Georgia - Powder Dreams on the Goderdzi Pass
Some of the best catskiing and freeriding on the edge of Europe – land of the snow…
Price: 2500 EUR
A skiing resort with only a handful of visitors
The Goderdzi Pass is located on the Lesser Caucasus mountain range. Low-pressure areas form over the Black Sea and help deliver huge amounts snow to the Lesser Caucasus. A normal winter can have around 3-4 metres of snow in January. The valley station of a newly built cable car and some newly built hotel complexes, which are still waiting for their visitors, are located on a large, snow-covered alpine meadow. For some of the hotels, the construction phase is a little longer, and maybe they will never be completed. These lift facilities and a snowcat allow us to access to some amazing untouched areas. Our accommodation is located directly on top of the Goderdzipass and is only accessible by snowcat in winter.
The next six days will be all yours to discover unknown terrains at heights of 1600 to 2600 metres with incredible runs over treeless slopes or even through sparse coniferous forests. During this season we will be met by very few others who know of this hidden gem. If you are looking for an unforgettable freeriding adventure right on the edge of Europe, then this trip to the Goderdzi Pass is not one to miss.
We will reach Tiblisi, the so-called Rome of the East, either with a direct flight with Lufthansa or via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. Turkish airlines offers flights from most of the larger cities in central Europe. From Istanbul, you will have a short flight of 1 hour 40 minutes to Tiblisi. In the beautiful and scenic capital of Georgia, we will board a shuttlebus and travel approximately 4 hours to Adigeni. We’ll grab a quick bite to eat at a restaurant on our way. Just past Adigeni, we will load up a snowcat with our luggage and travel 45 minutes to our hotel on the Goderdzi Pass. During dinner we will go through all of the need-to-knows for this trip and the next morning, after a generous breakfast, we’ll jump on our ski and make our first tracks in the sparse forests between the pass and the valley station. We will then make our way back up via the gondola to meet our snowcat driver, who will be ready and waiting.
From the mountain station, we can travel by snowcat to the surrounding peaks and ridges with 8 passengers. From up here we will be able to enjoy a huge range of runs over some amazing terrain, with many runs ending at the valley station. This will allow us to make around 10 runs, if all goes smoothly. In areas above 2000 meters, individual trees adorn the landscape, and below are open, skier-friendly glades. As the sun starts to slowly sink over the Black Sea, we will head to the summit again to make one last run back to the hotel, illuminated in the evening light. Arriving back at the entrance of our hotel, we’ll already be able to smell the freshly prepared food. Over the course of the following days, we can exploit every opportunity to draw lines in the Goderdzi powder. After our last day of skiing on Friday, it will be time to say goodbye. We will travel back to Tiflis and spend the night in its old town. We will fly back to our respective airports on Saturday morning.
Snow and Terrain
The terrain, that we are able to reach by lift service and snow cat, is about 120 square kilometers all along the western and northern slopes of the well stretched Goderdzi ridge. We mainly ski in quite mellow, but perfect ski terrain. In summer farmers bring their cattle up here. Above 2000 meters we find wide and open slopes, while below we ski in open spaced trees that give good visibility even in bad weather. The snowpack is fortunately dominated by maritime weather influences. With western winds huge amounts of snowfall are rather common in the months between December and April.
The hourly capacity of the newly installed gondola and chairlift is about 5000 persons per hour, but even on a busy weekend you will never count more than 100 skiers on the whole mountain. Most of them are pure beginners and only a handful will be skiing off the groomed slopes. A good mixture of using lifts and the snowcat gives us privileged access to a lot very nice terrain. Riding up in the cat is comfortable, it has a heated box fixed on the back of it and protects us even in harshest weather.
Since winter 2020 we are accomodated in a newly build hotel right at the pass. Due to it´s generous architecture it offers a lot of space for a week far away from the hustle and bustle. The rooms are nicely furnitured, all with own bathroom. The dining room, with its west facing panorama windows, offers great views at sunset almost all the way down to the Black Sea.
The hotel is family run by the Shantazes, who are part of our catskiing operations at Goderdzipass from the very start. They have become our friends over time. The easy way of dealing with each other, their warm friendliness as well as the good local cuisine helps to look over the one or other little thing, that not works as perfect as we may know it from home.
Requirements and Skiing Equipment
- Good skiing technique in all types of terrain and in off-piste areas. Experience in freeriding.
- As the snowcat cannot unrestrictedly reach all areas, short ascents on ski may be necessary. Skin and a ski binding/splitboard that can be used for ascents will therefore be necessary.
Outward Journey and Hotel
- You will fly to Tiflis and travel to Adigeni, the last village before the Goderdzi Pass. From there on, the roads will be in poor condition, especially in winter. 10km further past Adigeni, the road will covered in snow and we will have to swap our mode of transport for a snowcat. After 45 minutes we will reach our destination, the Hotel Goderdzi at the Goderdzi Pass.
- The Hotel Goderdzi is located directly on the pass and is an ideal starting point. Hospitality and great cuisine are at the forefront here and this will help to overlook some of the minor constructions defects.
Should you wish to discover more about the development project of the Goderdzi Pass, see this website for information. While we remain somewhat sceptical about whether this area will truly become a well-visited skiing and holiday resort as described, we are thankful that we are able to offer you an incomparably beautiful skiing adventure, thanks to our contacts in Georgia.
Number of Participants
We offer this trip to a minimum number of 5 and maximum of 8 participants.
Included in the price of 2500 EUR
- 6 nights in a double room with full board at the Hotel Arsiani
- 1 night in a middle-class hotel, double room with breakfast, in the centre of Tiflis
- 7 days accompanied by a UIAGM certified mountain guide
- 6 days of skiing accompanied by a UIAGM certified mountain guide
- 5 hours of travel by snowcat each day, or 30 hours a week
- Transfer via snowcat to the hotel and back
- 6 day pass for the gondola and chair lift
- Transfer from Tiflis to Goderdzi Pass and back
- The hire of safety equipment (Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, Scott Alpride avalanche airbag system)
- Travel from central Europe to Tiflis with Turkish Airlines (from 450 EUR)
- Extra hours of travel via snowcat. Should we need more than 30 hours, each extra hour will cost 140 EUR / hour, divided by the number of riders.
- 40 EUR surcharge for a single room
- Evening meal in Tiflis on the last evening (approximately 12 EUR)
- Travel and cancellation insurance
Requirements and Fitness Level
A realistic self-assessment and an appropriate fitness level is required to join our trips. In order to enjoy a long day of skiing and to reduce the risk of injury, it is important to get in shape and possess a good level of fitness.
EU citizens, as well as Swiss nationals, do not require a visa. A valid passport is sufficient.
Current Country-Specific Information, Vaccines and Health
Please contact your own ministry of foreign affairs for current information about your destination.
Please note that there is a potential risk of injury on skiing trips. In addition to travel cancellation insurance, comprehensive medical and accident insurance that cover the costs of search and rescue, as well as transport costs, are imperative. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are insured before departure.
Comprehensive medical and accident insurance that covers potential costs of search and rescue operations as well as any medical costs is mandatory for all of our trips abroad.
It is required that you state this information during registration in our registration form in order to ensure 24h emergency assistance.
Links to Insurance Companies:
Please also check your credit card policies as it is possible that these already include insurance.
To sign up for a trip, please click on your preferred date and fill out the booking form carefully.
Please also note our terms and conditions .