Homeland Seen from the Glacier
Ilia State University created a two-year professional program of mountain guides which aims to prepare high-qualified professionals.
Sergo Ratiani, the Head of ISU Administration and the participant of the Alpiniad, marked: within the framework of the program, the university launched an alpine club which pursues the goals to popularize this occupation. We organized the first expedition to the glacier two days ago. There were lots of people interested in taking part in the expedition but we chose 26 participants in accordance with different criteria. The expedition was leaded by the outstanding alpinist Bidzina Gujabidze. Mr. Gujabidze with members of the Georgian team in Alpinism helped our students to invade the glacier. Hope, Student Alpiniads will be traditionally organized.
Archil Tsinstadze, Head of the Expedition: 26 students took part in the expedition but 21 of them finally overrun the glacier. It was the first time participation for most of them. No troubles emerged in the process of struggling with mountains. We stopped in Kazbegi at 1700metres altitude for the first night. We spent the second night in tents at 3000metres in Sabertse. Afterwards, we sheltered in the shanty of Bethlehem (3650metres). On the fourth day we stopped at the Meteostation for acclimatization. We hurried to climb up the glacier because of the changeable weather.
The most important is that the students are exceptionally satisfied. Lots of people are willing to become members of the alpine club. We will organize the first gathering in Chiatura for rock climbing lovers. Afterwards, we are planning to organize the qualifying get-together in Chaukhebi. And, in August, we are going to invade the Chitini and Ushba.
Ana Dularidze, fourth-year student at Ilia State University: during the previous year, I twice visited Ushba, but now I am impatiently expecting to visit again with ISU students. I am from Kareli district. Julia Turmanishvili, Champion of Mountain Climbing, advised me to contact Lado Gurchiani. It happened four years ago… Now, I am a professional alpinist. It is desirable if many young people feel this beauty and follow the healthy lifestyle.
Ilia Berulava, member of the Georgian National Federation of Mountain Climbers: I have been a mountain guide just for ten years. I helped others to climb up the glacier. Ilia State University organized such expedition for the first time. Hope, other institutions of higher education will track its example.