Georgia: Climbing Laila (Svaneti)

Price: 240 $
Duration: 6 days
Next: on request


Gruzja: Wspinaczka na Lailę

Overview

“Land of a thousand towers” as they poetically call Svaneti, is a special place even for the Georgians. Svaneti is separated from the rest of the world by high mountain ranges, had been inaccessible for civilization, and maintained its identity for centuries. That is why now trekking in Svaneti especially attracts tourists due to its uniqueness of architecture, local customs, ancient medieval monuments and extremely picturesque mountains. Moreover, the Upper Svaneti region is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The route of climbing Laila, the main peak of Svaneti ridge, is technically not very complicated, but extremely stunning. The Main Caucasian Ridge and Mount Elbrus – the highest European peak are fully, spectacularly viewed from the top of the mountain. And during all the descent from the pass Chidzhi one can enjoy the fascinating beauty of Ushba – “Matterhorn of the Caucasus”.

Despite the breathtaking scenery and the relative simplicity of the route, Laila still remains unknown for many tourists. Because of the complexity of reaching Svaneti it was not used to be very popular earlier, but nowadays more and more people want to have a look at this hospitable corner of Georgia. Therefore, use a chance to visit the wonderful region of proud Svanetians until the crowds finally turn Svaneti into comfortable, infrastructural, but without its special spirit, place.

Price includes:

  • guide service
  • using common camp gear (tents, camp tools, kitchen equipment, first aid kit)
  • meals during the campaign (hot breakfast and dinner, lunch as a snack (meals in a café is self-maintained)
  • overnight stays in a tent during the tour
  • transfers during the tour
  • insurance
Additional charged:

  • plane tickets
  • rental of sleeping bag and a mat, backpack
  • rental of personal equipment for climbing Laila
  • meals in the cities (restaurants, shops)
Day 1. Meeting with a group, moving to the start of ascent
An instructor meets a group in Zugdidi. That day the participants drive to Svaneti and acclimatize to the area. During the day one can enjoy the city views from the bus window, have a walk after the arrival and taste traditional Svanetian khachapuri with chopped meat. The first overnight is at the village Sweep, near Mestia, where the hike starts.
Day 2. Rising to the Chidzhi Pass (elevation 3097 m, category of complexity – 1a)
In the morning we start the route.  First there is a forest road and then a zone of alpine meadows. In shepherd camp one can taste the local cheese, matzun or ayran. Serpentine trail leads to the first pass – Chidzhi. From that place to our today’s stay there is only an hour of descent.
Elevation per day – 2000 m
Day 3. Rising to the Dzhvari Pass (elevation 3,427 m, category of complexity – 1b)
We ascend the Dzhvari Pass through a glacier that day. First the rout goes through grassy slopes, then crumbly path that takes us to the glacier. Glacier Laila is the largest in Svaneti ridge (5.7 km), mainly closed, but sometimes there are cracks open. Overnight stay is at the altitude of 3400 m, which helps to get used to the height.
Elevation per day – about 400 m
Day 4. Climbing Laila mountain (elevation 4008 m, category of complexity – 2a)
Wake up early and conquer the peak because need to be back at the camp till noon. Climb through the glacier, and gradually go to the rocky ridge. Route can be complicated because of cracks or large quantity of snow. We climb using alpinistic equipment and move in bunches. If the weather is fine at the top of Laila there is a spectacular view of the entire Caucasian Mountain Ridge and Mount Elbrus.
It is up to the group whether to stay and enjoy the scenery or descend to the Chidzhi Pass after lunch.
Elevation per day – about 600 m
Day 5. Descent
The descent to the village Sweep is the same way as the ascent a few days before. On the way back in the shepherd camp one can stock up cheese and matzun. The whole descent from the pass is accompanied by breathtaking scenery.
Day 6. Coming back home
Finish of the tour is in Zugdidi.
On request a tour can be continued at the seaside near Anaklia.

More information about the equipment preparation:

Personal clothing:

  1. Trekking shoes
  2. Spare shoes
  3. Trousers, 2 pairs
  4. Shorts
  5. Socks – thick and thin ones, 2-3 pairs
  6. T-shirt – 2-3 pieces
  7. A light sweater of a thin fleece or something like that
  8. A warm sweater
  9. A windbreaker jacket
  10. A raincoat
  11. A panama hat/a bandana/a cap and gloves
  12. Hats and warm gloves
  13. Spare underwear and swimsuits

Personal gear:

  1. A backpackRental
  2. A sleeping bag and padRental
  3. Utensils (a plate, a spoon and a cup)
  4. Waterproof sacks
  5. Flashlight
  6. A flask or a bottle of water
  7. Personal first aid kit
  8. Personal hygiene items
  9. Sunglasses
  10. The documents, money, cell phone

Equipment for high-altitude climbing:

  1. Boots
  2. Gaiters
  3. Layered underwear
  4. Trousers – ordinary windproof, warm enough for climbing, dress over underwear
  5. Light fleece sweater or similar and a warm sweater for leisure or extreme cold
  6. Windbreaker/raincoat
  7. A hat and a mask
  8. Gloves
  9. A warm or a down jacket

Personal mountain gear for climbing:

  1. Carabiners, 3 pcs.
  2. Crampons
  3. Prusyk
  4. Ice axes with a leash
  5. Lanyard, 2 pcs.
  6. Self-support system (lower)
  7. A helmet

Rental



  • How many things should I take for a tour?

  • What is the stuff except personal items?

  • How is accommodation, transport arranged during the tour?

  • How is food arranged during the tour?

  • What is the necessary experience and physical shape of the participants?

  • Do I need to take a personal first aid kit?

  • Is it possible that the weather does not allow climbing?

  • What currency should I have?

  • What souvenirs should I bring from Georgia?

  • How much money do I need to take?

  • Is it possible to change the program?

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