Climb up Mkinvartsveri – Classic Route

Experienced mountaineers can climb Mount Kazbegi unassisted, however, those with limited climbing experience should have a professional guide to accompany them.

Characteristics of the Peak

Mt Kazbegi (Mkinvartsveri) reaches 5,054 meters above sea level and is located on Khokh Range, in Stepantsminda Municipality. The northern slope of the mountain is situated in Russian Federation, though the most popular climbing routes to the peak pass through Georgian territory.  

The peak of Kazbegi is covered by permanent snow and Suatisi, Mna, Devdoraki, and Ortsveri glaciers are descending for it.

Betlemi Hut (so-called Meteo Station), at the base of the peak, is one of the most important alpine bases in the region.

You will encounter scree, snow, ice, crevasses, and a rocky ridge on the way up to the peak.

Day One

The route begins near the end of the paved road, 2,179 meters above sea level in the vicinities of Gergeti Trinity Church. From there, take the footpath along the slope, cross a small river, and come up to Altihut, a modern mountain hut that offers accommodation and a variety of other services.

You can spend your first night here for acclimatization, or continue onward to cross the Gergeti Glacier, and arrive at Betlemi Hut. There, you will be registered and spend the night inside the building, at 3,653 meters above sea level.

Drinkable water is available along the route as well as at Bethlemi Hut.

The total elevation gain on this day is 1,471 meters. 

Day Two – Acclimatization

Get yourself acclimatized by climbing up to the Betlemi Church, roaming around 3900 meters above sea level. Remain here for a little while, then return to the base where your guide will instruct you on how to use a rope, pick-axe, and crampons.

Day Three – The Peak

There’s an early wake-up call to leave the base at 2 am. You’ll encounter scree, large boulders, and cracks on the section called Khmaura, from the base to a plateau. The plateau is covered with permanent ice and crevasses.

From there, you will climb up a saddle, a rounded area before the peak, where you will leave any extra items before beginning the climb to the peak. Stay on top of the peak for five to ten minutes, then start your way back down to Khmaura using the same route. Since the increase in temperature during the day can cause a rock fall at Khmaura, you will need to take a different route that goes around Khmaura and returns to the base, where you will spend another night.

The elevation gain is 1,404 meters and it takes an average of 10 to 12 hours for roundtrip.

Day Four

After some rest, take the same route back towards Gergeti Trinity, descending 1,471 meters, where a car will be waiting for you. 

Additional Information

Climb Mt Kazbegi between the end of June and the middle of October for the best weather, but you can also plan a route up to the peak in winter. 

Use any type of car to travel the 8 kilometers from Stepantsminda to the start point.

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