Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Kazbek (5054m)

Tackle the highest mountain in Eastern Georgia and trek one of the wildest routes in the Caucasus

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Trip Ref #9252

Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Kazbek (5054m)

Tackle the highest mountain in Eastern Georgia and trek one of the wildest routes in the Caucasus

DURATION

6 nights

LOCATION

Georgia

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

Jun-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Tbilisi International Airport, Georgia

ACCOMMODATION

Mountain hut · Guesthouse · Hotel

DIFFICULTY

Tough

This route is not for the faint-hearted with steep ascents, glacier crossings and a final climb to the summit of this mammoth peak.

Climb the visually stunning Mt Kazbek – a dormant stratovolcano made from hardened lava

Trek through the wilderness and across the hiker’s paradise of the Kazbegi National Park

Follow a less-travelled route into the Caucasus, including steep ascents, glacier crossings and an epic final climb to the summit

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Mark, August 2019

The mountain and the company were great.

Leslie, July 2019

Georgia is amazing, so beautiful, so much exploring to be done. Knowledgeable, experienced guides, who were very helpful and helped us all throughout, and a fantastic group of people to climb with.

Jim, July 2019

Good group, good food, good accommodation (outside mountain hut, but expected that).

Included

Guides

English speaking, internationally-certified mountain guides

Accommodation

4 nights in mountain refuges, 1 night in a guestouse and 1 night in a Tbilisi hotel

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some equipment

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tbilisi Airport

08:00 on Day 1

Ends

Tbilisi Airport

16:00 on Day 7

Transfers

Plan to fly into Tbilisi International Airport (TBS), which is served by many international carriers. Free transfers are only available on the arrival day (Day 1) at 08:00 and on departure day (Day 7) 4:00 pm. We recommend booking a flight departing after 18:00 on Day 7.

Anytime outside of these designated times, you will need to arrange for your own transportation. There are plenty of taxis at the airport all day and night and the fair is a maximum £15/$20 for a car which fits four. For the return transfer your hotel reception will be happy to organize a taxi to the airport.

If you want to arrive before Day 1 or depart after Day 7 - your host is able to arrange pre /post-trip accommodation on your behalf. See Optional Extras for details. If arriving early - you'll meet at group host's base in Tblisi on Day 1.

Travel options

There is a direct flight between London Gatwick and Tbilisi with Georgia Airlines.

Day 1

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Georgian cuisine is renowned for its mix of eastern and western flavours, aromas and colours and the food on this trip will be a delicious mix of local Kazbegi and national cuisine, often cooked using produce that's grown or reared by the guesthouse owners. It can be slightly spicy and consists mainly of meat, vegetables, cheese and fruit. There are, however, plenty of traditional dishes without meat so vegetarians can be well catered for. Lunches will be picnic style in the wilderness.

If you have any special requests, let your host know in advance and they will do their best to accommodate them.

What is the accommodation like?

The Mountains

You'll stay in two mountain refuges - the Altihut (3014m) and Meteo Station (3653m.) The Altihut is newly built and offers simple, clean, comfortable and warm accommodation and hearty Georgian meals. Meteo Station, meanwhile is a basic high altitude hut, with running water and heating. Both nights will be in mixed dorms.

Stepantsminda

You'll stay in a comfortable guesthouse in Stepantsminda (1882m) in a twin share room.

Tbilisi

You'll spend your final night in Georgia's capital city Tbilisi, in a twin room in a hotel close to the old town. The actual hotel will depend on availability but it will most likely be either the Old Metekhi or GTM Kapan, both of which are on Metekhi Rise with views over the river.

If weather conditions prevent you from attempting the summit on Day 4, you will spend another night in Meteo station or the Altihut on Day 5 and return to Tbilisi on Day 6

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space it is possible to request a private room upgrade for the final night in Tblisi (subject to availability). See Optional Extras for prices.

Day 1

Hike to the Altihut (3014m)

Hiking

3hrs · 7km · 800m up

Join your host at their HQ in Tbilisi for a full briefing and equipment check. If you need anything, including mountaineering helmets, B3 boots, crampons, walking poles, harnesses and carabiners, these can all be hired at this point. Drive to Gergeti Trinity Church (2150m) and after a short but steep climb to the ridgeline, continue towards the Altihut, your home for the next few nights.

Day 2

Arsha Pass (3800m)

Hiking

4hrs · 6km · 800m up · 800m down

Fuel up with a champion's breakfast and then test your legs and lungs with an acclimatising hike up to the Arsha Pass. Enjoy the views from the top over Sno Valley, the Chaukhi Mountains, Stepantsminda and the Truso Valley and then return to the Altihut for another comfortable night in the mountains.

Day 3

Betlemi Church (3930m)

Hiking

5hrs · 6km · 900m up · 300m down

Continue acclimatizing as you head for one of the world's most unusual places of worship, the high altitude Betlemi Church, built at a whopping 3930 metres above sea level. Settle into your next mountain refuge, Meteo Station and prepare for the big day tomorrow.

Day 4

Summit day

Hiking

11hrs · 9km · 1400m up · 2040m down

Rise before the sun and providing the weather is on your side, summit Mt. Kazbek (5054m). You’ll follow a tough route along narrow paths, over a snow and ice-covered mountain flank and through the middle of a glacier, ending in a final, challenging 100m climb to the top. Take a moment to catch your breath – both for the altitude and the incredible view and celebrate with your fellow hikers. The descent is arguably more challenging, but your guides will be on hand to help you every step of the way and the thought of a well-deserved beer back at the Altihut will give you the extra drive you need.

(If weather conditions prevent you from attempting the summit today, you can relax, reserve your energy and prepare for an attempt tomorrow).

Day 5

Reserve day or descend to Stepantsminda

Hiking

4hrs · 16km · 100m up · 1130m down

If yesterday’s summit was successful, you’ll descend to Stepantsminda and spend a day at leisure - you've earned it. From this lovely valley town, you can look up at the silhouette of the Gergeti Trinity Church where your adventure began and admire the towering snowy cone of Mt Kazbek. Explore the town, take a trek around the surrounding valleys and then celebrate over dinner with your new-found friends or just catch up on some much-needed sleep.

Day 6

Return to Tbilisi

Head back to the city this morning. The physical adventure might be over but there’s still plenty to explore in the fortified town of Tbilisi, including the Narakali fortress that stands guard over the town, winding lanes, hidden bazaars, wine merchants, cafes and restaurants. As the sun sets, sit down with your team for the last supper of the expedition.

Day 7

Home to tell the tale

Spend your last few hours absorbing the magic of Georgia and perhaps pick up a bottle of the legendary local wine before heading back to the airport in time for your flight home.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's available to hire?

  • 35-litre backpack (Salewa)
  • Crampons (Petzl 10-point)
  • Ice axes
  • Harnesses
  • Mountaineering boots (Salewa Vultur Evo GTX, Sizes EU38-45 available)
  • ...(See Optional Extras for prices)

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Rucksack to carry all your gear
  • 35 litre day pack for the summit day (should be light and easy to stuff in main backpack when not in use)
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Waterproof bags for your passport and other valuables

CLOTHES

  • Worn-in, waterproof mountaineering boots (these should be a stiff B2, or a B3 standard, compatible with crampons - check out our useful guide)
  • Down/ Fleece jacket
  • Hiking pants
  • Shorts
  • Waterproof hardshell jacket
  • Waterproof trousers or over-trousers
  • Base layers (top and bottom)
  • T-shirts
  • Warm hat
  • Peaked cap
  • Gloves
  • Warm socks
  • Trainers or sandals for guesthouses

SLEEPING

OTHER

  • 2 x carabiners (1 locking, and 1 clip-in)
  • Water bottle
  • 1.5 litre Thermos flask for summit day to prevent water from freezing
  • Headtorch
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Personal toiletries (all the accommodations have toilet and shower facilities)
  • Earplugs
  • Trekking poles (foldable)
  • Energy/protein bars
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone
  • Adaptor if you bring any electrical equipment for charging batteries and/or your phone (two pronged)
  • Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

35L Backpack

Payable Before Departure

35L Backpack

Per Person

Boots

Payable Before Departure

Boots

Per Person

Carabiners

Payable Before Departure

Carabiners

Per Person

Crampons

Payable Before Departure

Crampons

Per Person

Harness Rental

Payable Before Departure

Harness Rental

Per Person

Ice Axes Rental

Payable Before Departure

Ice Axes Rental

Per Person

Kit Package 1: Boots, Harness, Crampons, Ice Axe, Carabiners

Payable Before Departure

Kit Package 1: Boots, Harness, Crampons, Ice Axe, Carabiners

Per Person

Kit Package 2: Harness, Crampons, Ice Axe, Carabiners

Payable Before Departure

Kit Package 2: Harness, Crampons, Ice Axe, Carabiners

Per Person

Additional Night in Tblisi - Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Tblisi - Single Room

Per Night

Additional Night in Tblisi - Twin / Double Room Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Tblisi - Twin / Double Room Room

Per Night

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 254kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Although no previous mountaineering experience is required, this trip still requires a high level of mental and physical strength to summit this 5054m peak, so a good level of fitness is required. This trek is suitable for those who exercise regularly and who have some recent prior experience of multi-day hiking. The summit day is a long and tough day involving approximately 11 hours of trekking and 1400m of ascent and 2040m of descent. Although the route has been designed with acclimatisation in mind, the thin air at these altitudes will make this feel tougher. In terms of terrain, you will be walking on some narrow rocky trails and on snow and ice - crampons are likely to be needed on multiple days of the trek. It's very important you bring or hire the correct equipment. You'll be roped up for the glacier traverse and the summit attempt for safety, as well as during any adverse weather. Your guide will provide some basic training on aspects such as the use of crampons, ice axes and walking in a rope team prior to the ascent.

Your trip will be led by English-speaking internationally certified mountain guides to ensure your safety throughout. They will be assisted by 2 - 4 local guides depending on the size of your group. All of the guides are local residents of the Republic of Georgia.

If everything goes according to plan and the weather is favourable on the planned summit day, you will descend as per the itinerary and enjoy some time in the beautiful village of Stepantsminda where you can explore the rich culture of Georgia.

When you trek in the mountains, there's always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. We would expect most trekkers to feel some mild symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, sleeplessness, heavy breathing) when over 3500m. Our guides are trained to identify the symptoms of altitude sickness so if any more serious symptoms are noted, there is a strict procedure regarding extra care or a rapid descent if needed. All of our trips have been designed with altitude best practice in mind so acclimatisation days have been built in.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Mountain climates are notoriously unpredictable so it is essential to bring cold weather gear and layers to adjust your temperature as required. At low elevations the average daytime temperature from June to September is 20-25˚C, however, at 5000m the temperature will drop considerably. For every 1000m of ascent, the temperature can be expected to drop by approximately 6.5°C. From July to August the temperature at Base Camp is usually between 0°C and 10°C (although it's not unknown for it to fall to -10°C). At the summit it's typically -10°C to -20°C (but in extreme conditions, it can be much colder).

Any excess luggage can be safely left with you local host at the start of the trip. On summit day you can store any unnecessary equipment at Mateo Station and pick it up again on the way down - a 35 litre pack will be sufficient to carry your essentials for the push to the summit.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Georgia, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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