kanski op 1 January 2019 · 20:34
We will quit our Catski operation in Bakhmaro. It has simply become too dangerous.
I was assaulted this morning by Milan, the Czech Guide (Freeloaders who follow us since last year and want to take over Bakhmaro). He went to my larynx and strangled me and threatened to kill me. Previously, they had twice blocked the Cattrack. Also present was Bidzina Gujabidze from the Georgian Mountain Guides Association #GMGA. He did not participate in the violence, but did not intervene to stop it. For him, the violence was obviously acceptable.
A guide who is violent, threatens others with death, and runs the risk of serious injury or even death, not only endangers my life, but also that of our mountain guides, our team and our guests. We cannot accept this risk. We are forced to cease operations by March at the latest. For the groups until the end of March we have asked for police protection.
A short update to the current situation:
We continue all our tours as usual! Today we were at Sunrise Mountain and got some good lines in the Japanese Trees. The snow is excellent. We also carry out the following weeks as planned. Only in the end of March we will wrap up and leave #Bakhmaro.
Of course we got a lot of feedback - a lot of support from freeriders and friends. Thanks a lot for this. That feels good. And of course we have got a lot of mails and phone calls from freeriders who are concerned about safety. Do not worry, the next weeks are safe! We will do great lines like the ones at Sunrise Mountain today. Set a strong mark against violence and ride with us!
Of course, yesterday's post is not a good PR and we might lose bookings, I know. You do not post any negative, you shut up and go quietly. But I also have zero tolerance for violence. And I have zero tolerance for Georgian mountain guides from the #GMGA who accept violence and passively support violence. We have stopped to cooperate with the GMGA.
So far all freeriders send indeed a strong message against violence and nobody cancelled.
But more important to me is security and with the last post we have sent 2 important messages that will ensure our safety on the ground. First, we have created publicity in Georgia. Many decent Georgians have been shocked by this violence and this public gives security. The Czechs will not risk another attack. And second, we sent a strong message to the Czechs: they won. We go. Thus, the Czechs have reached their goal and further violence is no longer necessary.
It is the last winter in which a reputable catskilodge in Bakhmaro can offer freeriding. And these pictures of today (and yesterday) show that it is definitely worthwhile to see this place ...