EXPLORING SVANETIA GEORGIA

Eight days of walking journey through the northern Georgia — Caucasian“Misty Mountains Cold” with a twenty-kilo backpack and 20 km of trails per day.

Igor Peftiev
Sep 27, 2014 · 6 min read

it all started from a Michael’s call — “Garik, remember we were planning to visit Georgia in Summer ? It’s high time to decide and buy the tickets…

Day 1. Our first camp at 42°51'29.31"С 42°56'43.27"В. Height 2200 M. We were quite lucky to meet local hunters on old 4x4 pickup, who took our heavy backpacks and helped us to pick them up to our camp. The first day was quite easy for walking up to the mountain, from 1150 M. to 2200 M. First night under a tent is hard to remember as our stomachs were full and we were all quite exhausted. By the way, we were fortunate enough to meet a great friendly dog at the very first steps of our trip. Soplya — this is how we called her.

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Eating, drinking and enjoying the talks and first impressions.

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our first camp

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Landscape of our first camp. Down there, near the lake we put our tents at girst camp.

Day 2. Late wakeup (about 7 a.m.). Reach breakfast and a cuppa tea (mug of hot and sweet tea in such places is one of the heaven’s gifts). Whole day of going by the never ending serpentine of Latpari path.

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Michael

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Igor (me)

Having a 15 minutes rest is a must. While having such breaks we put off our boots and shoes so our feet can also breathe a fresh air. Foot relaxation is quite important here.

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From left to right: Ira, Genya, Andriy, Galynka, Dmytro.

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having rest

Meeteing some people up there right under the clouds is always a great pleasure. We have met a lot of guys from Germany, Israel, Australia and New Zeland (cheers Gregory):

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Mist. You should always keep close to the group as losing the camp and taking a wrong route is quite dangerous.

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Camp in clouds. Day 2 camp. Evening.

Putting on our head lamps, exploring the local area and cooking dinner is every evening routine activities.

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Sergio and Michael are testing head lamps.

After a pouring evening rain all clouds were gone. We left our tent and enjoyed the Milky way. It’s amazing how bright it can be in mountains.

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Thx Michael and Sergio for their assistance in making this picture. They used their head-lamps to put some light on the hill, so it could be also seen here.

Day 3. Early wake up as someone had to cook the breakfast. While waiting for water to boil, Misha gave some dog training lessons.

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Michael, Soplya, Suliko — early in the morning of the 3rd day. While cooking some tasty food.

Shkhara — highest mountain in Georgia.

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Shkara as seen from our camp in 8 a.m.

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Igor and Michael

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Mountain lakes in Svanetia are mystery places…

The highest point of our journey — 3017 M (as per garmin data):

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Galynka, Andriy. Sergio, Michael, Dmytro.
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Ushba mountain is hiding in the clouds.

End of day 3 was more than just amazing. Warm sun and wonderful camp place with the astonishing view on old Svanetian tower.

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Day 3 camp.
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Cooking borsch for dinner. Soplya knows where the food is ☺

Day 4. We went down to Ushguli village to find a place to put our backpacks. Local “cafe” was a perfect place. After we had a 23km of easy walking to Shkhara glacier, which is a source of Inguri river. Upon returing, a sip of georgian lemoande (natakhtari) and a hachupuri were waiting for us.

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All gone crazy.. ☺
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Time to eat. Near Ushguli.

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Day 5. Eating hachapuri and drinking Coke (!) in Khalde village.

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Our 5th walking day was over, and we took a shelter in Khaldechala valley in two little wooden houses situated directly in front of Dzhangi-Tau mountain and Main Caucasus Ridge. You can find Russia, if you climb over these mountains.

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4:00 in the morning. The moon gave a wonderful light, so 20 sec exposure made awonderful work.

Day 6. View to Adishi village.

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Tetnuldi montain. 10th highest peak of the Caucasus. And Adishi Glacier (on the reight)

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Tetnuldi mountain
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Day 7. As for me, the hardest day. But we all did it, and were awarded by these beautiful views:

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Our tent in the morning of the 7th day.

Adishi village is a one millenium old village situated in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti district of Georgia and it’s one of Europe’s highest located mountain villages (2120 meters).

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Adishi village.
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Igor
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New skiing routes and roads are building here..
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Michael watching the sun goes down (view from our tent)
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Fireplace.
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The best part of our evenings.

Day 8. We decided to walk the double distance this day, to save the next day and come earlier to Mestia. 25 km were not hard, knowing that warm dinner and soft beds are waiting for us down there…

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Our walking route was finished, and we took rooms in Mestia guesthouse to wash, clean clothes and to take a good rest. After, we moved to Batumi, where we had some amazing time trying to cross the streets filled with water after a storm. Thanks god we were in time not to meet the storm up in the mountains…

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