Safety in Georgian Mountains

4 Mins read

We all remember the scenes of ski lift malfunction from the last year season which happened in Gudauri. This terrifying event which was reported all across the world took place on the nearby territory of Sadzele ski lift station on the 11th of March. For me as a person who is keen on this field and is interested in ski lifts system it was more than vivid to state that it was a matter of human error. In general ski lifts are a huge mechanic system that it’s almost impossible to hurtle out of control so easily. Although no one is 100% insured against it .

2017/18 years have been full of accidents. Not only in Gudauri, but in the Alps as well occurred such a negative affair. Particularly in Chamonix, France the ski lift of great importance was burnt. The accident happened while management company was carrying out seasonal works on the roof of the ski lift station. The fire broke out immediately and smashed down the whole lift system.

There was another incident in Innsbruck, Austria on Patscherkofelbahn station. Two researchers found out that two controlling interfaces were fully available online and anyone could use it cruelly. This issue was even discussed in the context of Gudauri accident. Quickly After the problem was detected the management company shutdown the ski lift for public. Moreover, recently gondolas collided into one another in Austria. The issue is believed to be caused by harsh meteorological circumstances.The incident happened while the ski lift was closed for the visitors and the gondolas were on their way to the warehouse.

Ski Lift Console

Such cases of ski lifts happen everywhere and not only in Georgia. Mistakes are made even in the more developed countries. The most important is the results we get and conclusions we come to in the future.

Development of the story line of the incident of Gudauri : After the incident of Sadzele the global leader company in expertise,inspecting and certifying – “Bureau Veritas” was brought into the investigation by the Ministry Of Economy. According to their preliminary Report the accident was caused by the human error.

“However, after the chairlift was stopped, the operator had to introduce specific sequence of procedures and after implementation of the certain actions, the operator had to switch the chairlift on to the diesel generator power and bring the tourist to the safe site where they would have left the chairlift. Unfortunately, according to the current conclusion, the operator made a mistake. The combination of the actions that he should have had carried out were not implemented in compliance with the relevant instructions – it was a human error.” – says report.

This all stays in the past and more interesting is what’s happening now and how does the Mountain Resorts Company  and Ministry of Economy meet the new 2018/19 skiing season in the fields of safety, which challenges are overcome and what is achieved.

I found out that the Mountain Resorts Company hired an international company “Conformity Assessment International – CAI” which was tasked to inspect and check ropeway  system according to the technical regulation. Further details were received from the director of “Conformity Assessment International – CAI” Sandro Shelia.

“This year the inspection of the ski lifts on the resorts were held within the demand of the Mountain Resorts Company. Gudauri, Bakuriani, Mestia and Goderdzi are the resorts in which we made a detailed checkup and went to the resolution that all the ski lifts satisfy and technical requirements are met. We actively collaborate with the management company of these ski resorts and we are going to inspect ski lift systems in the future as well.”

You may also be interested: 2018-19 Ski Season Highlights


The system of monitoring and managing avalanches is being implemented on the Gudauri ski resort. It gives chance to resort to decrease the risks of accidents. In the case of avalanche a specific explosive machine with pneumatic releases will tear it apart. In Gudauri avalanche systems are implemented by French company ” Lacroix ” established in 1848. This company serves 110 different resorts worldwide to which Gudauri will be added on from the next ski season.


The government of Georgia has spent over 2.5 millions euros to buy additional helicopter for the search and rescue (SAR) service. After 2014 when “SakAaeroNaviagatsia” (management company of air traffic within the Georgian airspace)  was set to serve such kind of SAR services the need of mobility and instant respond has increased. It’s only now that this problem will be solved. The brand new Airbus H125 helicopter is one of the fastest and most flexible for search and rescue job.

Ski Patrol

Rescue service of Georgian mountain resorts have to be especially respected for their sacrifice, high level of professionalism and physical work. In the mountains our rescue team outstands with its efficiency. They have saved the lives of hundreds of people with their dedication, courage and experience. The training of employee takes place annually on every resort. The training and development of professional skills include several main components, such as: Taking the visitors into the safe are in the case of emergency stop of the ski lifts. Searching people caught by the avalanche and giving them first aid treatment. Taking visitors safely to the medical center located within resort area in the case of injury while skiing on the resort. Foreign specialists mostly from French resorts also take part in the training processes.Within the name of SkiGeorgia, We want to wish Ski Patrol team a peaceful winter season.

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