Lebanon is one of the few winter sports centers in the middle east where you can enjoy skiing. What makes this sport popular and exiting is that the season begins in December and continues until April, and also the variety and accessibility of the slopes. You’ll find resorts that have hotels, chalets and other facilities, including good ski lifts.
When to go skiing is almost as important a factor to consider as where to go, but so are companions, accommodation and travel arrangements, snow and sunshine.
There are six well equipped ski resorts: The cedars (2,300m) in North Lebanon, Faraya/Ouyoun Al Siman (1,890m), Laqlouq (1,740m), Faqra (1,750m), Qanat Bakiche (1,990m) and Zaarour (1,990m) in Mount Lebanon.
Cross-county skiing and snowshoeing are less popular but can also be done at the higher altitudes. Equipment can be rented at the resorts.
The mountains give enormous pleasure, but they can also be dangerous and should be treated with the utmost respect at all times. Only when you find yourself in an awkward and potentially dangerous situation or witness an accident at first hand do you properly realize what the risks can be.
Whether you are going to ski regularly, or are having a once-a-year adventure on snow, you owe it to yourself and those around you to learn how to be in control of yourself and your equipment.
There’s an international code of conduct for behavior while skiing. Skiing like all sports, entails risks. The rules must be considered an ideal pattern of conduct for a responsible and careful skier; their aim to keep skiing accidents to a minimum.
The Skiway Rules
A skier must behave a such a way that he does not endanger others.
A skier must ski in control at a speed which is within his or her personal ability and which is appropriate to the weather and snow conditions.
A skier coming from behind must choose his route in such a way that he does not endanger skiing ahead.
A skier may overtake another skier above or below and to the right or the left, provided that he leaves enough space to the over taken skier to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.
Look all around before joining a new ski run or piste, and before starting off again after a stop. It is just like crossing a road.
Unless absolutely necessary, a skier must avoid stopping on the piste in narrow places or where visibility is restricted. After a fall in such a place, a skier must move clear of the piste as soon as possible.
Both climbing and descending skiers on foot must keep to the side of the piste.
Keep a lookout for signs and obey their instructions.
At accidents, every skier is duty-bound to assist.
Anyone who witnesses an accident must co-operate and be as helpful as possible.
Speed is essential when an accident has occurred:
Mark the accident site by placing crossed skis about 10m uphill of the casualty.
If the casualty is not breathing, administer artificial respiration (mouth to mouth resuscitation). Make sure there is nothing obstructing the mouth or throat.
If the casualty is breathing but unconscious, turn him/her on their side to minimize the risk of choking. Protect any fractured limb from movement.
If the casualty is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the site of the wound using a cloth pad if possible.
Do not remove the ski boots if there is injury to the lower leg as it acts as a splint.
Keep the casualty warm, comfortable and as cheerful as possible.
If the casualty appears to be in shock, by going pale, cold and faint, he/she should be encouraged to lie with their head lower than their feet. Do not administer food or drink.
Always ski in group, never alone.
Always ski in control.
Always stay behind the guide.
Be wary of slopes where the run out is not clearly obvious from the start. Following other skiers’ tracks does not necessarily mean the route is safe.