Climb for BRC!

To the top of Georgia for the 10th anniversary of BRC

Join our expedition on 19-24 September 2017

Caucasian Black Grouse (c) Silas MorreeuwDo you want to climb one of the highest and most iconic mountains of the Caucasus, and raise funds for raptor conservation in Georgia?
For its 10th anniversary Batumi Raptor Count (BRC) wants to do something extra, go that extra step further, higher! And how better to do that than by climbing one of the highest peaks of the Caucasus, Mt Kazbek (Mkinvari) 5033m.  We might come across Greater Rosefinches and Caucasian Snowcocks along the way!
Together with Icelandic Mountainguides we are setting up an expedition to this iconic mountain.

Are you a birder? Are you a climber? Are you both? Are you interested in mountaineering? Would you like to support BRC in a unique way? Then this is for you! Subscribe now, and start fundraizing tomorrow!
Find out more below:

Glacier at Kazbeg (c) Jasper WehrmannAll mountaineers will get together in Stepantsminda, a small village just below the mighty Mt. Kazbegi. 1 or 2 days of acclimatising (while birding) around Kazbegi before the start is highly recommended! On the evening of 19th of september, we will discuss our route, prepare and pack our bags. The next morning we will head up, towards the basecamp (Betlemi hut) crossing the Gergeti glacier. At the Betlemi hut, we first acclimatise, and then we have a window of two full days to try to reach the summit, if weather conditions are favourable.
Day1: meeting in Kazbegi in the evening
Day 2: up to Betlemi
Day 3: acclimatising day at Betlemi (walk up to 4000m and practice)
Day 4: first attempt 
Day 5: second window for attempt/walk down to Stepansminda
Day 6: walk down and leaving Stepansminda

For more information or to subscribe send an email to Brecht Demeulenaer with a small (CV hiking experience), motivation and statement of physical condition.


(c) Johannes JansenDo I need to be an experienced mountaineer?
Mount Kazbeg is a non-technical climb, however a good physical condition is absolute compulsory! You need to be fit enough to walk several days with a (heavy) backpack and at high altitude (up to 5000m).  

Do I need all the equipment?
The technical equipment can all be rent in Kazbegi, however it is good to inform us what you need so we can make sure there is enough material.

Great Rosefinch (c) Silas MorreeuwHow is the stay at Betlemi hut?
The Betlemi hut is a very basic shelter, although it is not at all comparable to the mountain huts in the Alps, it provides the basics we need.
There is basically no service provided and you will have to be completely self-sufficient. So do bring sleeping bags (no heating inside), mattress, food and cooking-stove!
I am not sure if am fit enough for the summit?
Start training now! Walk, run, cycle or swim to improve your fitness.
If climbing the 5000m top might be a bit too much of a challenge, you can also join till the Betlemi hut (at 3650m altitude) and encourage the climbers.
The earlier you come the area (high altitude) the higher the chances of success.
(c) Jonathan MeyravWhat does it cost?
Everyone participating will have their own fundraizer page, and raise a minimum of €100 for the BRC-project
You need to cover all cost made on the trip:
Stay in Stepansminda (hotel/ guesthouse) (we can arrange it for you if needed),
Stay at betlemi hut,
Transport from and to Stepansminda (we can organise it for you if needed),
Rent of equipment (10GEL/item/day),
all meals for the trip. 

I am guaranteed to summit?
Absolutely not! We will do our best to get so many people as possible on the summit, however success is highly dependable on conditions and weather.
Your guide makes the final call, whether he considers you fit/ well equipped enough to make an attempt.
Once we leave the hut, we go as a group either we all summit or nobody does. 


(c) Folkert de BoerWhat gear do I need:

  • crampons (for rent)
  • ice-axe (for rent)
  • harness (for rent) 
  • decent hiking boots (need to fit with crampons, so stiff sole: B/C or C-type)
  • decent raingear (jacket and pants)
  • underwear (polyester or wool)
  • fleece jacket
  • warm extra layer (light down jacket or similar)
  • hiking pants (no cotton), shorts for the approach
  • wool socks (2 pair)
  • gloves! (mandatory) (preferably 1 thin pair and one pair of mittens)
  • headlamp (we leave in darkness)
  • sunglasses
  • sun-hat /buff
  • sun-screen (SPF 30 or more)
  • water bottles
  • sleeping bag (no heating in the hut!)
  • sleeping pad
  • sanitary stuff (toilet paper!)
  • food (breakfast, lunch, diner) (we recommend to bring freeze-dried hiking food from Europe)
  • cooking stove and pots
  • cutlery Optionalgaiters
  • trekking poles