Svaneti lines

, , Leave a comment


The Caucasus Mountains The wild, infinitely large
and incredibly beautiful mountains Winters are even more beautiful
than summers here, though, much more dangerous.
Winters are even more beautiful
than summers here, though, much more dangerous. Upon arriving home, we heard
it was good we got back all right Any other time
it‘s just a meaningless phrase, but it has a much deeper
and freezing meaning for us now Skiing is not important, but for us it‘s a way of living fully, humbly and in a harmony with nature
at the same time We could live without skiing, the life would go on, but it wouldn’t be us Everyone ready? It‘s gonna print the fucking ticket
for half an hour now 4 minutes Sure, speak Hungarian dude Let’s go C’mon, c’mon, c‘mon Hurry up! Watch the people I don’t give a shit Let’go, let’s go, let’s go c’mon, c’mon, c‘mon shoes, shoes, shoes Leave the guitar there C’mon driver Shit, the guitar We made it! High five Bara Yeah, good job! Well done Vendy That’s when you try to
save money on everything, we didn’t want to pay the parking fees
at Budapest Airport. We are flying from Hungary because
that’s where we found cheap flights to Georgia from. Hey Hi, Hey I wanna tape this thing up
so it doesn’t look like I’m recording Because they‘re quite sensitive We got a problem, Ondra’s shoes went to a chemical check and my guitar was nearby,
so they put it there too The guys put on the rubber gloves We’re in Georgia Finally we are a group of 19
on this crazy trip Wouldn’t you go
when the flight ticket costs 2500 CZK including ski What’s the time Paja? The time zone in which
we are not long ago is 7:21am Thus the breakfast time Cheers to the trip The airplane I’m cold Would you like a toast? Half of us is flying from Budapest and the other half from Berlin Besides, Klárka, who is currently on an internship in Italy, is joining us and Mára can’t miss it either
and is coming from Japan Yeah, that’s our car, so tiny They forgot to bring us the suitcase Jesus Christ, the car looks rather desperate Loading baggage was a bit of tetris We didn‘t know yet how much
we will be fond of our Mitsubishi Delica Shit, which lane I‘m driving in Stay closer to the shoulder than usual Paja So there should be a petrol station yeah? or a scrapyard What the fuck is that? What’s that? What fuel do we need? It’s already run over Come a little closer man What a cute doggie! The roof of the car is about to crumble Well, we shouldn’t have crammed all the skibags there at once So when I roll down the window,
the roof falls on my head And it is actually sitting onto the roof Fuck, the whole thing is prized up Indeed, surprisingly good considered
it is bought just by the road Yeah, not bad They have no other shops
here than by the road One is out of the way
and the other one just beside Not a big deal, noone died,
just a car stuck in snow Most importanly,
we’ve 8 people ready to push, right? The drive from the airport was just 150 km
but it snowed a bit… Sometimes an avalanche,
sometimes fallen stones on the road, a stuck truck in front of us,
but we put it at ease What’s the average speed in these conditions? 40? Guess forty now and before
I’d be happy for 30 Two more hours hopefully –
hopefully everything goes well… Don’t sleep Zuzka, we are here Our landlord Mestia is a small town
in northwestern Georgia It is located in the Svaneti area,
in a closed valley and surrounded by the
highest mountains of the Caucasus It’s a mix of nature,
culture and history There are about
2500 inhabitants in Mestia who spoke their own language,
which is not similar to any other one in the world and was very old The town is dominated by
the defensive towers of Svaneti which look even more fabulous in the winter Although Mestia is becoming
a Georgian Chamonix these days, it has not had an impact
on its beauty and wildness yet The town lives its own life. You can’t get through without a fourwheeler, cows go everywhere, and the police station is the most modern building in the area. Getting used to Georgian culture
takes us a while. For example, we can‘t whistle or dry clothes by the stove at our landlord’s house. On the contrary, driving drunk is common here and no one gets surpriseds We are gonna check the local ski rental Luky needs to wax his skies A drive to the area
is really an experience Fifteen kilometers takes us
about an hour every day Depends on how many cars
go against us and whether they already cleared away
the yesterday‘s avalanche on the road Of course we don’t have the winter tires and snow chains in Georgia? Where you got it from, nobody uses it Quite warm here Watch the skis
so it doesn’t hit Jára’s head Tetnuldi ski area
was opened in 2015 Just a pity
Georgians didn‘t build it on a hill Finish of one of the slopes
is quite flat Of the 5 advertised lifts,
only two operate On the other hand the skipass costs 250 CZK and opening hours is rather rough There are about 5 other groups of foreign skiers riding freeride, and 20 locals
who learn to ski The slopes remain in perfect conditions
even for two days No one predicts
the avalanche situation in Georgia, thus we have to rely on ourselves These are the stuff we saw going down
and there is a difference… …there is a two degree difference, because there is a relatively hard layer. That’s just the first problem
The other one is that, there is a layer that is compacted
and poorly bound to this What might cause the layers to bind poorly actually occured here You just slide down with 30 cm of snow So are we not going? Of course we keep going! It is quite easy to stay safe and watch the slope exposure I wouldn’t recommend the holes beware of the northern exposure and depressions in particular Dude, you are standing
on a really cool ridge now That’s so cool here 400m long plain Let’s divide it guys Everybody has its own 200 meters and stay within your zone So one goes on the left, the other on the right, and I’ll stay in the middle Awesome! Wow, so cool! Now we are heading to the camping sign There is Gocha who is our landlord,
with whom we stayed two years ago Missing subtitles?
We didn’t understand either… The other day we’d like to climb into the saddle above the ski area and go the endless plains back down Before going uphill,
we carry out an avalanche test It is one of plenty ways to help us decide,
whether to go there or not. You dig a hole like that on a slope
dig a hole like that on a slope the minimal width is for a skier and then you cut it off from the top If it is snow-covered,
it strengthens with difficulty If there is an unstable layer
30 cm under the surface it’ll be 3 times or 5 times warm, cold at nights and it’ll strentghen. It’ll melt a little, some steam passes through, then it’ll freeze and strengthen. That’s a snowpit,
which is not really unstable If there are transitions,
they are different only about a degree of strength not a big deal Pája will try carefully,
without any heavy weight to get on the layer That is alright, it stays So the minimum weight The transition wasn’t so solid,
to put 3 fingers through it seemed to be only a degree difference but I knew there was a thin layer
that I had done there Good we did both tests,
it wasn’t as obvious from the snowpit There is no discussion, we are going back We are going down to the valley
as safely as possible Finally back down,
so what about the evening? Let’s go to the tower! We are going to take a look at
one of the towers in Mestia The Svaneti towers were
bulit in the 9th century. Currently, they are
a UNESCO World Heritage Site but they were bulit as a defence against invaders
and annoying neighbours. Whole families outlasted winters inside. The towers symbolized the power
and wealth of the family The cattle slept on the lower floor
and the family lived above. We took the first cable car in the morning,
but the other cars were not operating Thus we had to go uphill on skins So we went uphill Then traversed towards Tetnuldi And we will go all the way up
to the saddle there Are you pretty Vendy? Beautiful! The snow is sitting down it is sitting down in large pieces Sometimes 20 meters of snow under us suddenly slided down About 10 centimeters On a steep slope it can
also sit and slide down On a flat surface,
nothing should happen, right? The ridge is gentle It is about 20 degrees steep here 25 at most I wouldn’t say it is close to 30 so it should be safe We have already ascended 500 meters in altitude and there are 400m to the top Quiet, it is the briefing time 400 meters in altitude to the top,
we should be there in about an hour and half We’ll look around there I suppose there will be good snow on the other side to the northwest, Although these are the most dangerous slopes… often beyond the lee… not in the sunshine But the last 4 days have been like today… There was no wind,
so it could sit a bit and be more stable There is a long glacier…
There was no wind,
so it could sit a bit and be more stable There is a long glacier… that is hopefully not steep so it should be safe hopefully We will decide on the top
if we can go down there And what about the crevasses? The revasses can be there,
we don’t know yet but we‘ve got ropes That’s exactly what we have to assess on the top The avalanche‘s strategy clear? Any questions? If it slides somewhere,
it’ll be under Filip Stop scaremongering Luky! Shit, avalanche, no… Is anybody there? Yeah, Luky watch him Klárka? Is Klárka here? Where is Luky? He is standing up You see him Karel? Yeah, he is getting to his feet Luky stood up and cought up
with us in 10 minutes I don’t get it What’s the plan? Going down,
I don’t know why you’re going up We’re waiting
you’ll tell us something about this It just slided down And you didn’t even lose a stick
neither a ski All right,
I was riding on the surface So you were like sitting?
Like riding on a sledge? I shouldn’t say that…
…but it was a good ride! That’s exactly what we try to avoid The gutter, that’s exactly the critical point Nobody should have gone there We should have stayed on that narrow ridge We’re turning around again and rushing all
the way back to the safe pub for a dinner It’s pretty bad here today That was a bad snow,
we’re really good skiers! My heels just don’t go out Klárka can go fuck off on what feet shall I put weight? I‘ll wet my pants, please stop I can’t do it today,
I have too narrow skis It’s a good day for a party,
let’s celebrate Luky will live to his forties Is there any methodology? Look, it is raw they might have forgotten
to put it in the oven you little yolk We have a pair of čača here A toast to the skiing today! and to Luky! to Luky’s couloir! Excuse me,
it seems the avalanches are funny …they say, It’s really not a laughing matter. Hey, greetings! Mára we see you We ran out of wine
and so they gave us a barrel .. Good party! Safety first,
that’s why the driver put on his helmet In the morning, a lady brought us a shoe
that was found in the middle of the village It wasn’t me… We’re about to go to the village of Adiši with Vosák and Kuba It’s so calm A trip to Adiši has been one of the most powerful experience for us It begins up there at the ski area From where you can traverse and go down the plains up to the medieval village. Yeah, running animals between ruined buildings, what a weird experience… Rather than snow, there is mud and shits you have to walk through and there was a lot of shits… as everywhere in Georgia Yeah, there are more pigs than people It looks like in the Middle Ages there We didn’t fit there well with our modern ski touring equipment A local emerged from the ruined tower behind a pair of oxen and invited us to a dinner We’re baking a kachapuri and the dinner will be served soon What do you think about the Kachapuri? It’s good,
very good indeed, it‘s fresh, the cheese is from the local cows
right from the village and you can see
it’s done with love I’m enjoying it At the end of the trip,
we need to clean our shoes from shits and go down the valley for about an hour
to the main road We’re going to the ski slope in Hatsvali, it’s actually very good, I’m enjoying it The boys just came to turn it on It was worth coming They were disappointed when noticed us, no day off today, they have to turn it on Excellent! It’s overcast the other day so we stay in the lower Hatsvali area, just above Mestia. It reminds us the Giant mountains but you don’t meet the green men in the forest here Pája, Pája, would you call this a powder day? Hmm, the lunch is coming We go to the only pub
on the slope for a lunch They prepare food
with Georgian speed. Which means you order,
go skiing for an hour, then you come and you don’t even know
if they bring you what you ordered. At least they speak English Dude… Lucky you, you didn’t buy the ski for 20 000 CZK Exactly We didn’t get tired from skiing, so let’s go to the
remote village of Leli for a CCA *CCA – sa cultural cognitive activity Mára – the owner of Minicooper I guess we can’t go on We have just a little problem… We were driving a little too far on the left and got stuck in these potholes So we need to dig away the snow now There are stuff that are too much
even for a fourwheeler… Was it tasty? A good shovel Hm, only sides are spinning What are you staring at
from your comfy sofa? You wouldn’t laugh
if you had to dig like us I hear you One, two, three! Fuck It’s stuck right here We have to dig away this Go, go, full throttle! Good job Kuba? Any comment? After five minutes of driving,
we got stuck again, again and over and over again… Hold on, you’ll only bury the car here You’ll push me
and I’ll try the full throttle How many times will we
dig before getting there? Filip has a snack
for another three stops, then we are dead More, more, go, go! All right You really wanna go back? It’s slightly different from the driver’s point of view
and the one’s who only digs the car It’s just a joke, it’s fun We didn’t get to the village,
but it was a great digging trip… We should have gone for a beer instead It was snowing the last two days and it’s lovely weather in the morning We are going to catch the first cable car to enjoy the fresh snow before other skiers will arrive Just a pity the cable cars run since 10am, the Georgians really don’t care… Avalanche! A little behind me Probably safe behind me I know but the noise… You really heard it?
I didn’t at all Pája sweared and I could hear the sound of the avalanche so I was leaving
and the avalanche fell 15 seconds later We should calm down a bit… I would go for a lunch It was enough for me today I totally missed it,
I didn’t hear the avalanche at all I heard something behind me when you were going and I thought it was far away And then the whole slope,
where I stood, sat down My God… I just stopped there, took a look behind, saw the moving masses of snow… Okay We’re alive,
that’s what matters the most I’m so glad I’m going home The enthusiasm for the powder snow
quickly fades away… At about 2pm, spontaneous avalanches fall all over the resort and we quickly finish skiing We are going down to the only pub in the area for the apreski Georgians react by closing the upper cable cars It’s a bit embarrassing farewell to Georgia and we know we have to come back again. It was great, but we underestimated the avalanches Although we tried to choose the safest slopes, it wasn‘t enough as you saw Fortunately, we are all going home and the next time we shall be a bit more sensible * we were not…
Fortunately, we are all going home and the next time we shall be a bit more sensible * we were not… Guys, yesterday we made a toast to the powder snow and freeriding… Today we got a chance
to see the other side, but it’s good we are all here and we can have a drink Cheers! Guys, I suggest… Go on Ondra How much do you think
your roof can carry? Boys and girls, Georgia is absolutely amazing, we’ve had a great time here Actually, I would like to emphasise that local people are absolutely amazing here and parties are absolutely amazing and petrol stations are absolutely amazing… I just wanna say it’s amazing here in general We had a very interesting experience with avalanches today. You’ll hear more about it in the movie. The Georgian expedition
was something unbelievable. I would like to thank everyone
who was here with us. I must say that
we did not behave irresponsibly at all Ondra, say hello to your parents Hi, I like you! Never let them go
anywhere again on their own. So that’s all Have a nice time and see you again

 

Leave a Reply