Overall Rating

Svaneti Freeride Powder Adventure Tour

Svaneti Freeride Powder Adventure Tour4.5/52
Svaneti Freeride Powder Adventure Tour4.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Would Revisit
    100%
  • Would Recommend
    100%
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Svaneti Freeride Powder Adventure Tour - Reviews

Svaneti Freeride Powder Adventure Tour - Reviews

Experts in freeriding

Belinda
04/03/2024
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Experts in freeriding

Belinda
04/03/2024
Had an amazing trip. Guides know the area extremely well and are professional when it comes to safety, route planning, touring. Although there was much ability-diversity in the group, the guides manage to keep everyone happy and challenged. Would recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for fresh powder, interesting terrain, stunning mountains and the most welcoming hospitality of Europe.
See our video here

Sensational

10/02/2024

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Sensational

10/02/2024

I had planned to visit Mestia & the Svaneti in Georgia a few times over the Powderhounds’ journey, and finally managed it with zero planning after looking at a snow forecast for the region. I sorted flights and Nika from Freeride Tours Georgia sorted everything else within an hour of letting him know I was coming. Such a fantastic way to start any trip, and particularly somewhere a little more difficult to get to like Mestia.

Despite a delayed flight, Levani the driver was waiting at Kutaisi airport to drive me to the guesthouse in Mestia. A fun journey was had through the depths of the night dodging cows, horses, dogs & falling rocks, plus bouncing along the ‘sporting’ last 40km of the snow & ice-covered road.

Gito, the other half of Freeride Tours Georgia, greeted me at the guesthouse on arrival at ……. 3am. Bloody good of him to be awake to show me my room in the D-ZH Guesthouse.

From then on it was all just fun and adventure. A mixed group of clients were in for 7 to 12 days and haled from Denmark, UK, Netherlands, Germany & USA. Breakfasts & dinners at the guesthouse were incredible (as are most food experiences in Georgia). The group enjoyed sole use of the entire guesthouse, which was great. ‘Safety briefings’ were held each evening on the upper terrace level of the guesthouse where lively drinks & discussions ensued. For added ambiance, two 12th century Svan towers are right next door, providing not only a wonderful backdrop, but also a challenging target for snowball throwing into the tower’s top windows.

Buta the mountain dog was ever present at the guesthouse to greet you & accept all scratches behind the ears with great gusto.

Day to day planning was dictated by both the weather and the abilities of the group. A wide range of skills were within the group, and Nika & Gito did very well to manage expectations.

The weather during the trip included a few days of heavy snow. Despite a fair number of international & local freeriding groups in Mestia at the time, we always managed to be in the right place at the right time for first lifts and first tracks (at both Hatsvali & Tetnuldi). We achieved a fully untracked valley descent into Zhabeshi village via the fabulously fun pillow line in the creek, and above it, an all-in whoop & yip fest via a wide-open powder field. Skinning a few kilometres along the river to the finish in amongst the cows at the village was the perfect way to end a day. And of course the transport was waiting to drive us back to Mestia.

In Tetnuldi resort, the runs down the chutes & bowls off Sgimieuki Peak were sublime and some of the best ‘inbounds’ powder skiing I have done for sheer scale and ‘let it rippability’.

A post-skiing stop at an isolated ‘banya’ for a group sauna was another highlight. The multiple runs out into the snow absolutely refreshing & hilarious.

My visit was relatively short, but had I stayed longer, the group was going to ride some big couloirs and then do the ski tour to Ushguli village in the coming days. Weather was perfect it too and the tour would have ended on an even ‘higher high’! I’ll just have to come back next season.

Mestia can be a hard place to travel & ski independently. Things can and do go wrong in these regions. There are so many factors to deal with when going out skiing for the day and having up to date information on roads, ski lifts and transport largely depends on knowing who to talk to. The local knowledge & contacts of Nika & Gito allow for a seamless guest experience. The roads are challenging here, but the well-equipped 4WD vehicles and the drivers’ silky skills made it seem simple, when it most certainly was not! It was such a comfort knowing that we were in the hands of guides that would be able to get us out of any situation.

Whilst all abilities can be catered for, groups need to understand that the overall goal of this tour is freeride powder & ski-touring. Beginners or those unable to ride off-piste, or not willing to do some ski touring to access the best locations may find themselves left behind. Worth knowing as well is that this is not a ski/snowboard ski instruction tour. If you want instruction, it can be organised for you, but don’t expect it from the guides. Good to know is that there is a good ski rental shop for all backcountry gear, plus they do high quality repairs to damaged ski bases.

For anyone looking for adventure with fun & knowledgeable locals in a fascinating location, skiing in big terrain, with a mix of ski lift & ski touring access, I thoroughly recommend Freeride Tours Georgia.


See our video here