Svaneti 11 Day Back Country Ski Tour

11 days


Situated in the north of the country Svaneti is bordered by both Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Bakaria in the Russian Federation. It is home to some of the highest mountains in the Caucasus. This historical region is brimming with ancient villages and the locals known as Svans have largely retained their culture and heritage for centuries. Characteristic of this region are the Svan towers (koshki) built in the medieval period to act as defense and signal towers against invading armies. Skin up to some of the highest passes in the region and ski through these beautiful mountains exploring the medieval towers and Churches of Svaneti on the way, be awe struck by some of the highest peaks in Europe and prepare to be immersed in local mountain culture. 

  • Enjoy a warm up day of lift based ski touring in the forests around the Hatsvali resort.
  • Discover ancient defense towers and villages with churches dating back to the 9th Century.
  • Skin up to 3500m peaks and experience incredible 2000m descents on un touched powder back into the valleys in the shadow of 4-5000 meter plus mountains.
  • Visit Mestia’s ethnographic museum and discover the treasures and artifacts of this ancient people. 
  • Cross remote mountain passes as we ski through endless wilderness from village to village in this forgotten part of the world.

Be awestruck by the sights of Mt. Shkhara (5068m) and Mt. Tetrnuldi (4858m).



Flight information for Mogzauri Rent
Valid Passport – visas are not necessary for US and EU citizens travelling to Georgia (however check with your Embassy for any changes prior to your journey) 
Medical insurance (Mandatory).
Cash for alcoholic beverages, snacks, tipping guides, souvenirs and incidental costs.($1=2.4 gel)

Ski equipment:
Touring Skis or split board
Touring boots
Avalanche transceiver 
Snow shovel 
Snow probe 
Telescopic ski poles with wide powder baskets (4-5 inches/100-120mm diameter)
Ski crampons 
Climbing skins 
Ice axe
Avalung or avalanche airbag (Recommended)
35-40 L Backpack

* ZAG and Elan Touring Skis, Blackhole Split boards and Ortovox Avalanche safety equipment can be rented from Mogzauri Rent.  

Wicking base layers (synthetic or wool) 
Fleece jacket or vest (insulating mid layer)
Fleece pants (for cold days)
Insulating jacket (down or poly-fill; worn at stops)
Jacket (waterproof/breathable or soft shell)
Gloves, mittens and/or overmittens Light gloves (for high-energy activity) 
Socks (synthetic or wool) plus spares 
Pants or bibs (waterproof/breathable or soft shell) 
Liner socks Insulating hat, cap, balaclava or headband 
Bandana or Buff (neck or face gaiter)
Sun-shielding cap or hat for bright days

Other Essentials:
Sunscreen and lip balm
Headlamp or flashlight
Matches or lighter
Knife or multi-tool
Duct tape strips; repair items as needed
Water bottles or hydration system (insulated)
First-aid kit
Bivvy bag or reflective blanket
Energy food (bars, gels, chews, trail mix) 
Energy beverages or drink mixes

Personal Items:
Toilet paper
Quick-dry towel
Waterproof bags for your passport and other valuables


Day 1: Airport transfer and sightseeing

Our guides will meet you at Tbilisi International airport and transfer you to your hotel in the beautiful and well preserved old town. There’s time for sightseeing in the afternoon. 

Welcome dinner in the evening.

Overnight in Tbilisi Hotel

Arrival in Kutaisi. On arrival we have a 15 minute transfer to a local guest house where our hosts provide snacks and hot drinks before we get a sound night’s sleep.

Overnight in Guesthouse


Day 2: Transfer to Svaneti - visit to ethnographic museum

After a hearty breakfast we load the 4x4’s ready for the journey to Svaneti. The drive takes approximately 5 hours from Kutaisi and 8 hours from Tbilisi with a few small breaks on the way. The roads become rough and winding as we climb into the mountains which is an adventure all of its own. We eventually arrive in Mestia, the main town of Svaneti region, and drop our bags off at our guest house where we have lunch. In the afternoon we have time to visit the ethnographic Museum and take in the sights of this beautiful town full of traditional Svan Towers. 

Overnight in Guesthouse in Mestia

B, L, D included


Day 3: Lift base ski touring in Hatsvali

Today we acclimatize and warm up for the adventure ahead by spending the day at Hatsvali ski resort, doing lift-based touring. Hatsvali is a superb ski resort offering endless opportunities for off piste descents and epic tree skiing. In the evening we head back to our guesthouse for dinner and packing for 2 days in Etseri.

Overnight in Guesthouse in Etseri

B,L,D included


Day 4: Etseri- Mt. Simzagari

After an early breakfast we have a 20 minute transfer to the start of today’s tour at 1600m. From our start point we ascend the spectacular peak of Simzagari 3311m (1700m of ascent). We follow an epic ridge line that eventually leads us to the summit where we are rewarded with stunning views of the famous North Ushba at 4698m. Ushba is often referred to as the Matterhorn of the Caucasus and is one of the most spectacular mountains in the Caucasus with only the most experienced mountaineers attempting the summit. We are now set for an incredible descent down the south face of Simizagari and back to our start point for a transfer back to our guesthouse in Etseri where we spend the evening filling ourselves with local dishes and exchanging stories of an incredible day’s ski touring.

Overnight in Guesthouse in Etseri

B,L,D included


Day 5: Etseri- Becho

Today we have another epic day of ski touring skinning up to the mountain pass linking Etseri to Becho. Having taken on plenty of carbs for breakfast we should be well prepared for the 1,200 m of vertical ascent today leading up to the pass before rewarding ourselves with great views of the Laila Range, Ushba, and the Abkhasian part of the Caucasus. We finish the day with a superb descent down into Becho where we spend the night at the beautiful family owned Grand Hotel Ushba.

Overnight in Guesthouse in Becho

B,L,D included


Day 6:

We leave the Grand Hotel Ushba early and head to Bagvdanari village 1600m. The tour heads North East up the Kheldra valley towards Mtavarangelozi Church at 2000m. Throughout today the twin peaks of Ushba above us dwarf everything in the area its looming peaks and impenetrable rock faces reminding us of the power and majesty of Mother Nature. From the Church we climb more steeply up to the shoulder 2954m and then onto a steep ridge to Kheldra Peak 3312m (1700m of ascent). From here we are treated to unparalleled views of Ushba and Tetnuldi above with the valleys of Mestia and Becho below. Depending on the conditions there are two options, either to ski back down the line of ascent or we can ski over the pass and down to Mestia for a well earned beer before our transfer to Guesthouse Ushba

Overnight in Guesthouse in Mestia

B,L,D included


Day 7:

Today we transfer from Mestia to Tetnuldi. The newly opened Tetnuldi resort offers great touring terrain straight from the lift, just below the base of the majestic Mt Tetnuldi with views of the whole Svanetian mountain range. We take the chair lifts up to 3000m and skin to the first summit of Sugimleuk at 3183m before descending east towards the Lakchkhilda Range. Tetnuldi's 4858m spectacular glaciers and rock towers are ever present throughout the day. We skin up a narrow ridge to Lakchkhilda Peak at 3501m. From the top we have a spectacular descent all the way down to the very remote village of Adishi 1800m. From Adishi we have an adventurous transfer by 4x4’s to Ushguli on very rough road’s, we need around 2 hours to cover the 40km to the village. In Ushguli we stay in family guesthouse for the next two days

Overnight in Guesthouse in Ushguli

B,L,D included


Day 8:

Ushguli is a community of four villages located at the head of the Enguri gorge. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site it is one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe. Compared to somewhat more developed towns like Mestia, Ushguli has retained its Centuries old heritage and is largely preserved due to its inaccessible location.

Starting early in the morning after breakfast, around 7am, from the village of Ushguli at 2100m we skin to the ridge dividing upper and lower Svaneti, it’s a climb of 1100 vertical meters. We eventually summit at 3200m and are greeted with stunning views of Ushguli and the mountains of Tetnuldi, Djangha, and Shkhara as well as the Zaskho and tskhenistkali valleys of lower Svaneti. From this vantage point we enjoy a full day of shredding in the endless terrain of this area.

Overnight in Guesthouse in Ushguli

B,L,D included


Day 9:

Our second day in the area promises endless opportunities for powder descents around the Ushguli area where powder is always available even if there is a deficit of snow elsewhere in the country. Today we have two ascents and descents one on either side of the Engori gorge reaching 3000 meters each time. It’s a total of 1800 meters of ascent, before carving our way back down to the warmth of our guesthouse and a well deserved supra of Khachepuri and Kubdari.

Overnight in Guesthouse in Ushguli

B,L,D included


Day 10:

Return from Svaneti to Tbilisi (Kutaisi) with dinner in the old town in the evening.

Overnight in Hotel in Old Tbilisi/ Kutaisi

B,L,D included


Day 11:

Breakfast included

Transfer to airports for departure