Gudauri, Georgia’s biggest ski resort, is located in the Caucasus mountain range between Europe and Asia, 120 km north west from the capital Tbilisi and around 600 km from former Olympic town Sochi. In the resort you can find one gondola and several chairlifts with the highest elevation of 3268 meters above see level. Gudauri is considered to be the best off-piste area nearby and its terrain in generally know as avalanche-safe.
Disappointed from the winter in Europe, going for the snow chase to Caucasus was the best decision we could make. Even though locals said that for February the amount of snow was below average, we had the best powder week we could ask for. After two fully foggy days, sun finally showed up and revealed the beautiful scenery with the endless back-country possibilities that were waiting for us.
When you get to the top of any chairlift you could ski down all directions within your point of view. But if you were willing to hike another 30-45 minutes to the nearest ridges you could find untouched and private powder. In the menu are offered short hikes to both Bidara peaks or to the highest Mt. Sadzele peak (3307 m.a.s.l.).
From most of the off-piste terrain you can ski back to the lifts what means you can lap powder the whole day. For an adventure out of a ski resort you can ski down to the other side of Bidara range but will need to arrange a pick up otherwise you will have to walk for two hours to get back.
In Georgia all ski resorts are run by government. Despite this fact, Gudauri offers high-tech comfortable facilities with really affordable prices. Even 3 hour flight from Europe wont ruin your budget and you can enjoy the best back-country skiing between two continents.
/Text by OJ and JR
/Photos by Boris and Majo