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Lomisi

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Lomisi

Backcountry to the Lomisi Monastery of the 9th century, N (north), NE (northeast), NW (northwest), 3,2 km., ⎋ 05:00 h., ⇡ 02:50 h., ↑ 700 (850) m., ↓ 700 (850) m., ▲ 2200 (2350) м.

Overview of the route

If visiting an ancient Orthodox monastery located far from inhabited areas and civilization, hidden on a mountain range where five monks live all year round sounds like an unforgettable adventure that you would enjoy, then this is the route to take. Not only are the views breathtaking during the ascent, but you will experience a wonderful freeride during the descent. The monastery has a unique history and continues ancient traditions that combine the ancient pagan cults of mountain-dwellers and traditional orthodoxy.

Features

You’ll find unforgettable views of the Gudauri Resort from the opposite slope of the Aragvi Gorge. You can drink tea with monks while wearing a chain in the monastery for the fulfillment of your wishes.

Route description

The route starts from the church in the village of Kvemo-Mleta, then passes through the forest, continuing on an open, less steep slope. The key places to stop and rest are the ridge after the forest ends (1850 m) and the site of the cross (2000 m). The average angle of the slope is 20º. At its steepest point, the angle does not exceed 35°.

Distinctive details of the route

The route is very popular with all guides. Because of this, comfortable ski touring is only possible in the first few days after snowfall; the rest of the time, the trail is broken by numerous tourists. You can ascend to the monastery without special equipment, with regular skis or snowboard on your back, with a backpack.

To enjoy the route in solitude and not have to share the ascent with dozens of other tourists, get out early, one hour before dawn.

It is one of the few routes in the region that can be followed in poor visibility conditions, due to the presence of external landmarks.

The monks who live in Lomisi Monastery will be grateful if you bring them water or a wood log from the church at the beginning of the route.

Safety

Despite the fact that the route to Lomisi Monastery is quite simple, sometimes accidents happen on descent. Some places are potentially dangerous, especially during days of high avalanche risk. Avalanches on the route are marked in red on the map. Check the level of avalanche danger before setting off for the route!

Clarify the level of avalanche danger before setting off for the route! Daily updated information on the level of avalanche danger can be found in the Gudauri Travel Bar (www.gudauri.bar).

Equipment

Standard equipment for freeriding - avalanche transceiver (beeper), probe, shovel., Ski touring / splitboard set., Snowshoes., Normal Ski / Solid Snowboard.

Getting there

The drive from Gudauri to the beginning of the route (Kvemo-Mleta) takes 20 minutes. If you do not travel by car, then the most convenient option is a taxi. The cost of a taxi from Gudauri to the beginning of the route with the return to the resort after its completion will be from 70 to 100 GEL for a 7-seat car.
Taxis can be found at Smart Supermarket or ordered at the reception desk of your hotel.

You can also get to the beginning of the route by public transport. Gudauri-Tbilisi minibuses leave from Smart Supermarket every hour to hour and a half. If you pay the full cost of the trip to Tbilisi (7 lari per person), and if the driver has enough space for your skis and backpack, he will take you to the village of Kvemo-Mleta, 200 meters from the church where the route begins. The return by minibus is less predictable, since it almost always returns filled to capacity from Tbilisi and therefore, can’t take you. The last minibus from Tbilisi to Gudauri goes through the village of Kvemo-Mleta at about 6:30 pm.

Step-by-step instruction

The route starts from the church in the village of Kvemo-Mleta (42.429158, 44.507976). It runs a hundred meters up the path, to the right of the village cemetery, then turns left in front of the steep slope and continues several hundred meters on the right side of a small valley. It then leads to the steep beginnings of a forest trail. Farther, the route continues along the well-marked forest trail until the exit from the forest zone. It's good to rest here, and if you are going to attempt a descent along the northwestern exposure here, you can estimate the state of the slope and perform snow tests.

Further along, the steep section can easily be traversed to the left. The ascent continues strictly upwards in the direction of the monastery. Work with the terrain where necessary, holding on to the ridge line. 
After 30-40 minutes, you will find yourself at a cross in the middle of a small, open flat site. From here the path to the monastery will take 30-40 minutes if you ascend to the left side of the bushes (the shorter, less-safe option) and 40-60 minutes if you ascend to the right side of the bushes taking the long traverse (the safer option). 
The descent line (marked in blue on the map) is chosen depending on the level of avalanche danger and the presence of traces from previous groups. As a rule, a week after the last snowfall there are no slopes with untouched snow.

Difficulty
Easy

Type
Ski touring & splitboarding, Snowshoeing, Hiking

Experience
Confident skiing. Backcountry experience at least one year.

Exposure
N (north), NE (northeast), NW (northwest)

Mobile connection
Mobile communication is on the itinerary

Is the route accessible when the Cross Pass is closed?
Yes

Water en route
No

Distance
3,2 km.

Total duration ⎋
⎋ 05:00 h.

Duration of skinning up ⇡
⇡ 02:50 h.

Ascent ↑
↑ 700 (850) m.

Descent ↓
↓ 700 (850) m.

Highest point ▲
▲ 2200 (2350) м.

Lowest point ▼
▼ 1500 м.

Risk Potential
Low risk

Best time
December, January, February, March, April

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