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Natalia Evdokimova

The warmth of snow and the freshness of the sun

Sketches of Gudauri, February 2016
Where
Georgia, Gudauri, Caucasus mountains (almost ours). In summer 2015 visited the Elbrus region, and it was very tempting to look at the ridge from the opposite side. An exciting dream is to overcome the mountain passes on the Georgian Military road. But we decided not to risk and chose a flight to Tbilisi.
When
February, 2016. It happened that we have booked tickets for February 14. We don`t pay much attention to this "bourgeois" holiday, but in the car we listened to "romantic" repertoire of Russian radio (facepalm). Along the road slowly grew mountains, higher and steeper. In Gudauri we arrived after dark. You can easily fall in love with that night, the starry sky, under which snowmobiles moves lonely up there and winking their lights.
mountain nature sky nature Gudauri Georgia ski lift and Cableway
Why
Our dear friend Dro enjoyed Gudauri in March 2015, brought a lot of of snow cards and warmest impressions and agitated all her friends to go there. So Gudauri bacame quite popular among our friends (according to instagram). And the people who heard something about Georgia now interested and considered to go there next time.
Where to live
My ski experience is not rich - three seasons. Nevertheless, I can boast that I have never lived before in thirty meters from the ski lift. You came out, crossed the "area" and sat on the gondola and forward. Beautiful! In the afternoon or in the evening you ride down, right up to the ottomans or benches, and took off your skis, plopped down, ordered something to eat and drink - and enjoy the sunset.

In the morning bright rays burst through the curtains on the floor and up to ceiling, forcing to go barefoot on the balcony, where a dazzling mountain-view did not let you go, but let pass the time before the opening of the ski lifts.

Clean air at the height of 2300 meters slows down your pulse ( "Bring me to the exhaust pipe").
What to eat
We tried authentic khinkali and khachapuri, learned what is adzharuli. We bargain when buying the factory and house wine. Ate a jar of natural peach jam. We tasted a dried persimmon right by the road. At breakfast were porridge and cookies. We dined often at the Timeout. The most delicious is barbecue or kebab in pita bread with spices and strange crimson color. We drink beer and mineral water, warmed by coffee, tea and gluvine. We had dinner at different restaurants, studied the range of supermarkets. A couple of times came down in Gudauri on foot, cutting off roads on the "dog" paths.
khinkali Gudauri Georgia
As rolled
Here is a little feminine and "beginner" impressions.

The first day - almost cloudless sky and the crazy sun, temperature is slightly below zero and no wind. Managed to slip a couple of times on the icy "hem".Then it starts melting. There is one slope (plus two vertices); several runs, most of them blue gentle. On the opposite side of the valley there is a long series of carved mountains pleased to an eye, as if it covered with sugar glaze.

At first I was confuse where to turn to go back down to the Gondola when the run leads to a Time out. And then relax: where they are, there are. Legs, of course, quickly tired, and riding from 10 to 16 seemed more than enough. Even before the evening I realized what it was a mistake when on the eve of departure I twisted in the hands a sunscreen spray bottle and put it back on the shelf. All the time face was turned to the south, and the ski mask provided us an unforgettable "raccoon" tan, "Nivea" did not save the cracked lips.
mountain nature sky nature Gudauri Georgia skier
The second day – the weather is the same, the slopes are familiar, photography seems to have nothing. Mastered Kudebi.
Third day – flat iridescent clouds in the morning was startled and ran away. We went a couple of times on Sadzele. The track there is not so "black", at least short.
The fourth day - snow and snow around. Per night piled half a meter, and still falling down, so that it was barely visible markings. Ski had dug, and I as in a feather bed – the somersault. Heavy, lazy, but what can you do, ski pass purchased – must ride. Electricity for a few minutes, chop off the cable-car was standing.
The fifth day – again snow, but thinner,riding is a little easier. Torment downstairs, climbed on Kudebi, and there is no snow, the sun is shining, and down below the clouds spilled over the sea. We went down to the lift and dived into fog shreds. The excitement has played out, even it is a pity that at four lift has been already closed.
Sixth day - awesome ragged clouds slightly reduce visibility, shadows added mystery, the fog was forced to reduce speed, the wind is retarding, the sun was fearless.

Seventh day - again a mix of swirling clouds, sun, snow and wind, and I've already been decided that i`m riding well. We are going to spend ski passes till the end (up to five), but the third hour of the next descent suddenly interrupted by my encounter with a man. I recoiled so that the guys had to "put me together". I had the opportunity to meet with local medical services. Ride on the snowmobile. In the end, everything worked out.
Snowboard Gudauri Georgia
Who
My husband, Sanya and I. At the hotel we were met by Olga. For a week we saw her three times passing by, but it feels like we know each other a hundred years. She warned us that we should not freeriding without a guide, as we'll get lost (especially in poor visibility conditions). And so, free riding is not for me.

Of course, we were not able to ride near by each other all the time. But sitting in lift with strangers, you can get acquainted, chat and share impressions. Despite the fact that in Gudauri there is no crush (free slopes, almost no queue), you can meet interesting people. The Russians, of course, from all cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ryazan, even Novosibirsk. The Ukrainians it is clear (a man uncle with a flag on the helmet). Local - obviously (intelligent Georgians about fifty). The Serbs, the Poles - from the poor countries of Europe. So even come across with the Germans and the Americans, and Asians ( Malays) - they all have fun from only one exchange rate.

It was funny how a man in a snowy cabin with fumes and a bottle of cognac, giving a toast about skiing.
mountain nature sky nature Gudauri Georgia ski lift
Our warm company I would call quite self-sufficient. But we were happy when at the end of the fifth day, having escaped from the snow captivity of Kazbegi, we were joined by our beautiful Dro with her wonderful companion of Alexander Sergeyevich.
Since then for three nights we have two Alexanders, but we do not even remember that we can make a wish, because in the mountains you forget about the reality. We were missing our friends who stayed at home, I'm sure they will come here another time. Before leaving again fell nearly half a meter of snow. And once Abkhaz, then temporarily Muscovite, and now Tbilisi Jemal picke up us to Tbilisi on his Nissan. There we missed for a couple of weeks with a blossoming spring ... But that's another story.
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