Bakhmaro is with 1’900 meters of altitude one of the highest "resorts" in Georgia. Many families from the region have a cabin in this mountain valley and spend some time in the summer up there. There is even a hotel (without heating system) and a small number of guesthouses. In winter the place is currently uninhabited and unreachable as the road is not cleared.
Since Soviet times there have been plans to develop Bakhmaro as ski resort, in particular because of its reliable snow situation. A feasibility study by an Austrian consulting company (2007) highlights the potential of the place and suggests the development of a ski area with five ski lifts. In the spring of 2016, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced the expansion of Bakhmaro into a year-round tourism destination. A masterplan is being developed in the autumn/winter 2016/17.
We want to be pioneers and offer cat skiing in Bakhmaro before the first developments take place. We want to experience the place before the first tourists arrive. Bakhmaro will be original and most mountains and slopes will never been skied before.
In February 2016, we have used a "tractor" to reach Bakhmaro from Chkhakoura. We were accompanied on our scouting tour by the head of the community, a translators and an armed guard.
For winter 2016/17, we will buy a used SnowCat with heated cabin to offer CatSkiing. The SnowCat rides are always accompanied by a guide (speaking English) who is familiar with the place. He will clearly define starting points and meeting points. Short ascents on skins or on foot will sometimes be necessary to reach access points which the SnowCat cannot reach.
With the SnowCat we are very flexible. We must, however, also be flexible, as much snowfall means many days with snowfall and we want to keep the number of downdays as low as possible. Nonetheless, there will be days when safe operation cannot be guaranteed.
This will be the first time that a SnowCat is operated in Bakhmaro. It will be an adventure to find the best driving routes, identify the best slopes and discover the most challenging lines.
During our summer exploration tour, we found these two wooden cottages we can rent. The two houses have been constructed only a few years before. They have solid windows, a basic heating through wood stoves and bathrooms with shower. Power is supplied by a generator in the winter.
Until now, the cottages were used only in summer. So we will be the first guests in the winter. In both houses, there are a total of six bedrooms with each two beds. In the smaller cottage we have a small dining room and in the larger cottage we have a living room.
We offer full board including a comprehensive breakfast, a lunch snack and dinner. Due to the remote location in the mountains of the Lesser Caucasus, the supply with fresh goods cannot be guaranteed all the time.
For breakfast we provide a small buffet besides the obligatory Khachapuri. At lunchtime we will have a snack to go to save precious daylight time. In the evening there will be a balanced mix of Georgian specialties and international dishes. We are already looking forward to our first BBQ in the deep snow of Bakhmaro ...
Depending on weather, adjustments of the travel program can occur at any time. The conditions on site, alpine dangers and the composition of the group can lead to adjustments. The guide knows the conditions and has much experience in the mountains of the Lesser Caucasus. He shall take the relevant decisions on the spot.
The last night could be spent in the vicinity of the airport since the transfer could be difficult because of the weather situation. Optional days for skiing or sightseeing can be appended. We give gladly offers and tips.
The group size is limited to 12 participants.
Minimum: 8 Participants.
The quality of services in Georgia does not match Central European standards. We are trying to implement higher quality standards in Georgia and we see our special strength in this task. However, we cannot guarantee this standard yet - but that's what makes the special charm of a trip to the Caucasus at this time. In the end it is an adventure tour ...
The basic offer is exclusive of any guiding. We only provide the infrastructure for experienced freeriders. At individually selected dates, we offer guided trips in cooperation with the Georgian Mountain Guides Association.
Timely reservation is necessary, as these services are partially limited.
Upon request, a guiding can be booked on site. Under the guiding additional tours are offered to climb a summit or to tap into the backcountry. Some weeks might be offered only including guiding.
Please consider that for a secure expedition every participant is in need of a reserve to overcome difficulties. The guide has the right and the duty to adjust the composition of the group and the program in the interest of safety, if the requirements are not met by the individual group members.
About 60 km east of the Black Sea on the north side of the Lesser Caucasus is the small resort Bakhmaro situated.
Bakhmaro is situated in a high-valley at an altitude of 1'900 meters encircled by softly shaped ski mountains. To the south the Mesheti range peaks in the 2'755 meters high Sakornia. With good visibility both the Black Sea to the west and the Great Caucasus to the north are visible.
The modern international airport of Kutaisi (parliamentary seat of Georgia) is around 90 km away. The transfer time is about two hours in good conditions. Batumi is around 135 km away and can be reached within three hours.
A great advantage of the small Caucasus is the large amounts of snow and the distribution of the snowfall. Especially at the beginning of winter fall above-average amounts of snow, leading to reliable snow conditions from the end of November onwards. The snow depth peaks between late February and mid March.
In addition, the slopes around Bakhmaro are characterized primarily by ground covered with alpine grass. Even small amounts of snow suffice for going skiing and ensure an early season start.
West winds drive intensive cyclones over the Black Sea during the winter months. In the mountains relief rainfall causes high amounts of precipitation. From late October onwards the precipitation turns into loads of snow. Temperatures vary comparatively little due to the strong maritime influence.
The tiny settlement of Chkhakoura is located at the access road about 6 km north of Bakhmaro. Bakhmaro is again nearly 1'000 meters higher. As a rule of thumb, you can pull off about 6° for the 1'000 meters of altitude difference.
There are some further interesting maps available on meteoblue. Have a lock at "Wetterkarten".