Mountain Ski bases in Georgia
We have already prepared three new Mountain Ski bases in Georgia for you for next season! That means three great freeride areas in Georgia. Each from them has its own specifications, so each area is destined for a different combination of freeriding activities. So let us recommend where the conditions are more suitable for CATSKI, HELI-SKI, skitouring or various combination.
Bakhmaro is traditional CATSKI base, for the combination of CATSKI and HELI-SKI the most suitable area is Racha - Mravaldzali. And Tusheti area? This place is directly destined for HELI-SKI with wonderfully long slopes and powder snow even at the end of Georgian ski season.
Course of the season 2021 / 2022 (usually weekly packages) :
BAKHMARO : 25.12.2021 - 12.3.2022
RACHA MRAVALDZALI : 29.1.2022 - 26.2.2022
TUSHETI : 26.2.2022 - 26.3.2022
The Bakhmaro area was choosen for its floods of beautiful powder snow, which we want to enjoy enough. The village Bakhmaro lies at an altitude of around 1900 - 2000 m in a beautiful basin surrounded on all sides by snow-covered ridges and gentle slopes. The surrounding highest hills 3 - 5 km away reach altitudes of 2500 m (2507m Gadrekili) to 2700 m (2755 m Sakornia). 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 go down beautiful wide slopes, where you can draw an infinite number of your arches. You can ski from morning to evening on one selected hill and "draw" it from all sides, or you can discover new and new slopes with our guide. And it's up to you whether you decide to ski from sunrise to sunset, or enjoy a relaxing day with many breaks or exchange the snowcat for your strength and go enjoy nature on the skitouring skis.
The northern orientation of the slopes is also important, as they are deviated from the sun almost all winter, so the snow on them is still powder!
Another advantage of the area is the combination of bare and wooded hills, where the forest provides us with ideal protection and great ski terrain on days when visibility is poorer and it snows!
Sufficient snow in this area is from November to the end of March. Therefore, it is up to you when you join us and go enjoy unlimited skiing in open terrain. The main season lasts from January to February, but already in December there is enough snow for a great freeride and also in March you can come and ride perfectly.
....and where are we? In the Georgian Guria, about 80 kilometers by air from the shores of the Black Sea, which brings a rich amount of snow every winter. And the village of Bachmaro? It was marked as a climatic spa, so in summer it is more than alive and people come here for health. So even that will certainly not leave you in any doubt that you are in the right place.
The village is less than 350 km from the Georgian capital Tbilisi and about 100 km from the large city of Kutaisi. Even in the winter, airlines fly not only to Tbilisi, but also to Kutaisi or Batumi. You can find a direct flight to this cities from Europe, it only depends on your options from where to go. You can make your arrival or departure more pleasant by visiting the capital, its monuments and possibly pleasant "Turkish" spas ... (already in the name of the city there is a "warm spring"), where you will regenerate beautifully after sports. We will take you from the airport (Kutaisi or Tbilisi) under our ski base to the village of Kvabgha (Chkhakoura) by Mountain Ski minibus, where a snowcat will be waiting for you, which will cover the last approximately 22 km and the last altitude meters to Bachmaro. The village lies at an altitude of less than 2,000 m above sea level, the surrounding hills exceed it by 500-1000 meters. For us, however, the slopes are open even below the level of the village, where nothing ends, but everything begins :-) !!! The journey from Tbilisi to Chkhakour takes about 6 hours, from Kutaisi it is significantly shorter and takes about 1.5 hours.
The snowcat then goes to Bachmaro for about 1 hour.
The closest airport to our Mountain Ski base in Bakhmaro is KUTAISI, with direct flights from many European cities, similarly distant is airport BATUMI.
At our ski base you will be accommodated in wooden cottage, which we have available throughout the winter. Rooms are double or triple, equipped with beds and comfortable bed linen. There will be a common dining room and a common room or seating area for all.
The staff of our base will be at your disposal at all times. The chefs and their assistants will prepare a breakfast buffet for you, after returning to the base from skiing, a hearty soup and some dessert will be prepared, and in the evening a Georgian dinner will follow. During the day, packed lunches will be prepared for you, served in a snowmobile along with a hot drink; in case of bad weather, you can certainly arrange the preparation of a hot soup and a light lunch at the base. Hot tea and water will be available throughout the skiing. Consuming food is, like skiing, NO LIMIT, so you eat as long as you can and you have a taste! There is also a well-equipped bar at the base, where Czech draft beer, great Georgian wine, Georgian or Armenian cognac and other selected delicacies will be available. The accommodation will also include a classic Finnish sauna in a small cabin right next to the cottage for 4-6 people.
We found a place for our second base in the long-neglected tourist area RACHA. We have discovered the right slopes for CATSKI and HELI-SKI. For many of you, it is probably surprising that we were not looking for the Great Caucasus, which is not suitable for freeride from the Georgian side due to the southern orientation of the slopes. However, we focused on its foothills, where we managed to find slopes with the correct freeride slope, in the lower part they are covered with beech forests and are interwoven with old forest paths for easier movement of snowcat.
We found such slopes above the valley of the river Rioni between the towns of Ambrolauri and Oni. As a CATSKI base, we chose the village of MRAVALDZALI at an altitude of 1850 m. Overall, these are 2 parallel mountain ridges that stretch from west to east and are thus protected from excessive sunlight and prevailing winds. CATSKI slopes are located at altitudes of 1400 to 2300 m above sea level, which is sufficient height for quality snow throughout the winter season from December to the end of March. Due to its location in the western part of Georgia and the relative proximity of the Black Sea, snowfall is very frequent and in winter there are several meters of powder snow.
Within a range of 10-12 minutes from the Mravaldzali base, there are uniquely long slopes for HELI-SKI in the mountainous part of the RACHA - SVANETI area. The slopes have a northern or eastern orientation at altitudes between 1200 and 3000 m above sea level. The longest of them have an elevation gain of 1300 m and together with the slopes in the TUSHETI area they are the longest HELI-SKI slopes in Europe. We use the whole area evenly for CATSKI and HELI-SKI, so here is the best base for the combination of CATSKI and HELI-SKI.
Accommodation at this base is designed similarly to Bakhmaro by renting a local guesthouse, ie in two to three-bed rooms with shared toilets and showers for two rooms. The large common room serves as a restaurant and bar. The food is all day and very good quality. Breakfast is a buffet with many types of food (from yogurt and muesli to eggs and sausages), we will always equip you with a light lunch in a snowcat or helicopter, ie broth, sandwich, sweetness and nuts. After returning from skiing, a hearty soup and something sweet (cake) will be waiting for you, and in the evening you can indulge in a rich Georgian dinner with a choice of several dishes at once (chinkali, chashlama, chachashuli, salads, etc.).
The freeride season in Racha also begins as in Bachmaro in December and continues until mid-March. In addition, HELI-SKI can run even longer, until the beginning of April, due to the higher altitudes of the slopes. Snowfall guaranteeing powder snow regularly comes from the Black Sea and the lower beech forests will allow skiing even in less favorable weather, which will improve visibility.
The nearest airport is KUTAISI with direct flights from many European cities. The journey from Kutaisi to Racha base takes about 3 hours by car and snowcat. If you want to fly to Tbilisi, we will definitely be happy to pick you up, but the journey is long and less comfortable. It takes about 7 hours.
There is probably nowhere else in the Caucasus that has slopes more suitable for HELI-SKI. Their length and elevation are unparalleled here. Other factors are also important, such as the slope and orientation of the slopes. Due to its steepness and grass cover, the southern side of the Caucasus generally pays for a very avalanche area. Here we have found slopes exceptionally exceeding 30 degrees and most of them are oriented to the north or east. We did not notice landslides of spontaneous avalanches in any of these slopes in the winter or spring, and thanks to that we dare to say that these are safe and at the same time very rugged, long and interesting slopes.
The best region for HELI-SKI is Alazani Stavi in the valley of the river Tusheti Alazani, it is a 10 km long northeast-oriented ridge. This area is similar to the beautiful long slopes of Uzbekistan. The ridges and valleys are wide here, so the landings and boarding groups are comfortable and safe. The descents start on wide bare slopes without a forest and allow the descents in maximum comfort and speed. The elevation of most slopes reaches 1000 m, the descents are so long, rugged and diverse. HELI-SKI was already operated in this area in the 90's and 13 different HELI-SKI spots are tested within a range of 12 minutes from our base.
As the TUSHETI area is only accessible by helicopter in winter, we chose a bit unconventional accommodation. The whole base is located in the wine hotel BABANERIUS MARANI. You will be accommodated in double rooms with toilet and shower. The hotel has, similarly to our other bases, exceptional Georgian cuisine. In addition, the owners produce excellent traditional Georgian QVEVRI wine and, just like at the base in Bakhmaro, RACHA - Mravaldzali, you have at your disposal draft Czech beer DRAK. In case of bad weather, when it is not possible to run HELI-SKI, you will have mountain bikes and e-bikes available or you can go on a wine excursion to the surrounding wineries.
The day begins with a hearty breakfast, where you can choose a vegetarian and a meateater. Around 9:30 he sets off for the HELI-SKI spot. During the day, a simple helicopter lunch will be prepared for you, including drinks and sweets to replenish your energy while skiing. The lunch break is always crammed into the helicopter's refueling time. After returning to the base, a hearty soup, beer, wine and dessert await you. Dinner is served classic and rich - with lots of dishes and salads.
The season in the TUSHETI area starts significantly later than at bases in western Georgia, but also lasts at least a month longer. To make sure you get enough quality snow, we start flying only during January, when there is at least 1.5 m of quality powder snow in the area. The mountains of the Eastern Caucasus have a more inland climate and are not affected by fronts from the Black Sea. Snowfall is less regular here, but it snows for several days and can fall up to 2 meters of snow at once. The area is large enough that there are virgin slopes even after 14 sunny days. The season ends most often in mid-April.
The closest airport to TUSHETI is from TBILISI Airport, which you can reach with several airlines from many European cities. If you want to use our services to arrange tickets, we are fully available. From Tbilisi Airport, the transfer to the base by car is about 2.5 hours.