Key information: Koruldi Lakes
- Gorgeous tarns on the mountain due north of Mestia. Vast views up the Mestia valley to the wild spires and glaciers of the border ridge.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest15.5
- Human interest7
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Length: 2hrs+ return
- Maximum Altitude: 2,740m
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
The Koruldi Lakes are tarns, really, but beautiful nonetheless, nestled at around 2,750m on a comfortable shoulder of the mountain north of Mestia where a ridge joins a more substantial peak. It has to be said, you can drive to the Lakes, and they are somewhat spoilt as a result.
You can either drive up a track to start your walk higher, or make longer walks (see below).
Drive up a long zig-zag rough dirt road up the hill directly north above Mestia. 1hr or so, appalling ruts. Attractive mixed scrubby forest, alpine fields, passing a little church on a knoll and a variety of huts. Emerge suddenly above the treeline, into a world of rough grasslands climbing relentlessly towards rough peaks.
Disembark further on, where the track gets steeper. Head on up the track, climbing steadily with some steep sections, to the first lake in 1hr or so. 450m of climb. You could walk as far as you like on up the track, which switchbacks up the mountain to get round to a glacier.
The early views are westward, across a bowl towards the high ridge which separates Mestia from the Becho valley. They are good, but it is the views which gradually open up to the north which really amaze: along the upper Mestia valley to the fantastically sharp peaks – veritable aiguilles – and glaciers around the high Russian border ridge.
An alternative could be to climb the steep path (or the vehicle track) from Mestia to the cross high above the valley, but you would miss the huge views from the higher ground around the lakes. Masochists would walk to the lakes from Mestia, via the cross, an altitude gain of some 1,350m. We would argue that the reward-to-effort ratio is better than on other walks.
A long downward plod and messy suburbs around the airport.
For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Greater Caucasus Mountains walk page.
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
We were going to explore the upper Mestia valley towards the high border ridge, but a lost bridge means we have to improvise, walking to the Koruldi Lakes on the mountain north of Mestia.
We drive up a long zig-zag rough dirt road uphill directly north above Mestia. 1hr or so, appalling ruts. Attractive mixed scrubby forest, alpine fields, passing a little church on a knoll and a variety of huts. We emerge suddenly above the treeline, into a world of rough grasslands climbing relentlessly towards dark peaks patched with snow.
We disembark I guess some 3,000 ft higher, where.....READ MORE
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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