What is CAT-SKI or HELI-SKI you ask?

Have you had enough of cableways and large crowds of people? Here, you will be completely alone! You are in a small village alone, and all you can see is hills in every direction :-). You can choose a perfectly peaceful way to spend your vacation and enjoy the nature; simply take your skitouring skis and go. Or you can live CAT-SKI, take a seat in our beautiful snowcat, which will take you to the summits and ridges wherever you want, and enjoy unlimited freeride skiing on the way back down until you are completely exhausted! The snowcat has a beautiful warm glassed-in cabin, and it will safely take you to the beginning of the next downhill ride in just a few minutes. Did you enjoy this slope? You can ride down the same slope again ... and again ... and again ... but this time somewhere else, somewhere where the slope is untouched :-)

If the weather is not absolutely clear and the visibility is reduced, then you can simply move a few metres altitude lower and hide under the protection of the forest, which will protect you from unfavourable weather. We believe that you will ski until you are completely satiated!

Our ski guide will be with you the whole time and will recommend slopes and choose the best ones for you! He will simply take care of your safety while skiing!

And from when till when can you ski? That really depends only on you .... you can ski from sunrise to sunset ... that is the only thing limiting you ... otherwise, it depends only on your desire and physical capabilities :-) so go crazy!!!

NO LIMIT FREERIDE!!!

If you are a true freeride connoisseurs and you feel like you´re on skis or snowboard have experienced everything, then try our offer HELI - SKI Within 5 minutes, we have several dozen "virgin" slopes ready for you. HELI-SKI is organized on the EUROCOPTER AS 350B2 machine for 6 people (pilot + guide + 4 passengers). It flies in 2-4 groups of 4 people, each group has its own guide.

And what about equipment, you might ask? You do not have special wide skis or avalanche equipment ...? That is not a problem!! We will lend you everything you need for skiing or snowboarding in powder snow, free of charge: wide skis with "walking" bindings (ascents possible like with mountaineering skis) and belts, snowboards, snowshoes, ski poles, ABS backpacks, avalanche beacons, probes and shovels. In short, all you need is to know how to ski, and we will take care of everything else.

CATSKI.EU team

 

Location and transport

... and where are we located? In Guria, Georgia ... about 80 air kilometres away from the shores of the Black Sea, which brings a proper amount of rich snow every winter. And the village of Bakhmaro? It has been called a climatic spa, so it is more than lively here in the summer, and people here come here for their health. So even this will surely leave you in no doubt that you are in the right place.

The village itself lies less than 350 km away from Georgian city Tbilisi and approximately 100 km away from the large city of Kutaisi. Even in the winter, airlines already fly not only to Tbilisi, but also to Kutaisi. A direct flight from Europe can be found to both cities; it depends only on your options and where you head out from. You can make your arrival or departure more enjoyable by visiting the capital, its sights and the pleasant "Turkish" spas .... (the actual name of the city includes the words "warm spring" in it), and the spas are amazing for regeneration after your sporting experiences. We will take you from the airport (from either airport) to the village of Chkhakoura below our ski resort with the Mountain Ski van, and there, a snowcat will already be awaiting you and will surmount the remaining distance of about 22 km with you and the last metres altitude to Bakhmaro itself. The village lies at an altitude of less than 2,000 metres above sea level, and the surrounding hills tower over it by about 500-1000 MSAL. But for us, even the slopes below the altitude of the village are open, where nothing ends, but everything begins :-) !!! The journey from Tbilisi to Chkhakoura takes approximately 4.5 hours. It is considerably shorter from Kutaisi and lasts about 1.5 hours. The snowcat then goes to Bakhmaro, which takes about 1 hour.

We will be happy to help you ensure your flight ticket!

 

Accommodation and food

At our Mountain Ski base, you will be accommodated in log cabins that are available to us throughout the entire winter. The rooms are double or triple-bed rooms equipped with beds and comfortable bed linens. They all have a common dining room and a common room or seating area.  The staff of our base will be available to you at all times. The chef and his helper will prepare buffet breakfasts and warm Georgian dinners for you. During the day, the food is provided in the form of lunch packs served in the snowcat along with a hot drink, and in the case of unfavourable weather, you can definitely arrange to have hot soup and a light lunch at the base. Hot tea and drinking water will be available throughout the entire time of skiing with the snowcat. Like the skiing, the food consumption has NO LIMIT, i.e. you can eat as long as you are able to and have an appetite!

At the base, there is also a well-equipped bar, where you will find beer, great Georgian wine, Georgian or Armenian cognac and other selected goodies. The accommodation will also include a classic Finnish sauna for 4-6 persons in a small cabin right by the cottage.

 

Terrain and season

The Bakhmaro area was chosen for its influxes of beautiful powdery snow that we want to thoroughly enjoy. The village of Bakhmaro lies at an altitude of 1900-2000 MASL in a beautiful cirque surrounded by snowy ridges and steep slopes. The highest surrounding hills, at a distance of about 3-5 km, reach altitudes from 2500 (2507 m Gadrekili) up to 2700 (2755 m Sakornia) metres above sea level. Your accompanying snowcat moves along the access roads in the valley and along the ridges leading to the peaks, and you have the opportunity to ride down the beautiful wide slopes, where you will carve an infinite number of arcs into the snow. You can ski down a single selected hill from morning to evening and "carve" it up from all sides, or you can keep discovering new slopes with our guide. And it is all up to you whether you decide to ski from sunrise to sunset, enjoy a relaxing day with a lot of breaks, or exchange your strength for the snowcat and go enjoy the nature on mountaineering skis.

The northern orientation of the slopes is important as well because it means that they are tilted away from the sun almost all winter and the snow on them thus always remains powdery!

    Another advantage of the area is the combination of bare and forested hills, whereby the forest provides us with ideal protection and a great skiing terrain in days when it is snowing and the visibility is bad!

     There tends to be a sufficient amount of snow in this area from November to the end of March. That is why it is all up to you when you will join us and enjoy unlimited skiing in the open terrain. For this year, we set January and February as the main season, and we will provide a discount of 10 % this year for other dates before and after this period!

 

Safety

Before we forget!!! ..... your safety the most important thing!!!

We have prepared a basic set of avalanche equipment for you – avalanche transceivers, shovels and avalanche probes. And to increase your safety, we will equip all of you with a Mammut avalanche backpack in red, to make you nice and visible :-).

Each group will have a professional guide who will take care of their safety and choose the right slopes depending on the current snow conditions and weather conditions. 

We require that you be insured, preferably by Alpenverein OEAV or DAV. We have tested the way they operate in Georgia, and we are working towards closer co-operation so that payments for treatment and possible subsequent transport comes directly from the insurance company. For now, all costs are reimbursed by the insurance company. This insurance has a year-round validity, so you will certainly use it also for other activities!

 

Equipment

For non-standard use, we have sought non-standard equipment, and we are using the best possible sense of the word. We received recommendations from many sides and eventually even tried the equipment ourselves ...

... a Czech company that focuses on the production of all types of skis, from racing skis, to freeride skis, to mountaineering skis – LUSTI. We have chosen the best freeride skis for you (KRAKO or RYBR) and the best skis for ski mountaineering in powdery snow – VERTIGO. And are they also the most beautiful, you ask? Well yes, we have modified the design just for you, so if you want to be unique, you can do it with us :-), or give us all your comments on their functionality and design.

The KRAKO and RYBR skis for freeride skiing are equipped with TYROLIA Adrenalin bindings, and the VERTIGO skis for ski mountaineering are equipped with Diamir Fritchi bindings. All the skis will have ski skins for ascents. So if you want to continue to places that are not accessible to the snowcat, you can simply put on the ski skins and move up a bit higher.

For easier movement in the mountains, you will have Gipron Expert ski poles, 3-piece telescopic poles.

We have chosen a classic for those who love the snowboard, so if you will want to use our equipment, we have BURTON and VOELKL boards in lengths ranging from 150 to 164 cm.

For those interested, we will also have 6 pairs of Nanook snowshoes.

We recommend that you have your own skiing, ski mountaineering or snowboarding shoes, and also your own helmet.

 

Snow and weather

The climate in this part of Georgia is influenced by the mountain range of Greater Caucasus, which slows down cold fronts that come from the north and continue through the mountain range of the Lesser Caucasus, which prevents the inflow of hot air from the south. The relatively large amount of precipitation is due to the vast coastline of the Black Sea. Precipitation coming in from the sea is captured at the higher ridges of the Lesser Caucasus, and the air that continues into the eastern lowlands is already mild and dry.

Given Bakhmaro's location, this area is supplied with an influx of snow from the Black Sea. But the distance of 80 km from the sea, along with the altitude of 2000-3000 metres, ensures that the snow is not humidified here. This results in a spectacular POWDERY SNOW, whose amount ranges from 3 to 5-metre high snow coverage!!! So all you freeriders out there!!! Put your skis on, whether it be your own tried and tested ones or ours to try something new, and come to CAT-SKI or HELI-SKI with us!!!

The weather is mostly sunny (most of the precipitation in the area comes in the autumn and spring), but it is periodically renewed... so when it gets overcast and starts to snow, we have the possibility to hide away and ski in the woods, passing through beautiful slopes between the trees and continuing to enjoy ourselves. 

The temperatures from November to the end of February range from 0 to -25 degrees Celsius, depending on altitude and time of day.