Share the Love – Help a Friend Hit the Slopes

It’s already a pretty bumper season of snow on Lebanon’s top ski slopes and we hope that many of you have already managed to make your way out onto the pistes to enjoy some of the outstanding powder that’s fallen so far this year.

If you’re a ski lover, have you considered spreading a little joy? Maybe you’ve got a friend that you’d like to introduce the experience to or maybe you want to stage an intervention and get someone out of their office and onto the mountain.

Flowers to Lebanon - New Gift Service

Luckily, there’s a great new way to share the wealth. Flowers to Lebanon is a great new gift service that allows you to purchase holiday experiences for your friends, colleagues and family. If you feel like playing the guardian angel, you can arrange for one of the very special packages to be sent directly to your lucky recipient.

In addition to gifts and presents, you can get your friends onto the slopes with a full day lift pass for the Mzaar resort. Or if you’re feeling especially generous, you can sign them up for the full ski experience package – plucking them out of the daily grind in Beirut for an amazing trip to the slopes.

Perhaps you’ve got a buddy who’s not so keen on skiing and you want to keep them out of your hair while you get some time to yourself? Why not help them gain a skiier’s appreciation for the breathtaking local scenery by having them hop on the back of a skimobile for a tour. You get to hit the slopes and they get a taste for powder while keeping their feet dry at the same time. Everybody’s a winner!

Of course, there are plenty of other gifts available for delivery if you want to send your commiserations to a friend who can’t get the time off from work to come skiing with you. Perhaps a nice bouquet of flowers or even a cake will be enough to cheer them up!

Share the love, share the fun and tell us about it on Facebook!

Let it snow … man.

Are the lifts open yet? When are the lifts going to open? These are the questions on everyone’s mind at skileb.com, and the answer is: yes and no. The lifts at The Cedars ski resort were the first to open, but it’s still early in the season, and there’s still a lot of grooming and preparing to do. The folks over at Mzaar ski resort are holding out until conditions are just right, so the lifts over there haven’t opened yet. But that hasn’t seemed to stop some audacious riders from walking to the top with their boards to make the first tracks on the mountain.

As always, the biggest variable is snowfall. It’s about time to start wishing, praying, chanting, snow dancing, or whatever it takes to bring about that final snowfall needed to get the slopes up and running. So, this week, we’ve found some snow-provoking humor as a tribute to the gods of snow up there who decide when we can start skiing again.

Let it snow … man.

Uh oh. Courtesy of flickr/onefish2
hillarious_snowmen_14
Oh deer. Courtesy of acidcow.com
snow woman
Oh la la! Courtesy of flickr/Dr. Max
homeless ski bum
Homeless ski bum. Courtesy of acidcow.com

If you’ve been following skileb.com on Facebook, you know we like to sprinkle things with a little snow humor sometimes. Silly snow cartoons and photos make it onto the wall, right up there with awesome photos of snowy Lebanon, insider information, and hot deals. So if you’re not following us in Facebook, get on it! Join the fun.

And seriously, let it snow. We want the green light on all of Lebanon’s ski lifts!
Want to know what’s open when? Follow skileb.com on Twitter to join the conversation, or just check our website for the most recent updates from the ski lifts themselves.

Find out what lifts are open at Mzaar ski resort
Find out what lifts are open at Cedars ski resort

Ski smart. Ski Lebanon.

 

5 Fun Facts about Skiing in Lebanon

Not everybody realizes that there’s a great ski destination in the Eastern Mediterranean. ‘Skiing in the Middle East’ sounds almost like a contradiction, unless you imagine the artificial slopes of Dubai. But little-known Lebanon makes a great white holiday without the lines and congestion of some of its more famous European counterparts. Here are more little-known facts about skiing in Lebanon:

1) You can hit the slopes in half an hour.
Lebanon is a small country, which you can drive across in less than three hours. There are two mountain ranges that are separated by the Bekaa Valley, and some of the best skiing to be found is on the western mountain range, toward Beirut. This means that you can get from the capital to some of the best Lebanon ski resorts in about half an hour!

skiing in Lebanon
Photo by Taras Kalapun

2) It is less than 100 years old.
The sport of skiing arrived in Lebanon in the early 20th century, when an engineer from Lebanon went to study in Switzerland and came back to his home country with a new-found love for the sport. This was in 1913. The first ski club wasn’t formed until 1934. Skiing really took off as a commercial activity in the early 90’s.

3) The word ‘Lebanon’ actually means ‘snow’
Although skiing wasn’t introduced in Lebanon until relatively recently, the area has been known as a snowy white haven in the Middle East. ‘Lebanon’ is derived from the Semitic word ‘laban’, which means ‘white.’ It’s no wonder that this is the first impression of Lebanon for the ancient civilizations who first beheld it — its stunning white peaks rising just beyond the Mediterranean are characteristically Lebanon.

4) You can reach 3088 meters of altitude.
The highest peak in Lebanon, called Korneh El Sawda towers at an impressive 3088 meters above sea level. Many people choose to reach the highest summit by hike during the summer months. Like most peaks in Lebanon that are over 2500 meters, it is covered in snow for over 6 months of the year.  The closest ski resort is Cedars, which has some of the highest slopes in Lebanon. Check out our Lebanon ski resorts comparison for the stats.

5) Lebanon goes for Olympic gold
With great ski infrastructure in place, Lebanon has been able to send a number of local champions to the Olympics and World Championships. Lebanese skiers represented their country in 1964, 1967, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1988, and 1992. Rumor has it that engineers are working to build additional slopes that will rival world-class resorts, and Lebanon will eventually bid to host its own winter Olympic Games.

If you haven’t already checked out the ski scene in Lebanon, this winter is the time to do it. Ski season starts in December, so start planning your Lebanon ski holiday today!

An Overview of Lebanon’s Top Ski Resorts Part 2

This is the second part of a short series of posts highlighting the best aspects of Lebanon’s top ski resorts. We aim to give you an oversight of some of the options available to you when planning a skiing holiday in Lebanon. Whether you’re planning a return to the slopes, or are looking to try out something completely new, we’re confident that you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

In our last update we looked at the resorts of Laqlouq, Mzaar and the Cedars. You can read part one here.

Faqra

Faqra, also known as Faqra Club, is located some 50km to the North East of Beirut. This makes it easily accessible from the capital’s main airport and also makes it ideally suitable for shorter breaks for those operating out of Beirut itself.

Faqra is a smaller resort with around 4 lifts, but it has a lot to offer to visitors. The resort’s main hotel, l’Auberge de Faqra, boasts excellent facilities including a heated swimming pool, squash courts and a sauna – the perfect way to relax after a hard day on the slopes.

The resort has an unusual claim to fame – the remains of a Roman temple are located nearby. These historical relics are a testament to Faqra’s enduring popularity – even the ancients recognised it as a wonderful location!

Click here to read more about Faqra.

Qanat Bakish

Located close to Faqra, Qanat Bakish is a quiet, picturesque resort. While it doesn’t have as much to offer by way of nightlife when compare to some of the busier tourist hotspots, what it lacks in hustle and bustle is more than made up for by its tranquillity.

Home to just three lifts, it’s probably fair to say that Qanat Bakish is an acquired taste. If you’re looking for challenging runs or adrenaline pumping action, you’d be better off opting for a resort such as Mzaar.

But if you’re looking for the perfect place to get away from it all and relax with some gentle runs, this could be your ideal destination. Like Faqra, Qanat Bakish is near to Beirut, making it perfect for short breaks. Its relatively high altitude also ensures quality snow.

Click here to read more about Qanat Bakish.

Zaarour
The view across Zaarour

Zaarour

Out of all of Lebanon’s ski resorts, Zaarour is closest to the capital city of Lebanon. It’s easy to reach for those staying in Lebanon hotels and makes weekend ski breaks a distinct possibility.

Its north-facing slopes mean excellent snow and its multiple lifts mean that its easy to pack as much skiing as possible into a a single day.

Zaarour is also home to some outstanding cross-country skiing routes, giving you the chance to mix up your piste action with something slightly different.

Click here to read more about Zaarour.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief look at the highlights of Lebanon’s ski resorts. With winter just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to be planning your ski getaway. If any of these resorts have taken your fancy, we recommend getting in touch straight away to discuss how we can put together your ideal skiing holiday.

Also remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to be first in line for upcoming deals and announcements.

An Overview of Lebanon’s Top Ski Resorts – Part 1

The season is nearly on us once more and, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start planning your next ski vacation in Lebanon.

The old hands and experts will undoubtedly already have their favorite destinations when it comes to choosing a resort, but for all the new people who are yet to experience the rush of a Lebanese skiing holiday, we’re here to give you a run down on the best resorts the country has to offer.

The View from the peak above Mzaar, Lebanon
The incredible view from the peak above Mzaar, Lebanon

The Cedars

Sharing its name with the country’s national emblem, The Cedars Resort is a great destination for those who love nature, or are looking for a relaxing break in (relative) isolation.

Located at an elevation of 2000m, the resort enjoys a slightly longer season than some of the country’s other resorts. In addition to multiple runs, visitors also have access to great hiking routes and incredible views.

The Cedars has plenty to offer to both beginners and experts, with pistes ranging from entry level all the way up to challenging black runs.

Click here to read more about the Cedars Resort.

Laqlouq

Situated at a slightly lower altitude of around 1600 m, Laqlouq is a more accessible resort. In addition to being easy to get to, it also has a range of courses that are slightly more beginner-friendly than other destinations.

While the traditional skiing is excellent, Laqlouq is also known for the quality of its cross-country runs. If you like to complement your pistes with level courses, this is an excellent choice.

Click here to read more about Laqlouq.

Mzaar

Also known as Faraya Mzaar – Faraya being a nearby village. This is Lebanon’s most popular resort and has a huge variety of skiing on offer.

The Intercontinental Hotel, Mzaar
The Intercontinental Hotel - one of Mzaar's most popular accommodation options

Those who love a challenge will be impressed by the sheer number of options available to them, while newbies who are just starting out will receive an excellent introduction on the gentler slopes.

Mzaar is a bustling and welcoming resort with plenty going on. This is an excellent all-round destination and particularly appealing to those who enjoy the après-ski aspect as much as the slopes themselves.

Click here to read more about Mzaar.

Next week we’ll round off our overview of Lebanon’s best ski resorts. Until then, do you have a particular favorite? We’re always keen to hear from you! Leave us a comment below.

Remember, you can also follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to be in with a chance of snapping up some great early bird offers!

Best of SKILEB.com on YouTube

To get you pumped for ski season and ready to take advantage of our 10% off early bird ski package special, we’re going to watch some YouTube. Have you checked out the skileb.com YouTube channel? Be sure to check out skileb.com on YouTube, where you can find rad footage of skiing, or check out our extreme summer sports like paragliding, ATV, and rafting.

Below are some of the most popular videos on the channel. Remember that ski season will be in full swing before you know it, but until then, it doesn’t hurt to daydream about winter and the white powder to come. These videos will send you to the slopes virtually until you can get there for real.

1) Listen to the skis (Ski Lebanon)

This video is from March of 2010, capturing a mind-blowing run from the top of Jabal Dib all the way to the chairlift base. It is brought to you by one of our very own skileb.com team members. You didn’t really think we sit at the computer all day just running a ski website, did you?

2) Ski Lebanon by SKILEB.com

As if you weren’t already convinced that a small little country on the coast of the Mediterranean could offer world class skiing conditions and facilities, just take a look at this video. Who knew? Apart from being a premier sun and sand destination, Lebanon is also an alpine fantasy land for snow sports in the winter. Choose between resorts like Mzaar (also called Faraya), Faqra Club, and The Cedars and find your favorite slope in Lebanon.

3) A ski chase in Mzaar resort by SKILEB.com.

Let’s cut to the chase. Skiing is a high-speed sport. In this film, we’ve using the head cam to show you what it’s like to try to keep up with speed demon Alain on the Jonction slope of Faraya Mzaar resort.

If this footage doesn’t get you in the mood to plan your ski trip to Lebanon now, then
a) check your pulse, and
b) check out our early bird special deal. If you book your ski trip any time between now and the end of September, you will get a 10% discount off the total price of your booking.

Do you have some amazing YouTube footage of skiing in Lebanon? If you think you have what it takes to be on the SKILEB.com YouTube channel, send us a link to your video and we’ll add it to our collection. See you on the mountain.

Special Deals for Skileb.com Twitter Followers

It’s that time of year again, when powder-thirsty ski fans start looking forward to the upcoming season with real anticipation. Winter is coming, and Lebanon is gearing up for yet another session of outstanding skiing, snowboarding and general snow-based fun.

Now’s the perfect time to start planning your next ski break in Lebanon. For many, a skiing vacation in Lebanon is a no-brainer; hundreds of people will be making their way back to pristine slopes, such as those found at Mzaar and The Cedars, to re-experience the rush of carving lines on familiar territory.

For those who are yet to experience a ski holiday in Lebanon, there are tonnes of reasons to try something a little different and opt for this unusual and yet rewarding destination. In addition to the quality of the pistes, snow, accommodation and company, the thrill of experiencing skiing is such a unique environment is something that you’ll remember for years to come. With the waters of the Mediterranean and its picturesque coastal villages mere kilometres away, taking a ski holiday in Lebanon is almost like taking two breaks for the price of one!

Follow skileb.com on Twitter

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the Lebanese slopes or a newbie looking for something a little different, we have something very exciting to offer. In anticipation of the start of a new season, followers of our Twitter account – @skileb – are going to be the lucky recipients of a number of very special offers. All you have to do to get your hands on them is follow us!

In addition to delivering savings via tweets, we’re sticking with the avian theme by delivering a number of great ‘early bird’ offers on our homepage. Repeat visitors will know that Skileb.com consistently offers great prices on ski holidays in Lebanon, but eagle-eyed users will soon be able to pounce on all-new deals.

Keep visiting Skileb.com to keep on top of everything that’s happening and remember to follow us on Twitter. Only followers will be able to receive these great offers, so sign up now to make sure you’re on the list.

Don’t forget that you can also visit our Facebook page to keep up to speed and to ask us questions. We’re happy to help.

We at Skileb.com are hugely excited for the new season and we want you to be too! Start planning today!

The Wild West Comes to the Cedars

If there’s one thing a good skiier needs, it’s balance. And if there’s one thing that a cowboy on the back of a bucking bronco needs, it’s almost certainly the same thing.

It’s not very often that the passtimes are compared, but now with the arrival of first and – to date – only international rodeo competition to be held in Lebanon rolls into the Cedars later this month. The Cedar Stampede Rodeo And Wild West Festival 2011 will bring plenty of unusual forms of entertainment to an area of Lebanon that’s best know for, amongst other things, its ski resorts.

Ski Leb Wild West

The festival brings with it a wide range of exciting and different passtimes – and offers a great deal more than jsut the opportunity to brush up on your balancing skills. Stunt riders, performers and rodeo champions from around the world will be descending on the El Rancho resort to demonstrate their skills, and perhaps share some tips with those who come to try their hand.

Prices start from 30,000 LBP, but there are discounts available for kids under 10. Things kick off on August 26 and run until September 4.

Ghodras, the small village that will play host to the event, is ideally located close to a number of key cities and towns, making it easy to get to. Bcharre, the focal point for many of the Cedars hotels and ski resorts, is located a short drive to the North East.

Beirut, and its wealth of Beirut hotels, is located a 40 minute drive to the south. Tripoli is about the same distance away up the Mediterranean coast. The beautiful waterfront destination of Byblos is, however, the closest of all – mere minutes away from Ghodras.

Practicing staying upright on your board using a mechanical bull is certainly one option, but there are plenty of other ways to get your fix of adrenaline-pounding excitement during the summer months in Lebanon. Take a look at our summer activites page.

While summer entertainment is an interesting way to pass the time before the ski season begins, the mountains and hills of North Lebanon are known and loved by many for the fantastic skiing experiences that they offer.

It’s never too early to start planning your next on-piste adventure!

Broadcasting Live From the Mzaar Slopes!

Webcam Mzaar Lebanon

To ensure a broader coverage of the Mzaar resort’s slopes, we have added another webcam hosted by MzaarVille chalets! Alright, so this means two things peeps:

1- Only one place to check the Mzaar slopes’ conditions LIVE! (which is here of course)

2- The MzaarVille chalets have a pretty AMAZING view!

Be sure to check the cams, updated daily and not just in Mzaar but in the Cedars as well!