1st Exploration Tour

Our Trip started in Batumi with more than 30 cm of snow at sealevel. Batumi 03/01/2016.
Our Trip started in Batumi with more than 30 cm of snow at sealevel. Batumi 03/01/2016.
It is always a special atmosphere, when you watch a sunset over the sea on a ski trip. Batumi, 03/01/2016.
It is always a special atmosphere, when you watch a sunset over the sea on a ski trip. Batumi, 03/01/2016.

Our vehicle for the 10-days-scouting-tour in Georgia at the beach in Batumi, 03/01/2016.
Our vehicle for the 10-days-scouting-tour in Georgia at the beach in Batumi, 03/01/2016.
There were loads of snow in the mountains of Ajara beginning of January. Roads are in general small and clearing takes its time. No way of reaching Goderdzi Pass without a proper four-wheel drive.
There were loads of snow in the mountains of Ajara beginning of January. Roads are in general small and clearing takes its time. No way of reaching Goderdzi Pass without a proper four-wheel drive.

Goderdzi Pass

We started our first exploration tour in 2016 in Batumi on the shore of the Black Sea. The more than 30 cm of snow on the beach have been very promising. Equipped with the right vehicle we drove into the mountains of Ajara the next day.

 

It is not that easy to reach Goderdzi Pass in the winter. Even in summer the last 20k are a challange as the road is not paved and potholes are deep. With snow it becomes an adventure. It took us 4 hours to reach the base area of the new resort.

 

The Lower Caucasus receives a lot of precipitation and the snow comes early every year. Beginning of January we found at Goderdzi Pass a proper snow base of more than one meter.


Most of the accessible terrain at Goderdzi Pass is not steep. However, we had our powder runs ...
Most of the accessible terrain at Goderdzi Pass is not steep. However, we had our powder runs ...
Goderdzi Pass, 05/01/2016.
Goderdzi Pass, 05/01/2016.
The picture is a bit missleading. Most of the days it was dumping. Unfortunately with a lot wind in higher elevation. Goderdzi Resort, 05/01/2016.
The picture is a bit missleading. Most of the days it was dumping. Unfortunately with a lot wind in higher elevation. Goderdzi Resort, 05/01/2016.
Old restaurant at Goderdzi Pass, 2025m, 05/01/2016.
Old restaurant at Goderdzi Pass, 2025m, 05/01/2016.

Sanalia Bowl

The plan was to hike up to an abandoned hut from the border police. I had seen the place two months earlier, mounted a weather station there and ask the officer whether we could stay in the hut for a few days. Unfortunately the weather forecast predicted bad weather for pretty much all of the week. However, I had to go up to exchange batteries and a SIM card of the weather station.

At the beginning of our hike to the old border police hut in the Sanalia Bowl. A strong foehn hit Ajara that day with a temperature rise of 20°. Later on we had to quit the plan to reach the hut with all our equipment. Sanalia, 08/01/2016.
At the beginning of our hike to the old border police hut in the Sanalia Bowl. A strong foehn hit Ajara that day with a temperature rise of 20°. Later on we had to quit the plan to reach the hut with all our equipment. Sanalia, 08/01/2016.
Hot tea and power for our mobile phones. Our Biolite stove in action. Sanalia Bowl, 08/01/2016.
Hot tea and power for our mobile phones. Our Biolite stove in action. Sanalia Bowl, 08/01/2016.
After our hike up Sanalia Bowl, we have been welcomed by the crew with a bonfire, hot tea and snacks. Sanalia Bowl, 08/01/2016.
After our hike up Sanalia Bowl, we have been welcomed by the crew with a bonfire, hot tea and snacks. Sanalia Bowl, 08/01/2016.

The abandoned hut of the border police at crack of dawn. It was the plan to spend here 2 or 3 night. But the weather was not as good as on this picture. Sanalia, automatic weather-cam, 21/11/2015.
The abandoned hut of the border police at crack of dawn. It was the plan to spend here 2 or 3 night. But the weather was not as good as on this picture. Sanalia, automatic weather-cam, 21/11/2015.
Unfortunately the bowl get not just a lot of snow but also a lot of wind. The weather cam has made better pics than expected. Sanalia, automatic weather-cam, 10/12/2015.
Unfortunately the bowl get not just a lot of snow but also a lot of wind. The weather cam has made better pics than expected. Sanalia, automatic weather-cam, 10/12/2015.

A bakery somewhere on the way. Unfortunately he did not had any Chatchapuri. 09/01/2016.
A bakery somewhere on the way. Unfortunately he did not had any Chatchapuri. 09/01/2016.
A butcher somewhere on the way. 09/01/2016.
A butcher somewhere on the way. 09/01/2016.

Gudauri

After having too much snow and wind at Goderdzi Pass and the wet conditions in the Sanalia Bowl we were eager for some easy powder runs. So we drove through half of Georgia to reach Gudauri, a well-established ski resort in the Greater Caucasus.

 

The road up to Gudauri was surprisingly good and the mountains are spectacular. Finally we were also luckier with the weather and had two beautiful days.

 

Gudauri is an interesting place, lift tickets are still cheap but with 8 lifts it has already the diversified  standard of the European Alps. In combination with the short drive from Tbilisi it attracts a lot of skiers including freeriders. Here we have not been the only ones leaving the groomers.

Traveling was quite time consuming. This is not just any road. It is a rerouting on the main highway somewhere behind Kutaisi. 09/01/2016.
Traveling was quite time consuming. This is not just any road. It is a rerouting on the main highway somewhere behind Kutaisi. 09/01/2016.

Gudauri, Caucasus, 10/01/2016.
Gudauri, Caucasus, 10/01/2016.
At Gudauri are plenty of freeride runs easy accessible by a short hike. Gudauri, 10/01/2016.
At Gudauri are plenty of freeride runs easy accessible by a short hike. Gudauri, 10/01/2016.

Our crew in the Caucasus. Gudauri, 10/01/2016.
Our crew in the Caucasus. Gudauri, 10/01/2016.

2nd Road Trip

Our 2nd road trip was quite adventurous again. We went up to Bakhmaro by tractor and with our off-road vehicle to Mestia [nur in Englisch verfügbar].
Our 2nd road trip was quite adventurous again. We went up to Bakhmaro by tractor and with our off-road vehicle to Mestia [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].

Sanalia

Unsere Vision ist unser eigenes Freeride-Skigebiet. Eine tolle Location ist die schneereiche aber unerschlossene Sanalia Bowl in Ajara.
Unsere Vision ist unser eigenes Freeride-Skigebiet. Eine tolle Location ist die schneereiche aber unerschlossene Sanalia Bowl in Ajara.

Team

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

Impact

Lokale Familien können mit unserem Projekt ein Einkommen erzielen. Für die Umwelt ist dieser nachhaltige Tourismus-Ansatz wenig belastend.
Lokale Familien können mit unserem Projekt ein Einkommen erzielen. Für die Umwelt ist dieser nachhaltige Tourismus-Ansatz wenig belastend.