Ski Touring in Georgia - AltiHut & Mkinvartsveri / Kazbek


These diverse 8-day skiing adventures in the High Caucasus provides a diverse mix of moderate to challenging ski tours away from the crowds and the opportunity to scale and ski several high peaks over 3000 and 4000 m, combined with comfortable accommodations, the famous Georgian food and hospitality, and the expertise of a certified guide with local knowledge. The tour starts with three days ski touring around the village of Stepantsminda and the Cross Pass. Here on finds a mix of folded and volcanic mountains, resulting in varied terrain suited for different levels of skiers. The second part of  the trip is centred around the >> AltiHut at 3014 m elevation, a new mountain hut on the base of Mkinvartsveri/Kazbek (5054 m). Mkinvartsveri is Georgia`s third highest and probably most famous peak, surrounded by many stories and legends. The area around Mkinvartsveri holds several 4000 m ski summits, such as Ortsveri (4222 m) or Maili-Khok (4600 m). 

The Stepantsminda - Mkinvartsveri area is among my favourite places in Georgia - I have pioneered ski tours and first descents in the area since 2006, including several first descents. I am also involved in running the avalanche forecast for the wider Gudauri - Kazbegi area (www.avalanche.ge) and am therefore up to date about snow and avalanche conditions in the area.

I offer two different types of trips: 

  1. Ski touring package with diverse tours around Stepantsminda and the AltiHut, descibed on this page.
  2. Ski mountaineering package, designed for experienced ski tourers and alpinists primarily interested in skiing on summits ranging from 4000 m to 5000 m. >> Link


Accommodation 

Opened in 2018, AltiHut is the first modern mountain hut in Georgia and built with sustainability in mind. AltiHut is reached after 4 hours on skis from the village of Kazbegi/Gergeti (Stepantsminda, 1800 m). Located at 3014 m, the hut is a perfect location to ski lines on and around Mkinvartsveri, including 4000 m summits in a glaciated environment. The hut offers full board (included in package) in its own restaurant, with a selection of fine drinks to round off the experience. The ski touring package includes also 3 nights with food in a comfortable hotel in Stepantsminda.

Logistics and itinerary

  • All tours start in morning in Tbilisi at the easily-reached MPlus shop, where we also go through an equipment check. Most equipment can be rented here before we leave if you need (or have forgotten) gear. Soon after our driver takes us towards Stepantsminda.
  • We start out with a tour near the Cross Pass, the high point of the “Georgian Military Road”. The following two days we ski tour from Stepantsminda. 
  • On the third day, we ascent to AltiHut. The tour takes around 4 hours, with fantastic views to the picturesque Tsminda Sameba church and Mkinvartsveri. Those with some power left can ascent another 600 m vertical meters on slopes near the hut, often providing good skiing and snow conditions. 
  • The next three days we ski tour around AltiHut. Depending on weather and snow conditions and considering group fitness, we aim to climb and ski Spartak (4517 m) or Maili-Kokh (4600 m). Both are excellent ski summits, with stunning views to Mkinvartsveri and other 5000 m peaks (I have climbed and skied all 5000 m peaks of Georgia and can provide information on most high peaks visible!). The tour leads up the Gergeti glacier to the Kazbek plateau (4450 m), and turns west towards Spartak, with the option to continue to the elegant east ridge of Maili. Very few people ski on these peaks despite their true high alpine character and moderate terrain. 
  • At the end of the third day at AltiHut, we descend to Stepantminda and drive back to Tbilisi. If you are lucky and have time, you can explore and enjoy Tbilisi with me on day 8.

Group size and skill level  

The package is designed for small groups. The minimum group size is 3 and the maximum is 6. The ability to securely ski off-piste is essential, to 35 degrees. Basic skills in doing kick-turns is recommended, though I will coach you if you are not secure turning in steeper terrain. Most days involved tours with between 900 m and 1600 m vertical, but more more or less are possible depending on weather and group skills.  

Prices and what is / is not included  

  • from EUR 1800 pp. 

What’s included:

  • 7 days ski guiding with an ACMG ski guide who has pioneered many ski descents in the area.
  • 3 nights accommodation in a hotel in Stepantsminda - 1x half-board, 2x full-board.
  • 3 nights accommodation and food on full board basis at AltiHut. 
  • All transport from Tbilisi and back.

What’s not included: 

  • Travel to and from Tbilisi
  • Lunch on the first day in Stepantsminda - we get something in a local restaurant or bakery. 
  • Alcoholic drinks 
  • Ski touring equipment. If you have any equipment requirements get in touch! 
  • Insurance for cancellation, rescue, and medical expenses

Dates

5 - 12 April
12 - 19 April

Booking inquiry