First trip this year was from end of Jan till mid Feb, had mostly good weather especially near the coast with some days climbing in shorts and a tee shirt. It was the first time visiting in the winter and the only season we had not yet spent in Lebanon.
It was nice to confirm the mild climate, with some days topping 30 on the coast. Tannourine El Tahta is at 1,000 meters elevation and gets snow several times during the winter season, so it is hit or miss depending on the weather but the crag tends to dry quickly because it’s South facing. On bad weather days we opened 3 new lines at the coastal crag Amchit.
Amchit crag is a ten minute drive from the the beaches and ruins of the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos (Jbeil). The cliff is South facing and bakes in the sun most of the day. The canyon has interesting bird calls and views of the sea, with Beirut just visible on the horizon across Jouneih Bay.
At present time there are 15 climbs from 5c to 7b+ The harder routes are steep with nice gold tufas, the easier ones are technical on grey rock. Amchit Topo
Came back end March and stayed until the first week in May. Easter in Lebanon is a BIG DEAL with Maronite and Orthodox celebrations. First off wanted to finish the last pitch of Massoud, the first line opened in Tannourine El Tahta. Now it is a 100 meter three pitch climb to the top on the cliff. 6a, 6b, 6a+. Classic route that has great rock with good holds, and wonderful views of the Wadi (valley).
More low hanging fruit was picked in the Olive Grove with a nice 30 meter 6c. Vertical grey stone with a technical face to a steep corner.
Enough with the snacks, let’s move on to the meat coarse of this extravaganza
The Shawarma Caves.
A 20 minute hike up an old Roman road takes you to the top of the cliff band, the cave has a great view of remote snow covered slopes higher up Mount Lebanon. Place is really worthy! Two caves one steeper than the next. We started in the left cave because it was more featured and wasn’t a complete roof. Put up two short 5 bolt climbs 6b+ and 6c+ on the far left side that are the ShawarmUps.
Bolted a beautiful prow with a single tufa start to an orange cave ending.
Walla Haram 7c+ ends in the roof but has a bolted extension that is an open project.
George Emile , Jad Koury, and Tony Dagher each bolted a beautiful line in the left cave all of which will be classic additions.
This trip also marked the first time friends from Europe came to Tannourine to open lines.
Rob Lamey and Simon Rawlinson are both Professional Route setters from Wales. Their motivation and drive helped open another zone and some of the hardest undone projects in the Shawarma
Rob and Simon Simul-Bolting the first lines in The Stone Spring sector . We opened 5 new lines three were redpointed at 7b+, 7c, 7c+. Physical steep climbing on tufas and pockets. No doubt this zone will yield many more classics.
24 pitches were added this trip.12 lines were redpointed. 2 new approach trails were hacked out of the bush, Shawarma Caves and Stone Spring. There are now 35 completed routes from 4a to several at 7c+. Tannourine Topo
Good times, looking forward to meeting up with everybody in the Fall 2013.
For more info on Lebanon check our new page Visiting Lebanon
Thanks for your interest.
Will & Kate