Kadisha Valley, Lebanon
Join us in Lebanon from May 13-19th, for an international adventure festival with a sports diplomacy twist.
**VISAS AND FLIGHTS**
We recommend flying into Beirut, and either renting a car or using the public bus system to get to Bcharre where the festival will be held. Beirut is a major city and flights are easy to come by from other major airports. Visas are available on arrival, free of charge, for most travelers. For more information: Lebanon Visa Guide
***TRANSPORT FROM THE AIRPORT***
No public transportation from the airport to Beirut are available apart from Taxis, but regular ones are expensive. You can book a white taxi (firstname.lastname@example.org) which are cheaper (18USD compared to 60USD for normal taxis to go from airport to Hostel Beirut).
**SPENDING TIME IN BEIRUT**
As flights often arrive late, many people chose to spend a day or two in Beirut before coming to Bcharre. Below are a few hostels that our participants have used before.
*Hostel Hamra Urban Gardens*
*Hostel Saifi Urban Gardens*
**TRANSPORTATION TO BCHARRE**
There are buses which run from the airport into Beirut, and from Beirut to the Bcharre, town where the festival will be held. We recommend coordinating with others to rent a car as a group, though, as this will be significantly easier. Car rentals in Lebanon are pretty affordable (~$9-15 a day for a compact).
**SUPPORT LOCAL SHOPS**
Please help us to give back to this community that has been so gracious in allowing us to host this event. Shop in the markets and enjoy the cafes around both Bcharre and Hadchit. The land we are using belongs to Hadchit, so we ask that you make an effort to support the shops on the west side of the festival, especially.
**Apple Trees and Conservation**
Please be aware that the festival is held among apple orchards which can be very sensitive. We have been asked not to touch or otherwise disturb the apple trees. This means avoiding walking too close to the roots, no touching the trees at all, and taking care that packs and other equipment do not brush against these trees. Please do not camp among the apple orchards. There are other trees along the cliffs that are much bigger and provide better shade.
There are also areas with freshly tilled dirt that we have been asked to avoid. Our volunteers and the local Hadchit Activities group have done a great job building and maintaining clear trails throughout most of the festival area. Please try to stay on the trails as much as possible.
No one is allowed on a highline until they have registered and checked in. Please join us at the main gathering point near the center of the festival on the East side of the canyon to sign in, following the signs for “Check in” along the path.
To access the small lines, please go to the anchors on the west side of the festival (towards Hadchit). There is shade and better paths near the lines on this side. This is for the 28m, 30m, and 40m highlines (the first 3).
To access the larger lines, please go to the anchors on the east side of the festival (towards Bcharre and the Sacre Coeur Church). The other side is off limit for these lines to protect the apple trees near those anchors.
**Buddy Buddy System**
Everyone must get a buddy check before getting on a highline. This means having another participant or volunteer check that your figure 8 knot is tied correctly, that your harness is attached correctly and that it is tight enough. Please also check that your pockets are empty. This buddy, or another person, should then stay in the area with you while you are on the highline so that if there is any injury or other issue, someone is aware immediately. Please DO NOT highline alone at anytime during the festival, no matter how experienced you may be.
The highlines are open during the day from about 9am until shortly before sunset each day. The leashes are removed at night and replaced in the morning. If you find a line that does not have a leash attached, that line is closed until the Rigging team reopens it. If you would like to highline earlier in the day, you may make arrangements (beer / lunch bribes work well) with the morning rigging team or other official riggers to have them come early, though this is entirely up to them to decide.
**Festival Riggers and Organizers**
In case of any issues, please find a festival rigger or organizer. We each are wearing rainbow bracelets, though it may be easier to simply ask around as this is a fairly small community event.
**DO NOT Modify Highline Rigs**
Please do not modify or otherwise change the highline rigs. If the highline needs to be tensioned or if there is something wrong with the rig, please find a festival rigger or organizer. If the line is immediately dangerous, please remove the leash from the rings and if possible, tie the rings to the anchor to prevent them from sliding away. Bring the leash to a festival rigger or organizer and let them know of the issue.
As riggers and organizers, the liability for these lines is on us. As such, it is important that we are the only ones that modify the rigs. Even if you are an experienced rigger, please defer to the rigging team.
Before arriving, please be aware that this festival is held on private and city land among apple orchards that are very sensitive. We take great care not to disturb the trees and ask that you do the same. You will see many straight rows of small trees along the terraces. Please do not touch these trees and take care not to let your backpack or other equipment brush against them. Avoid stepping close to the roots and do not camp among the apple trees. In addition, there are some areas with freshly tilled soil. We have been asked to avoid walking here as well. Please try to stay to the established trails as much as possible.
The Lebanon Highline and Adventure Festival is marked on Google Maps. A simple search should provide a map point. Here is a direct point as well: https://goo.gl/maps/LMBFzrc1eQUjMV9V9
**Arrival by Bus**
The bus stop is in front of the big church in town (Mar Saba Cathedral). The festival is just west of Bcharre, on the edge of another small village called Hadchit (Hadsheet). To get to the festival by foot, head west down the road that runs in front of the church (left with your back to the church entrance). This small road passes many useful shops where you can buy food, cell phone SIM cards, and more. Stay on this road until you reach the Bauhause hostel where multiple roads meet. Continue in the same direction on the major road that runs past the Bauhaus (still West, heading out of town) and walk about 1.5 km along this road. Often, other slackliners or locals will offer rides. You will pass another Church / Monastery on a hill on the left side just before you reach the cliff where the highlines are located. This is the Sacre Coeur or Sacred Heart Church. The highlines are on the cliffs below.
The directions are essentially the same as above. Once at the festival cliffs, there is a road on the far side of the cliffs (west side) that leads part way to the lines. It is a small road, but passable with care. Participant are welcome to park on the terraces at the end of the road, though it can get a bit crowded. Please consider parking along the road instead.
Camping space is available for free at the festival site from the day before the festival starts until the day after it ends (May 12-20th). Bring your own tent and sleeping gear. We are arranging to have toilets on site, and food and other facilities are walking distance from the festival grounds.
**RENT A ROOM**
Many of our participants last year chose to rent rooms on Airbnb or at local hostels and guest houses. There are a few places available on Airbnb, but it is a small village. Bauhaus and Tiger House Hostel have simple affordable accommodations that can be reserved online. It may be possible to negotiate better deals in person. Additionally, other guest houses and hotels in the area do not have a web presence and are may be able to be booked upon arrival.
LHAF is primarily a highline festival, with at least 8 lines rigged between 25m-140m and possibly a 240m line as well. Basic slacklines will be set up on the ground in the festival area to allow people to train slackline skills or play between highline sessions.
*Slacklining Experience Level*
While anyone can attend the festival, attempting to highline requires some basic slackline skills. We try to make the smaller highlines as beginner friendly as we can, and will have volunteers on site assisting beginners on these lines. Participants can practice their skills on the basic slacklines rigged low to the ground prior to trying to highline.
Climbing is allowed at the festival site, primarily top rope style using trees or possibly bolts at the top of the cliffs. More climbing options are available in near by areas. The Lebanese Climbing Association has more information. Please keep in mind that much of the land in the area is protected as a UNESCO Heritage Site due to the ancient monasteries built into the cliff walls.
The hills around the highline site are home to paragliding launch sites.
Check out the Forest of the Cedars and more in the beautiful Kadisha Valley.
LHAF will be hosting various workshops on other movement and mindfulness arts like yoga, acro-yoga, meditation, contact improv and more.
The Lebanon Highline and Adventure Festival needs your help!
We’re making this festival out of love for bringing people together, but we can’t do it alone. The more the community participates, the more you get to shape it into the gathering you would like it to be.
Want to know what you can do to help?
+++ Buy your ticket early +++
Not only do you get a discount, you help us plan a better festival. This festival costs a lot of money to put on and the more you help by buying early, the more you’ll get to experience while you’re there.
+++ Participate +++
Trail maintenance, camp setup, workshops, classes, rigging, and safety. Want to make an impact on the festival experience? Then we’d love to hear from you!
+++ Spread the word +++
Invite your friends! LHAF is a place to make friends and share experiences. All adventurers are welcome: highliners, climbers, talented walkers, lazy hammockers… everyone is welcome to bring their positive contributions to this community event.
+++ Share your passion +++
Have something special you’d like to contribute? Movie screen, talent show, art, food-mobile, sofas, tents, decorations, school bus converted into a swimming pool… let us know!
Looking forward to seeing you May 13-19 in Lebanon ??
Super Early Bird Tickets are available until the end of February for only $60.
Early Bird Tickets are available until the end of March for $80.
Full Price tickets after March 31st will be $100 and can be bought online or on-site.
This festival is put on by a dedicated crew of volunteers