Length: 49 km
Season: June – October
Price indication: 230 GEL
For those who are strong in body and spirit, have trekking experience and want to get as close to Ushba as you can without gear. On day one you cross Guli pass with a south-western view of Ushba, while on day two you get to see the north-western side, Ushba’s “back” for Svaneti. Long distances and serious elevation changes, be prepared!
Day 1. The trail starts in Mestia (Lekhtagi area, near the central park) at 1450 m above sea level. First you need to go up to the steel cross and view platform at Tskhakvzagari – you can see both from Mestia if you look up north. From Tskhakvzagari the trail starts to turn west slightly and takes you to Guli pass, the highest point for today (2954 m). The descent takes you past the Archangel’s church of Guli and the ruins of the deserted village Guli. Great views of glowing Mt. Ushba at sunset – and you descend into Mazeri for the night. Distance for the day: 25 km. Elevation change: 1500 m. Overnight in Mazeri.
Day 2. The trail to Ushba glacier starts at the wooden bridge across the river Dolra, to the north of Mazeri village, near Grand Hotel Ushba. The trail has double marking (red and white + blue and white) – both are correct for you. First it goes along a pleasant dirt road along the Dolra, then near Hiker’s Cafe the road becomes a footpath and goes on through a shady forest with glimpses of the valley and Becho waterfalls on your right. Then the path crosses another wooden bridge and arrives at the border police post. Pass the border police and follow the path that takes you out of the forest and starts going up and getting more and more steep and rocky. Watch out very carefully for the markings, especially at the turnings that are easy to miss, some marks are almost invisible because of the grass. You will need to cross a few streams on your way, and finally the trail arrives at the start of the waterfalls and further at the beginning of the glacier (2900 m). The end of the trail is marked by a big boulder monument to alpinists that perished while ascending Ushba. You can go a little further to the river flowing from under the glacier, but we strongly recommend NOT to walk on the actual glacier. Follow the same trail back to Grand Hotel Ushba where the driver will meet you at 7 pm. Distance for the day: 24 km. Elevation change: 1300 m.
There are no technically difficult parts on this trail, but it is long and the elevation changes are significant, so you really need to be in good physical shape to enjoy it.
Photographs in order of the trail