Backcountry Skiing in the Great Caucasus in Georgia

Tbilisi | Georgia
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing in Georgia

  • Trip Highlight

    Tour the Great Caucasus, Europe’s highest mountain range

  • Trip Highlight

    3,000-meter high varied terrain for gentle cruises or challenging runs

  • Trip Highlight

    As the birthplace of wine, a glass of inky red is a must to complement its traditional cuisine

This is not your ordinary ski trip—it’s a 9-day cultural immersion in Georgia with you as the main character chasing the pillowy powder of Europe’s highest mountain range, the Great Caucasus. The dizzyingly high mountains rise +3,000 m/ 9850 ft above sea level and harbor some of the wildest terrain you’ve ever ridden. After warming up on Gudauri’s sunny slopes combined with après-ski indulgences, set out to steep angled lines, mellow meadows, and tree skiing runs of Mestia—a medieval, UNESCO townlet hemmed in by three-thousanders. It’d be a shame to visit Georgia, the Cradle of Wine, without having a glass of crisp sparkler in its capital Tbilisi, a multicultural hub at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Priding itself on its exquisite cuisine, relish in Georgia’s fireside soup dumplings or taste the gut-warming chacha brandy after a cold day in the snow.

Season

December through April

Nearest city

Your tour starts in Tbilisi, Georgia

Duration

9 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Backcountry Skiing Adventure in Georgia

9 days

Georgia is undeservedly overlooked as a skiing destination, but that’s good news—you’ll have all the mountain sides of fresh powder to yourself! On this 9-day adventure, you’ll be skiing in the mighty Caucasus at sky-high summits, both above and below the tree line. Acres of untracked snow coupled with challenging terrain configuration are sure to meet any seasoned skier’s ambitions. Besides ski touring for days on end, consider this a cultural experience—Tbilisi will stun you with its multicultural heritage, the locals’ hospitality will make you feel like home, traditional cuisine will delight all palates, and Georgian wine will make you think about making extra room in your suitcase.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Tbilisi

As you arrive in Tbilisi, use the rest of the day to explore the city. Nested in the South Caucasus and lying on the banks of Kura River, this colorful capital of the Black Sea nation is a grand sample of Georgian urban heritage. Standing at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, what’s exhibited in its architecture and culture is the fusion of being a West-meets-East city. Before heading to the backcountry, use the day to roam around town, visiting one of its eclectic cafes, hilltop cathedrals, or dome-shaped bathhouses. In the afternoon, head to Gudauri Ski Resort, a 90-minute drive from Tbilisi.

Capital of Georgia, Tbilisi.

Day 2 and 3: Gudauri

First skiing day at the largest and highest ski resort in Georgia! Situated in the Caucasus Range at an elevation of +3,000m (9,850 ft), its slopes above the treeline offer the opportunity to either resort ski or to head off-piste. With a fine selection of runs and plenty of backcountry skiing access coupled with lifts to get to the top as quickly as possible, you’ll find something to your liking here. Georgia is the oldest wine making country in the world, so after a day out, have a glass of wine at one of the many après-ski options or retreat to a spa center!

Slopes of Gudauri and skiers.

Day 4: Going to Mestia

After spending another amazing day shredding fresh pow stashes, pack up and head back to Tbilisi for the night, as it will be easier to reach your next backcountry ski location. 

Enjoy the last couple of hours at Gudauri, after which you’ll pack up and hit the road. Mestia is a 10-hour drive away, but you’ll make some cool stops along the way. You’ll arrive at Mestia in the evening—have a delicious traditional dinner and hit the hay.

Medieval village Mestia, Georgia.

Day 5-8: Mestia

These next days are dedicated to absorbing the culture and the environment of rural Georgia. Mestia village in the Great Caucasus radiates charm with its medieval monuments recognized by UNESCO, a river coursing through, and towering peaks in the background. The mountains in this area are three-thousanders (9,850 ft) boasting countless ski runs on varied, wild terrain—tree skiing in pine forests, steep angled slopes, alpine meadows, etc. Four days of carving limitless powder are ahead of you!

Powder in Mestia, Georgia.

Day 9: Going to Tbilisi

The early bird gets the worm, so get up at 4 a.m.! You’ll be transferred back to Tbilisi, where you can spend the day exploring places you didn’t manage to see on your first day—maybe dive into Tbilisi’s history by going for a dip at one of the many sulfur bathhouses. Have your final dinner at an elegant traditional restaurant. Spend the last night in Tbilisi.

Tbilisi during the night.

Departure from Tbilisi

Having spent an amazing week in Georgia, it’s time to head back home. Catch your flight back home or feel free to prolong your stay—a great selection of drinks and delicious cuisine are enough to win anyone over.

Slopes of Gudauri and skiers.
Download backcountry skiing gear checklist
Prepare for the trip.
Check your inbox
Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Georgia

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Georgia, please refer to Entry Rules for Foreign Citizens Traveling to Georgia.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Nine days of backcountry ski touring and sightseeing
    • Accommodation (1 night in Tbilisi, 3 nights in Gudauri, 5 nights in Mestia)
    • Transportation during the tour
    • Breakfast during the tour
    • Backcountry permits

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment (best to bring your own, not many rental options)
    • Transportation to Georgia (Turkish Airlines offer flights between Istanbul and Tbilisi, and they transport your ski gear for free)
    • Lunches and dinners during the tour
    • Lift tickets at resorts

How fit do I need to be?

To enjoy the backcountry skiing tour in Georgia, you need to have at least a moderate fitness level. The Georgia adventure offers intermediate to expert level of difficulty, meaning that previous backcountry skiing experience is required. If you’re intermediate, your expert guide will help you improve your skills and coach when things get a bit more difficult. Don’t worry if you’re on an advanced to expert level, the terrain is challenging so you’ll still have lots of objectives to tackle! For the latter level, you’ll need to be in excellent physical shape.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

To participate in this tour, you need to have previous backcountry skiing experience. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on glaciated terrain every day. Your guide will take care of the planning, oversee your technique, and teach you how to better manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training necessary to keep you safe. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, we suggest joining a guide for an 8-day beginner-friendly backcountry skiing tour in Georgia.

What equipment do I need to bring?

Clothing list

    • Wool or synthetic socks and liner socks
    • Long underwear top — synthetic or wool
    • Light fleece or wool sweater
    • Wind shell — nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type jacket
    • Waterproof breathable jacket
    • Warm insulated jacket — down or synthetic
    • Long underwear bottoms — synthetic or wool
    • Multipurpose stretch nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type pants
    • Waterproof breathable pants
    • Warm hat — wool or synthetic
    • Brimmed cap for sun protection
    • Face warmer — scarf, neck tube or balaclava (optional)
    • Light gloves — wool, synthetic or leather
    • Insulated gloves or mitts with waterproof outer shell
    • Spare gloves or mitts

Snow Safety Equipment

    • Avalanche beacon with good batteries (and spares)
    • Shovel
    • Probe (2.4m or longer preferred)

Gear

    • Ski helmet
    • Skis or split board — wider, powder skis, minimum width 108mm are recommended
    • Lightweight, touring bindings (Dynafit or ATK are best)
    • Ski strap
    • Ski or snowboard boots and ski crampons
    • Poles
    • Climbing skins
    • Skin wax (or a candle)
    • Binding repair kit to fix your personal travel setup

Personal Equipment

    • Durable duffel bag, preferably just one (approx. 60L)
    • Sunglasses (both orange and dark lenses help a lot for travel in all conditions)
    • Goggles (orange lenses)
    • Sunscreen and lip cream (SPF 30+)
    • Head lamp with good batteries
    • Insulated water bottle or thermos (1-2 L)
    • Lunch bag or container
    • Personal blister kit (i.e: Leukotape-P and Compeed/Second Skin blister pads)
    • Pocket knife — optional
    • Camera — optional

If you have any questions regarding the equipment list, feel free to contact us prior to booking.

Can I rent equipment?

As you won’t be based in one single place for the duration of your adventure, we recommend bringing your own equipment for backcountry skiing.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For this backcountry skiing adventure in Georgia, the max client-to-guide ratio is 5:1. All prices are per person.
    • If joining alone, you’ll be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Ski touring in Georgia can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to one hundred twenty (120)  calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. 
    • For cancellations ninety (90) to one hundred nineteen(119)  calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • For cancellations seventy five (75) to eighty nine (89)  calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to your backcountry adventure in Georgia, most people fly into Tbilisi International Airport. Tbilisi is the starting point of your adventure. The most common layover is Istanbul. Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet.

View FAQ

Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding
Trip inquiry for
Your next adventure
Where would you like to go and what would you like to to?

Choose an adventure

Choose location*

When would you like to go on a trip?

Choose a date

Group size*

How can we contact you?

Full Name*

E-mail*

Phone number

Anything else we should know?

What else should we know before connecting you with the guide? (optional)

57hours trip inquiry fail
Sorry, something went wrong!

Please try again, or contact us at support@57hours.com and we’ll resolve the problem.

57hours trip inquiry success
Your inquiry was successfully sent to the guides!
57hours trip inquiry email fail
Sorry, but your inquiry didn’t go through!

Please try again or contact us at support@57hours.com and we’ll resolve the problem.

Log in

Log in or sign up to save a trip to your bucket list

Saved to bucket list!
View list
Removed from bucket list
View list