In fact, due to the location’s likeness to that of the scenery in the film Avatar, the cascade route was named ‘Avaatara’ (9a) by Lama and the local climber helping him, Jad Khoury. It encompasses both Avatar and Baatara, the name of the gorge, in an attempt to retain the Arabic feel to it.
“When I walked in for the very first time I almost thought this can’t be real. The sinkhole is a magical place: Waterfalls dropping in there almost a hundred metres, three beautiful, natural arches, the blue and orange rock, a perfect contrast – simply beautiful.
“In combination with the lush green plants, it immediately made me think of the surreal landscape in the movie ‘Avatar’,” Lama said.
During the climb, Lama faced challenging overhangs and had to deal with setbacks as certain lines proved to be too wet, dirty, loose or simply unclimbable.
Both effort and endurance was key to climbing through the steep, complex roof section with only small and limited holds, but eventually after giving it everything Lama managed to complete the route.