On March the 22nd, the Lebanese Army, and the Rangers Regiment in particular, are organizing a ‘Raid Des Cedres’. (Hat tip from Blacksmith’s)
Sports teams from the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) will compete with each other on cross country skis and snow shoes. The race starts in the cedar forest of Tannourine, and end in the Cedars of Becharra. The army has called on every civilian athlete, men and women, over 18, to compete with their men.
It has often been written in the Dutch press that the Lebanese soldiers are a bunch of hairdressers in uniform, and therefore we (some Dutch in Lebanon) feel we should heed that call. And so the Dutch posse staged a training session in the snow today. Windy? Noooh, not at all. Okay, so we braved the winds, almost got blown out of the ski lift, definitely got blown backwards, and were pretty much the only ones left on the slopes, but windy? Naah (kniesoor die daar op let). The snow was soup, half of the lifts didn’t function, and it was hot. It felt like we were skiing in 30 degrees Celsius.
But we are totally ready for this one; a race against the Lebanese Armed Forces on cross-country skis and snow shoes around the Cedars. They do require that participants fill in their blood type while applying for the race. That sounds promising. It means they expect to go all the way. It will be quite the battle.I am afraid however, that by March 22nd, there will be no snow left. My thermometer in Beirut registered 31C. The ski season is now officially over, I think. Which means we will win be default.