Ski the Middle East with a natural born skier

On ski slope

The Middle East, in spite of unusual indoor places like Ski Dubai is not exactly on the main track of international ski sites and resorts like Cortina in Italy or Aspen.  But the Middle East has some stunning and relatively unknown locations worth hitting. Ever think about skiing Iran? Or sliding down slopes in Lebanon? 

Historically, however, ski resorts in countries like Iran, Mzaar Kfardebian in the mountains of Lebanon; and numerous sites in Turkey and Iran are great locations for skiing.  One new website brings it all together.

Up to now, no one platform information site has been available for comprehensive data on ski resorts, weather and snow forecast and snow- cover information; as well as information on ski professionals (ski / snowboard instructors, mountain guides) ski schools, restaurants, hotels and other businesses connected with skiing.

Meet David Bloch and his Natural Born Skier ski resort website.

Bloch, 40, was literally born on skis:  “My parents met on the ski slopes of the Alps, and I wore my first set of skis at age one,” says Bloch, who has competed in Alpine and Telemark or “free heel” skiing  for over 10 years on the World Cup circuit.

A passionate lover of the outdoors and its environment, with a MSc Degree in Environmental Studies, Bloch decided to put together a comprehensive skiing information web site in 2007: and established his company, Natural Born Skier, in Sion, Valais in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

“Natural Born skier bares the fruit of over five years of ideas, implementations, programming, research and development on all aspects involving skiing” says Bloch.

skierThe website Bornskier.com was officially launched during a trade-show in Munich, Germany, on January 26, 2014. Although still a “work in progress” bornskier.com already has data on more than 4,400 ski resorts worldwide. This includes ski slopes and resorts in the Middle East and nearby locations like Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan is very interested in developing its ski resorts, located in the Caucasus Mountains north of the capital, Baku,” he tells Green Prophet: “They have mountain summits as high as 4,480 meters there,” says Bloch.

In addition, nearby Iran (would you know!) has about 20 ski resorts scattered over its mountain ranges; including several near the capital, Teheran. Bloch hopes to have the website completed by mid Spring.

For people with special needs Born skier gives data on locations and ski instructors most suited for those suffering from various physical impairments, including the blind, hemophilia, the obese, cancer patients and other serious diseases, as well as physical and mental handicaps: “It’s most important to match a ski instructor to suit a person’s disability, as well as having medical facilities available to deal with these people,” Bloch says.

The environmental aspect of skiing is very important to Bloch as natural ski slopes are often situated in very picturesque mountain locations: “The situation of ski lifts can greatly affect the natural beauty of a mountain location.

“I have skied in places like New Zealand where skiers are taken to the top of the ski slopes in helicopters so as  to disturb the environment as little as possible,”  Bloch adds.

The use of mechanical snow machines is also an issue, as more and more ski resorts use them due to global warming. “Mechanical snow machines create a different snow mixture than occurs naturally. This often results in increased soil erosion,” he adds.

Read more on skiing issues in the Middle East:

Indoor Ski Slopes From Ski Dubai goes Carbon Neutral in Spain

5 Top Ski Holidays in the Middle East

Al Qaeda Terrorist Drop-Out, And Champion Skier, Builds “Green” Ski Slopes on Sand Dunes in Qatar

Ski slope photos courtesy of Natural Born Skier

About Maurice Picow

Maurice Picow grew up in Oklahoma City, U.S.A., where he received a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. Following graduation, Maurice embarked on a career as a real estate broker before making the decision to make Aliyah to Israel. After arriving in Israel, he came involved in the insurance agency business and later in the moving and international relocation fields. Maurice became interested in writing news and commentary articles in the late 1990’s, and now writes feature articles for the The Jerusalem Post as well as being a regular contributor to Green Prophet. He has also written a non-fiction study on Islam, a two volume adventure novel, and is completing a romance novel about a forbidden love affair. Writing topics of particular interest for Green Prophet are those dealing with global warming and climate change, as well as clean technology - particularly electric cars. Maurice can be reached at maurice (at) greenprophet (dot) com.

4 thoughts on “Ski the Middle East with a natural born skier

  1. ToIran.com

    To make your ski trip an unforgettable one, ToIran.com offers variety of ski packages for different taste and Budget! This holiday season look for a ski adventure, come to a place you have never been before. Experience the fresh powder and let the enchanting Iranian mountains take your breath away. Enjoy an exciting ski vacation at a value price. Abundant snow, high slopes, adventure and fun await you! You will never experience skiing in the Middle East like this again! Four marvelous ski resorts within a half hour drive from one another and between 45 minutes to 2 hours from Tehran, the heartbeat of Iran. You can ski down the Alborz Mountain with a view of a bustling metropolis like Tehran so grab your ski gear and prepare yourself for our crisp mountain air and beautiful slopes. Book your ski package now @ http://www.Toiran.com/ski

    Reply
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  3. David Uriarte

    Dear Maurice,
    Thank you for speaking of Azerbaijan as ski destination. We are managing Shahdag Mountain Resort shahdag.az
    The Government of Azerbaijan is making big investment in state of the art equipment and facilities in order to put Azerbaijan Ski in the map.
    http://www.shahdag.az
    Best regards,
    David Uriarte

    Reply
  4. Maurice

    Take in mind that the site is still not finished yet. More data on ski sites and resorts, as well as related info, will become available in the coming weeks.

    Reply

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