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Climbing Tetnuldi – The Classic Route

Climbing Tetnuldi Peak unassisted is recommended only for experienced mountain climbers. Those with only certain mountain climber experience should climb the peak only with the accompaniment of a professional guide.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti
Tetnuldi Ski Resort

Characteristics of the Peak

Tetnuldi Peak is in Mestia Municipality, on the main watershed range of the Caucasus Mountains. It is 4,852 meters tall and is covered with permanent snow from 3,000 meters up. Along the way we encounter scree, snow and ice cover, cracked ice, and a ridge of cliffs.

There is a mountain/ski resort located near the peak.

Day One

The route starts at 3,038 meters above sea level. We start by traversing to the southeast, crossing a small ridge, and encountering scree along the way, after which we start climbing the couloir. From the starting point to the top of couloir is three kilometers, and the top of the couloir is 3,544 meters above sea level. This is where the cracked ice cover starts, and two kilometers after that we find the first camp. It is located in a leeward place, 3,700 meters above sea level. We set up our tents on a rocky surface with a lake nearby. It is 662 meters in elevation to the camp, which takes four to five hours to traverse.

Day Two

This day is given over to acclimatization and practice. We cross over to a height of about 4,000 meters, where our guide explains to us how to move when suspended on a rope, and also how to move on the mountain, as well as the safety rules.

Day Three

We leave for the peak at 3:00 in the morning. The route takes us onto Tetnuldi Plateau, crossing over to the Saddle, and then follows the southern ridge to the peak. From the camp to the peak is 1,100 meters of elevation. We stay on the peak for at most five to ten minutes and then begin the descent back to camp.

Climbing the peak and returning takes, on average, seven to ten hours.

Descending from the peak to the car park can be done on the same day, but, if the group is too tired, we may spend another night in our tents. In the case of inclement weather, the descent may be held off for one or two reserved days.

Additional Information

It is recommended to climb Tetnuldi between the middle of July and the end of September.

It is 25 kilometers from the center of Mestia to the starting point of the route. An SUV is necessary to get to that location. One may be rented at the Mestia Bus Station.

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