|after the land in the distance is the Mediterranean Sea!|
One of the less known pros of living in Lebanon is that you get to ski! The season may be short but it is pretty darn great while it lasts. The biggest of 3 ski resorts in the country, Mzaar Kfardebian (commonly known as Faraya) (skileb.com) is only 1.5hrs drive from Beirut, like the drive from Calgary to Sunshine in Banff.
On the way at loads of places you can rent everything from gloves and hats to boots and skis for reasonable prices. Mid-week the lift tix aren't astronomical either. That's for lift-op skiing. The alpine possibilities are endless so snowshoeing and back-country skiing is not well developed translating to a) fairly awesome un-tracked days out but b) high risk of avalanche hazard and nearly non-existent mountain rescue capacity.
I have been out snow-shoeing and in a couple of weekends we will attempt Mt. Hermon on snow-shoes. With the kids we stick to the lift-operated slopes as they find their ski legs! Here is a wee video of the boys on their 4th day out (including last year) and their first day with ski poles (which was not my idea!). The other fun thing about skiing Lebanon is that most folks stick to the piste, groomed daily leaving 'off-piste' to people who can handle more varied terrain. I have been to the hill 4 days after fresh snow and still found un-tracked runs!
Hey it isn't the Rocky Mountains but it is the Middle East! Whos' complaining!? Not me!