Mountaineering in Caucasus Mountains Georgia
I’ve been doing alpinism for 3 years now. This time me with my father decided to leave the continent to have a few memories from Caucasus. The decision was unexpected and we liked it at once. In this story I want to share with you some points from our trip and warn about some stuff. So, let’s go!
* my father is experienced alpinist, do not worry.
** in this notes you will find all the useful information about moving inside the country and so on.
We’ve had a flight to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Busses to Zugdidi go from central bus station. In 6 hours we’ve got to the destination. After long “sitting” day we were a little tired, so booked a room for 20 dollars. BTW, it is the common price in Georgia for two.
From Zugdidi we took a bus to Mestia, and from there to Ushguli. Briefly, Ushguli is the highest village in Georgia. Higher than there people live only in Dagestan. On our trip we have joined a team of alpinists from Ukraine. So cute people. It was the first time in my life when I tasted Ukrainian “salo”.
Our new friends and we have rented a truck to get our stuff to the base camp, from where we’ve been planning to start ascend.
Separately, I would like to mention the meadows. Yes, it is the meadows. There are very lush vegetation. Some plants are taller than me. First few days we were doing acclimatization. Running up and down to the mountains all around.
Assault camp was on the height of 2800 meters. Actually, we decided to have first ascents with our new friend. We did ascents to 4000 m. mountain (2 times), 3800 mountain.
The weather is quite predictable. Clouds accumulate on the top, so you see, when and where to go. Then we have arranged a trip to Tetnuldi mountain with a few professionals from Ukrainian team. Bus for 8 people costed 25 dollars per person. Too expensive, but busses are the only way to get out of there.
How to get to the Tetnuldi and all other information you can find in the guide https://www.summitpost.org/tetnuldi-south-west-ridge/1005411. We have been waiting for the weather for 2 days, and then one night with crystal clear sky, we made our assault.
Honestly, it was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I had no time to think, because of my frequent breathing. I was struggling. Think, that we would never do it without a guide. Nowadays in summer, there are lots of cravassed on the classic route, so think about it in advance. Also, after midday, snow is like a chewing gum, so you need to shake it down from your crampons almost each step.
I definitely hated the world after I got to the base camp. But when I saw faces of our friends I felt like a winner, a winner of death. Mountaineering is risky sport. But if you conquer mountains with good physical preparation, risks are minimal.
I am grateful to my father, that he was brave enough to take me there and show me how to live full life.
In conclusion, some tips:
- Find good friends on your way. Team from Ukraine was extremely cute.
- Rent a guide. If you don’t have experience, do not risk your life. Mountains like Tetnuldi are dangerous for inexperienced people.
- Take good equipment. You will need crampons, ice axe, rope, ice drill, carabiners and so on.
- Be physically prepared. Mountains do not forgive weaknesses.
- Take extra money. We were quite shocked with the prices on transfer in highland Georgia.