Mt. Kazbek in one day. Report from WildGuru Guides
Back in the middle of the 2018/2019 winter season, WildGuru guides Sergey Ichenets and Dmitry Mikhailov, making plans for a spring vacation, set themselves an ambitious goal – to ascend to the summit of Kazbek (5034 m) by ski tour and come back down in less than a day. Were they successful? Sergey Ichenets, WildGuru guide In our spare time, we are always on the lookout for interesting and challenging ski tour options in the vicinity of Gudauri – Stepantsminda. Sometimes we climb a steep and narrow couloir, sometimes we set personal records of vertical ascent, and sometimes we just explore new locations. I go to Kazbek many times each summer with groups, and in the winter I have also often climbed. The idea to go for a day somehow gave birth to itself. A little information about the route that had to be overcome. The height of Kazbek, according to various estimates, is from 5033 to 5047 meters above sea level. Usually the ascent begins from Gergeti Church (2170 m), which is located above the village of Stepantsminda (1750 m) right at the foot of the mountain. The route goes through the Saberze Pass (2950 m), to Gergeti Glacier […]
Backcountry Camp Khorisar-2019: every day is a powdreday
Where, when and how to bring the ski season to a close? There is every indication that in 2020 the WildGuru team will close the winter season in Georgia with a backcountry camp on Khorisar volcano! How was it in 2019? See the photo report on the 4th international backcountry camp on Khorisar volcano! Owing to heavy snowfalls at the beginning of winter, and cold weather in February and March, the snow was excellently preserved at all heights. As a result, every day was powder day! It was a great pleasure to ski on fluffy, wintery snow in April. As always, the team was a strong and motivated one. Taking advantage of the good weather, on the second day of the camp we had already reached the highest point – Big Khorisar – for the first time in several years we managed to do this exclusively by ski tour, without having to break trail on foot. There were insane views and an excellent descent to the tents. Over the next twenty-four hours, more than half a meter of flakes fell! ‘Powder Day’ was held under conditions of limited visibility, the advantage of Khorisar being that there are excellent places for […]
Snow in Gudauri
“Gudauri” resort lies at an altitude between 2,000m and 3,300m above sea level. The location is renowned for its surrounding areas, which are ideal for ski tours and freerides at altitudes from 1,400m to 3,700m. Before discussing the snow in Gudauri, I would like to point out in advance that it is not possible to give a single description of snow cover at 2.3 kilometers above sea level: neither qualitatively nor quantitatively. This article is based on statistics collected over the last 3 years, and only describes the resort zone (2,000-3,300 m). Outside this zone, conditions are quite different. A diary of snowfalls at an altitude of 2,000 m can be found here. A diary cannot be used to predict the distribution of snow by altitude. Web-camera (2000m): here. The following websites are the most trusted resources among those providing forecasts for the region: www.meteoblue.com www.yr.no www.rp5.ru The first snowfalls typically occur in November. The official season opens somewhere between December 10th and 20th. Statistically speaking, December is a rather cold month, so the condition of the route is almost the same at the top and at the bottom. January is also usually cold and snowy, with little difference between […]
Climbing Ushba, September 3rd – 6th, 2018
Authors: Anton Balitskiy, Sergey Ichenets Some time ago I asked a well-known Georgian mountaineer, “Who should I climb Ushba with?” and got the stern reply “with friends”! I’d now reply in the same way. 22 ropes, 25 hours on the road, reverse gear lost, but so much experience. Here’s what happened. Of all the remaining roads to Ushba, the most accessible is route 4A from the north – but it’s also the most dangerous. Not technically speaking, but because of the conditions: glaciers, rock falls, avalanches… A lot of people advise taking the 5B Gabrieli rather than risking the north road, but we decided on the 4A. We got our gear together, packed our backpacks, and set off. The trekking trail gradually turned into a glacier densely covered with millions of stones. We had no problems clearing the lower part of the glacier, but at 2900m encountered an icefall that blocked us from going any further. An Ushba icefall is a mass of ice with a totally unpredictable form. Its appearance resembles a labyrinth, with a lot of paths leading to dead-ends that contain hidden dangers. The trail has to be sniffed out, hunted… our plan was simple: to get […]
KHORISAR 2017 BACKCOUNTRY CAMP. HOW IT’S BEEN
We have hosted the 2nd International Khorisar Backcountry Camp! On April 8-14, 2017, 13 experienced freeriders came to Georgia from all over the globe; accompanied by WildGuru guides, they ski toured to a plateau of the Khorisar volcano for a 5-day freeride in one of the most fascinating regions near Gudauri: wild mountains, beauty of the lava plateau and two volcano’s peaks, camping in the wild and a team of fellow-thinkers, thrilling lines and virgin snow – a completely parallel universe! This year’s camp was attended by strong freeriders from eight countries: France, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, USA, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Exceptional proficiency enabled the group to enjoy excellent snow despite challenging weather, snow and avalanche conditions. We thank all participants of the camp! To apply for the Khorisar 2018 Backcountry Camp, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Kurvatura first run
Some people believe that in Gudauri and the surrounding mountains are mostly sloping fields. 22/01/2017 we have dispelled this myth by exploring colouir network near Gudauri. The terrain of these places is completely different from anything around the resort. It is a challenge for the most severe and demanding riders! 2 couloirs are explored now, which are given the names “Kurvatura” and “Ice cream with chocolate chips.” There are 3-4 more couloirs in the area.
Backcountry camp “Khorisar – 2016”,
11-15 April 2016 took place a long-awaited WildGuru event – backcountry camp on the slopes of an extinct volcano Khorisar. Horisar – one of the most beautiful and at the same time challenging freeride spots relatively close to Gudauri. It is a perfect location for the end of winter season. The height of the base camp and the great elevation gains provide good rides and excellent snow even in April. Here are some technical aspects and experiences of participants and organizers of the last camp. • The height of the base camp: 2700 m • Travel to the base camp: 1 hour by car + 4-6 hours on foot • Starting weight of backpacks: 15-20 kg • The highest point of the volcano: 3736 m • Elevation gain to the camp: 800 m • The actual weather at an altitude of 2700 m 11-17 April 2016: -5 ° C … + 5 ° C Two days before the start of the camp were spent very productively: all the participants together with the excellent guides spent a day on spring resort and made an acclimatization tour in Sioni valley. Evening of April 10 was dedicated to the backpacks packaging and provisions […]
Trip to Georgia by car
In this article you will find necessary and useful information for planning a trip to Georgia by car: from the moment of crossing the Georgian border and ending with organizational guidelines, as well as the subtleties and nuances of driving. Download map (jpeg) Useful phone numbers How to call from your mobile? To call from a foreign mobile phone number in the Georgia, you must enter: + 995, then the area code or mobile operator, then the phone number.. Rescue service (police, fire, ambulance): 112 Georgian patrol police: +995 322 418 502. Operational officer of Border Police of Georgia: +995 32 2370417 Hot line of Georgia Road Department: +995 32 2313076 References: +995 032 211 808 +995 032 2050302 (Daily) If you need a tow truck, you can get it via this numbers. Features of passing Georgian border Georgian border chekpoints In total, there are 12 border checkpoints in Georgia (excluding international airports): № Name of the checkpoint Name State on the border Route number Checkpoint working hours 1 «Upper Lars» Russia Vladikavkaz – Tbilisi* daily 2 «Ninotsminda» Armenia Akhalkalaki – Gyumri 3 «Guguti» Armenia Е117 Tbilisi – Yerevan 4 «Ahkerpi» Armenia 5 «Sadakhlo» Armenia Tbilisi – Vanadzor – Yerevan 6 «Red Bridge» («Tsiteli Headey») Azerbaijan […]
Weather in winter in Gudauri
NEW! Read the article ”Snow in Gudauri” with statistic 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 We often hear questions about the weather in winter in Gudauri from tourists who are planning a trip to a ski resort. This is understandable – after all, you need to know in advance what clothes to take and what to prepare mentally for. For plenty of people, the weather is an important criterion for the choice of the time of the trip. Of course, it is clear that it is does not stay the same every year. However, the general trends and statistics do exist, and it is not so difficult to characterize the whole winter period in Gudauri. Well, let’s start. Snow cover At first, let us talk about the most significant part. All in all the amount of snow on the slopes and out of bounds is what mostly bothers many skiers. However, riding near Gudauri can often be available from October until the end of May – it is, of course, ski tour only. The season usually opens in Gudauri in the 20-th days of December – as a rule until this time falls enough snow for skiing in the resort. By the way, […]
Georgia during the fall, or how to plan a magical autumn in Georgia.
Autumn in Georgia is a special time for nature, and for the people of this country, and for travelers. On the one hand, it is well-deserved rest after a hot summer, when the sun is mercilessly ironing land, on the other – time to work: moving cattle from mountain regions to Kakheti for winter, gathering grapes and filling new kvevri and barrels with wine, preparing for winter. Autumn – one of the finest periods to travel to Georgia, rightfully competes with summer. The heat decreases as the flow of tourists and prices on the shelves of a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts. And, of course, only during the fall, you can see interesting cooking process of Georgian wine (and even participate!). In this article we will talk about the nuances that help to plan a trip in Georgia in autumn. Useful links: The weather in different regions of Georgia Routes for planning car travels Hiking routes in Georgia The article “Moscow – Gudauri by car” Weather in Georgia in autumn Georgia is a country of mountains, vast valleys and the sea: here each region in each period may differ significantly from the rest of in terms of weather. At […]
Splitboad equipment. Review of the splitboards, the bindings and the boots.
The easiest way to create a splitboard is to saw your old board into two parts. However, this is not the best idea. The absence of an internal edge, a plurality of sealed apertures in base that is clearly inferior to the quality of factory production, partially damaged core, the inability to change the bindings angle, loss of stiffness. This is only a small part of the problems with a self-made splitboard. Let us leave this idea to testers and tell you about the factory models.
Review of modern ski-tour systems
Author of article: Dmitry Mikhailov, freeride and ski-tour guide, instructor of “WildGuru” ski-tour school. In the past few years, most companies producing equipment for mountain skiing have begun to actively promote ski tour. In magazines, websites and various youtube videos you can see happy and carefree people with smiles on their faces heading straight to the top. Naturally, any good skier, who has ever been to the big mountains at least once, tried to, or at least, wanted to try off piste. A single ride in a fluffy powder snow can give you a feeling never to be forgotten. Then suddenly it turns out that there are a lot of such people, but unfortunately, only few easy accessible spots near ski lifts. Then you start licking your lips in anticipation, looking at the surrounding mountains, and thinking of hoisting yourself on some juicy top for the unique descent. Walking through the snowdrifts in the mountain on foot – a very thankless occupation, so this option we set aside immediately. The following simple opportunity to help ourselves is snowshoeing, but let’s leave it to our snowboard brothers, they are attached to them better, and do not require a radical change in […]
Tuyuk-Su 2016 “New lines of Tien Shan”
Author: Sergey Ichenets, WildGuru guide. The winter season in the Big Gudauri pleased us with good snow and new lines, but we truy lacked something special, new. This rides we found in Kazakhstan. Our team was: WildGuru guides – Ichenets Sergei, Dmitry Mikhailov, Bartosh Constantine; RMGA guide Zaharin Victor; our frieds Andrei Gusarov and Yauhen Vilyuzhanin.. The Zailiiskii Alatau is a part of the Tien Shan mountain range. The highest point – peak Talgar (4979 m above sea level). Spring 2016 was abnormal in all respects. “It happens once in 20 years” – a capacious and exhaustive commentary from local meteorologist. The amount of precipitation was tremendous. While the city was flooded by rain, there were heavy snowfalls in the mountains. 2-4 meter layer of snow was covering glaciers. Month of May and Almaty is already in full swing summer. Street markets are full of cherries and strawberries. The city daytime temperatures of + 25 ° C, the children are swimming in the local fountains. However, you just need to raise your head a little bit and the view of the huge snow-capped mountain peaks will appear before your eyes. Our way laid exactly there. A few words about the skiing […]
Descent along the western wall of Tetnuld
On 13 of June, 2016 WildGuru guides team (Sergey Ichenets, Balitsky Anton) and RMGA guide Victor Zaharin made a descent along the western wall of Tetnuld. Approximated route difficultty TD– 5.2 E2 V. Tetnuld is the peak on the Bezengi Wall in Upper Svaneti. Height – 4858 m. In Georgian its name means “White Mountain”. A classic climbing route 2B on the South-West Ridge leads to the top and there are some new ones: along the western wall 4A and 4B on the left side of the western wall. This year was very snowy in Georgia. In Gudauri we started to ride at the beginning of November 2015 and continued until the mid-May 2016. In Svaneti the snowfalls were even greater: in mid-June it was possible to descend to an altitude of 2500 m and at altitudes of 3,600 and above fresh winter snow could be found. *** After complex lines in Tuyk-Su we were preparing for a summer programs in Georgia. The idea to ride mountain Tetnuld arose after visiting Svaneti during car travel. It was decided to adjust our plans and to leave from hot Tbilisi for to the snow again. Few moments to collect our stuff and we […]
Ascent on Kazbek (5033 m)
Watch the tour “Ascent on Kazbek” Dates of climbing in 2019: 7-13 July 2019 21-27 July 2019 4-10 August 2019 18-24 August 2019 1-7 September 2019 15-21 September 2019 Kazbek is one of the highest peaks of Caucasus and it is located on the territory of two countries – Russia and Georgia. It is about 5037 meters high. Once Kazbek was an active volcano, but the last time it erupted in 650 b.c. and now it is covered with glaciers. Nowadays it is one of the most popular mountaineering routes in Caucasus. There are 2 possible climbing routes – from Russia and from Georgia. The most popular is the easiest one is from Georgian side. A short clip about ascension: The climbing route corresponds to the classification of 2A grade of difficulty. Also from Georgian side, there are several routes 3B category of difficulty, but they are not so popular, and less visited. In this article, we will talk about the classic ascent of Kazbek at 2A. The starting point of the route is the village Stepantsminda (Kazbegi). Preparation and organization of Kazbek ascent. Required personal alpinist equipment Crampons Ice axe Harness 2 screwgate/locking carabiners Anchoring Helmet Prusik Belay device (winter) Ascender or T-Block (winter) […]
Freeride in Gudauri
Gudauri – ski resort in located near the Big Caucasian Ridge. It has southern exposure and is surrounded by a chain of mountains that protects it against strong winds. It certainly provides a very favorable conditions for skiing and snowboarding. In recent years freeride in Gudauri is developing rapidly – opening up new spots, exploring new lines of descents. For safety reasons local guides are to work a lot on the systematization of the knowledge that had been prepared over many seasons. In this article we want to introduce riders, who ski for the first time in Gudauri, and as well to those who seek to raise the level of security with features skiing off-piste in the resort of Gudauri and around. The table below shows the opportunities for off-piste skiing in the resort and directly near it. Freeride in Gudauri and the surrounding area Difficulty* Title Total time Estimated time of ascent Distance from resort Transfer before lifting Return transfer Vertical drop of descent Additional equipment ** I Chrdili 1 hour 20 min 0 km No No 300 m No II Lomisi 8 hours 2-3 hours 15 km Yes Yes 800-900 m No II Kobi 4 hours 10-30 min 0 km No Yes 800-900 m No […]