Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1st Month in Gudauri Georgia

When I got to Gudauri, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know where I would live. I didn't know what the food would be like. I didn't know if I would be able to communicate. I now have a place to live in a hostel like hotel run by an old man named Rezo. He was one of the first snowboarders in Georgia and a very cool man. He speaks Georgian, Russian and German. Breakfast and dinner are covered in the rent. Usually with dinner the Georgian wine is flowing freely. New people come to the hotel every week so I have a chance to make new friends regularly. Most of the tourists here are from Ukraine or Russia. It is rare to see another American which I actually quite enjoy. The Georgian food is amazing. Khinkoly is seasoned ground beef in a dough that is boiled to cook the noodle-ish part and meat. You eat it with your hands and you aren't supposed to let the juices touch your plate. So there is quite a bit of sucking of the juices once you bight a hole in the khinkoly. Khajapuri is a flat bread that is fried with cheese in side. The cheese they use is like a "stinky mozzarella". It is quite good but also quite heavy and it fills you up fast. Lobiani is like Khajapuri but it has beans inside instead of cheese. It tastes like a fried burrito but its shaped like a pizza. For breakfast there is usually some sort of grain like rolled oats/wheat or oatmeal, or a bowl of stuff that tastes like cream of wheat but is either rice or noodles. Then there is Georgian sausages (tastes like Polish Kielbasa), cheese, oranges, bread, butter ect. Dinner is usually a soup of some sort and a main course of meat and potatoes. On special occasions there is Georgian BBQ which rocks my world. The Georgian red wine is great. Georgian Cha Cha is a "vodka" made from grapes, much like Grapa from Italy, Raki from Greece or Pisco from Chile. The good stuff comes in a recycled Coke bottle. There is also very good Georgian Cognac which is quite smooth and a favorite in the coffee while warming up on a cold day riding. There are also very good beers from Georgia. and cheep. A 2.5 liter bottle is about $3.

Georgian BBQ. Pork, beef, chicken, and lamb. 

Sveta. Our cook about 1/2 the time at Rezo house. 

Enjoying a Georgian beer with my Georgian lady friend Anna.  
Cha Cha

More Cha Cha

Now for the snow and the mountains. I lucked out when I randomly picked Gudauri. The Caucasus Mountains separate Georgia and Russia on Georgia's northern border. The mountains here are relatively "new" so they are very rocky an jagged. Gudauri doesn't have many trees so if the weather is cloudy, the light gets very flat. This would be my main complaint. For some reason the tree line is very low here. We have had many sunny days in Feb though to the point where much of the snow that we received in January was melting.

Ukrainians getting ready to shred. 

Wet windlip shlashes. 
Fisheye capture from Gopro footage. 

Waiting for a ride after dropping down to the "Georgian military road"

Getting a ride in the back of an old Russian Kamas dump truck. 

A few days later. After 10 days of no snow and sunny weather we decided to go trekking for fresh powder. The expedition turned out to be a success. 

Don't get into those jagged rocks. 

Stay on the North faces. The south facing slopes have huge wetslides. 

Some people have amazing style when they jump windlips. 

Finding fresh pow even 10 days after a snow? Am I in heaven? 

Look Mom.. I'm even wearing a helmet! 

Dumping one night. Huge flakes about 1" across. 
We woke up the next day to an amazing powder day.
Here is a quick video I put together with footage from that day. (and a few other days)


  1. It's cool! Where will you go after Georgia?

    Vitaly, Russia.

    1. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia... then Japan.. then I'm not sure where to after that. Still undecided.

    2. We're having a kick-off meeting for Alta 10 & 11 next week in Tehachapi....maybe you want to go there? HAHA. Looks like you're having a blast dude, good luck and enjoy!

  2. All those things about the food at Rezo are described with the photos from Dacha ))

  3. I miss Gudauri and Rezo's house, is very tasty and is sincere. Good luck to you and it is a lot of snow))

  4. I miss Rezo Doma as well, good food and good people!