hut in this base camp was a Soviet Union meteorological station, which is now converted to a mountain hut. There is electricity at the hut, so phone chargers can be used. There is a small hut cafe where you can buy food, and cold and hot drinks. Rest for the night. 

Trinity Church Altitude: 2200m

Base Camp Hut altitude: 3653m

Vertical gain trekking: 1452

Travel time trekking: 7 hours

Day 4

We will spend this day acclimatizing and training. We will wake up early and then trek up to a ridge, leading us to a small church cabin at 3,950m. Shortly thereafter, we descend back to basecamp and proceed to a snowy slope next to the camp where your guide will go through important demonstrations on climbing, equipment, and safety techniques. We will review crampon, and ice axe usage. There will be exercises for glacier walking and icy slope walking. All of these exercises will further build our foundation and confidence to reach the summit of Mount Kazbek. We rest early to prepare for early morning rising.

Base Camp Hut altitude: 3653m

Acclimatization trek: 4000m

Vertical gain trekking: 347m

Travel time trekking: 1.5 hour

Day 5

We wake up at 02:00 on this morning. We gather and prepare backpacks and equipment. At this point, we start the climb to Mount Kazbek with headlamps. When we reach 3,900 m, we rope together and start walking the slightly inclined glacier. After reaching the plateau at 4400m, we will witness the breathtaking sunrise and be able to view the meadows in the Russian territory. Here we can relax and take a moment to soak in the glacier environment around us.  Now we start to gradually incline on a slope (30 degrees) which is leading us to the saddle of Mount Kazbek’s two summits. The most technical part is the last 100 vertical meters from the saddle to the summit. Here we will climb snow and icy slopes (up to 45 degrees). Reaching the summit will be a memorable experience for everyone after a 9 hour ascent all together. After some time, we will start the descent back to base camp, taking around 6 hours total. Now we can decompress, relax, and rest.

Day 6

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

Base Camp Hut altitude: 3653m

Mount Kazbek Summit: 5054m

Vertical gain climbing: 1400m

Travel time climbing: 9 hours

Descent time to base camp: 6 hours

Day  7 

After an early rise, we will leave the basecamp and trek back down to Trinity church. Here, we can take the time to visit the Trinity church site, which is a symbol of Kazbegi from the 14th century which is still being used today. The driver will meet the group and transfer all to Stepantsminda meetup location.

Equipment Needed to Climb Mount Kazbek

Technical Gear

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 and mixed climbing. 12 point steel with anti-balling, which is preventing snow sticking

Ice Axe – Designed for technical mountaineering and for ice climbing. 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 3-4th 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

CLIMB MOUNT KAZBEK PACKAGE PRICING

All Inclusive Group Pricing:
  • Group of 1 — 1650 EUR per person
  • Group of 2 — 1340 EUR per person
  • Group of 3 — 990 EUR per person
  • Group of 4 — 990 EUR per person
  • Group of 5 — 880 EUR per person 
  • Group of 6 — 880 EUR per person 

*Please contact us for pricing on groups larger than 6 people

 

All Inclusive Price Includes
  • 6 days with GMGA certified local mountain guide (English and/or Russian speaking
  • All vehicle transportation during trip from arrival to departure.
  • All Accommodation (Hotel Tbilisi (2 nights) Hotel Stepantsminda (1 night) Basecamp hut or tents (3-4 nights))
  • Breakfast in hotels
  • Breakfast and dinner on mountain/basecamp
  • Group allocated horse for transporting gear to basecamp (with a maximum of 60kg)
  • Some provided equipment (check equipment provided)
  • Cooking gear

Price Excludes

  • Airline tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages and snacks
  • Lunches during the trip
  • Dinners while staying in hotel (guide will provide local recommendations for best restaurants and Georgian cuisine)
  • Equipment rental fees
  • Personal clothing and gear

Basic Pricing:
  • Group of 1 — 910 EUR per person
  • Group of 2 — 500 EUR per person
  • Group of 3 — 500 EUR per person
  • Group of 4 — 500 EUR per person
  • Group of 5 — 410 EUR per person 
  • Group of 6 — 410 EUR per person 
  • Group of 7 — 410 EUR per person 
  • Group of 8 — 410 EUR per person

*Please contact us for pricing on groups larger than 8 people

 

Basic Price Includes
  • 6 days with GMGA certified local mountain guide (English and/or Russian speaking)
  • Transportation from Stepantsminda Meetup Location to Trinity Church and back
  • Some provided climbing equipment

Price Excludes

  • Hotel Accomodation
  • Basecamp hut accommodation 
  • Airport and local transportation
  • Meals on mountain/basecamp
  • Group allocated horse for transporting gear to basecamp
  • Cooking gear
  • Tents