Summit Mt. Kazbek
4.8
| 29 reviews

Climb Mount Kazbek in Georgia (5054m)

6 nights
Tough

Trek one of the wildest routes in the Caucasus and tackle the highest mountain in Eastern Georgia

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with English-speaking, internationally-certified IFMGA mountain guides

All accommodation

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

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in between

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 12 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.8
| 29 reviews
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
October 2023
Louise
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
October 2023
Louise
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
October 2023
Louise
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
October 2023
Louise
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
October 2023
Louise
Great, but challenging trip. Be ready for l...
June 2023
Jakub
Great, but challenging trip. Be ready for l...
June 2023
Jakub
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
October 2022
Karina F.
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
October 2022
Karina F.
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
October 2022
Karina F.
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
October 2022
Karina F.
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
October 2022
Karina F.
Amazing trip to an amazing country. It’s a...
September 2022
Joel
Amazing trip to an amazing country. It’s a...
September 2022
Joel
Amazing trip to an amazing country. It’s a...
September 2022
Joel
Armenia is a wonderful experience of cultur...
September 2022
Simon
Armenia is a wonderful experience of cultur...
September 2022
Simon
Armenia is a wonderful experience of cultur...
September 2022
Simon
Amazing trip! Couldn’t recommend enough. Th...
September 2022
Rory
Amazing trip! Couldn’t recommend enough. Th...
September 2022
Rory
Absolutely fantastic trip that was really m...
September 2022
Nick
Absolutely fantastic trip that was really m...
September 2022
Nick
Outstanding trip. If you want to really pus...
August 2022
Andrew
Outstanding trip. If you want to really pus...
August 2022
Andrew
Outstanding trip. If you want to really pus...
August 2022
Andrew
Outstanding trip. If you want to really pus...
August 2022
Andrew
This trip was nothing less than a 5* experi...
August 2022
Chris
This trip was nothing less than a 5* experi...
August 2022
Chris
This trip was nothing less than a 5* experi...
August 2022
Chris
This trip was nothing less than a 5* experi...
August 2022
Chris

Clamber to the summit of the visually stunning Mount Kazbek – a dormant stratovolcano made from hardened lava

Tackle a challenging 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

Stay at the cosy and comfortable Altihut (3014m), Georgia's first environmentally friendly alpine-style mountain refuge

Key Information

Day 1

Hike to the Altihut (3014m)

Gergeti Trinity Church

Driving

3hrs · 150km

Hiking

3hrs · 7km · 800m up

Join your host at their HQ in Tbilisi for a full briefing and equipment check before your ascent of Mount Kazbek. If you need anything (including mountaineering helmets, B3 boots, crampons, walking poles, harnesses and carabiners), these can all be hired in advance through your host and collected 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)

Truso Valley

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)

Betlemi Hut Views

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

Summit Mt. Kazbek

Hiking

11hrs · 16km · 1400m up · 2040m down

Rise before the sun and providing the weather is on your side, summit Mount 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 – then 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

Stepantsminda

Hiking

2hrs · 7km · 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 Mount 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

Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: GettyImages-534560042

Driving

3hrs · 150km

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

Tbilisi, Georgia

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.

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?

Cooking in Georgia. Photo: GettyImages-1134321106

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?

Mountain Refuge
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 and comfortable accommodation serving hearty Georgian meals. There is heating and running water but showers are not currently available. Meteo Station meanwhile is a very basic high-altitude hut from the Soviet era and there is no running water here. Both nights will be in mixed dorms.

Stepantsminda
Stepantsminda

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

Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: GettyImages-534560042
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.

If you are arriving in Tbilisi in the early hours of the morning on Day 1, there is an "Early Check-In" option for the hotel which you can request (subject to availability) via your booking.

This trip has been rated as Tough

This trek is suitable for experienced hikers, although no previous technical mountaineering experience is required. You'll need to muster 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, and ideally trekking at altitude. The summit day is a long and tough day involving approximately 11 hours of trekking and 1400m of ascent and 2040m of descent. You must come prepared for the cold on summit day, and with suitable equipment to deal with this. 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 will 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.

High Altitude Factors To Consider

This trip visits locations at or above 4500m. At this altitude some people may experience symptoms associated with Altitude Sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). The likelihood of more severe conditions, such as HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema), increases at higher altitudes. Previous experience at high altitude is not necessarily an indicator of future performance. Your guide(s) are trained to mitigate the risks associated with altitude by carefully managing the rate of ascent and the intensity of the activity, and to provide the appropriate support response should someone feel ill during the trip. Should you experience health issues during your trip you should inform your guide immediately so the proper care can be provided. Owing to the nature of this trip, it is essential that your personal travel insurance policy provides cover up to the maximum altitude visited on this trip as well as emergency medical evacuation by helicopter.

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 or colder). At the summit it's typically -10°C to -20°C (but in extreme conditions, it can be much colder).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tbilisi Airport or Your Host's Base in Tbilisi

Any time before 08:00 (Airport) or at 08:30 (Host's Base) on Day 1

Ends

Tbilisi Airport

Any time on Day 7

Transfers

You should plan to arrive at Tbilisi International Airport (TBS) before 08:00 on Day 1 (as there will be a briefing at the host's base at 08:30) and can depart at any time on Day 7. If you've supplied your arrival and departure details in advance, your host will provide free arrival and departure transfers to coincide with your flights.

There are also plenty of taxis at the airport all day and night and the fair is a maximum £15/$20 for a car which fits four.

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 the group at the host's base in Tbilisi on Day 1 at 08:30. If you are arriving in Tbilisi in the early hours of the morning on Day 1, there is an "Early Check-In" option for the hotel which you can request (subject to availability) via your booking.

Travel options

Several airlines offer flights to Tbilisi from major travel hubs - routes are often indirect. Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa offer good connections from London with one-stop.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's available to hire?

The following items are essential for this tour and are available to hire through your host - please request items in advance of your arrival in Tbilisi. However, if you prefer to bring your own equipment then that's fine too.

  • 35-litre backpack (Salewa)
  • Crampons (Petzl 10-point)
  • Ice axes
  • Climbing helmet (Salewa)
  • Harness
  • 2 x carabiners (1 locking, and 1 clip-in)
  • Mountaineering boots (Salewa Vultur Evo GTX, Sizes EU38-45 available)
  • ...(See Optional Extras for prices)

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • 65-70 litre rucksack to carry all your gear to Altihut
  • 35-litre lightweight day pack with ice-axe loops and rain cover - for beyond Altihut and summit day (easy to stuff in your main backpack when not in use)
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Drybags to line your rucksack/waterproof pouches for your passport and other valuables

CLOTHES

You'll experience a wide range of temperatures in the mountains, so we recommend packing layers that you can put on and take off to adjust your temperature. Temperatures at the summit at over 5,000m can reach -20°C: please bring suitable clothing and equipment (particularly for your extremeties).

  • Worn-in, waterproof, insulated mountaineering boots (these should be a stiff B2, or a B3 standard, compatible with crampons - check out our useful guide)
  • Warm fleece or mid-layer
  • 3-4 season down jacket with hood
  • Hiking trousers (including a pair of warm trousers for the summit)
  • Shorts
  • Waterproof hardshell jacket with hood (windproof, breathable, such as Gore-Tex)
  • Waterproof trousers or over-trousers (windproof, breathable, such as Gore-Tex)
  • Gaiters
  • Thermal bottoms (wool/merino or synthetic)
  • Long-sleeved thermal top (wool/merino or synthetic)
  • T-shirts
  • Warm hat/balaclava
  • Neck snood or buff
  • Wide brimmed sun hat/baseball cap
  • Gloves (pair of windproof lightweight gloves and a pair of insulated or over-gloves for summit day)
  • Trekking socks (some light/mid-weight wool/synthetic pairs, plus a pair of heavy duty mountaineering socks for the summit)
  • Trainers or sandals for guesthouses

SLEEPING

OTHER

  • Water bottle x 1-litre
  • 1.5 litre Thermos flask for summit day to prevent water from freezing
  • Headtorch (LED recommended)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm (high SPF, 50+)
  • Suitable UV blocking sunglasses (ideally wrap-around to avoid snow blindness)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Toilet paper (for Meteo Station)
  • Personal toiletries
  • Earplugs
  • Trekking poles (foldable)
  • Energy/protein bars
  • Hand/toe warmer sachets
  • 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)
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

35L Backpack

Payable Before Departure

35L Backpack

Per Person

Carabiners

Payable Before Departure

Carabiners

Per Person

Climbing Harness

Payable Before Departure

Climbing Harness

Per Person

Climbing Helmet

Payable Before Departure

Climbing Helmet

Per Person

Crampons

Payable Before Departure

Crampons

Per Person

Gaiters

Payable Before Departure

Gaiters

Per Person

Ice Axe

Payable Before Departure

Ice Axe

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

Mountaineering Boots

Payable Before Departure

Mountaineering Boots

Per Person

Trekking Poles (foldable)

Payable Before Departure

Trekking Poles (foldable)

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

Tbilisi Hotel Early Check-In (Single Room)

Payable Before Departure

Tbilisi Hotel Early Check-In (Single Room)

Tbilisi Hotel Early Check-In (Twin/Double Room)

Payable Before Departure

Tbilisi Hotel Early Check-In (Twin/Double Room)

Mr C.(June 2024)
Kazbek

Well organised and exciting trip that ran smoothly from startt to finish. All accommodation exceeded my expectations and the mountain guide who escorted me on the journey was exceptional. Would highly recommend this trip.

Louise(October 2023)
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...
This is an absolutely epic adventure! Howev...

This is an absolutely epic adventure! However, Kazbek is no easy feat, so make sure you’re ready for it.

I almost didn’t book this adventure because I thought I had to carry a 65L backpack up the mountain to the first refuge, Altihut. This worried me for weeks! However, when we arrived at MPlus to meet our guide and collect our kit, we were given the option of using the wonderful Georgian mountain horses. After a quick group consultation, we decided to pay (about £30 each) and conserve our energy for other things.

The Alps style Altihut is a delightful place to stay during acclimatisation. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the food is delicious, and the staff are friendly and helpful. Meteo Station is a whole different experience. I’m glad it was only for one night. The only way to cope is to have a sense of humour and appreciate it for what it is - a Soviet era meteorological station built in the 20s and now in desperate need of a complete refurbishment/ knocking down! The toilet hut is an experience I won’t mention. The hot chocolate, however, is absolutely delicious. And it was impressive that we were served French toast at our 1.30am breakfast in such a hostile and brutal environment.

The acclimatisation hikes are moderately challenging, but not too strenuous. I took them slowly and steadily, drank lots of water and prioritised sleep. This approach served me well on summit day and I didn’t struggle with altitude sickness.

We were well taken care of by our two brilliant guides, Beka and international award winning mountaineer (!!!) Archil Badriashvili. We were very lucky to have them both. However, they are not babysitter guides like I’ve had on some other trips. They are there to provide expertise, support and encouragement, but you really must know what you are doing in the mountains. They will be there when you need them (ie jumping across a wide crevasse on the glacier!).

The summit day was one of the longest and most challenging days of my life. It took everything I had to summit Kazbek, and then I had to keep finding more and more inner reserves to manage the descent. The guides were wonderful at keeping us moving and motivated (although I wasn’t so grateful at the time!). As exhausting as it was, it was also exhilarating to be pushed to such physical and psychological limits.

Climbing Kazbek is a magnificent feat. If you’re up for being tested and exposed to some pretty extreme conditions, book this trip now. And enjoy the plentiful delicious cheese bread in Tbilisi. The food in Georgia is worth a visit alone, never mind the beautiful mountains.

The kit list is there for a reason. Follow it to the letter, including observing the recommended bag sizes. As suggested, I took a larger 65L backpack to carry everything and then a 35L mountaineering backpack that could be squashed down and carried in the other backpack. The 35L backpack was perfect for the ascent to Meteo Station (summit day essentials and sleeping bag) whilst my larger pack was stored at Altihut. I came well prepared with base layers, mid layers and a high quality down jacket as well as insulated mountaineering gloves and foot warmers. The saddle and summit were extremely cold, so I’m glad I had everything with me.

Only regrets - I wish I’d brought my camel pack, as it was tricky to drink enough water on summit day. We had minimal breaks as we just had to keep going. I also wish I’d topped up with factor 50 sun cream every time we did stop. I ended up quite badly snowburnt around my nose and lips.

Only 15% of the people who do this trip are women. I was lucky that in my small group of four, two of us were women, which changed the dynamic somewhat. Our group had a gentler energy than if it had been all men. So if you’re a woman considering this trip but feeling intimidated, give it a go. I definitely don’t regret it. I discovered I was more than capable.

Jakub(June 2023)
Great, but challenging trip. Be ready for l...
Great, but challenging trip. Be ready for l...

Great, but challenging trip. Be ready for long walking hours in the snow and be rewarded with the great views and finally the summit. Our guide Levan was very good and helpful. Everything was very well organised starting with the airport transfer, including accommodation, the summit, transport etc. I would definitely recommend this trip.

Webb(June 2023)

Exceptional and challenging experience. Our guide Levan was highly skilled, great communicator, and ensured our success reaching the summit.

Karina F.(February 2023)

Very good trip for someone who wants to start hiking/climbing at altitude

Daniel(November 2022)

Overall a fantastic trip with great guides. The ascent up Mount Kazbek is spectacular but not to be underestimated, given the high altitude and glaciated terrain! My group's ascent was unfortunately hampered by challenging weather conditions, but I had a great experience nonetheless. Most of the trip was spent staying at Altihut which is a very comfortable, though the night spent at Meteo hut is much more basic. It was great to spend some time in Tbilisi at the end of the trip, sampling some of its night-life and exploring the old town.

Karina F.(October 2022)
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...
Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their peop...

Georgia is absolutely beautiful, their people (the guides were great and very helpful), their food, their mountains, I totally recommend this trip!!! Unfortunately a few of us in the trip didn't make it to the summit due to pretty harsh weather, but I would like to try to do it again soon. I personally found it harder than climbing Mont Blanc which I did about 2 years ago. Expect not to have a shower for about 6 days (until you get back to Stepantsminda) as there are no shower facilities at any of the 2 mountain huts (of course you can always use wet wipes to clean yourself but def. not showers). At Meteo Station expect super basic accomodation, only toilet outside in the cold a few metres away from the hut which was basically a whole in the ground, there is a tap to get water (very very cold) coming from the glacier to wash hands, drink, etc... there are no changing rooms or anything like that, so hardly any privacy (dorms/rooms were mix). The rooms are super small, there is hardly any space left to leave your backpacks and equipment, specially if you are in a group of around 6 - 8 people (we were 8). Although it was hard, I would def. like to go again and hopefully summit next time.

Viola(September 2022)

Great trip overall. We didn't make it to the summit due to the weather. You don't see/learn a lot about Georgian culture or get in contact with locals, so if you're interested in that, you better extend your trip.

Sam(September 2022)

Superbly organised trip, and the local guides were brilliant.

Joel(September 2022)