Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A great start to a Georgian skiing odyssey!!!

I’ve finally left that cubicle that got me stuck for the past weeks to head out to Georgia for 3 weeks! My partners in crime for this trip are my dad and Babiche. I am flying with my dad from Montreal to Amsterdam where we were supposed to catch up with Babiche.

After enjoying a bit too much that characterize the driving scene around Montreal on a Friday afternoon, we eventually made it to the airport.

Since my dad really likes to get to the airport quite in advance, we had some time to kill. I figured that 12$ for a beer was too much, but walking around the liquor store, we got the idea of buying a bottle of wine from the duty free shop and drink it on the spot. It worked flawlessly! Keep this in mind for your next trip!

We didn’t sleep much in the plane so when we got to Amsterdam, we badly needed a coffee. We figured the same idea that we had in Montreal and snapped a full bottle of Bailey’s during our connection.
This time, I certainly didn’t need much help to sleep!

We got to Tbilisi early at night just to get a short taste of the city. It old but well preserve look certainly got us excited for our following touristic day!

The city lived up to its reputation of being a not to be missed place by any whom travel to Georgia. We spend much of our days walking around the twisting streets and enjoying it as much as a non-city lover can like it!
Since Tbilissi lays stuck in between Middle East, Russia and Turkey, you can imagine that there has been a great mixture of influence over the years. The city reflects quite well this heritage.
We had in mind to leave the following day to go to Gudauri, which is the main ski destination of Georgia. As we woke up, it was pissing rain! It was raining so much that we even got fully Gore-tex suited up with our skiing gear to get to the restaurant to have breakfast! Don’t have to tell you that we got some weird looks from the locals!
Since Gudauri is not very far from Tbilisi (about 120km), we thought that we might have some problem to get to our destination. After some quick checking with our hotel tenant, we got the confirmation, that the road was clear and in somewhat good conditions.
As we thought, the road got really bad as we were gaining altitude. Our taxi driver lost the control twice but manage to keep the car on the road even we he spun 270 degrees in the middle of the road!
Surprisingly, we reached Gudauri without any other major lost of control!

We had some trouble to find a hotel room since most of the places we have thought about before coming here were full. We were all quite surprise about that!
After finding one that fitted my dad’s expectation, we head out for a short walk out to discover the village. It seems that the current storm have left about 1 feet and a half to 2 feet of new snow. Everything was crumbling under that new snow!

Don’t have to tell you that we were quite excited about our first day on the slopes!
We woke up under a perfect blue sky with almost no wind! That certainly looked as a perfect day! Even we were all pumped, there was no need to rush since the lift don’t open before 10h00!
Gudauri, is certainly way more modern that what I’ve heard about! All the lifts are modern and have been installed with the state-of-the-art standard.
The terrain is a bit flat to cope up with the amount of snow that just dumped but 2 of the tops chairlift give access to some great terrain.
We had a few quick picture-less run to enjoy the epicness of the moment!
The sun came out harsh on the south faces and quickly turned the new snow into a more heavy state.
Since one of the top chairlift never open, the terrain quickly turned quite skied-out.

With endless terrain for backcountry use around the resort, we are quite stoke about the coming days!!!
This is really a perfect way to start a ski trip!

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