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Ski Mount Kazbek

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  • 2 Days
  • 1:3 Guide Ratio
  • Technical Difficulty: Intermediate - Advanced
  • Available January-April

Ski Mount Kazbek (5054m), the third highest mountain in Georgia, presenting a challenge for the passionate ski mountaineer. Mount Kazbek is usually summited in the summer season by climbers on foot and with crampons. But what could be better than reaching the summit of one of the Eastern Caucaus’s highest peaks on skis, in the knowledge that you have the pleasure of a wild 3000m descent? This ski mountaineering tour with The Alpine Project is an amazing opportunity to summit one of the most majestic peaks on skis, and carve back down a spectacular line across unbelievable glacial environments and deep powder snow.

To successfully summit and Ski Mount Kazbek, you should adequately prepare. In order to prepare, we will be providing a day of altitude training in the Kazbegi region, with a ski tour through a nearby village called Sioni. This will be a perfect opportunity to see more of the Kazbegi region and explore more of the remarkable backcountry spots. You can also check out out other ski tour program near Kazbek here. 

When To Ski on Mount Kazbek?

Late spring provides us the best snow conditions for the tour, which is why this Ski Mount Kazbek tour is only available through the end of March-May.

Safety is our priority and in order to maintain the highest level of security, we stick to a ratio of 1:4 on Mount Kazbek (1 mountain guide per 4 clients). 

Experience Recommended

To ski tour on Mount Kazbegi, you should be a strong and technically proficient skier, with the ability to adapt to variables in weather and snow conditions on slopes up to 35 degrees. After a long and tiring ascent to the summit, you should be able to still precisely maneuver skis around crevasses. In addition to ski experience, you should also have some prior mountaineering experience. This can be on low incline terrain, but it should include familiarity with cramponing. You should be well-practiced in organizing and transitioning your ski equipment while on the mountain. Physically, you should have a good level of stamina, fitness, and endurance. Mentally, you should be strong and ready for challenges. Having a love for adventure is a plus and you will get the most out of this tour with this mindset. Your ski guide with The Alpine Project will ensure you get the experience of a lifetime, one that many skiers will never be able to have.

Ski Mount Kazbek Itinerary 

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 Georgian 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 ski touring on Mount Kazbek. This day will be reserved for renting any necessary equipment.  Rest for the night

Day 3

This day will be a full day of altitude training and used for acclimatization before ski touring on Mt. Kazbek. We will go on a fantastic ski tour on one of the most spectacular backcountry spots in the region. After 20 minutes driving we’ll reach Sioni, a small local village, and start our ascent at 2,000. We’ll climb up to 3,000m on the Narvani ridge and view the spectacular Sno Valley below. During the tour we will do some avalanche rescue training. Our ski down of 1000m will be on the Northern exposed slopes, where the snow conditions are almost always favorable. Driver will meet us and take us back to the Stepantsminda hotel where we rest for the night.

Day 4

On this morning after breakfast, we will drive towards Trinity Church until the furthest possible point the driver can take us (depending on snow conditions on the road). From here we’ll start the ascent to the Mount Kazbek basecamp up at 3,653m altitude. It will take about 7 hours to reach the Bethlemi hut, where we sleep and relax for the night

Day 5

From the Bethlemi hut, we skin up to Mt. Ortsveri (4,222m) for acclimatization. Here we will have amazing views of Mount Kazbek. After enjoying the view and taking some time, we’ll ski down straight to the basecamp through the Girgeti glacier. We’ll take this opportunity to go through glacier safety, skins, crampons, and ski touring techniques as well. Relax in the hut for the evening and get to bed early to prepare for our Ski on Mount Kazbek the following day. 

Day 6

After an early wakeup, we will start ski touring towards the summit of Mount Kazbek before sunrise. Mostly, we will skin across low incline slopes until 4,400m when we reach the plateau. The views here are truly immaculate, giving us the ability to see Russian meadows shining under the morning sun across the Georgian border. After this we start to see a more inclined terrain up to 30 degrees. From this point, we will try to climb as high as possible with the skis, and then transition to our crampons. When we reach the saddle, we’ll climb an icy slope up to 45 degrees, leading us straight to the long-awaited summit. Finally, after 8 hours, we will switch back to our skis and prepare for the thrill of a descent awaiting us.  Our unforgettable ski descent begins. We’ll head down until the plateau with the same route, and then depending on the conditions, your guide will choose the best way to ski down to the Bethlemi Hut. The best line is across the powder covered Gergeti glacier. We’ll reach the hut and relax for the evening.

Day 7

Reserve day in case of bad weather.

Day 8

Ski descent down to Trinity church, where we can take the opportunity to see the ancient historical monastery built in the 14th century. Driver will meet us and transfer to Tbilisi hotel.

Day 9

Departure day. Driver will meet you in hotel and transfer you to airport.

Equipment Needed 

Technical Gear

Skis – with ski touring bindings mounted* Make sure they are correctly fitted bindings

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 is preventing snow sticking

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* – General mountaineering ice axe, suitable to your size. 1 single axe needed

Ski poles* – Telescopic (with large disks at the bottom)

Helmet*

Shovel* – With metal blade

Probe*

Transceiver*

**Rentable items at local rental shop

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 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 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)

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.

Base Camp Slippers – Comfortable slippers for tent and basecamp wear.

Sleeping bag – Suitable for -15 Degrees – -10 Degrees Celsius

Sleep mat / pad – Rollable or inflatable.

Earplugs

Mess kit – Bowl and utensils for base camp meals –

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 in case of losing a pair.

Small Microfiber towel

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

Pricing Options

  • Group of 1 — 1800 EUR per person
  • Group of 2 — 1300 EUR per person
  • Group of 3 — 1000 EUR per person

*Please contact us for pricing on groups larger than 3 people

Price Includes

  • 6 days with IFMGA/GMGA certified local mountain guide (English and/or Russian speaking)
  • Airport transportation to and from hotels
  • Local transportation throughout the entire trip
  • Accommodation - Hotel Tbilisi (2 nights) Hotel Stepantsminda (2 nights) Basecamp hut (3-4 nights)
  • Breakfast and dinner in Stepantsminda hotel
  • Breakfast and dinner on mountain/basecamp
  • Breakfast in Tbilisi hotel
  • 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 Tbilisi hotel (guide will provide local recommendations for best restaurants and Georgian cuisine)
  • Equipment rental fees
  • Personal clothing and gear