Spring is the most advantageous time for skitour expeditions to Mount Kazbek. While the high-altitude temperatures are not that winter-extreme anymore, the snowpack is already deep enough to cover crevasses.
We will go beyond the classic climbing route to Kazbek from Georgia. Our motto is, a new line every day! We will skitour the Gergeti glacier and near the Ortsveri pass, climb to the Bethlemi Chapel (the world's highest-elevation Orthodox chapel), and curve a few lines from Kazbek slopes.
Proper acclimatization is vital for the safety and success of our expedition. We will gain altitude gradually: whereas on day 1 we will not climb higher than 3,000 meters, we'll be able to ski down from 4,500 meters on the day before the summit day!
Despite the daily climb of 1,000–1,500 vertical meters, we'll have to carry heavy backpacks for just one day, from the Gergeti Trinity Church to our basecamp in the Bethlemi Hut. Every day after that, we will skin up the glaciers fast and light.
Arrival/departure city: Tbilisi.
You will need to arrive at least one day before the start of the programme. We arrange car transfers from Tbilisi to the village of Stepantsminda and back for all participants.
We take a private car transfer from Tbilisi to a guesthouse in Stepantsminda (about three hours).
The day is dedicated to an acclimatization skitour and avalanche training. At the end of the day, we travel back to the guesthouse to share the gear between participants and pack up for the next day.
We take a car transfer to the Gergeti Trinity Church and skin up to the Sabertse Pass (2,950 m), enjoy the views of Mount Kazbek, and head to the Bethlemi Hut (3,650 m) we will call home for the next days.
We skitour and freeride in the areas surrounding the Sabertse Pass and Ortsveri peak.
We skitour and freeride on the slopes of Mount Kazbek to acclimatise at 3,500–4,500 meters.
Summit day! We climb to the top of Mount Kazbek and ski down to the Bethlemi Hut.
Reserve day for bad weather or better acclimatisation.
We ski down to the Gergeti Trinity Church and rendezvous with our car. Transfer to the guesthouse in Stepantsminda, chill and enjoy a well-deserved après-ski supra (a traditional Georgian feast).
Departure day. We pack up and transfer to Tbilisi.
We will stay for two nights in a guest house in Stepantsminda: two nights in the beginning and one night after the descent. The guesthouse features twin rooms with amenities. Meals are charged separately. We can arrange breakfast and dinner for the whole group in the guest house or explore local Georgian restaurants.
You can drop casual clothes, travel bags and stuff you don't need during the expedition in the guesthouse.
The Bethlemi Hut will be our home during the expedition.
You will have three good meals a day and snacks for skitour trips. We will discuss the menu together and listen to your preferences. Cooking gas and food products will be stocked up in advance.
Note. If you are allergic to food or have specific preferences, please indicate this in your booking application.
The daytime temperatures at our basecamp (Bethlemi Hut, 3,650 m) range from +5 to −5°C (+23...+41°F) but can also drop to −15°C/5 °F. Night temperatures can reach −10...−15°C (+5...+14°F). We also expect it to be freezing cold at the summit: −25°C/−13°F.
Please make sure that you pack for five full days: both touring gear and clothes and some extra warm clothes to make your stay in the Bethlemi Hut more comfortable. There is no heating or shower available in the hut.
We strongly advise a sleeping bag with −10... −15°C (+5...+14°F) comfort limits and a pad an R-value of at least 2.
- certified RMGA guides;
- car transfer from Tbilisi to Stepantsminda and back;
- car transfer from Stepantsminda to the Gergeti Trinity Church and back;
- shared alpine gear and crevasse rescue kit;
- three meals a day during the expedition;
- first aid kit and repair kit;
- accommodation in Stepantsminda (3 nights);
- accommodation in the Bethlemi Hut (5 nights).
Price does not include
- meals and accommodation in Tbilisi;
- meals in Stepantsminda;
- medical/evacuation insurance;
- tips for guides.