Freeriding in Georgia – Martin
The options for next year were already discussed during our trip in Cosmo station in Kazakhstan. Explore Georgia with this group. So when we received the proposal for Georgia in the summer, it didn’t take long before the trip was full. Cozy, another top group and a new location to discover.
We flew with a direct flight from Eindhoven. On arrival in Georgia we were received by customs with a stamp in the passport and a bottle of Georgian wine. That was a great start to the trip!
The next morning a long 4×4 drive is planned towards Mestia. It is a beautiful drive on mountain roads and on the way we make a stop for lunch. In a small restaurant we get acquainted with Georgian cuisine for the first time. We order everything on the menu and see grandma preparing it on a traditional wood-fired stove.
In Mestia we are in a nice guesthouse and we have a view of the Svan towers in the city. Here we prepare the equipment and decide to go to the ski resort of Tetnuldi the next day. The ski area is a short drive, on snowy roads, luckily we have two 4×4’s at our disposal.
The lifts in Tetnuldi open later than what we are used to in the Alps. It is a small ski area but with big plans to develop further. We already see many potential descents from the lift. We conclude the first day with a tour towards Adishi. A village that still seems to stand still in the Middle Ages. The animals run loose through the streets and many buildings are dilapidated, luckily we find the only apres ski tent and drink some Chacha (Georgian Vodka) before the drivers pick us up. On a narrow dirt road we drive back to the guesthouse in Mestia.
In Mestia you can find many nice restaurants and you can also be surprised with (traditional) live music while eating. On the way to the guesthouse we find a nice bar full of Georgian wines and do a wine tasting. After a few beautiful days of free tour around Tetnuldi we move to Ushguli, a small village deeper in the Caucasus. The road to Ushguli is narrow, unpaved would probably not be out of place in the list of “World’s most dangerous roads”.
The village looks a bit like Adishi, here too time seems to have stood still. The host and wife don’t speak English but are very friendly. From Ushguli we make beautiful ski tours for two days and are accompanied by the street dogs that follow us up. During the tours we enjoy the view of the Shkhara (5201 m.) the highest mountain in Georgia.
In the hotel, almost all water pipes are frozen and it is sometimes a bit difficult, but this also adds to the experience. We enjoy the extensive meals that our hostess prepares on the wood stove all the more.
We conclude the trip with a night out in Mestia before we make the long drive the next morning (with a big hangover) over the mountain roads to the airport in Kutaisi.
It was another great week under the guidance of Gijs-jan, with a nice mix of freeride, ski tour, culture and fun. I’m already looking forward to next year.