Victor Guillermin, at only 17 years of age, has become the second climber only to ascend Lebanon’s most challenging rock climb: Baatara Gorge, also known as Avaatara. David Lama is the only other climber to have done so back in 2015.
The Baatara Gorge Waterfall is one of Lebanon’s most popular destinations located 2 hours away from Beirut. It was discovered by French Henri Coiffait in 1952 and was fulled mapped out in the 1980s by the Spéléo club du Liban. It became known at the time as the Cave of Three Bridges, as one can see three natural bridges rising one above the other as shown in the picture below:
Avaatara is the Arab world’s only 9a climb, and the first in the Middle East. As explained by L’orient Le Jour in this elaborate article, “all rock climbing routes are rated numerically according to difficulty. The higher the number, the more difficult the climb. Routes graded 7a+ to 7c+ are generally considered to be professional-level climbing. Routes 8a and above are considered elite.”
It’s too bad I haven’t any video of his climb, one similar to the David Lama, or maybe it wasn’t released yet. Guillermin’s climb was covered by Lebanon’s talented sports photographer Lea el Medawar.