Where to Ski: the New Exotic Tetnuldi Resort in Georgia – Be the First to Try it Out
Yet another winter resort has been under construction in Svanetia since 2013 – tracks are being built on the slopes of Mount Tetnuldi (4852 m). A resort of the same name will be opened already this – 2015-2016 – season.
It’s one of those exotic, obscure places where you can discover not only the pleasure of skiing, but also the majestic tranquillity of mountains. This new, hard-to-reach resort is not going to become noisy and overcrowded with tourists any time soon.
Eventually, however, Tetnuldi is set to become as large as the famous Georgian ski resort Gudauri. Altitude variation between tracks will be 775 m, with the highest skiing point reaching 3045 m. Advertisements claim that Tetnuldi will seize the “Freeriding Mecca of Caucasus” (free skiing outside the tracks in unmarked territories) title from Gudauri within the coming year.
The skiing zone at Tetnuldi is located near a glacier, which – according to the developers and the government of Georgia – means that appropriate snow cover will last for six months – November to May.
The base of Mount Tetnuldi is surrounded by wild nature and some of the highest mountains in all of Caucasus. There are few locals here, and even fewer skiers. Extreme sports enthusiasts who had descended these slopes during the last decade could be counted on ten fingers. Only a small handful of skiing and snowboarding devotees discover these unexplored Georgian mountains every year.
According to the ski resort building specialists from France, who are working on Tetnuldi, the slopes of the resort are almost 3 km high, and the snow crystals covering them are very special. Their structure on Tetnuldi’s northern slopes in May are much more suited to skiing than snow in the Alps during January.
The first stage of building should be completed in 2015. The first 3 lifts are set to be launched in December. There are 25 km worth of ski tracks already. The resort is said to have the capacity to serve up to 4,100 tourists at any one time.
During the following several years, the remote region of Svanetia plans to build a common network of tracks. This should attract European and Asian skiers hungry for something new. According to the advertisement of Tetnuldi on Georgian television, this place is an excellent opportunity to experience the mood of Great mountains.
Lifts that go up to the tracks of Tetnuldi cost 8-9 EUR per day. The tracks are open 10 AM to 4 PM. The most complicated part will likely be getting to Mestia – the centre of Svanetia (the tracks of Tetnuldi are located 15 km from Mestia). There are several winding mountain roads that lead to it, as well as a few buses. If you want to get there as quickly and comfortably as possible, however, you’ll have to hire a car with a driver in Tbilisi or Kutaisi.