Skiing in Israel

Skiing in Israel

The Mount Hermon ski resort is situated on the northern tip of Israel, a few kilometers off the Syrian and Lebanese borders, a portion of the Golan Heights. The nearest villages are Neve Ativ and Majdal Shams. The site is surrounded by the Hermon nature reserve. While the nature reserve is open all year round, the ski season only runs from late December to March.

The base of the resort is at 1600 meters, and it peaks at 2073 meters. The resort has 7 red pistes, 3 blue pistes, 2 black pistes and 3 green slopes. The resort also has several facilities for summer visitors such as summer luge, mountain biking, etc. In peak season more than 14,000 people can be on the mountain each day.

The first lift was installed in 1971 and the resort first opened to skiers that same year in December. It then expanded in 1981 with additional lifts were added and new slopes created. Snowpark was recently added.

Skiing at Mount 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.

Military bases are visible from the ski area, and certain sections of the mountain are restricted to military use by the Israel Defense Forces. During the winter season, the Alpine unit patrols the resort to authorize its opening as it is located right at the border. The Unit is also involved in helping sick children from hospitals across Israel and the West Bank by welcoming them on the top of the ski resort and sharing with them a special day in the snow. While on a visit at the resort, we saw Palestinian children diagnosed with cancer and their families taken on a tour by Israeli soldiers on skis, making igloos and driving snowmobiles. Skiing really brings people together!

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