In past March we've done the first ever heli-assisted skitouring program in Upper Svaneti. Good planning combined with the help of our colleagues and partners who run heliskiing there, and the reality of the trip was above our expectation. Six days of skitouring, four of them with helicopter assistance, and two around Tetnuldi ski resort.
We started the week on Tetnuldi resort, with a day of warming up powder skiing. And the next day we took a helicopter ride to Ushba glacier, on the foot of the same name legendary mount. Skiing was just awesome, long lines on a glacier, with breathtaking backside scenery. After few laps we made a long run to the main valley bottom. That night we raised our glasses for the first ever day of heli-assisted skitouring in Svaneti (and probably, on all Caucasus range).
The two next days we've spent on Svanetian (Layla) range. Early morning heli drop, and you are staying on 4000 meters, with the astonishing panoramic view on the Greater Caucasus range. 4000ers and 5000ers peaks, with the highest peak of Europe, mount Elbrus above all this. The view was so attractive, that we had to push our selves for skiing.
Skiing was not so easy as previous day, in some places snow was a bit tricky, but actually you expect it in high alpine terrain like this. Anyway, most of the time it was powder, and all the crew enjoyed the days in these wild places.
We can write another thousands words about the scenery and skiing up there, but pictures will show it way better.
Last day with heli-drop we have spent on Tetnuldi mount, skiing steep line on Kasebi glacier. Landing on the Tetnuldi plateau, standard group photo (if we can call this scenery "standard") and another big day begins. That day we've made three ascents and four big runs, finishing on the glacier bottom, and pick up by helicopter after a long and happy day in the wilderness of Caucasus.
Last day in Svaneti we moved to Tetnuldi resort again, with some skitouring and long scenic run to the Adishi village. Even on the resort we were alone on the slopes, as all previous days.
Upper Svaneti is still a wild place, and most of the time you meet nobody up there. Should be a good idea to visit the place before it becomes too famous and crowded. In coming winter season we are going to repeat the trip, join us and become a pioneer in Upper Svaneti exploration.