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Gudauri is transforming into a high ranking ski resort

Friday, March 9
Relaxing in a gondola on my way up to the summit and glancing through my dark sunglasses, I thought for a moment I was dreaming. Am I back in Belalp – my favorite ski resort in Switzerland, where I just spent a perfect (however very chilly) week high above the tree level?

Indeed, when I arrived at the top I was aware of an overwhelming 3600-view: chains of mountains, white slopes, blue sky, as far as I could see. Just breath-taking. Gudauri definitely became what Belalp always used to be for me – one of the most exciting places for skiing, relaxing, and enjoying the beauty of a quiet winter landscape. In particular, due to excellent snow conditions and temperatures well below zero, Gudauri has developed into a real ski resort indeed. A cascade of lifts and gondolas bring you up to more than 3000m above sea level. Up here the snow is like powder and impressively deep and soft. The various slopes are prepared well and professionally, which leaves you with many options and alternate routes to run downhill. Some of them are less steep whereas others would get the “black” marker in Switzerland – which means rather steep.

Juritsa Stankovic, a mountain manager from Serbia, and his Georgian team did a good job indeed. Preparing the slopes – mostly at night – is a challenging task. On top of this, they will have to prepare even more routes: next Saturday a completely new and very long lift with small closed cabins will bring you up to new areas to be discovered. Skiing in clouds of white powder snow, you just feel like “sultans of skis” – as my colleagues from Denmark, Italy, and Turkey joking shouted before disappearing into the clouds.

Guenther Baechler
Swiss Ambassador to Georgia