This winter we have explored the freeride potential of different regions in Georgia. At the same time we have collected weather data with our own meteo-station in the Sanalia Bowl (temperature, wind and snowfall).
In January, we have already seen the Sanalia Bowl, Goderdzi Pass and Gudauri. In February, we have visited Bakhmaro in the Lower Caucasus and Mestia with Tetnuldi and Hatsvali. In March we added Stepanzminda and Lentechi.
So now, we know the Western Lower Caucasus, which gets heavy snowfall, the Svaneti region that is a high alpine region, has spectacular mountains and offers a unique culture inclusive its famous towers. However, the precipitation is less than in the Lower Caucasus. In the east of the Great Caucasus we visited Gudauri an already well developed ski resort in high elevation which is also easily accessible from Tbilisi.
Conclusion of scouting season is that an operation is only realistic in a place which is easily accessible by a fully developed road. The second important finding is that the Lesser Caucasus is indeed recording reliable heavy snowfalls in particular at the beginning of the season. Therefore an earlier season start in December is possible.
Based on the experience we opted for Bakhmaro as a place for our test season. Bakhmaro convinced us with good snow conditions and since there does already exist some significant infrastructure, we can do our test-season without any fixed investments.
A paved road connects the place in about 2 hours with the
international airport in Kutaisi. However, this road is not cleared in the winter.
In June, we have received assurances from the Governor of Guria, that he will support a test season with a SnowCat in Bakhmaro. We found two nice cottages, we can rent for the winter. From now on, we are planning the details ...
... the pioneer season will show whether we will have found the perfect location.
A big advantage of this approach is that we could thus establish a first representative office in Georgia. We can gain experience with the realities on site, start cooperation with suppliers and build-up a reliable team. The small scale operation would be also a good foundation to promote powderproject.ch.
The mountains around Bakhmaro are perfect for CatSkiing. The small mountain village is abandoned in winter and we have all Freedom to explore the slopes around the village.
Between December and End of February we offer weeklong trips into this remote mountains.
At the end of the season we have two more highlights: Exploring Svanetia and ascending Mt. Kasbeg (5'047m).
Our medium-term goal is to develop and operate our own small freeride ski area in Georgia. The slopes
should contain a vertical drop of at least 900 meters and provide many variations. We will choose the solution which is most convenient and safe. Main focus of our attention is the search for
The more we invest, the more freeriders are required to share the cost. So there is a conflict with the aim to offer the slopes exclusively. We will begin small. Experiences during the first season will show how many freeriders can ride the slopes without getting too busy. Accordingly, we are planning further developments. In the end our vision is untracked powder.
Required capital: + 1'000'000,- Euro