The World’s 18 Strangest Ski Resorts

The Mount Hermon Ski Resort

Israel

Background:

Mount Hermon straddles one of the world’s most infamously contested borders. On one side of the mountain is Israel, and on the other side are Syria and Lebanon. Israel took part of the southern slope, the Golan Heights, during the Six Day War, in 1967. Syria recaptured it on Oct. 6, 1973, the first day of the Yom Kippur War. Israel took it back two weeks later and has held it since.

Mount Hermon reaches 9232 feet, but its peak is actually located on the border between Lebanon and Syria. The Hermon Ski Resort is in Israel’s Golan Heights.

Why It’s Unique:

As you drive up to it through the Golan Heights, you pass blocked-off mine fields. The mountain is dubbed the Eyes of the Nation for the view it gives deep into Syria. The Israeli Defense Forces maintain an observation post there, patrolled by the specially trained Alpine Unit. The military base is visible from the ski area, and certain sections of the mountain are restricted to IDF use.

Skiing at Hermon offers an unusual link to the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the Bible it is referred to as Ba’al Hermon, Sion, Sirion and Senir. The Gospels say that Caesarea Philippi is located at its base, and the mountain is also thought to be the site of the Transfiguration.

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