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Caucasus. Georgia, Svanetia. Climbing Layla (4008 m), sightseeing excursions and trekking in Svanetia

Altitude: 4008 m
Program category:
Mountain Climbing
Duration: 3 days
Season: June - September

First climb: John Garford Cokkin, 1887
Program price from:
450 Euro

  • 11.07.21 - 18.07.21Regular 470 EURO booking
  • 02.08.21 - 08.08.21Regular 450 EURO booking

Guided climb of Mount Layla - is the exclusive mountain program of MCS AlexClimb, one of the most interesting and beautiful programs.

Svanetia. The history of that small country located on the South slopes of the Main Caucasian Mountain Range roots in the very ancient times. While on the slopes if North Caucasus only wild bears and goats were roaming, and vast expanses of north plains were trampled by fierce tribes of Huns, in that time the South side of the Main Caucasian Range where the up-to-date Svanetia is located, the art and religion were developing, and the independent country with a clear name of Free Svanetia was prospering. Today, in every Svanetian hamlet, even in the most tiny and abandoned, the first thing which the person sees who is in Svanetia for the first time is plenty of ancient towers, churches, half-ruined castles and many evidences of the famous past of Svanetia.

But quite few people can say that they indeed saw real Svanetia, not the postcard print. Remote location of Svanetia, bad roads, lack of regular transport connection with the central regions of Georgia, all that is not favorable for tourism developing but absolutely great for conservation of culture and old traditions of Svanetia. People in Svanetia live the same way as their ancestors live long ago - high in the mountains, in ascetic way, ploughing the meagre mountain fields in the summer and hunting during the winter season... Svanetian people have one peculiarity which makes them very special from all the people who live in mountains - normally, mountain people do not climb the mountains higher than is supposed by their practical needs. For Svanetians, climbing mountains is much more important than hunting for food or looking for the new pastures. Climbing mountain tops is deep in the soul of Svanetian people, who are tightly connected with the mountains and who love them from the bottom of their heart...
Together with my friends from Svanetia we created several programs which are intended for introducing to Svanetia, with wonderfully hospitable Svanetian people, with their history, culture and traditions, with the past and present of Svanetia. And surely we are proud to introduce to you the mountains of Svanetia, from which that people gets its origin, its power and proud. Below is the description of the Mount Layla program which is supposed to be the first in the list of our Svanetian treasury, the beautiful climb which is equally good for beginners and professionals. Climbing Mount Layla - the highest mountain in Svanetian mountain range is not complicated with technical obstacles but is very beautiful and comparably easy, safe and, permissive to appreciate all the incomparable magic of that original and hospitable country - Svanetia.

Mount Layla. The name of that mountain, which is the highest point in Svanetian mountain range, can be translated from Svanetian language as "Flame". Probably that name was given to the mountain because during the thunderstorm its top is often hit by lighting - the reason for this phenomenon can be the fact that in that part of Svanetian mountain range many deposits of copper, silver and gold are located. And off course if you look at Mount Layla in the sunset or sunrise time surely the comparison with a burning flame will come to you - Mount Layla is perfectly highlighted by the morning or evening sun, astonishing the onlooker by the full range of violet-rose-crimson and red-purple shades. In spite of the fact that Mount Layla is one of the most accessible and technically easy mountains of the region, Mount Layla is climbed very seldom by several teams per year - the most beautiful region of Svanetian mountain rage with its precious pearl Mount Layla until today is not open up by climbers, although there is a possibility of change in the nearest future - in the last years the road connection with the central regions of Georgia is improved significantly, several new hotels were build in Mestia, the new airport and brand new ski lift are ready for opening.
Actually climbing Mount Layla does not mean applying any of special mountaineering skills or negotiation with serious technical climbing problems, all the necessary mountaineering skills can be trained directly before the climb, in specially dedicated day when we go to Chalaat glacier, which is located in two hours beautiful walk from Mestia. On the ice of Chalaat glacier we work on the crampons walking, basic iceclimbing skills, the necessary lessons of mountain safety and self protection.
The Mount Layla climbing program is specially designed to give to the participants the best conditions for getting the most clear impressions from communication with the mountains. For making the program easier, the climbing and camping equipment is carried by horses, overnights in the tents on the route are planned in special comfortable campings, before and after the Mount Layla climb we live in comfortable conditions of hospitable mountain guest house in Mestia, with convenient hot water, electricity and Internet, very tasty and various national Svanetian food and nice opportunities for getting acquainted with the way of life and rich culture of that unique country - Svanetia!

Svanetian mountain range, stretched for about 85 kilometers from East to West on the South side of the Main Caucasus mountain Range, geographically is dividing range of basins of rivers Inguri and Zkhenitikhili, Also Svanetian mountain range is the highest mountain system to the South of the Main Caucasus. In Svanetian mountain range the glaciation is clearly expressed - mighty glaciers descend to the North and South slopes of the Range, many mountain tops by their altitude are close to 4000 meters and all the summits of Mount Layla massif surpass that point (4008 m). The Svanetian mountain range region if extremely interesting for mountain climbing and trekking, many mountain tops never been climbed, the whole region is virgin clean and is not even touched by civilization.

There are not so many places in the world where the beauty of Nature is so openly expressed in every detail of relief - in a rock, in a flower, in a mountain stream or glacier outlines.. Without any doubts Svanetian mountain Range is absolutely unique location by the beauty and untouched purity of its landscapes, the place until now conserved the primeval brightness and freshness of the wild mountain nature. Svanetian mountain range is the land of shepherds and hunters, hospitable country where hospitality is revered as a law and people are always happy to see the new people. Mountain climbing and trekking are poorly developed along the whole length of the Svanetian mountain range, many mountain tops of that system were never been visited by climbers. Svanetian Mountain range is comparably medium altitude mountains (Mount Layla - the highest mountain of the range is a bit higher than 4000 meters) but at the same time the gliciation is quite serious here with significant quantity of glaciers, and the difficulty of the most mountain peaks can satisfy the need of the most experienced mountaineers. It is the historical fact that Mount Layla, the highest mountain of Svanetian mountain range was climbed for the first time by the famous Austrian climber John Garford Cokkin, who in the end of 19th century did many fabulous climbs and new routes to the most serious mountains of the Main Caucasus such as Ushba, Dykh Tau, Shkhara, Tetnuld. And the attention of that great mountaineer did not miss the mountain which could not be compared with the others nor by its altitude nor by its technical interest. Although the choice of mr. Cokkin becomes obvious at the firs sight on the Svanetian Beauty - Mount Layla, which shines brightly on the sunset or sunrise like a crimson sail in the sky above the palisade of ancient towers of Mestia - capital town of Svanetia. Another interesting fact about Mount Layla is connected with the name of one more famous European man, who glorified himself by his geographical achievements. In 1891, the South Summit of Mount Layla which never been climbed before was conquered by well known German traveller and mountain explorer Gottfried Merzbacher. In that way, not very high and not technically attractive Mount Layla got into the annals of the world climbing history in its most fruitful period of bloom.

The MCS AlexClimb programs realized in Svanetian mountain Range are not numerous yet are limited by the most important mountains of the region - Mount Layla and Lentekhi and by several trekkings. In the nearest future we plan fundamentally extend our program list in the Svanetian Mountain Range region both in mountain climbing and trekking aspects.

This 12-day program "Climbing Layla, Georgia, Svanetia" is designed for people who have no prior experience in mountain climbing and who want to try themselves at mountain climbing. Climbing route of Layla is not very hard physically, does not require to overcome any technically difficult parts nor stay long at high altitude conditions. Regardless your climbing experience, we recommend the Course of general physical preparation and passing MCS AlexClimb Course of Mountain Technique (basic level) before participating in this program.

The First Principle of MCS AlexClimb
The First Rule, by which we are guided in the development of our mountain programs - is safety. Professional Guides lead the group, the highest quality certificated equipment and the most modern navigation equipment are used. This guarantees the highest possible level of your safety in the mountains, which is the most important side of our work.

Program Schedule

The AlexClimb South Caucasus climbing schedule (Climbing Layla 2024, Georgia)

Guided ascent of Layla in Svanetia (4008 m), 2A Russian Grade
Easy Climb, basic level

Day 1 - international flight to Tbilisi, hotel accommodation (***)
Day 2 - transfer to Mestia - capital town of Svanetia (10-12 hours, minibus), guest house accommodation
Day 3 - day off, sightseeing excursion in the Museum of history of Svanetia
Day 4 - transfer to the beginning of the Mount Layla route (Zkhumary village), walking up (3-4 hours, loads are carried by horses) and setting the First Camp (2700 m), overnight in the tents
Day 5 - walking up the Mount Layla Pass (3700 m) descent to Layla valley and setting the Second Camp (3400 m), overnight in the tents
Day 6 - summit Day, Climbing Mount Layla (4008 m) - the highest mountain of Svanetian Mountain Range, descent to the Second Camp, overnight in the tents
Day 7 - spare day
Day 8 - descent to Mestia (5-6 hours, loads are carried by horses), overnight in the guest house
Day 9 - transfer to Tbilisi, hotel accommodation

Prices and conditions

The price of the "Climbing Layla 2024 Svanetia":

650 Euro* - standart group 5-10 participants
850 Euro* - mini-group 3-4 participants
1250 Euro* - private program for 1-2 participants
* price per person

You have to be ready for:

  • 4-5 days of camping life in the field conditions;
  • Cooking your meals by yourself while climbing mountains;
  • Carrying a 8-12 kg backpack;
  • Air temperature can be down to -20°C on the altitude higher than 3000 m;

Conditions: minimum 4 participants, the Brief AlexClimb course of mountain technique is recommended before the trip.
The price includes: Professional mountain guide services, rent of the communal equipment (ropes, belaying and navigation equipment, cooking gear), hotel accommodation, transfers from the point of the beginning of the program to its end (Tbilisi), using the communal basic medical kit, local registering and climbing permits, food for outdoor part of the program.
The price does not include: Georgian visa charges*, International and domestic flight expenses to and from the point of the beginning of the program (Tbilisi), obligatory climbing insurance, rent of the personal equipment, food and drinks while being in cities, using the satellite phone.
Group capacity: 12
Guides: 2

*Most European citizens do not need visa for entering Georgia, check that in Georgian consulate in your home country.

Detailed conditions and limitations on the program "Georgia. Climbing Layla" can be read in the Offer section

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Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.