Winter Expedition Heads to Georgia’s Highest Peak

The Hungarian National Climbing Team is heading to Georgia to attempt a new alpine-style winter route. The team plans to climb the south face of 5,193m Shkhara, Georgia’s highest mountain.

Shkhara lies near the Russia-Georgia border, in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, southeast of Elbrus. Shkhara is the third-highest peak in the Caucasus, just behind Dykh-Tau.

The 2,300m south wall has been climbed in winter only once, by Georgian alpinists Archil Badriashvili and Giorgi Tepnadze. They topped out in February 2018, after a difficult eight-day ascent. On the opposite side of the mountain, there have been a few winter ascents.

Photo of the attempt in 2020.

A photo from the 2020 attempt. Photo: Hungarian National Climbing Team


Second time lucky for the Hungarians?

The Hungarian team is composed of Viktor Agoston, Laszlo Szasz, David Kocsis, and Andras Rusko.

Agoston, Szasz, and two other team members carried out the first ascent of 5,980m Bondit Peak in Pakistan in 2022.

On Shkhara, the team aims to ascend the Beknu Khergiani route. They’ve attempted this route once before. Four years ago, they made an attempt in March, right at the end of the winter season. However, melting snow and bad weather halted their summit push. In heavy snow, they retreated from 4,300m.

Hungarian National Climbing Team leaves for Georgia.

The team departs for Georgia. Photo: Hungarian National Climbing Team

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.