Among the reserve units in the IDF there is a reserve unit that specializes in an unexpected field: the Alpinist unit. These combat soldiers specialize in combat and training in snow and low temperatures. They use special equipment and transportation tools for navigating (among them the snowmobiles) around Mount Hermon, in northern Israel.
Mount Hermon, with its many peaks and fortifications, has always been a strategic asset; it is sometimes referred to as the “eyes of the country.” The fighters' mission is to provide protection from attacks or terrorist activity from Syria or Lebanon.
The mountain constitutes a different kind of challenge that demands different capabilities from other regular army units. The unit therefore undergoes training and among other skills the unit specializes in: immunity and resilience to nature, maneuverability and coping with extreme situations, and deep recognition of the terrain during warm and cold weather.
Most of the reservists who are part of this unit served during their mandatory service in units such as Egoz and Golani, after which they underwent special training for several winters on Mt. Hermon.
The Alpinist Unit was awarded with distinction by the President of Israel, as a unit whose activity "is characterized by dedication, determination and perseverance."