As of late, we’ve been exploring the quaint neighborhoods and cool climbing crags in Revelstoke, BC. This charming little town has a lot to offer, including tasty coffee, colorful-cozy homes, nice people, and sweet rock routes on super featured quartzite. Yesterday, after a mellow morning warming up at one of the local coffee spots, we hiked through some old growth forest to beautiful, really fun climbing at Blanket Creek Crag. Though misty, the area has large burly roofs that protect a few routes from getting slippery and wet. The area was absolutely incredible. We enjoyed two routes at Blanket Creek: an awesome 10c, Tree Rustler, and a cool 10a, better known as Schweppes, before traversing across a fast and spectacular waterfall/river via only the best way possible – a tyrolean! Crossing the river, we quickly realized that the routes we were scoping from across the way were soppy and wet. No more climbing for us here; however, Begbie Bluffs, another radical crag just down the road from Blanket Creek, proved to be a great stop and nicely rounded out our evening.
We had a cozy fire and scrumptious dinner that night and fell asleep wishing away the dark rain clouds. Our wishes were only slightly granted. We woke to a bit of rain and cooler temps, and broken clouds – no biggie, we would charge on anyway. Despite the weather conditions, we decided to check out a crag near our basecamp, the Drive-In Crag. It is exactly that. If one wanted to, he/she could belay from his/her vehicle while listening to sweet tunes, snacking on pita chips and hummus. We didn’t do that, but it’s definitely possible. Instead, we warmed up on a nice climb before E took to a sweet 12a called Smoky and the Bandit. This climb was incredibly crazy looking, feature-y, and pumpy; definitely a good project for E. After making out a bit of sequence and pulling some slick moves, E went for the redpoint – on his fourth go, he nailed it! Just over a week in to our climbing trip and E is red-pointing 12s! Heck yes!
Celebratory beers and mega bonfire helped cap the night off. It was the perfect way to end our evening! The following morning, we found ourselves at Waterworld – a rappel-in, climb-out crag we’ve been eyeing since our honeymoon. To our surprise, the routes dawned a few wet spots, nothing to deter us from experiencing one of the best multipitch climbs in Revelstoke. We rappelled down and soon found ourselves climbing out over Revelstoke Lake. Can you say exhilarating? This multipitch sequence was perhaps the most nerve-racking, crazy, exciting, and scariest routes I’ve ever climbed. The exposure was incredible and the view: breathtaking. We made it to the top anchors just after 2pm, reveling in our excitement, nervousness, and giddiness. We did it! After celebrating with a few hoorays and yippees, we packed the rest of our gear and hit the road. Next stop: Kelowna.
Kelowna is roughly 120 miles south of Revelstoke. The drive was beautiful and a bit shocking, in a good way. We went from large rugged mountain peaks to lakeside properties and beautiful waterfronts with sandy beaches. It was definitely an abrupt change, but a very nice one. We arrived in Kelowna shortly after 6pm and decided that it would be best to try and snag a cozy camp spot out of site near the crag, the Boulderfields. Unfortunately, after driving around for nearly two hours, we found out that due to extremely heavy rains and flooding the previous week, the road to the Boulderfields was closed until further notice. We were a bit bummed, as there were two awesome climbs we wanted to project there. Not to worry, though. Instead, we found a comfortable spot near one of the other crags in Kelowna called Cedar Park.
Cedar Park, though sporting only 20 or so climbs, was pretty incredible. Bright and early this morning, we hit some nice, crimpy routes before packing up early due to rain and slippery rock. Though only spending an early morning at Cedar Park, we hope to visit again. This small place has a lot of character. The solid gneiss/granitic rock was really unique and the routes were inspiring.
This evening, we landed in Skaha. Our drive through the Okanagan Valley was just as nice today as it was when we came through on our honeymoon in late September, only greener. Skaha is the land and rock of plenty. This place, with its cool arid-deserty landscape is fascinating and almost exotic, very unique and attractive. We are psyched to climb here and plan to spend almost two weeks, if not more, exploring the area and climbing as many of Skaha’s routes as our fingers will allow. We both have really neat and challenging projects picked out and hope to get on most of the classic routes while were here. Right now, it is sprinkling a bit, but the weather folks at AccuWeather.com, promise sunshine and warm temperatures (60s to 70s) starting tomorrow and lasting for the next few days. 70s? What will we do with ourselves? Will we melt? Or will we get a tan? We’ll definitely keep you posted, but until then, happy climbing and fun adventures!