Southwest Georgia’s Adjara region is home to not only some of the richest cuisine but also the snowiest mountains and the best tree skiing in the country. Goderdzi, situated near the highest point of the Batumi – Akhaltsikhe road, offers a wealth of backcountry skiing options. The terrain directly under Goderdzi Ski Resort’s two gondolas is quite flat, but the gondolas can be used to expedite ski tours to the more interesting mountains nearby. Very little terrain in this region is steep, which can be a bummer for snowboarders, but the flip side is that even on nipple-deep powder days – which happen quite often – the avalanche danger is very low. The biggest hazard here are the deep gullies which create dangerous terrain traps and can be very difficult to get out of, so make sure you stay on top of ridge lines.
One big draw of Goderdzi is the relatively cheap cat skiing. Though it means some slopes will be skied out, there is still plenty of terrain for everybody to ski a fresh line, and the network of cat tracks around the surrounding mountains make skinning through the powder a whole lot easier.
Rather than exact ski tour tracks, we outline a few areas that are easily accessible for touring from Goderdzi. You can determine the distance and elevation of your hike based on the conditions that day – just about everything here is safe and skiable.
In winter, Goderdzi can be only be accessed by car via Batumi and Khulo. The road is rough, so depending on your suspension, expect the 110 km drive from Batumi to take 3-4 hours. A marshrutka leaves from Batumi bus station every day at 3pm and charges 12 GEL to drop you off next to the gondola plus 5 GEL for ski bags. If you’re not up for the cramped and bumpy 4 hour marshrutka ride, you can get a taxi for approximately 120-150 GEL with the Bolt app or by talking to the drivers near the bus station. Hitchhiking is of course possible, but the road is closed beyond Goderdzi in winter so there is no through traffic.
On the east (Tbilisi) side, a snowcat is scheduled to take people from the snow line somewhere after the village Zarzma up to Goderdzi at 9am and back down at 5pm. The price is 20 GEL per person. It is possible to get to the village Adigeni by marshrutka from Tbilisi via Akhaltsikhe, but beyond that, you’ll need a taxi or your own transportation to reach the snow cat. The drive from Tbilisi takes 4-5 hours and the snow cat ride takes 1 hour. Call the driver beforehand to confirm that there is space and that he will be going that day: +995 595 87 22 44. He only speaks Georgian and Russian.
Please note that this information is valid as of January 2020, but is subject to change any time without notice.
Tourism is just beginning to develop in Goderdzi, and many hotels are under construction but are not finished yet. Currently (Jan 2020), there are 2 accommodation options at Goderdzi Ski Resort: Goderdzi Chalets and Hotel David. Hotel David is cheaper and run by a very friendly family, whereas the Chalets are slightly more upscale and you likely won’t ever see the staff after checkin.
In the vicinity, Hotel Meteo is located at the top of Goderdzi pass and is open and accessible by snowcat or ski touring all winter, with very reasonable prices and an amazing restaurant. A second hotel has just opened next to Meteo, which is yet unnamed. In the village Danisparauli, a 10 minute drive down from Goderdzi, there are also a few guesthouses which offer meals included in the price – a worthwhile culinary experience.