Georgia, the country, has everything you could dream of as a freerider. Modern ski resorts in Gudauri, Mestia or Bakuriani but also remote terrain in Svaneti, Adjara or Racha. The proximity of the Black See coast causes an abundance of snow fall and don’t forget a wine tradition of over 2000 years. Georgia has it all.
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On the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Georgia is one of the best places in the world for freeriding. Freeride Georgia are exceptional mountains, pluffy snow and a very, very tasty cuisine. Georgia will definitely entice you to stay longer. Maybe even to move here
The northern Caucasus has the highests peaks and the most demanding terrain. Europe’s highest mountain (Mount Elbrus) is just north of the Georgian/Russian border but there are several accessible 5K mountains on Georgian territory. The most popular is Mount Kazbeg (5047m), which has great backcountry runs. A few kilometers south is the biggest ski resort of Georgia: Gudauri.
Gudauri The resort of Gudauri is hardly a hidden gem anymore. Many operators are organizing ski tours in the area. With over 1300 meters over vertical drop it’s a good base to start your freeride adventure. 15 modern lifts (yes, even the malfunctioned lift in 2018 was modern) cover over 60 km of groomers.
Tetnuldi Another challegning resort is Tetnuldi, 15 km east of Mestia. This resort wasn’t opened until 2016 but it’s already our favorite. There are endless empty runs and the snow quality is usually amazing. The avalanche warning systems are basic so make sure to prepare yourself properly. Mestia is a good city to base yourself. There’s another cool resort near Mestia. It’s called Hatsvali and after a fresh dump it’s one of the best places for tree skiing.
Slightly east of Svaneti is the Racha (Lechkhumi) region. The wooded terrain offer great backcountry skiing. There are endless options for ski adventurists. It’s much more remote than other regions of Georgia so prepare well.
Between the Great Caucasus and the Lesser Caucasus lies the Colchis plain, a fertile area where most of the Georgians live. The Lesser Caucasus seperates Georgia from Turkey and Armenia. The highest peaks on Georgian territory are slightly over 3000 meters. Especially the Adjara region receives a tremendous amount of snow. It’s often refered to by locals as ‘Georgian Japan’. Also because deciduous trees dominate the area. The treeline is at 2500 meters so even on snowy days there’s amazing skiing.
Goderdzi The newest resort in Goderdzi, 100km east of Batumi. It’s not finished yet, the acces road can be terrible. The cat skiing in this area is amazing though. They can even pick you up from the other side of the Goderdzi pass (from Tbilisi direction). The resort has a modern gondola and a fast 4 seater. Other lifts are planned.
Just above Borjomi is the second most popular ski resort of Georgia: Bakuriani. In recent years there have been a lot of investments in the resort. New lifts have been installed in Kokhta and Mitarbi and the gondola in Didveli give acces to almost 1000 meters vertical. The village of Bakuriani still has its Georgian charm but there are many, many new hotels. If the snow cover is alright, this is an awesome place.