We were taken up to Gergeti Church before first light in 4 x 4 vehicles so we could be well on our trek by dawn. The church is at the bottom of the mountain in the above photo. We set off to walk to the glacier hoping to see Caucasian Snowcocks, Guldenstadt's Redstart and Great Rosefinches. We walked higher and higher and found it quite dificult to be honest. The tour was sold as 'easy' and this was borderline mountaineering. Infact we passed many walkers also coming up to the glacier and they all had boots and clothing on that would survive Everest Base Camp! Anyway, the weather changed, clouds came down and it started to snow, so we beat a retreat and headed back down. The rest of the team carried on and some of them got to the glacier. But all we saw were 2 very distant Great Rosefinches flying around. Some mindblowing good scenery but we started at 2200m and walked to 3000m and we had run out of steam so time to head back down.
A couple of dogs appeared and after sharing our biscuits with them, they stayed with us the whole trek. Who could resist those begging eyes!
At the top of the world.....nearly !