2nd Exploration Tour 

We start the 2nd Snow Exploration again at sealevel. Ureki, 11/02/2016.
We start the 2nd Snow Exploration again at sealevel. Ureki, 11/02/2016.
The fine black sand of Magnetiti. Ureki, 11/02/2016.
The fine black sand of Magnetiti. Ureki, 11/02/2016.
Snow-capped mountains on the road from the Black Sea to Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.
Snow-capped mountains on the road from the Black Sea to Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.

Our vehicle for the ride up to Bakhmaro, 14/02/2016.
Our vehicle for the ride up to Bakhmaro, 14/02/2016.
Meeting with the State Representative-Governor. Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.
Meeting with the State Representative-Governor. Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.
Interview after the Meeting. Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.
Interview after the Meeting. Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.

Bakhmaro

Bakhmaro was the first stop on our 2nd exploration tour.The small summer resort is popular among people from the reagion to spent some time in the fresh air and cool air of the Lower Caucasus. Mostly the visitors stay in small wooden huts or camp in the outdoors. But there is also a hotel and some guest houses.

 

The village is situated in the Meskheti Range on the northern slopes of the Lower Caucasus around 60 k from the shores of the Black Sea. The range is characterized by high amounts of precipitation, which caught our attention in the first place.

 

In the winter Bakhmaro is abandoned and the road is not cleared. Since Soviet times there are plans to develop a ski area in this high valley. Now the regional government starts a new attempt to establish Bakhmaro as ski resort.

Perfect ski-touring weather just above Bakhmaro, 15/02/2016.
Perfect ski-touring weather just above Bakhmaro, 15/02/2016.

Boiling snow for our pasta dinner in one of the wooden huts in Bakhmaro, 15/02/2016.
Boiling snow for our pasta dinner in one of the wooden huts in Bakhmaro, 15/02/2016.
Our wooden hut in Bakhmaro, 16/02/2016.
Our wooden hut in Bakhmaro, 16/02/2016.

When we arranged the ride up to Bakhmaro we thought just Davit, head of the community, would show us the place and the hotel. A local would drive us up in a "tractor", an old caterpillar. The owner of the tractor joined us as well. And of cause we have been in need of a translator. The governor also asked for an armed guard because of bears and wulfs. The travel company grew fast. In the end we have been a travel company of 9: 2 skiers and 7 people to bring us up.

 

We have been curious about the ride on a "tractor". An old caterpillar is not made for carrying 9 persons including equipment and food. After applying some creative loading technics we were ready to go. Must of the ride we stand on a plank in the back holding on to a shovel, which was installed as handhold. However, sometimes it was faster to walk.

 

It took us almost all day to reach Bakhmaro. We arrived after nightfall, covering the last kilometers on our skies. Dinner was held in the empty and cold hotel: some great basic food and a lot of Chacha.  In the end it was a great experience with a great travel company, I will never forget.

Bakhmaro, powderproject.ch
Good snow pack in Bakhmaro, 15/02/2016.
Bakhmaro, powderproject.ch
Hiking up to Mt. (point 2'600). The remote valley with its wooden huts is a special place in the winter, when nobody is there. Bakhmaro 15/02/2016.

Meeting with the Head of the municipality of Chokhatauri, our translator an Davit who showed us Bakhmaro. Chokhatauri, 16/02/2016.
Meeting with the Head of the municipality of Chokhatauri, our translator an Davit who showed us Bakhmaro. Chokhatauri, 16/02/2016.
 What a great transfer vehicle. I want this bus! Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.
What a great transfer vehicle. I want this bus! Ozurgeti, 11/02/2016.

Bakhmaro is an interesting place to develop a ski area. We are waiting for historic weather data to assess the climate in more detail.

 

In particular at the beginning of the season the Lower Caucasus offers reliable snow conditions and loads of powder. We will position our weather station here in the winter 2016/2017 to collect our own meteo data.


Mestia

After exploring Bakhmaro, we visited Mestia to see the new Tetnuldi Ski Area and Hatsvali.

 

Mestia in Svanetia is a special place. The famous towers, the great mountains of the Greater Caucasus and its isolated location crreate a unique atmosphere. It is already a popular place for hiking and mountainiering in summer and will develop fast into an attractive winter destination.

 

The development of the ski area could not keep up with its schedule. When we arrived in February there was just one lift operating. Jochen and I have been pretty much the only people going off-piste on these days.

The towers of Mestia by night, 18/02/2016.
The towers of Mestia by night, 18/02/2016.

The new top station of the Tetnuldi ski area. In the background Mt. Ushba (4'710m). Mestia, Caucasus, 19/02/2016.
The new top station of the Tetnuldi ski area. In the background Mt. Ushba (4'710m). Mestia, Caucasus, 19/02/2016.
Mt. Tetnuldi (4'858m). 19/02/2016.
Mt. Tetnuldi (4'858m). 19/02/2016.
Mestia has already a long tradition as alpine skiing destination. Old lift station at Hatsvali, 18/02/2016.
Mestia has already a long tradition as alpine skiing destination. Old lift station at Hatsvali, 18/02/2016.
Below Mt. Tetnuldi, 19/02/2016.
Below Mt. Tetnuldi, 19/02/2016.
Oldtimers and the unique towers create a special atmosphere in Mestia, 18/02/2016.
Oldtimers and the unique towers create a special atmosphere in Mestia, 18/02/2016.
Inside one of the towers. Mestia, 18/02/2016.
Inside one of the towers. Mestia, 18/02/2016.

Wide, open slopes below Mt. Tetnuldi, 19/02/2016.
Wide, open slopes below Mt. Tetnuldi, 19/02/2016.

Mestia is worth traveling all the way to Upper Svanetia. Downhill skiing is still in its infancy. However, with the new resort Tetnuldi it will develop fast. Definitely a must go for the winter 2016/17 - before it becomes busy!

 

Our tip: skiing down to the little mountain village of Aidishi (2'100m) and hiking back up via the summer way to the groomers of the ski area.

 

Hatsvali has got good potential to become the "Hausberg" of Mestia. It has some interesting beginner's terrain. Just the (new) T-bars weren't running. Unfortunately the slopes are all north-facing which will cause a lot of days with icy conditions. Something beginners do not like.

 

 


Getting up the access road of Tetnuldi Ski Area is only possible with an off-road vehicle. Mestia, 17/02/2016.
Getting up the access road of Tetnuldi Ski Area is only possible with an off-road vehicle. Mestia, 17/02/2016.
A Kebab for lunch at Tetnuldi base area. Vitali also makes the best Glühwein. Good starting point to implement Apres Ski in Mestia, 17/02/2016.
A Kebab for lunch at Tetnuldi base area. Vitali also makes the best Glühwein. Good starting point to implement Apres Ski in Mestia, 17/02/2016.
The public ski bus arrives at the ground station of Tetnuldi ski area. Mestia, 19/02/2016.
The public ski bus arrives at the ground station of Tetnuldi ski area. Mestia, 19/02/2016.

Bakhmaro
The most exiting day in Georgia on this trip. Going up to Bakhmaro by tractor. It took a while until we reached Bakhmaro. The tractor had to work itself through deep snow. Bakhmaro, 14/02/2016.

1st Road Trip

Our 1st road trip in the winter 2015/16 was more adventure than planned and led us to Goderdzi Pass, Sanalia Bowl and Gudauri [nur in Englisch verfügbar].
Our 1st road trip in the winter 2015/16 was more adventure than planned and led us to Goderdzi Pass, Sanalia Bowl and Gudauri [nur in Englisch verfügbar].

Follow-up Tour

In March we did a third trip to Georgia to follow-up on some meetings and get some more information about our preferred locations [nur in Englisch verfügbar].
In March we did a third trip to Georgia to follow-up on some meetings and get some more information about our preferred locations [nur in Englisch verfügbar].

Gutschein

Eine Dritte Möglichkeit das Projekt zu unterstützen sind Gutscheine. Du legst den Wert selber fest.
Eine Dritte Möglichkeit das Projekt zu unterstützen sind Gutscheine. Du legst den Wert selber fest.

Team

Wir sind selber ambitionierte Freerider & Tourismus-Experten.
Wir sind selber ambitionierte Freerider & Tourismus-Experten.

Milestones

Mit Bakhmaro haben wir unsere Locations gefunden. Im Sommer starten wir jetzt unser Seedfunding. Im Dezember können dann die ersten Touren durchgeführt werden.
Mit Bakhmaro haben wir unsere Locations gefunden. Im Sommer starten wir jetzt unser Seedfunding. Im Dezember können dann die ersten Touren durchgeführt werden.