There’s something extremely inspiring about first ascents in faraway, untouched places … and when they involve epic settings, say a Jurassic limestone sinkhole for example, it’s hard not to be amazed.

That’s why this week we’re featuring visionary climber, David Lama’s first ascent of the route Avaatara (5.14d) —positioned in the unclimbed Baatara Gorge located 75 kilometers outside of Beirut, Lebanon. Initially a project concept perceived as unclimbable due to its strange arches, overhangs, and waterfall, David committed to and succeeded at climbing out of this ancient sinkhole … skipping a few bolts along the way.

If you travel roads that have already been discovered, you’re basically just following … but if you go somewhere no one has ever been you’re basically in the lead. That’s something I really like.

– David Lama


Related: David Lama and Conrad Anker Climb First Ascent of Latent Core in Zion National Park