Caucasus - climb on Mount Kazbek
About the journey
At the end of July, myself and Blazej finally fixed schedule of an already couple of months earlier discussed climbing trip to Caucasus with the primary target to summit Kazbek (5047m). It was a little tricky to align vacation and flights - one was flying from Prague, one from Paris. In the end we solved that with flying Turkish Airlines from Prague and Belavia from Paris, having each of us paying a little above 300 EUR for return flight and arriving +/- at the same time.

Countries visited: Georgia
Travelperiod: 9/2012
Costs: 320 Euro (air ticket) + 60 EUR on the spot
Photoblog
meet up at Didube station
meet up at Didube station
towards the mountains
towards the mountains

Both arriving from different location and at different time, we set Didube bus station as a meeting point. That worked well and in the afternoon we continue by marshrutka to Kazbegi, which is a village right below Mount Kazbek.

walking up from Kazbegi
walking up from Kazbegi
next day morning neat Tsminda Sameba Church
next day morning neat Tsminda Sameba Church

In Kazbegi we repacked our backpacks and started to climb up. With the arrival of dark we pitched our tent near Tsminda Sameba Church at 2170m.

walking to Arsha Pass
walking to Arsha Pass
Kazbek and the Gergeti Glacier
Kazbek and the Gergeti Glacier

Today was a long day. With very heavy backpacks (around 25 kgs - we carried quite some water supplies) we climbed to Kazbek Base Camp at 3670m. A former meteostation serves as a hut today, but we did rather tent nearby.

former Meteostation at 3670m, nowadays Kazbek Base Camp
former Meteostation at 3670m, nowadays Kazbek Base Camp
next day, walk to the Advanced Base Camp
next day, walk to the Advanced Base Camp

Following day was about move to Advanced Base Camp at 3860m, from where we made an acclimatization hike up to 4150 meters.

acclimatization walk up to 4150m, Khmaura Wall
acclimatization walk up to 4150m, Khmaura Wall
following morning at 4450m
following morning at 4450m

Night was cold, windy and we did not get much sleep. However at 3:30AM starts the action and after a small breakfast we begin the climb. We pass below Khmaura Wall and continue over glacier to Kazbek Pass (4453m) at the border with Russia. Weather is great, but wind is very strong and chills the temperature below -10C.

view from 4650m, in the far back on the right is Elbrus (5642m)
view from 4650m, in the far back on the right is Elbrus (5642m)
both of us at the summit (5047m)
both of us at the summit (5047m)

At 4650m we are (illegaly) entering Russia and terrain gets steeper. The wind force further increases and it's not far from to blow us down. We reach col at 4844m and continue steep section to the summit. Then there is nowhere to climb, we are standing at 5047m and enjoying views all over Caucasus.

view from the top on the Western Caucasus
view from the top on the Western Caucasus
next day, descending to Kazbegi
next day, descending to Kazbegi

We spent one more night in the ABC and next day made the descent to Kazbegi. Follows a three hours long ride to Tbilisi, where we anchor in a nice "Why not Tbilisi?" hostel.

and back in Tbilisi at Didube
and back in Tbilisi at Didube

Following day was fully dedicated to sightseeing around the city, which is dej√° vu for me, but no matter. In the evening Blazej heads to the airport as his flight takes off in the very early AM hours. I stay one more night and leaving Georgia next day prior noon. Awesome trip!

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