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Monte Rosa Cliff Lake Zarzar area



Monte Rosa is the most important climbing site around Damascus. It consists of an about 800m long and up to 30m high steep limestone cliff to the right of the road between lake Zarzar and the village of Rauda. The cliff offers some 80 excellent sports climbs mainly on sub-vertical slabs of high quality limestone. “Monte Rosa” inherited its name from a large hotel complex on the next hill behind the cliff which tends to be pretty uninhabited during most of the year except the hottest summer months when flocks of tourists from the Gulf region invade the place. Both Lake Zarzar and the Monte Rosa Hotel are relatively well known picnic locations and a taxi driver can easily bring you there – make sure you also organize the trip back though.


Due to its western exposure, the cliff gets sun from about ten o’clock to sunset. Although the site is located at an altitude of more than 1200m, summer temperatures and sun radiation make it virtually impossible to climb there around midday. In the hot summer months, climbing in the morning from just after sunrise till around eleven o’clock and later in the afternoon from about four o’clock till just after sunset (around eight o’clock) is however very pleasant indeed. In the winter (Dec – March) the area is normally covered with snow. On sunny days, temperatures on the rocks can be high enough to make climbing in T-shirts possible, long trousers are still recommended though. The best time to climb on winter days is from noon to sunset (around four o’clock).


Annina climbs Question of Honor 4c

SSAC Last updated: 2nd of December 2006