FATMAP difficulty grade
ASCENT: Ortsveri (4365 m) stands in the shadow of its big neighbour, Mkinvartsveri/Kazbek (5054 m).
Ortsveri is often climbed by its normal route to acclimatize prior to climbing Mkinvartsveri.
Ortsveri's northeast face is well-visible from the Bethlemi Hut (3650 m), situated just across the glacier and glowing in the morning sun.
The route is attractive for advanced alpinist and (in late spring) for steep skiers, with a 45° steep snow/ice wall, reminiscent of classic routes in the Alps.
Sadly, its hanging glacier has lost a lot of its ice over the last years. Access to the base of the face is fast from the Bethlemi Hut.
Cross the Gergeti glacier, navigating crevasses on the way.
The climb up the face is straightforward.
Initially, stay left of the hanging glacier, passing between rock bands.
The face above averages 40-45° and takes you straight to the foresummit “Kupol”.
To get to the south summit, follow the ridge on its south side.
A rope, glacier and ice screws are required for crossing the glacier.
DESCENT: a) Steep skiers may want to descend the face.
Follow the route you came up.
Scout conditions carefully on the way up, especially in respect to ice.
The month for skiing such routes in this area is usually May.
The first recorded ski descent was done by Andi Riesner and Peter Schön from Austria in May 2008.
b) Alpinist will likely want to descend via the normal route; descend along the ridge in NW direction, staying on the ridge.
Two dominant gendarmes are navigated around on the left.
Easy snow slopes take you down to the glacier.
Cross the Gergeti glacier to reach the trail of the Mkinvartsveri normal route, taking you right back to the Bethlemi Hut.
Links to mountain huts that can be used during the climb: Bethlemi Hut (3650 m): https://www.facebook.com/BethlemiHut/ AltiHut (3014 m): https://altihut.ge/