The Dazzling Pyramid of the Caucasus: Laila Mountain (4009 m)from
July 28 – August 3, 2024 | The Silent Guardian of Svaneti (Early-bird price to 30th April 2024 is 1350 € instead of 1450 €)
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeExpedition, High Altitude
Activity Level Moderate - Difficult
Group Size Small Group
Our admiration for Georgia and the mountainous regions of this beautiful neighbor is well known to those who follow us closely. The experience on these beautiful mountains over the years is increasingly appreciated each passing year. With the experience, lovely memories are always remained after every trip to the Caucasus. This time, we are heading to the land of the Svans, the owners of deep valleys leaning against the Caucasus Mountains, for a climb that is poised to become a classic among our adventures. No matter where you look, you can see mountains, lush meadows, rushing rivers, and wild glaciers in this beautiful region. We will climb Mt Laila in this stunning area, where almost 145 years after the first ascent of its peaks, the first Turkish ascent was only possible in the summer of 2023! We are eagerly looking forward to going again and again.
Mt Laila is one of the highest peaks of the Svaneti Mountains, which extend parallel to this massive just south of the main Caucasus Mountains. Its name, often spelled as Laila, is also pronounced as Lakhla in the original language of the Svans. This beautiful phonetic has a beautiful meaning too. Layla means ‘shining, radiant thing’ or ‘flames of fire’! It probably got this name due to the snow-white top dominating the view just west of the town of Mestia. The brilliantly shining summit, frequently struck by light due to its aspect, also deserves this name.
Despite being visible from everywhere and overseeing the most magnificent mountains of this part of the Caucasus, Mt Laila is less climbed and less frequented by mountaineers compared to its neighboring spectacular mountains. The reason for this may be that it is a bit more distant and secluded in a corner according to general approaches. The climbing route is relatively easier compared to the neighboring magnificent mountains. It is considered a mountain of moderate difficulty in a general mountaineering difficulty classification. However, we are confident that the ascent of Mt Laila, with the expertise of MONTIS organization, will be one of the brightest climbing experiences in the Caucasus. We have tailored this climbing organization to participants with a basic background in mountaineering and hiking. You can witness the unique views of all the famous mountains of the Main Caucasus Mountains from its summit. Layla’s large and partially fragmented massif is covered with dense glaciers. The classic route to the summit follows one of these glaciers. The campsite we will use for the ascent of the classic route and the approach walks to these camps are like a visual feast! First, pastoral views of rural life, then lush meadows almost drowning in flowers are just part of this scenery. We look forward to reaching our camp nights under the stars.
In addition to our climb, we have set aside time for familiarity with the region and a small trekking trip. This way, we will enjoy this magnificent trekking, mountaineering, and winter sports region.
We also have a surprise for you. Our friends who will lead this first ascent team include a father-son duo who were part of the team that made the first Turkish ascent of the mountain! Our dear friend Adnan, well-known in the Turkish mountaineering community, and Burak Can, one of the most successful athletes in Turkish alpinism, will share their unique experiences with us during this climb!
Join us on the first ascent of the dazzling pyramid of the Caucasus, Mt Laila – here we go!
North Layla 3976 m first ascent, Douglas Freshfield, Powell 1888
South Layla 3994 m first ascent, Gottfried Merzbacher, 1891
Laila Mountain Main Peak 4008 m first Turkish ascent team: Vedat Aydemir, Adnan Öztaş, Şeref Arıca, Burak Can Öztaş
Day 1: Meeting in Batumi. Transfer to Mestia. Check-in at the hotel.
Day 2: Hiking day and warm-up in Svaneti.
Day 3: Mestia-Lezgara-Chizdi Pass (3200m) – Layla Glacier Camp (2800m).
Day 4: Reserve Day.
Day 5: Camp – Mt Laila (4009m) Summit – Camp.
Day 6: Camp – Lezgara – Mestia.
Day 7: Mestia-Zugdidi – Visit to Dadeani Palace – Free Time in Batumi – Transfer to the Airport.
- Tour leadership, consultancy, English-Turkish translation, and MONTIS mountain leadership.
- All specified vehicle transfers in the program.
- All meals specified in the program.
- Accommodations for 3 nights in Mestia, including breakfast, in double/triple rooms.
- Camping in double tents at the main camp.
- Transportation of loads to the main camp by horses (maximum 15kg per person).
- All general safety equipment (ropes, carabiners, ice screws).
- First aid kit.
- Free camping equipment (tent, mat, camp stove, cooking set, etc.).
- Free supply support for personal technical equipment (safety harness, helmet, ice axe, crampons, carabiners).
- Travel Health Insurance*
*NOTE: Travel Health Insurance is a legal requirement but does not cover expenses related to accidents that may occur during sports and skiing activities.
- International flights and airport taxes.
- Foreign exit fee.
- Personal equipment.
- Meals not specified in the program.
- Out-of-program requests and expenses.
- Extra accommodation* and service requests.
- Extra tours and transfer services.
- Alcoholic and some bottled beverages.
*Single accommodation supplement: 250 Euro.
Day 1: Meeting in Batumi. Transfer to Mestia. Check-in at the hotel.
We will meet participants arriving on the advised flights at Batumi International Airport. Then, we embark on a scenic journey, driving along the Black Sea coast before turning our faces towards the mountains. We’ll have a lunch break on the way. After lunch, we continue our journey towards the green landscapes of Svaneti, Georgia. By late afternoon, we will be at our hotel in Mestia, nestled between deep valleys and gigantic mountains.
Approximate Vehicle Transfer Time: 6-7 hours, 265 km
Approximate Elevations (asl): Batumi 10 m – Mestia, 1395 m
Included Meals*: –
Day 2: Hiking and warm-up in Svaneti
We dedicate this day to a half-day hiking showcasing the enchanting beauty of Svaneti, a prelude to our climb. After breakfast, we travel from Mestia to the Hatsvali cable car line. Driving along the road leading to Heshkili, a typical small village in Svaneti, we ascend by vehicle until the asphalt ends. From there, we start on a few hours of easy walking on dirt roads, commonly used by nature enthusiasts and mountain bikers, leading to Zuruldi Cable Car Station at an elevation of 2345 m. The summit of Zuruldi Mountain offers a comfortable rest spot with stunning views, making it one of the most scenic cafes in the Caucasus. The panoramic view includes Eli, Tsivirmi Villages, Tetnuldi, Laila, Ushba, and other high peaks of the Caucasus. After a photo session and rest, we may take a short walk at Zuruldi Ridge. In the afternoon, some participants may descend by cable car, while others may choose to walk. We will walk to Mestia from the starting station of the Hatsvali Cable Car line, possibly visiting the Svaneti Museum along the way. The rest of the afternoon will be for the final preparations with our tour leaders.
Approximate Vehicle Transfer Time: 1 hour Altitudes: Mestia, 1395 m – Zuruldi Summit, 2345 m
Activity Duration: 3-4 hours Walking Distance: 9-10 km
Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 3: Mestia – Lezgara-Chizdi Pass (3200m) – Laila Glacier Camp (2800 m)
After an early breakfast, we leave our hotel as we will return here after the climb. Items not needed for the ascent can be safely left at the hotel. Our 4×4 vehicles will take us to Lazgara or the village known as Zkhumari. After a short journey, we arrive at Lazgara. Here, our equipment for the camp will be loaded onto horses, and they will be sent to our campsite. We, on the other hand, with only our daypacks, embark on a long walk amidst stunning landscapes to reach our campsite. Depending on the current road conditions in the area, our vehicles might have the opportunity to take us a bit higher to facilitate our ascent to the camp. However, we have planned as if we will walk from Lazgara just in case. This flexibility is a characteristic of our climbing expeditions, ensuring the participants experience unique mountain adventures in the safest and most comfortable way possible. During our walk, we will take a break on a highly scenic ridge where the region’s pastoral shepherds reside. Throughout the day, we ascend to Chizdi Pass, also known as Layla Pass, at 3200 m, offering a view of glaciers and a magnificent panorama. After a short break, we will descend to our camp at approximately 2800 m. We will set up our tents and rest.
Approximate Vehicle Transfer Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Approximate Altitudes: Mestia, 1395 m – Lazgara Village, 1340 m – Yayla, 2200 m – Chizdi Pass, 3200 m – Camp, 2850 m Activity Duration: 6-7 hours
Walking Distance: 15 km
Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 4: Reserve Day
To increase our chances of reaching the summit on our foreign climbs, we plan a reserve day. This day can be utilized for unexpected adverse weather conditions, the need for rest, additional acclimatization, or practical training. If we do not use this day for climbing, there is an option to have an additional night’s stay in Mestia with a reasonable extra payment.
Included Meals: —
Day 5: Camp – Layla Mountain (4009 m) Summit – Camp
We rise before sunrise, have a light breakfast, and with ample hot drinks, we commence our climb for the day. Today, we embark on a journey towards the dazzling pyramid of the Caucasus – Layla Mountain. This climb involves mixed terrains, icy or rocky short passages, and progress on glaciers. We will ascend to the summit with a highly satisfying climb, offering all the flavors of a classic mountaineering activity. Upon reaching the summit, a dazzling view of peaks such as Ushba, Shkhara, Tetnuldi, and Europe’s highest summit, Mount Elbrus, awaits. We deserve a small summit celebration. We carefully descend to our camp from the route we came, and it’s time to nourish ourselves, relax, and enjoy a restful sleep in the camp.
Included Meals: —
Altitudes from Sea Level: Camp, 2850 m – Layla Mountain Summit, 4009 m
Approximate Activity Duration: 11-12 hours (7 hours ascent, 4 hours descent)
Day 6: Camp – Lezgara – Mestia
This morning, we wake up without haste. After a delightful breakfast, we pack up our camp and begin a long descent to Lazgara. Descending while enjoying the scenery, our loads will be carried by pack animals, arriving at our camp by late morning. After a short rest and photo break at the point where we finish our walk, we return to Mestia by 4×4 vehicle. Once settled into our hotel, we will celebrate our success, sipping cold drinks in the serene atmosphere of Mestia. A pleasant rest awaits us. We will reorganize our bags for the journey tomorrow and enjoy our hotel and the charming mountain town.
Included Meals: Celebration Dinner
Altitudes from Sea Level: Camp, 2850 m – Chizdi Pass, 3200 m – Lazgara Village, 1340 m – Mestia, 1395 m
Approximate Activity Duration: 4 hours
Approximate Vehicle Transfer Time: 45 minutes
Day 7: Mestia – Zugdidi – Dadiani Palace Tour – Free Time in Batumi – Transfer to the Airport
After breakfast, we prepare our belongings and embark on the return journey to Batumi with our private vehicle. Along our return route, we make a stop in Zugdidi, the capital of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region. In this city inhabited by the Megrelian people, we visit the Dadiani Palace, built in the 19th century and transformed into a museum in 1921. Afternoon lunch is scheduled, followed by our journey to Batumi. Depending on our timing, we may have a short tour in Batumi, exploring its significant sites.
Approximate Vehicle Transfer Time: 6 hours
Included Meals: Breakfast
- We will meet and conclude our program at Batumi Airport both for arrival and departure. Considering the potential challenges of flight schedules in 2024 and the complexities of crossing the Sarp Border Gate, we recommend joining the program by flying directly to Batumi Airport.
- Depending on flight options from Turkey, you may choose to arrive a day earlier or extend your stay. Please contact us for additional accommodation and transfer needs.
- Due to factors such as weather, road conditions, trail status, and the physical performance of the group, our tour leaders reserve the right to make necessary changes to the program and hiking routes.
Mestia Hotels: We stay in small boutique hotels located in the center of Mestia or within walking distance of the center. The selected hotels stand out with their location and immaculate rooms. We work with warm accommodation facilities that are both close to central amenities and offer cozy stays. In the evenings, you can enjoy quality meals at nearby cafes and restaurants, and participate in evening shows for a delightful time.
Hotel Amirani, Mestia: Located centrally and in close proximity to museums and attractions, Hotel Amirani offers a true Mestia experience in a quiet and peaceful setting. As a family-run establishment, it is a preferred choice for our stays in Mestia due to its delicious breakfasts, small terrace, and impeccably clean rooms. You will feel at home in this small and unique hotel that we frequently choose for our accommodations in Mestia.
July 28 – August 3, 2024
- Departure: July 28, 2024, Istanbul (IST) – Batumi (BUS), TK390 / 06:45-09:40
- Return: August 3, 2024, Batumi (BUS) – Istanbul (IST), TK393, 21:50-23:00
Our tour and transfers have been arranged based on the above flights. It is possible to join our tour with different airline options, and for any additional transfer or accommodation needs, please consult with us. We are not responsible for changes made by airlines. The program may vary depending on changes in flights. Please consult our office before purchasing your ticket. You can inform us during the reservation for your flight ticket needs related to our tour, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best timing for climbing tours in the region is between July and August.
- Vaccines: No vaccine precautions are required for Georgia. However, it is recommended to have your international vaccination card with you if available. Please inform our tour leaders of any regular medications, ongoing or permanent illnesses and conditions on the health declaration form.
- Georgian citizens do not require a visa or passport from Turkish citizens. Turkish citizens can travel to Georgia with identity documents (ID card). For crossing to Batumi, it is necessary to have the most up-to-date Turkish ID card with you, which should not be worn out, erased, or damaged. Children under 18, if traveling with one parent, must have a notarized consent letter from the other parent for traveling abroad. Photo is mandatory for identity documents, including babies and children. Green passport holders are responsible for fulfilling special permits or other border crossing requests.
Suitability for This Tour:
Participants are expected to have the skill of climbing long ascents in high mountains, using an ice axe, and crampons. The Kazbek climb is a classic mountaineering activity involving long approaches and a lengthy summit day.
The flight between Istanbul and Batumi takes approximately 3 hours.
The local currency in Georgia is GEL (Lari). You can exchange USD and EURO in Batumi, Zugdidi, and Mestia, and use credit cards and bank cards in many places in the cities.
There is a +1 hour difference between Turkey and Georgia. When it is 12:00 in Turkey, it is 13:00 in Georgia.
All mobile phone operators can be used if your line is open to international roaming.
Recommended Clothing and Necessary Items:
A checklist for recommended personal items and clothing will be sent to you by us based on your request.
Georgian and Caucasian Cuisine is one of the most appreciated culinary cultures globally. In Mestia, you will find the finest examples of this cuisine, as well as small local restaurants offering examples from different cuisines.
Electricity is 220/230 volts, and C-type dual thin round and F-type dual thick round plugs are used.
You can access the difficulty levels of our tours through this link.
|Paket Onaylanmış Tarihler
|Tur Bilgisi Tur Bilgisi
|Fiyatlar Uçuşlar Hariç
|Fiyatlar Uçuşlar Dahil
28 July 2024 - 3 August 2024
Booking Available / price per person in 6-12 ğax groups