Hatsvali

Hatsvali

Overall Rating

Hatsvali

Hatsvali3/51
Hatsvali3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Chamonix Ultimate Ski Tour Le Grand

Nearby Ski Resort

Tetnuldi

    Hatsvali Ski Trail Map
  • Hatsvali Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,428m - 2,348m (480m on-piste or 920m off-piste)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (4)
    2 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    January to late March
    10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 6km+
    Longest run - 2.5km
    Advanced - 75%
    Intermediate - 15%
    Beginner - 10%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Adult - approx. €13

Hatsvali - Reviews

Hatsvali - Reviews

Fun to be Found Close to Mestia

Louis
25/02/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Fun to be Found Close to Mestia

Louis
25/02/2020
I have copied and pasted some of my Tetnuldi review here (please forgive) and posted another review for Gudauri. Please read all 3 because I am trying to provide some 2020 details that cross over among resorts in a country different to all others I have visited for skiing.
Georgia is an amazing and exotic place that makes you revisit all the things that really matter in life.The Svaneti is in an isolated part of northwestern Georgia. It has amazing history, amazing culture, tight family ties and amazing scenery. Mestia is the biggest village in a place with it's own language and a turbulent past punctuated with conflict and invasion. It has retained its culture and you cannot just come here for the snow riding. In fact, riding is the last thing I'd come back for, which is a weird thing to state having spent all my life chasing snow.
There are 2 snow riding resorts in Svaneti. Tetnuldi is the larger, 15km up the valley from Mestia. You can't get to either on foot and there is no bus. Everyone encourages you to go to Tetnuldi. The locals are blatant. "Tetnuldi good. Hatsvali no good". Visitors fall for the hype. It's not true. Hatsvali is a fun little hill.
Early 2020 has been a terrible winter season in (northern) Georgia (and almost everywhere else it seems). I am not basing this review on that, because we did get good snowfall and a taste of the potential. However, it is hard to get enthusiastic about a 30cm base on rock. Luckily at least 50cm fell while we were there and that was almost all the snow for most of February in a notoriously snowy part of the Greater Caucasus.
Why Hatsvali:
- Access is fast and cheap. 10Laris ($AUD5 approx) covered transport to the access chair for 2 people. Ask your accommodation host to arrange all transport the night before when in Mestia. It will be more economical and usually from the door. You can easily ski and walk back to the village centre, but walking up is too hard and sweaty. There is a special mineral water source near the bridge below the museum on the way back to town. If you carry a bottle, you can walk 100m down near the river and get natural sparkling water. It stays that way for days if you have a big bottle.
- It has steep pistes, not many, but steep enough and about 480m vertical from the top of the one lift you ride from in Hatsvali. The access chair is really not skiable. It looks like it may be, but even local guides say you have to know which tree lines to take in a good season to ski n down to town without being caught in the river.
- It is quiet. A lift line of anyone at all was only an issue if there was a lift malfunction. Unfortunately this happened several times on more than one day, leading to some time spent in the mountaintop restaurant, developing queue, or on night drive being offloaded.
- The trees look steep and good. I'd love to be able to report on this in detail, but skiing on 30-50cm of hollow snow on stumps and fallen trees is something I grew out of a long time ago. Lots of people were having a go after decent snow fell over a couple of days, but it looked like a struggle. Pick me for next time I visit.
- It is great value for money. At 40 Laris ($AUD21 approx) for a single day ticket and this ticket is interchangeable with Tetnuldi Resort.
- The mountaintop restaurant may not be big, but it is warm, quite welcoming, has good food for a fair price and good music. The views are totally special featuring Mt Ushba. The toilets are good (do not underestimate this in the overall scheme of Svaneti riding). The hotel closest to the lift bottom also serves good food cheaply, but is a bit cold at times. Everywhere has slippery floors.
- A couple of local dogs have Hatsvali on their rotation. It's nice to give a pat and get some affection from critters you watch climbing the hill - some effort.
- Wind is not common in this or other Georgian snow resorts.
What's not good about Hatsvali:
- It's small with limited runs. Think mini Japan resorts. This does increase the personal appeal.
- Beginner terrain is almost non-existent. No lift operated in any easy terrain, perhaps because of limited snow, but I'm not sure about that. To ride off the top you need to be able to handle quite steep runs.
-Don't even think about using the public toilet at the car park near the main lift. It's taken years off my life and I don't even want to think about what summer would be like in there. Sub-zero temperatures may have helped, but contaminated floors, squat toilets, no lights, no water, piles of non-steaming but ultra-fragrant.......
- Any lift failure here is a big thing, because there's only one. Someone told us that 2 days earlier they were stuck totally for 90 minutes, because there was no diesel fuel to run the evacuation drive motor. Our 2 evacuation rides were less than 20 minutes, but we did spend some time chilling in the warm, top cafe as well
In summary, this little hill is definitely worth trying. I would love to get a crack on a decent snow base with new snow. This is a cold place, so quality snow at 1500-2000m is not at all uncommon and the trees do look tasty if a bit tight. My paw rating is based on the quality of snow that fell while we were there. The base was terrible, but the snow was never icy and was topped with the good stuff.