Trip to Georgia - Svaneti (join me!)


  • jigssaw
    Beginner
    jigssaw op 14 January 2017 · 14:06
    Hi everybody! I am planning a trip to ski resorts Tetnuldi and Hatsvali which are both located in Georgia - Svaneti near Mestia city. Mostly I am interested in Tetnuldi (http://tetnuldi.com/) which is a new resort with lifts going up to 3165 m. If I have correct information, this season is the first season when they have all the lifts open in Tetnuldi.

    I am from the Czech Republic, I ski regularly off-piste in Austria, and the reason for this trip is that I want to explore some new exotic lift-accessible place filled with powder. Trip to Japan, Canada or Russia would get too expensive, so Georgia is the way to go for me!

    I would like to fly from Germany (Memmingen) in the middle of February, the trip would take 8 days (5 days of skiing) and the estimate total cost is around 500 EUR depending on where are you from (aka how much does it cost you to get to Memmingen).

    Would anybody like to join me? Also, I will be happy for any tips regarded to skiing in Tetnuldi or Georgia in general.
  • Holzapfel
    Tourist
    Holzapfel op 14 January 2017 · 19:13
    I am in Japan until the beginning of march so unfortunately I can not come with you. But what I am interested in is if it is really that cheap to go to Georgia? Or do you expect the trip to be that cheap because you want to go extremely low budget?
  • jigssaw
    Beginner
    jigssaw op 15 January 2017 · 00:33
    Georgia is very cheap, ski pass for one day is around 10 EUR, accommodation is in a similar price range. There is no single expensive part of the trip, just a lot of stuff that adds up (fee for flying with skis, transport from the airport and so on) but it is still (or at least should be) quite cheap in the end.
  • Holzapfel
    Tourist
    Holzapfel op 15 January 2017 · 11:54
    Sounds like a really nice trip in a very interesting place. So hopefully you will find a nice ski buddy and have fun!
  • jigssaw
    Beginner
    jigssaw op 15 January 2017 · 13:41
    I hope so, thanks!
  • Karlis
    Beginner
    Karlis op 16 January 2017 · 11:41
    Hey! Georgia is really an exotic place - like Eastern Europe 25 years ago. It could be a "wow" place for most of Europeans. People are unbelievably friendly - if you speak Russian (or Slavic languages) then it's easy to get along there. But you must understand that the infrastructure is very limited - the roads are not safe. My friend had a huge rock penetrating roof of an old taxi which was taking him to Mestia - sometimes the cars can't even reach the "resort". He was actually sleeping there in a barn - there was no place to stay. But that's just the way it is there.
    As well as in every mountains - there is no guarantee that the pow will be there when you arrive. I remember people going to Gudauri ski resort some 8 years ago and telling great stories about pow and no people and how they paid some 50$ to a snowcat driver which drove them up the hill every day for week so they skied some exclusive pow there. But that times are gone - Gudauri is super moder now days, the pow runs are limited there and there are many many people there.
    Mestia is still very quiet place, but if you look at the lifts and terrain you can see you would have to ride the pow next to the lifts as going into valley seems like no sense - getting back could take all day. Also the vertical drop is somehow limited to only 500-900m, it's not really much.
    But the biggest problem as always when planing trips way ahead - if the conditions in Mestia wouldn't be good, then you would have big difficulties of finding another place where to go. There are only a few ski resorts in Georgia and they are 6-10h away if the roads aren't closed.
    Georgia could be very good for Heliskiing - the mountains are huge there, but the Heli is available only in few places and could cost way more than for example in Monterosa (Heliski in Gudauri is owned by Austrians).
    Georgi is a great tourism destination - I would recommend going there for a longer period, drinking their fantastic wines, going to hot springs, enjoying the culture and different way of life and some bit of skiing. The skiing could be great there, but if you are interested only in skiing then a safer bet is the Alps. Why Alps - because there are ski lifts in every valley, accessible roads, trails and roads up in the mountains, rescue services, accommodation everywhere. And Alps are big - there is always powder somewhere in the Alps and you can get anywhere within the Alps in a short time.
    I know guys who plan to go to Georgi in mid February - I can hook you up, but I must say the guys are more like tourists - looking for adventures. Cheers!
    Sending it :)
  • Philphed
    Tourist
    Philphed op 16 January 2017 · 12:09
    Hey, we (a group of three) are going to Mestia from 14th till 24th of March. In case you are there, let us know. We booked some hotel and according to the owner, his brother does guiding. We expect to do mainly touring..
  • jigssaw
    Beginner
    jigssaw op 16 January 2017 · 12:54
    @Karlis You are right in every point. This trip would be a hit or miss depending on the weather. I am not expecting to ride the best lines, it would be more about exploring something different, but of course I would not go there without a hope of good riding.

    I don't want to go to Gudauri for the exact reasons you stated, but Tetnuldi could be much better according to what I read. Do you have some good information about how the hills and lifts are in Tetnuldi?

    It is hard to guess possible lines from the map which is not very detailed, and I didn't find much information about it since the lifts are supposed to be open just from this season. If there are no people and the hill is interesting, even going next to the lifts can be fun.

    @Philphed Alright! If I will go, I think it will be February, but we will see.
  • Karlis
    Beginner
    Karlis op 16 January 2017 · 13:25
    Google maps Mesti - Tetnuldi is a bit on the east of Mestia. I looked at the area on 3D view - you can easily understand the terrain and where the lifts should be. The resort is somehow strange as the lifts start in mid mountain and not in the valley. The slopes goes on the edge of the mountain - so going too much out of slopes can lead you into valleys. Getting out looks difficult.
    Sending it :)
  • Karlis
    Beginner
    Karlis op 16 January 2017 · 13:48
    Here is a simple map I drew as I understand it. You can see it's easy to get stuck in a wrong couloir and find yourself deep in the valley. It would be great if somebody would meet you in the valley with a snowmobile or some crazy 4x4 jeep at around 1600m height and drive you back to lifts - then it could be great. But in Georgia it's possible there isn't that much snow at 1000-1700m height.
    Sending it :)
  • Karlis
    Beginner
    Karlis op 25 January 2017 · 16:43
    I found a pic of planned slopes and lifts in Tetnuldi. Red and bright blue are the built one - others are just planned.
    Sending it :)
  • endrjutadeusz
    endrjutadeusz op 26 January 2017 · 15:47
    @Philphed i'm going to be there from March 18th. As I see its the last week of season there. But i found also some info that it ends on April. Anybody knows how long do they work? And if the end of March is still good time to visit Tetnuldi. I was in Gudauri few years ago in April and the snow was still there. No pow unfortunately.
  • Philphed
    Tourist
    Philphed op 30 January 2017 · 17:28
    According to our Hotel, the ski season in Mestia lasts until the 2nd of April. And according to a guide, whos been working in that region before, March is still good for skiing in Mestia. To be honest, information on the conditons is scarce..so it will be down to crossing fingers and hoping for the best 😉 We don't really plan to do a lot of skiing in the ski resort, as guides are supposed to be quite cheap. Probably some cat skiing as well.

    Some information on the weather conditions in Mestia, but no idea if thats accurate:
    https://en.climate-data.org/location/37091/
  • arturhejniak
    arturhejniak op 12 February 2017 · 19:19
    I'm in Mestia 17.02-04.03. I would like to enjoy any skitouring group, or split. Anybody ? 😃
  • Philphed
    Tourist
    Philphed op 14 February 2017 · 18:48
    Cool! Is that your first trip? It would be awesome, if you could provide us with some insights regarding skiing in Mestia.. 😃
  • Philphed
    Tourist
    Philphed op 7 March 2017 · 11:29
    I'm in Mestia 17.02-04.03. I would like to enjoy any skitouring group, or split. Anybody ? 😃
    arturhejniak op 12 Feb 2017 19:19


    Can you provide me with some feedback?
  • semca
    Advanced
    semca op 10 March 2017 · 14:42
    Hi, I just came back last week. We tried more resorts but spent most of the time in Tetnuldi, which I liked most. The resorts at Lower Caucasus range are better for backcountry skiing in the trees. Theres a lot of possibilites in Tetnuldi, you can even go all the way down to the villages on both sides of the mountain, which is approximately 1500m vertical, but I would reccomend hiring a guide for that. You can check out edit from our trip to see the terrain here:
  • masivnes
    masivnes op 14 March 2017 · 12:06
    Been there pretty much at the same time 😃 Interesting place.

    I would be very cautious with the local guides. We had one for 3 days and to be honest his knowledge was limited, his decisions risky.

    After the trip we found out he took a group to the same spot where us (we told him to turn around as it was not safe) next day after us. Trigger the avalanche and somebody got injured pretty badly.

    This place is just at development and so are the services they are able to provide. Guides are just learning, very low experience compared what we are used to in the Alps for example.


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