The season 2019/2020 was a bit chaotic. we started without enough snow and had to cancel the first group for our new hut. Then with the first of January the weekly dumps came back and already after a few weeks we had a high avalanche risk. At the end of the season we had a great snowbase of more then 3 meters - the first floor of the alp houses deeply buried in the snowpack.
In Bakhmaro the team were fighting with authorities to get electricity and twice in the season some locals tried to clean the road to Bakhmaro. They did not believe us that it is impossible, that the road needs avalanche assessment and already a bit wind will make it impossible to drive. Both times they gave up after two days and left behind a chaos on the road.
At the end we had to cancel the last week in our Alp hut because of travel restictions caused by the Corona virus. Acctually Barbara and Bernd have been lucky to catch one of the last flights back to Central Europe. For myself I got stranded in Meria Keli for a couple of weeks...
Allthough we are in Georgia with groups for 4 season now, it is still an adventure.
After we tried to build a lodge in Bakhmaro for 3 years and could not get a property, we started a new project in Adjara. We looked for a nice location close to a bowl we knew from the seasons before. A bowl with loads of snow and a place which is less wind affected. We found a free space on a ridge with spectacular views.
A few hundred meters further down we found a "Maiensäss" we could by and so we rebuild the old house on the ridge again. A new ground floor with rest room, shower and sauna; a first floor with living room and kitchen and upstairs 5 rooms with bunk beds. We build it the "Georgian way" without any plan but almost everyone of the team was involved.
After an unusual weak season start in December we had almost every week a dump. Fresh snow for every group which come. Even in March we still skied powder.
There have been days when the powder was so deep, that it was almost impossible to ski: 1 1/2 meter of fluffy bottomless pow.
We are happy and proud that our team is back every autumn to prepare the next season. We have the best drivers in the Caucasus reagion, great cooks and the most friendly and hospitable lodge staff. And every year we are growing. By now we employ almost 25 locals as drivers, mechanics, cooks, tail guides, assistants and managers. Most of the team is running the Pioneers of Bakhmaro base and a small team is up in Adjara to run the backcountry hut.
It is great to work with these amazing people. Allready I am looking forward to start the next season.
We become more and more international. The riders are coming from all over the world. We love our Motto:
"Friends (from all over the world) on powder days".
This season riders from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US visited us in Adjara.
Pioneers of Bakhmaro had also riders from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and UAE.