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.
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.
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.