Excursion To The Summit Of Hermon -- By: J. L. Porter

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:41 (Jan 1854)
Article: Excursion To The Summit Of Hermon
Author: J. L. Porter


Excursion To The Summit Of Hermon

J. L. Porter

August 30th, 1852. We left Blûdân1 at 6h. 40m. A. M., descended the hill on the ordinary Damascus road, and crossed the beautiful plain of Zebedâny to the fountain of the Barada. We rode at a fast walk and reached the little lake at 8:30. Having lingered here ten minutes, chasing the numerous wildfowl that were skimming over the surface of the water, we remounted and ascended the rugged and barren slopes to Batrûny, where we arrived at 9.30. From Batrûny we followed the road along the foot of the rocky hill toward the eastern entrance of Wady el-Kŭrn; but when, within about one mile of the Wady, we turned to the right, and ascended the mountain by a rugged path. At 10:30 we were on the summit, and had a commanding view of the Alpine scenery around us, with the plains stretching out in the distance. The mountain range, on the top of which we now Stood, extends unbroken from Wady el-Kŭrn to Wady Yahfûfeh, forming the western boundary of the plains of Zebedâny and Sŭrghâya. Its direction is about N. 25 E. Its greatest elevation is nearly 6000 feet above the sea. From Zebedâny to Wady el-Kŭrn, the sides are rocky and very rugged, and the top broken and jagged; the northern portion is not so lofty and the sides have a gradual slope to the plains on the east. The elevation decreases gradually toward Wady Yahfûfeh; and at the place where Wady el-Kŭrn cuts through, it is also somewhat lower, Southward of the latter Wady the ridge extends, but broken and to some extent irregular, to Râsheiya.

We have seen no map, and we believe none has yet appeared, on which the Antilebanon range has been laid down with any approach to accuracy. Berghaus places the loftiest ridge on the western side of the plain of Zebedâny, and continues it northward in a straight unbroken line. Now the fact is, that about one hour north of Wady Yahfûfeh, there are no mountains whatever

in this line; and, further, the loftiest and principal range of Antilebanon is two hours eastward of the above, running immediately on the west side of the village of Dîmâs, intersected by the Barada at Sûk, the ancient Abila, and forming the eastern boundary of the plains of Zebedâny and Sŭrghâya. Opposite the latter plain, and one hour from the village of Blûdân, is its loftiest summit, which has an elevation of a little over 7000 English feet. From this point its direction is about N. 8 E. with an elevation of about 6000 to 6500 feet.

From the point on which we stood we saw the Druze village of Hilwy, on the mountain top on the other side of Wady el-Kŭrn, distant about one hour and twenty...

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