I am planning to climb Mt. Kazbek, from the Georgian side, in August, but I am not really keen on the idea of booking a whole package all the way from Kazbegi. I've read elsewhere that you can hike to the meteo station (the route is well-documented) and hire a guide for a much cheaper price from there to reach the peak. How true is this?
On Meteo there are many others climbers. So you can join some other group of people :-)
Hiking to Meteo is easy except for the Gergeti glacier (rolling stones, water, cracks).
For ascending/climbing you will need a crampon, ice axe, headlamp, helmet and something to melt snow for drinking water. A good idea is to start around 3 am because descending is dangerous when glacier is melting and stones are moving
And important for your safety: do not hike alone.