Archive for the ‘The Team’ Category

This the team for the first portion of the thru-walk. People have traveled from Britain, France and Jordan to take part this year. Can't wait to be back in the mountains... [caption id="attachment_348" align="alignnone" width="575" caption="At the LMTA Offices"][/caption]


Chamoun Mouannes (aka the Marathon Man) is a marathon runner and member of the Beirut Marathon Association. He has criss-crossed the country on foot covering over 4000km with his signature Lebanese flags sticking out of his backpack. His mission this trek is to get as many signatures possible on a petition to protect and preserve the LMT and it's surrounding areas.  Chamoun is also clearing the trails as we go. If ever anyone could make something this difficult seem easy, its Chamoun!

The Team: Sultan


Our bus driver Sultan, has many years of experience driving in the Lebanese mountains. He has a knack of figuring out how to get to even the most remote, unfrequented spots. He transports our stuff for us from one location to the next and is always willing to go the extra 'mile'. He also is the first one there if someone has a medical issue and needs to get us back to civilization. Wouldn't you want this guy driving your bus through tight corners on the edges of cliffs? You bet you do.


Wim (aka the Flying Dutchman) came all the way from Holland to take part in this trek.  He received the invitation a week ago and, on the spur of the moment decided to come join us. He is an avid hiker, but this is his 1st time hiking in Lebanon. It takes a certain type of person decide to trek the entire length of a country a week before it happens! It's been great getting to know Wim.


Liselotte (Danish) moved to Lebanon in 1975 after falling in love with her husband and the country. Lived through the entire civil war. She is an experienced guide with Libantrek and has hike much of the LMT many times. She loves sailing her sailboat in the Mediterranean. Originally, Liselotte was not on board to do the through walk but decided at the last minute to join us! It's really nice not being the only woman on a trip like this!  She absolutely an inspiration to trek with, which is why she has the nickname Sunshine.


Christian Akhrass (aka Padre) is the organizer and leader of the thru walk. A member of the Lebanon Mountain Trail Assiocation (LMTA), he is an experienced guide of the Lebanese mountains. He is also an environmental activist and member of Association Libanaise d'etudes Speleologiques (ALES). With a strong passion for juniper trees, he often refers to them as habibti (my love). If you look closer at his picture below you can see a juniper frond in his pocket. Walking with Chris has raised my awareness of the environmental issues facing Lebanon's nature.

The press conference at the Ministry of Tourism was a great success and I was surpised at the level of interest from the press and in general. These are the people I will be living, eating, toiling with for the next month. This is really happening! Wow. Here is the team. I'll be posting bio's on the whole team over the first week of the trek. There are some very interesting people on the trip!