One day on a photography exhibition I got astonished by one photo, which was the view on Cmina Sameba near Kazbek, so I decided to see it in the flesh.
I wasn’t dissapointed. Every year a lot of tourists from Poland set out to the mountains of Caucasus, however their expeditions are limited to Elbrus. Sometimes it’s worth to get off the beaten track and to find other, more interesting destinations. Kazbek, like Elbrus is of a volcanic origin, however its wilder and more beautiful.
Kazbek- 5047m, in Georgian- Mkinwarcweri, is one of the highest peaks in Georgia . Due to its characteristic, symetrical, conical shape it’s also said to be one of the most beautiful mountains in the Caucasus. It’s perfect for those who love wonderful views and a bit of challenge. Indeed, the view from Kazbegi on this mountain is one of the best mountain views in the World. A huge white pyramid grows out of wonderfully green hills, one of which has a small church on its top – Cminda Sameba.
Georgia is full of beautiful mountains so not only Kazbek will be our destination. If we have enough time, we’ll get to the legendary Svaneti with Ushba and its specific inhabitants. Apart from the mountains we’ll visit, situated on the hills of Ttbilisi, former capital Mccheta and other old historical places. Georgia and its residents are famous for their hospitality, toasts and their love of wine.
The trail on Kazbek consists mainly of the glacier. It is generally gently sloping but close to the summit, for about 50-100m, it slopes at the bigger angle (40-50 degrees). If it is very icy we’ll fix the ropes. Although the difference of heights isn’t very big, it’s quite far to the peak, as the trail goes around the mountain. Because of the crevassess we’ll be tight together with a rope. You must posses the standard glacier equipment. For those who have never used an ice axe, we’ll organise a short training. We’ll try to ensure the appropriate acclimatization, that’s why we we’ll divide the ascent to the shelter for two parts and before the ascent we’ll climb some other peaks e.g. the beautifull Orcweri 4258 or a plateau.
It’s impossible to take part in the expedition if you suffer from heart or lungs diseases.
Recommended vaccinations; jaundice type A and B, tetanus.
The price includes; the organisation of the expedition, accomodation in private houses, shelters and tents in the mountains (we provide the tents), climbing insurance, food (two meals a day, in the mountains we cook ourselves on burners and take additional provisions as a third meal) all the necessary permissions, flight to Poland- Tbilisi, land transport, hiring the horses to get to the shelter and club’s fee.
The price doesn’t include the costs of travelling to additional attractions (120-150 usd), entrance fees.
It also doesn’t include the possible excess luggage, alcohol, bribes.
The date of departure can change by about 5 days.
1. Please, apply by 15th May
2. To confirm your participation, please, pay 1800 pln for the ticket to the bank account: Stowarzyszenie „ Annapurna Klub Santander Bank 34 1090 1652 0000 0000 6404 1166 with annotation „Gruzja- ticket and insurance „ . Please confirm your payment via email or post .
3. Please, send your name, surname, date and place of birth, adress and pesel via e mail or post.
We fly to Tbilisi or Kutaisi. There we complete our supplies and visit beautifully situated old city, among others; old churches, synagogues and mosques. Next, we travel to the first capital Mccheta, sacred place for all Georgians, with VI century Djwari Monastery. Next day we follow the famous war path with its amazing towers and views and get to Kazbegi. If there is enough time, we can swim in hot springs. If the weather is good, in Kazbegi we can see an incredible sunset enlighting Kazbek, Cminda Sameba etc. After the night in Kazbegi we set off towards our mountain. First, we have to face a 1 hour ascent to Cminda Sameba 2900m, and next, through the fields of flowers, crossing a rapid river, we reach the height of 3500 and get to the boundary of the glacier, where probably we’ll spend a night in our tents. There is a possibility to hire horses in Kazbegi for this part of our way. Next day we climb the glacier to the former weather station which is now a mountain shelter at the height of 3700m. We spend there 2 nights to get acclimatized. Next we climb either a plateau on the glacier or a mountain Orcweri-4258m.
After acclimatization, if everybody feels well we set off towards the peak. We start at about 3 in the night, then we climb a gently sloping glacier without many crevasses, we reach the plateau and go to the top. At the end we have to face a very steep passage, the steepest is the last 50-100 metres, which is sloping at about 50 degrees. Finally we reach our dreamt summit and we are on one of the highest peaks of the Caucasus. The wonderful view of the mountains is spreading in front of us. We descend the same way. Reaching the summit takes about 8-9 hours. In case of any problems with acclimatization or weather we still have few days to wait. After a night at the weather station we descend to Kazbegi and go back to Tbilisi. Next, depending on the remaining time we can choose from the following attractions; visiting famous Kahetti, a region where grape-vine is grown, full of picturesque villages and churches, or seeing Gori with its Stalin avenue, the rock-hewn monasteries and Uplishchikhe city.
In case we have more time it would be the best to see legendary Svaneti with its capital, Mesti full of defensive towers. People from Svaneti are well known for their rich culture and again, we could see wonderful mountain views.
Next we go back to Tbilisi, fly to Kiev and go by train to Poland.
Day by day itinerary:
– Meeting in ones of polish airports
– Flight to Tbilisi/ Kutaisi
– Sightseeing in Tbilisi, old city and the place of the country foundation, the former capital Mccheta
– Travel to Kazbegi through the war path full of wonderfull towers situated on green fields. On our way there’s a possibility to swim in hot springs and admire one of the most beautiful views on earth in Kazbegi.
– Ascending the weather stadion (the possibility of hiring donkeys), on our way we can see the beautiful Cminda Sameba church and we can spend a night in tents. In the weather station we sleep inside, if there are enough places.
– 1-2 days for acclimatization
– Ascending the top
– Weather reserve
– Return to Tbilisi
– The possibility of visiting famous Kahetti, where grape-vine is grown, which is full of picturesque churches and villages.
– The possibility of visiting Gori with Stalins avenue and monument, and the rock hewn monasteries nearby, in Uplishchikhe
– If we have more time there’s a possibility to go to the legendary Svaneti
– Return to Poland via Kiev
-5 metres of climbing rope (5mm) or prussic loops
– 2 locking biners
– 2 loops made of the 50-70 cm ropes,
– if you have take a tibloc or an ascension
– crampons appropriate for your shoes
– warm leather or other thermal shoes with a stiff sole or mountaineering boots (the best are one size to big but not too loose,the heel must be stable while walking and the sole must be stiff so as the crampons didn’t fall out)
– rucksack 65- 100 l
– NRC foil
– telescopic sticks
– Sun protection cream, Sun protection factor 30- 60, the best Vichy,
– sunglasses, better glacier glasses
– 2 polar fleece jackets- polar 200 or 1 polar fleece jacket – polar 200 and one polar 300
– polar fleece trousers – polar 100-150
– breathable underwear (not indispensable )
– foam pad or self blowing mattress
– wind proof trousers and jacket (e.g. goretex)
– hat, something to protect your head from the sun
– something to protect your face from wind (scarf, hat ,mask)
– toilet paper,
– mess tin
– cutlery, knife
– articles of toilet
– steel vacuum flask
– thick woolen socks or other thermal ones– 2 pairs
– other socks, thin anti-sweat or thin woolen ones
– warm skiing gloves or over-mitts with a polar lining.
– extra gloves (the best are skiing gloves or thick polar gloves )
– sleeping bag min -10 (synthetic sleeping bag 1,6 kg or down fllled one 0,8kg )
– trekking gaiters
– headlight with spare batteries (LED)
– BIC lighter
– benzine cooker or a stove (pierceable cylinders C 190, C206)
– sandals or other light shoes
– light trousers e.g. with detachable trouser legs.
– shirts, t-shirts