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!

Top Five Ski Gadgets for 2012

As you get ready for ski season in Lebanon, which will be starting any day now, take a moment to think wishfully about the coolest ski gadgets out there. Here are a few awesome little items to drool over while you’re booking your Lebanon ski trip on skileb.com and making your wish list for the holiday season that is also just around the corner. For yourself or the avid skier you love, these fun accessories will make life on the ski slopes even more fun!

HD Hero 21) The HD HERO 2 head-mounting waterproof action camera. You Previewknow when you’ve just had an epic run, shredding through powder and making the first tracks on the mountain. Now everyone else can know it, too, because you can capture cool Lebanon ski videos and upload them to the internet in a snap. Check out the market leader in head-mounting cameras, the HD HERO 2, now with even more power and versatility than ever.

 

walkie talkies2) Motorola Walkie Talkie Twin Pack. Tired of using precious cell phone battery and racking up your phone bill in order to find your friends and family while on the mountain? Why not head to Mzaar ski resort or The Cedars ski resort with these light and agile T5 PMR Radio Twin pack? These twins were built for the outdoors, as they are shock proof and waterproof to survive even the roughest tumbles and keep you in contact all day long.

 

Recon goggles3) ReCon GPS Googles. Wanna feel like James Bond on skis? These “Real Zeal Transcend Goggles” are the most futuristic eyeware out there.  They come from Recon, with features you will not believe. There’s an LDC screen inside the googles that displays loads of information, such as current temperature in Lebanon, time vertical skied, distance traveled, altitude, and speed. It also has Bluetooth capabilities to keep you in tune and in touch on the mountain.

 

Footwarming system4) Foot Warming Systems. From the folks at Conform-able comes an amazing line of high tech foot warming gadgets to keep your feet toasty warm on even the coldest days on the mountain. Browse their liners and insoles that will enhance your ski boots, not only keeping your feet the temperature you choose, but also adding other ergonomic benefits like arch support  that will help distribute your weight more evenly and keep you more comfortable for a longer day on the lifts.

 

Soul Poles5) Soul Poles. This ski accessory is perhaps the most futuristic in its design, because it’s all about sustainability. Bamboo ski poles that not only look really cool, they’re also eco-friendly. They’ll turn heads on the slopes. The natural bamboo shafts are 100% biodegradable, and the straps are made of hemp. These poles also deliver big-time in performance and style. Give your ski attire an earthy edge while enjoying the great outdoors.

 

Yes, some of these items are priced even steeper than the Jonction Slope of Mzaar ski resort but it’s fun to dream, isn’t it? Once you have your gadgets and gear in place, book your Lebanon ski holiday online at skileb.com, where we hook you up with the best deals and packages to be found on the web. See you on the slopes!

Any day now …

We’ve been seeing sub-zero temperatures at night and plenty of new snowfall at our favorite ski resorts in Lebanon lately. It can only mean one thing — ski season is just around the corner!

Everybody is speculating about when the lifts will open. The date, as always, depends on the snowpack and conditions of each resort, but we’re ready to make an educated guess as to when that will be.

How do we predict the future of ski conditions and open lifts in Lebanon? We do turn to scientific methods like crystal balls and tea leaf readings, but sometimes we take a more mystical approach, just for fun. Check out our post on three ways to learn the forecast in Lebanon’s resorts.

cedars ski cam screenshot
Cedars webcam

On top of that, we have a live slopes status page for each of Lebanon’s favorite ski resorts. It gets updated by each resort approximately every morning. For example, in the Mzaar slopes status  page, you can see the entire list of Mzaar lifts, from Jonction to Refuge to Wardeh, and check the status of each slope, from baby 1 on Jonction to Vallon on Wardeh.  Along with the quick red or green light as to whether or not the slope is open, the page also tells you the lift length, difference in hight from top to bottom, average gradient, top altitude, and difficulty level. So much information, you could plan your whole day on the slopes before you even get here.

Similarly, the Cedars Resort slopes status page is your one-stop guide to conditions to Lebanon’s lesser-known but equally-loved ski resort. Here, find out the status about all six lifts on the mountain: Baby T-bar, Cappucines T-bar, Cappucines Chairlift, Baby lifts, Kornet Chairlift, and Pic des Dames. Again, with information like lift length, difficulty level, maximum altitude, average gradient, and total change in height, you get a clear picture of where to hang out with the kids and where to find yourself a real challenge.

Lebanon by satellite, Nov 28 2011
Lebanon by satellite, Nov 28 2011

The third slopes status pages is the Laqlouq resort, just between Cedars and Laqlouq. Laqlouq has a more laid-back atmosphere for taking your time on the slopes and teaching the kids. Find out what the situation on the slopes is today, with all the same stats and information.

Right now, all we see is red ‘closed’ lights, but we know that the green ‘open’ light is about to go up any day. Rumor has it that some slopes are open already at Cedars. To put a finger on the pulse of what Lebanon ski fans are predicting themselves, we took a Facebook poll about when our fans think the slopes will be open, and the most popular answer was ‘before Dec 10.’

Remember to book your hotel, airport transfer, or entire ski package vacation with us here on skileb.com for the best deals and online ski community to be found in Lebanon. Our selection is as wide as your tastes are. Find your budget hostel or your dream chalet in Mzaar today!

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 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!

Top 3 Reasons to Insure your Lebanon Adventure

Nobody likes to buy travel insurance. For all too many people, it’s one of those extra expenses that will probably be unnecessary in the end. Making the purchase is about as pleasant as imagining yourself in the various emergency scenarios where travel insurance might come in handy.

It would be way more fun to avoid the cost of travel insurance and spend the money elsewhere — a nicer Lebanon hotel, some new ski equipment, or maybe an extra nice meal out during your trip — but before you cut corners on travel insurance costs, take a few minutes to watch the following YouTube videos. It’s kinda funny to watch these epic fail moments when it’s somebody else, but remember that epic fails can happen to anyone, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The top 3 reasons to insure your Lebanon trip are all YouTube videos. Sometimes, the voice of reason isn’t loud enough, and it takes some very vivid images to remind us of our own limits.

Reason #1: ‪Top 30 Amazing Ski Wipe Outs – 10 to 1‬


 

Reason #2: Epic Fail – Snowboard Crash


 

Reason #3: Waterski Crashes


 

The moral of the story is: nobody is invincible, accidents do happen, and accidents in a foreign country can be even costlier than accidents at home. Don’t make us show you these videos in slow motion. Be prepared and give yourself some peace of mind while skiing in Lebanon. When you’re booking the rest of your ski holiday, be sure to buy travel insurance with us.

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!