We follow the IFMGA requirements, under which the number of participants should be a maximum of three persons per guide. We will also carry out training with alpine climbing gear before the summit day to ensure that we safely traverse glaciers and pass the key route sections. All the gear we use is certified by UIAA.
Smooth adaptation to high altitudes is a cornerstone of any successful ascent. The acclimatization plan comprises four stages: 1) an overnight stay in Stepantsminda (1,750 m) for initial acclimatization; 2) an overnight stay in the first camp at 3,000 m; 3) an overnight stay in the base camp at 3,670 m; 4) a radial hike to 4,050–4,100 m with a descent to the base camp the same day.
We will carry backpacks for a maximum of four hours a day. The rest of the time will be dedicated to recovery and adaptation to a new altitude threshold. And of course, we will have a reserve day in case of inclement weather or if more rest/ better acclimatization is needed.
We will take care of all arrangements. We will organize all private transfers throughout the programme, arrange accommodation in Stepantsminda, provide you with comfortable tents and full three meals a day during the climbing expedition, and transport all food and group gear by horse all the way to the final base camp.
* minimal required group — 2 participants
09–15 Jul (6 spots)
16–22 Jul (6 spots)
23–29 Jul (6 spots)
30 Jul–05 Aug (6 spots)
06–12 Aug (6 spots)
13–19 Aug (6 spots)
20–26 Aug (6 spots)
27 Aug–02 Sep (6 spots)
03–09 Sep (6 spots)
10–16 Sep (6 spots)
A first-hand story:
Arrival/departure city: Tbilisi.
We recommend arriving at least one day before the start of the programme. We will arrange private car transfers from Tbilisi to Stepantsminda and back for all participants.
Meet with a guide in Tbilisi and leave for Stepantsminda. We can stop to eat khinkali (Georgian dumplings) at a restaurant in Pasanauri, do a little sightseeing en route, and take a few pictures of landscapes along the scenic Georgian Military Road. Upon arrival in Stepantsminda, we check into a hotel and get some rest. The guide will help you to pack up your backpack later that day (and you can also drop casual clothes and stuff you don't need for climbing in the guest house).
We take a private transfer to the Gergeti Trinity Church (2,170 m) and hike to 3,014 m. Set up a camp, have lunch and get some rest. We can also go hiking for better acclimatization.
Daily climb: 850 vertical meters, travel time: 3–4 hours.
We hike to the Bethlemi Hut (3,653 m). Set up a camp, have lunch and get some rest. We can also go hiking for better acclimatization.
Daily climb: 650 vertical meters, travel time: 3–4 hours.
We hike to 4,100–4,200 m for acclimatization and get technical gear training (ropes and crampons). Later that day, we return to the base camp and prepare for the summit climb planned for the next morning.
Daily climb: 500–700 vertical meters, travel time: 4–5 hours.
Summit day! We get up at 2–3 am, have breakfast and take off. After the summit, we descent to the base camp and get some rest.
Daily climb: 1,200–1,400 vertical meters, travel time: 10–14 hours.
Reserve day in case of inclement weather.
We pack up the camp, hike down to the Gergeti Trinity Church (2,170 m), and take a private car transfer to Stepantsminda and Tbilisi.
Daily descent: 1,400–1,600 vertical meters, travel time: 3–4 hours.
We will stay in a hotel in Stepantsminda for one first night and live in tents during the climbing expedition.
While in the mountains, we can also stay at alpine huts: the AltiHut (3,014 m) for one night (€80) and the Bethlemi Hut for 4–5 nights (€15/night). Accommodation in the alpine huts is charged separately.
We will provide you with meals throughout the programme (three meals a day and snacks). Of course, we will discuss the menu with you in advance and consider your individual preferences.
* If you are allergic to food or have specific preferences, please indicate this in your application.
The daytime temperature at the base camp (Bethlemi Hut 3,650 m) is usually +5...+15°C (+41...+59°F) but can drop to 0°C (+32°F) as well. The night temperature can be 0...−5°C (+23...+32°F). We also expect it to be much colder at the summit: −5 ...−15°C (+5...+23°F)
We recommend a sleeping bag with −5°C...−10°C (+15°F...+23°F) comfort limits and a sleeping pad with an R-value of at least 2.
The average weight of the backpack is 18–20 kg in the first two days. After that, we drop all camping gear and food in the base camp and climb light and fast (with a down jacket, thermos and snacks in the backpack). If you are unwilling to carry a heavy backpack for the first two days, we can rent a horse: €100 per day; one horse can carry a maximum of four backpacks. Horses are charged separately and must be arranged no later than upon our arrival in Stepantsminda (day 1).
Please consult the packing list featuring our comments and recommendations. If you are not sure about your gear or simply need some advice, do not hesitate to contact us.
- guides (one guide per 2–3 participants);
- meals during the expedition;
- accommodation and breakfast in Stepantsminda (1 night);
- transfer from Tbilisi to Stepantsminda and back;
- transfer from Stepantsminda to the Gergeti Trinity Church and back;
- transportation by horse all food and group gear;
- group gear (ice screws, ropes, carabiners, GPS, etc.);
- first aid kit.
Price does not include
- medical/evacuation insurance;
- meals and accommodation in Tbilisi;
- dinned in Stepantsminda;
- personal alpine climbing gear;
- extra horse for the transportation of personal backpack;
- tips for guides.