11-15 April 2016 took place a long-awaited WildGuru event – backcountry camp on the slopes of an extinct volcano Khorisar.
Khorisar — 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 the 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. The evening of April 10 was dedicated to the backpacks packaging and provisions distribution. The doubtful forecast confused us a bit, anyway, spring is not the most stable period in the mountains.
11th of April
Stuff is packed up, cars are ready for departure. Turn the key — and 18 people begin their journey away from WildGuru to the big mountains. We pass the Cross Pass, beyond which one can see the sun, which means that the weather on Khorisar is excellent. Around 11 am we are at the starting point. Further, our path goes through a summer road to a vast plateau, which was formed as a consequence of the explosion of the volcano.
Spring heat and large backpacks took more our strength than we desired. The last meters were given hard, but we have reached the goal, and in the evening the camp was set up.
Now our main goal was to wait for the next day because the weather report was not promising.
12th of April
Alas, the forecast was justified. It was a day of digging, bouldering, and aimless strolling from tent to tent.
People were engaged in card games, built a snow cave and a huge chill-out area. Sleet sometimes changed for winter snow, visibility was no more than a hundred meters. But we are all excited for the next days — weather foresaw great.
Lights-out and sleep …
• The height of the top of Khorisar: 3736 m
• Travel time: 5 hours
• Elevation gain: 1036 meters
The morning was excellent. It was partly cloudy, so we had a chance for a nice ski tour and a decent line.
To warm-up, it was decided to go first to the Small Khorisar that is about 650 meters from the campsite. After the first steps, we noticed that we had someone ahead.
It was a local resident bear, who without any ski tour decided to lay us a track and headed in the direction of the pass. So our plans changed 🙂 We chose to go to the main attraction of this area — the main Khorisar volcano.
About 5 hours it took for all of us to reach the top.
The mountain awarded us with panoramic views of all the surrounding areas. All left their lines from the very top.
The next day the peak of Small Khorisar was scheduled again.
14th of April
• The height of the top of Small Khorisar: 3380 m
• Travel time: 4 hours
• Vertical drop: 680 meters
Getting up, breakfast, and already at 8 am we were on the route.
Partly Cloudy. Bear Tracks was exactly twice as much (as well as our desire to ascend to the top), but no one saw the beast itself. On sloping fields we reached the saddle in two hours, then the snow became very hard, and we had to bootpack the last 150 meters.
One of the most interesting slopes this year!
At two o’clock in the afternoon, we are back in the camp. The weather forecast promised us to rain the next day, and the decision was made to go down the same day. Fast packing, a 20-minute ski tour — and we already have a couloir that outputs directly to the cars.
One of the most pleasant surprises — fresh beer from our friends right after the descent with big backpacks.
Well, then, of course, the informal part with all its attendant pleasures: a bonfire, barbecue, and homemade wine!
Camp results: great lines, a lot of experience, plenty of positive emotions, and huge plans for next year!
Thanks to everyone who responded and spent these days with us!