Second excursion of our trip in Georgia ( Caucasus massiv)
Day 1 : 1400m – 1600m ( evening)
On the 18th September as we just went down from Tetnuldi (day 4). We made a short break in Mestia, ate some water melon and dried some clothes. As the girl had to leave Georgia 3 days later it was their last chance to summit somewhere. Despite the really crap weather which was announced the 4 swiss decided to make a try to Laila ( an easy summit nearby). Florian and I decided to spare energy for the rest of the trip and given the very low chance to get enough good weather, we just joined with them to share time all-together and spend time in the mountain. Therefore our mountaineering equipment was released in the valley. We called again our driver of the morning and after 1 hour drive we we at the end of the road. we walked about 200m up and found a nice camping place in curve of the allroad track ( in the forest). Again rain surprised us as we began to mount our tents…!
Day 2 : first bivouac 1600m – Layla pass 3000m -2750m Layla bivouac :
After a good night we began the hike up under partly sunny sky ! Amazing to hike along with the sun for some minutes ! We walked gently in this really autumnal landscape with the beautiful colour of the trees and the some rainy clouds playing with the sun giving such an interesting light ambiance. The mood was good with a lot of laugh and we were amazed by those hunter house with typical wooden architecture.The arrival at the Layla pass wall terrible as we got snow with wind and thunder which after a good day of hiking pushed us to run up even quicker… With my altimeter, I observed a big air depression just behind the pass which is a well known meteorological effect due to wind. On the other side of the valley, we dried some and recovered the warmth. The landscape gave us so much reward and energy that we took loads pictures, timelapse and films ( Florian will mount in a few month the whole film of our trip). We found a perfect bivouac place with water 5 minutes away and with an amazing view. the sky got clear at the beginning of the nigth allowing nigth shoots.
Small trailer clip filmed by Florian and timelapse from me. a longer version will be mounted later by Florian ( Meal time, the Layla pass (3000m)) and our camp).
Day 3 – bivouak/2800m , Laila pass/3000m , summit/3200m, valley 1400m :
At 4 o’clock our indestructible swiss team took off from their tents with the firm wish to join layla through a route which they observed the day before ( different and more direct compared to the normal route). But as the weather forecast said, they hiked under heavy rainfall which changed later into snowfall ( at about 2900/3000m). After 2/3 hours of struggle in horrible conditions, they turned around and definitly gave up. We ( the photographers and filmmakers) heard them from our warmy downsleeping bag ! We are getting older… They rested for some hours and as the rain stopped we hiked up the Layla pass and from there, the team targeted a small 3200 m summit from which the foggy view made an impressive view and ambiance. I was not keen on going there as I was cold at this moment and continued down the mountain. On the way I encountered georgian hunter with their horses. We tried to communicate but without any common language, the discussion go fast… But still it is really interesting to share some moments and food in the hut as the rains started again. After the break the loud rain outside called us and we made the last hour down hill under one of the stongest rain you can get to know. Completely soak, we arrived at the Zkhumari village and the hunter we met drove us towards Mestia with house music as warm up !! We spent the night at Dodo guest house which will be our main host in Mestia ( more to come in a later post).