Fred Fugen and friends skim over UNESCO Heritage site of Wadi Qadisha
Three of the world’s top wingsuit flyers travelled to Lebanon for their latest project – making the first ever jumps over Lebanon, a land of amazing contrasts and stunning landscapes…
French wingsuit legend and ‘Soul Flyer’ Fred Fugen jumped from the country’s highest peak and skimmed over the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Cedars Forest and Qadisha Valley. He was joined by expert wingsuit flyers Aurélien Chatard and Vincent Cotte to get a series of unique views as they took part in an incredible low-altitude flight through the area.
The trio hovered over the Bsharri District to the snow-covered peak of Qurnat as Sawdā before jumping out. Also known as Black Peak, at 3,088m Lebanon’s highest point, towers over the famous cedar trees below, which are between three and four thousand years old. They also flew over many more of the area’s most iconic sites, including the town of Bsharri and the Qadisha Valley.
As the team were aiming for proximity flying to mountains, monuments and cliffs, the jumps were very technical, requiring the skills of these professional wingsuit pilots. Flying so close to the forest of cedars, almost touching the trees was challenging and exciting. The group often passed just a few metres above the ground – much to the surprise of the mountain’s villagers!
Frédéric Fugen, 41, revealed:
“It’s great to say that we’re the first ones to fly over this land. It’s magnificent to be able to start a jump that high, up in the mountains and above the cedars, ending up deep down in the canyon. Opening the parachutes between two cliffs and landing at the end of the valley was a real rush. It was full of colours and full of scenery that blend together and make the beauty of that place.”
Aurélien Chatard added:
“It was really intense to be able to jump and to do a real first here. The Valley of Qadisha is an extraordinary spot, where one of the oldest civilisations of human history lived.”
Johnny Nehme Rahme, Bsharri Tourist Office Director commented:
When I was looking at the wingsuit flyers in the sky and praying for God to protect them, I remembered an old story about the Eagles of Wadi Qadisha, which are also called the Royal Eagles, which used to cross the valley and protect it. These athletes are the new Eagles of the Holy Valley of Qadisha. They flew just like Eagles and for a moment, I thought the Eagles were back
Video – Frédéric Fugen 2021 Cedar Lines
Story, images and video provided by Red Bull Content Pool
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