Extreme Weekend with Skyline Extreme Sports

Extreme Weekend with Skyline Extreme Sports

2015-08-30 11.18.09 HDRWhere can you see a waterfall, natural bridge, and a sinkhole/cave? At this magnificent site in the heart of Lebanon called “Balaa Gorge” known to locals as “Balou3 Bal3a”*

The waterfall wasn’t flowing due to an extremely hot summer, but I’m told in October once the rain starts the waterfall will start again. I am definitely planning on going back to rappel next to the waterfall with Skyline! I think that would make for some amazing pictures and memories! 🙂view from the top

We were graciously invited by Mark J from Skyline Extreme Sports to go caving with them–but I’m super scared of small spaces so I opted to go rappelling instead! Go figure, small spaces scare me but throw me off the side of a cliff and I’m fine! 😉 2015-08-30 11.18.09 HDR


Skyline had groups of people going ATVing, Caving, hiking, paragliding and rappelling! Basically any adventurous activity you can do in the mountain it seem like Skyline has you covered! We can’t wait until they organize their next mountain climbing activity so we can try our hand at that.

They had so many different guides on this trip and they were all very professional and knowledgeable not only about the safety and precautions of the activities that we were doing (which is super important), but of the area, wildlife, the best views, and landscape. They were true naturalists at heart and loved sharing their passion with the group.2015-08-30 13.58.33

We started our trek down with Francis and Reine and explored the natural bridge and the vistas into the gorge below. We marveled at the group rappelling before us and commented that we didn’t think we would make it. Then started the REAL adventure – we started making our way down in to the gorge.2015-08-30 12.17.47

I can’t really say that we were hiking, since there really wasn’t any standing or walking. We were almost at a 45 degree angle against the side of the valley sliding down over the rocks down into the gorge. Most of us gave up on even trying to stand and just slide down the side of the valley on the rocks….and this lasted for about 40 minutes! It was intense!2015-08-30 12.21.18 HDR

But it was SO worth it! The moss covered rocks at the bottom of the gorge, the cool moist air rising up from deep in between the rocks, the rays of sun shining in from the opening of the gorge were just perfect. We explored the gorge and saw some professional cavers come up from in between the rocks and learned that this cave was just one entryway for all the snowmelt water to run off and make its way down in to the Mediterranean Sea! It was all so amazing down there that we almost forgot that we had to make our way back UP the way that we came.
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Thankfully the way up was a lot easier and we made it back up in 15 minutes! Then we learned how to free climb with Gilbert and made our way up some rocks to the rappelling area. He then again showed us the proper technique of rappelling with Rabeh and got us in our gear! After the adventure we just had I think we were all feeling quite confident in ourselves and were ready to master rappelling but he gave us a quick motivational speech just in case. Either way it must have worked because we all rappelled down to the natural bridge like we were pros!

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We had a great time with Skyline Extreme Sports and HIGHLY recommend them! Check out their Facebook page and be sure to subscribe to their events so you get a notice when they post their next activity! You can also see all the albums of previous events, to see if they have something that you’re interested in. Be sure to join their next event because it is something that is not to be missed! 
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*Side note for all non-Arabic speakers: The “3” represents the letter “ein which makes a throaty sound in Arabic!

Pearl Maalouf
Pearl Maalouf

 

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