Revival of Rock Climbing in Lebanon | Features

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In the terraced olive groves of northern Lebanon, a young man with sharp features and a shaved head is getting ready to climb. Nareg, quiet and pensive, carefully ties a rope onto a harness around his hips, mentally preparing for the physical challenge ahead. Nearby, a couple of local boys from the town of Tannourine watch in silence, surrounded by spring wildflowers and rocky cliffs.

As Nareg double-checks his harness knot, his girlfriend Tracy secures the other end of the rope before he begins his ascent. Rock climbing, a sport gaining popularity in Lebanon, has deep roots in the cliffs of Tannourine. Over fifty years ago, Georges Massoud, a local from the town, pioneered climbing on the sharp limestone cliffs without any safety gear. Today, Nareg follows in his footsteps, climbing a route named in George’s honor.

As Nareg skillfully makes his way up the cliff, a diverse group of climbers – both Lebanese and foreigners – embark on their own climbs. For Lebanon’s climbing community, the reasons behind their passion for the sport are varied, but they all share a deep connection and love for their tight-knit community.

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