The highest peak

Hiking to Qornet el Sawda, Lebanon

We woke up early and drove to the base of our hike at 5am

We started from “Wadi el Njas” in Danniyeh as the sun rose

Hikers typically start from Cedars, but we took the longer and harsher trail

After a few strong climbs, the coast appeared

The whole trail is arid

But the patterns and shades vary significantly

And there's the occasional juniper tree

I never knew

a landscape void from nature can be so rich

Hachem, my friend, guided this hike

He often climbs up to Qornet el Sawda

So he knows the efficient route without having to go inside valleys

It was fall, and bushes were preparing for winter

Our hike comprised of 1,500 meters of ascent

In October, the day is shorter, so time was tight for such a long hike

There are 4 different types of land throughout

A dirt road traces its way through the valleys

Lebanon is dense with construction, but here there's nothing at all

Just huge valleys

and competing mountains

Qornet el Sawda is the highest peak in the Middle East

It reaches 3,088 meters

Earth only has 90 Ultra peaks over 3,000m

As we approached the peak, snow cover started to show

Although winter was still months away

And finally, we reached the peak!

The wind was extremely strong

The feeling of being on top was crazy

But the wind was so strong we couldn't resist staying for long

A small window revealed the coast once again

Qornet el Sawda means black peak

The whole area is covered in white during winter, except for the highest peak

The reason is the strong winds

The experienced Hachem took a different path to return

This was by far the longest and harshest hike I've done

So my legs felt really sore

As we went below 2,000m Juniper trees appeared again