Start Routes Ushguli to Chvelpi via Latpari pass (Svaneti)
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Hiking trail

Ushguli to Chvelpi via Latpari pass (Svaneti)

Hiking trail · Georgia
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Sean Fitzpatrick 
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Scenic hike from Upper to Lower Svaneti crossing Svaneti mountain range. The first half of the trek offers breathtaking views of main Caucasus ridge.
difficult
Distance 23.2 km
8:15 h
1,065 m
2,039 m
2,964 m
1,112 m
For more information, visit the author's website at https://www.caucasus-trekking.com/treks/chvelpi

==

Trail starts by the bridge in Chazhashi, one of the villages belonging to Ushguli community - there is also a pointer showing the way to Latpari pass. Cross the bridge to the left bank of Inguri river, pass the museum and leave the village. Then continue walking downstream on the path running by the river until you come to the Murkmeli village (village lies on the other bank of the river). Trail here turns to the left and starts climbing uphill by the smaller stream.

At the elevation 2150, the spring splits into 2 tributaries, you need to keep to the right (so when looking from the spring, you are actually following left tributary of the stream). On the ridge to the left, you can see the remains of two stone defensive towers.

Path then keeps ascending through fields of rhododendrons and sometimes even disappears. If you lose it, just keep climbing to the south, to the top of the ridge. When you finally make it there, you should find another pointer and also quite a visible pathway - this place is called Gorvashi pass.
Turn to the right and start walking in the western direction, right on the ridge. This is by far the most amazing part of the trek as you can see large sections of main Caucasus ridge with mountains such as Shkhara, Tetnuldi and even Ushba.

After approx. 2 km you will see a steep hill in front of you - Latpari pass is right behind it. Traverse the hill from the left side - trail is hard to see, so just don't descent too much and once you pass it, you will see Latpari pass with new a car road built in 2013 right in front of you. Come to the pass, from here it's easy (at least when speakin about orientation, your knees would disagree). You just need to follow Kala-Chvelpi road and after the few hours of steep descent on the endless serpentine, you will make it to Chvelpi.

From Latpari pass it's also possible to continue to Ma'ami village further west, but this trail is longer and almost impossible to finish in a day. It's also very difficult to follow - slopes are steep, and trail markings, even though they exist, are completely illogical. According to feedback from a guy who finished it, markings disappeared at the end and they had to to hack their way through thick brush for several hours till reaching Maami. If you want to try it, it's recommended to split the walk into two days and spend the night on the Latpari pass. There are two small lakes close you the pass where you can get water (though you should first boil it) Actually, it may be worth to spend a night there even if you have time and are heading for Chvelpi - just because of those morning views (check the title photo of this article).

==

Comments from users - transport from Chvelpi:

There is a daily marshrutka to Lentekhi leaving in the morning. The trip takes some 2 hours.

Regarding the transport from chvelpi, there are at least two options: 1. there is a private taxi from the guesthouse Mts Broli which is just to the right of the trail at the beginning of the village. The ride to Lentekhi would cost about 100Gel. 2. Second option is the marshrutka to Kutaisi which leaves early and one should ask the guesthouse owner to make a call and ask for it to stop by the guesthouse and ask about the departure time. In our case it was 6.30am even though he expected it to be about 8. The ride to Kutaisi took about 2.5 hours and we were in Kutaisi at around 9am.

The Marshutka from Chvelpi leaves about 7:30 - 8.00 in the morning. There is a Guesthouse in the nearest house to the trail ending (also marked in map provided above as well as on the road there is a sign). It cost about 30 GEL to kutaisi, 15 GEL to Lentekhi. But we were here about 17 in the evening so we hitchhiked. We were waiting for about 30 minutes walking towards village and 2 guys took us for 10 GEL/person to Lentekhi.

==

Comments from users - Mami route:

Concerning the Mami option, it's definitely better to split the trek into two six hours+ days. Latpari is good to camp, or if you want to be more quiet you can camp near the second lake, about an hour earlier, coming from Ushguli.

On day two from Latpari, after an hour or so and two rivers crossed, the markers start going upwards through bushes on an overgrown/nonexistent trail all the way up to a pole. The trail shown on maps.me/openstreetmaps follows the same way. It's much better to keep going straight on the obvious and comparatively flat path to the rim of the landslide. From there go straight up on the ridge and back on the marked trail.

After walking around the top of the landslide it's easy to follow, although the markers are not very regular. The only tricky part is near the old shepherds shelter in a clearing where you should head back west. The trail on maps.me is the one to follow here. Then it's an easy to follow though horribly steep path through beautiful forest all the way down to Mami.

Happy trails to all !!!"

--

Ok, we took the track to Mami first week of September and I think it is much nicer than walking down that dirtroad to Chvelpi. But yes, it is long and has some tricky parts. Two other Couples really did it in one Day from Ushghuli, my respect here.

We climbed up and camped on the first pass at 2800m. It was pretty cold in our 10°Sleepingbags and the tents raincover had frozen moisture on on the outside.

I recomend to fill up all your water at the Spring half way up from Ushghuli. Would not drink the lakes Water without filter/treatment.

All the Way to the dirtroadcrossing was amazingly beautiful and no problem. Would be nice to have a waymark here pointing the direction to Mami.... Just cross the Dirtroad having the church and that little lake on your right hand. From here the way gets much less used, but was nearly always clear to find. 

Tricky Part:

Fill up your Water in the second, bigger creek. After pasing it you need to get up higher than you might think! Dont walk through the hogweedfield! The way leads around it. Anyway, after this is a huge landslide, so you need to climb up the next hill anyway! We got lost here, nearly stepped on a Snake and climbed up on the way way way too steep ridge of the Landslide.

Rest of the Way was long and steep down, but without unecpected problems. I would recomend to camp on that viewpoint shortly before the forest begins. There was only one more campspot in the forrest.

In Mami was one way way too expensive 50gel/person Guesthouse. They organised the Marschrutka to Kutaisi. 2 hours 20gel 7oclockmorning (we camped)

Final thoughts: Cool Walk to finish up a SwanetiHikingtour instead of over 8 hour Marschrutka Ride back from Ushghuli to Kutaisi. Do it end of season. I think the Way will be very nasty in early summer.

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Highest point
2,964 m
Lowest point
1,112 m

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Coordinates:
DD
42.915308, 43.009582
DMS
42°54'55.1"N 43°00'34.5"E
UTM
38T 337539 4753331
w3w 
///henna.paranoid.carries
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Coordinates

DD
42.915308, 43.009582
DMS
42°54'55.1"N 43°00'34.5"E
UTM
38T 337539 4753331
w3w 
///henna.paranoid.carries
Show on Map
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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
23.2 km
Duration
8:15 h
Ascent
1,065 m
Descent
2,039 m
Highest point
2,964 m
Lowest point
1,112 m

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