From Mazeri to Ushba glacier

Nice daytrip, navigating Dolra valley from Mazeri village to the foot of Ushba glacier


Overview

This nice daytrip follows the Dolra valley from Mazeri village to the foot of Ushba glacier, offering pretty cool views of mount Ushba. On the way to the glacier, you will pass Shdugra waterfall, the highest in Georgia. The hiking area lies close to the Russian border, so better bring your passport - they usually don't ask for them, but one never knows.

Duration: 9 hours

Over 5 hours of walking to the glacier and more than three hours back.

Difficulty: Hard

There is 18 kilometers to walk with elevation gain 1000m up and down. Also, the last sections of the trail are quite exposed and require caution.
Hike only to the waterfall is easy (11 km, 500m up and down).

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How to get to Mazeri:

There is no public transportation to Mazeri. The closest road served by marshrutkas lies 7 kilometers away, at the mouth of Becho valley. Take the morning marshrutka from Zugdidi to Svaneti, tell a driver that you want to go to Becho community and he will let you out at the right place.
If you prefer walking, there are two nice, scenic daywalks connecting Mazeri with neighbouring villages - Mestia and Etseri.

How to leave Mazeri:

There is no public transportation to Mazeri. The closest road served by marshrutkas lies 7 kilometers away, at the mouth of Becho valley. You can reach this road on footg, or, preferably, hire someone in the village to drive you there.
There are also are two nice daywalks connecting Mazeri with neighbouring villages - Mestia and Etseri.

Dolra valley behind

Description of the route

Trail begins in the Mazeri village, crosses the Dolra river and heads up the valley. It's marked by white/red rectangles and well visible. In the beginning, you will walk through meadows and pastures, eventually passing small and deserted St.George’s chapel.

Then you will enter beautiful pine forest. Here, the climb gets steeper - you will eventually climb above the river and get a good view of valley with Shdugra waterfalls. Move back to the river, cross the wooden bridge. Here you should be approached by Georgian border guards; they may ask you to show your passport and let you know if you can walk all the way to the glacier or just to the waterfall.

Behind the border post you will have to climb very steep slope to the waterfall. If the weather is good, you can continue further up to the Ushba plateau. Here, the terrain is steep and at several spots quite exposed - be careful and don’t try this in wet conditions, when stones are slippery.

However, if you reach the plateau with the glacier, the reward for all this effort is well worth the effort (if the weather is good). You will get a stunning view of Ushba (4710m) and surrounding mountains - Mt Shelda (4 368 m) on the Georgian-Russian border to the north and Mt Mazeri (4 010 m) to the south.

Enjoy the views and return back via the same way.

Glacial valley

Most of the photos were provided by Radovan Bieleny, remaining four of the photos by Daniel Wakefield Pasley. Also great thanks to Willem van der Bilt for corrections of the text.




Trail to the Ushba glacier Dolra valley behind In the Dolra valley The bridge before border post Shdugra waterfall Above the Shdugra waterfall Glacial river Ushba glacier Ushba glacier The view behind Ushba glacier in detail

Copyright © 2016 Jozef Antala. All rights reserved

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