Georgia is a curious place, especially for the mountain-minded. Not the Georgia of peaches and the American South. This is the Republic of Georgia that straddles Europe and Asia, the Georgia of the former USSR, the Georgia that’s home to the Caucasus Mountains: an incredibly unique East-West range of nearly endless, and largely unexplored, vertical. These mountains are a 200 mile long, 50 mile wide spine, cranking to Mt. Elbrus’ heaven-brushing 18,510 ft., that draws a sharp topographical line between the Black and Caspian seas. It was the idea of these mountains that inspired a team of Bozeman-based buddies to plan–and execute–the ski trip of dreams. Imagine: a stopover in Istanbul; mountain travel by old Soviet-era cargo helicopter; cocktails and turns with the President of the country; a beach day on the Black Sea; a swing through Engelberg on the way home; days upon days of pillow lines; exploring a strange and new place, of deeply embedded history and geography.
We were so impressed by the vision of this trip that we outfitted the guys with both prototype and production Mystery Ranch packs, to help them safely on their way. Sometimes, the best way to tell a story is through the images that story inspires. Enjoy.