Oleg Gritskevich about himself (extract from his book) - Click to see...
I started skiing and snowboarding at a reasonably mature age when I turned 30. On the other hand, I’m living in the mountains for 15 years now, which is one-third of my life, and my knowledge of mountains is greatly more profound now than at the beginning of this path.
To go further from the walls of my home every year, ascend higher into the mountains and return home safe and sound, in 2014, I started training in one of the first classes in the RMGA Mountain Guides School, supervised by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
Thanks to my Canadian teachers - Keith Reid, Marc Piché, Mark Bender, Mark Klassen, Reiner Taglinger, and Russian teachers – Fedor Farberov, Grigory Mintsev and Sergey Fursov, I completed my training, learned to find opportunities for even more significant interaction with the mountains and determine the limits of acceptable risk for myself and those around me.
Spending a lot of time in the mountains, I found out, to my surprise, that adventures in the mountains don’t take a final and fixed form for me. Instead, every trip to the mountains becomes a unique experience. As a result, the understanding of mountains and myself in them gets deeper. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that mountains are my home, so comfortable I feel in them.
Anticipation of adventure when planning a route and doubts when choosing the correct ascent line; controlled fear on difficult sections and admiration of the endless views from the top, awe when choosing the descent line and irrepressible joy in the powder, warmth from communicating with like-minded people and pleasant Après Ski when discussing in a bar, enjoyment of Georgian cuisine and sincerity of the new acquaintances – all these are just a small range of all the feelings and uncontainable happiness than the mountains and Georgia give us.
When writing this guide, two feelings were fighting in me – the first is a desire to preserve and hide some routes from the reader’s eye so that I could be able to walk through unknown or little-known paths and ride on a pristine powder with friends or clients. The second is a desire to share the fantastic lines with others so that as many people as possible come to Georgia and enjoy its mountains. However, the second feeling in me was more potent and won – in this book, I share with the lovers of ski-tour and backcountry all the evident and secret corners of the mountains in Georgia, which opened to me over the past decade. Well, almost all of them…