Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing… Many of us are familiar with these classical winter activities, so 33 North is introducing you to a new one you probably didn’t know existed in Lebanon.
As a winter adventure destination, Lebanon offers more than ski slopes and resorts. Snow camping, or what 33 North likes to call a “winter expedition,” is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Here is what Gilbert Moukhaiher, founder of 33 North, has to say about his favorite winter activity.
Where do you recommend for a winter expedition in Lebanon?
The places we choose are generally away from the usual spots. Most of our activities are on the Boukaat Loubnan Trail, which starts in Deir el Ahmar and continues to Hermel under the North-Bekaa trail. We also pass along the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, from Kaa to Ras Baalbak and Anjar, before descending to the foot of Mount Hermel and Chebaa under Mount Hermon. It is also possible to choose the high plateau of the Cedars of God, Cornet el Sawda and the highlands of Akkar or Donniyye.
It should be mentioned that in these areas, emergencies are treated on site without reaching official agencies or authorities, as they are far from inhabited regions.
What’s so special about winter camping?
Similar to classical hiking experiences, the camp is usually when you crown your hike and spend some quality time enjoying nature and thinking of all the activities you enjoyed during the day. It takes you out of your comfort zone as it is not an experience you might have thought of. For example, you have to wait for the snow to melt to drink water and wait patiently to enjoy a hot drink. The logistics are also very interesting: pitching the tent, digging it in the snow, stabilizing it and so forth. However, don’t forget that the weather plays a signifiant role; it can be a sunny camp or a subzero temperature camp — in both cases you’ll have to adapt to whatever nature hits you with.
Is this experience made for everyone?
Technically, if you enjoy classic summer camps, winter camping won’t be of great difficulty for you. Even though it requires serious physical effort — carrying your essentials on your back while walking in snow and removing snow constantly to get into the tent — you will definitely develop some skills, like how to use snowshoes, roping, building a snow shelter and many others concerning emergency cases. Ultimately, beyond training and skills, personal and group equipment play a significant role; they are considered safety parameters in winter camping.
When is the best time to enjoy a winter camping experience?
January and February are the best months. We normally organize several experiences during this time, so we encourage those who are interested in trying it to get in touch and join us before the snow melts.
+961 71 331 138, +961 3 454 996, @33northlebLoading