Ever been skiing in Georgia? No? Well, we haven't either, but we found a pretty cool chick who has – namely the Norwegian gurl Iselin Næss. Ofc we got super curious on why she decided to explore such a generally unknown country for skiing, instead of following the pack to the Alps – but after our chat, we totally get it.
How did you come up with the idea to celebrate Xmas and New Years in Georgia?
Wow it was soo random! We knew we wanted to go somewhere to ski. Japan was closed due to covid. Kazakhstan was on the table but turned out to be closed. And then in the end we chose Georgia over South Korea, because we found a local guide there that we started to email with, and everything just kind of aligned down that road.
Fill the sentence: You have to go for Georgia because of ...........
The food! No, the snow! No, the mountains! Or maybe just because of all the dogs and cows? It's hard to choose, but after spending some time there I would say you should go now, before this becomes the new "alps". No people, cheap ski lifts, great snow! The Georgian government is also upping their game on the winter tourism season, so lots of new hotels are coming, a brand new airport in Mestia, and all the ski lifts are updated.
Do you need to be a ski pro to go?
Definitely not! Mestia, where we went, has two ski resorts: Hatsvali and Tetnuldi, that are accessible and fun for all. And all the ski touring we did was done in a pretty safe environment because of the high level of avalanche danger during a heavy snowfall. But there are definitely some big mountains there if you want to push the limit as well.
What was the most memorable experience?
Mestia and Ushguli as communities left such a big impression on me, with all the dogs, cows and horses roaming around the streets, the amazing food and puri (local sourdough bread), the history and architecture, and the way that skiing is just a part of living in the mountains.
But I must say that waking up for Christmas Eve on a hut in the mountains, seeing the sun rise for the first time since we got there, seeing the mountains for the first time (it had been snowing heavy for the whole week), that is for sure a Christmas Eve I will remember.
How do you plan such an adventure, any tips to fellow ski loving sisters?
Well, I was kind of rusty after two years with covid, so booking and planning a trip abroad felt almost scary! I actually found a "package deal" for a ski touring trip online. And after chatting forth and back with the guide, we ended up being the only ones who booked that trip at that time, and we also extended our stay for a week. So my tips to others wanting to book a similar trip: Find a guide that resonates with you, and make alterations to make the trip fit your purpose and needs. Also, having a guide in such a place was so valuable to find good snow, to get to know the people and the culture, I would highly recommend it.
Another tip: when you book your flights, make sure to book your luggage directly with the airplane companies, and not through booking services like gotogate. At first, it seemed like it worked, but then it turned out they couldn't fix it, and since I didn't check my email before going, I ended up with no luggage bookings for any of the flights, hehe. Not recommended ;)
How do you like your Astrid Avant-Garde Pants?
It was actually the only pair of pants I brought for this trip! I just love how they can feel so comfortable, so flexible, and still make my butt look better than any of my jeans haha. But seriously, the fit is so cool and relaxed, and it's perfect for everything in between activities, as well as sturdy enough to be used in the outdoors. I even find myself wanting to put them on for my office days.
Iselin is wearing the Astrid pants in Camel.
Thank you for sharing your trip with us, Iselin! We def got our eyes on a new destination for our upcoming skiing adventures, and we bet this managed to inspire a bunch of other women, too. And hey, if you're into skiing, you better check out our recent interview with Fjällanda.