… is absolutely amazing. This nifty place hosts a ton of great rock and climbing. Like Smith, the New River Gorge, and the Red River Gorge, Skaha Bluffs falls in our top five favorite places to climb-so far. We had an epic time in Skaha and strongly recommend any climber and/or avid hiker to have a visit. After weeks of wishing for warmer weather, sunshine, and excellent rock, our wishes were finally granted. Skaha challenged us. It helped us get a bit of our strength and endurance back. It helped me tackle my mental-game with leading, and it gave us hope. Thank you, dearest Skaha.
We arrived in Skaha mid-afternoon on Thursday, hoping to find a free camping spot before it got dark. Because it is really difficult to snag a free spot that isn’t miles and miles away from the crag, we were hoping that asking around the neighborhood would lend itself to pitching our tent on someone’s private property. Going from door-to-door, asking local residents if we could camp on their massive properties and being repeatedly turned down was a little discouraging, but we finally met a woman who let us in on the ‘climbers’ secret camping spot – and it was pretty awesome! Apparently, most climbers hide out in unfinished lots, meant for cookie-cutter homes and pristine lawns. Workers began construction on the area in 2008, however, no one has purchased land in the subdivision and therefore, construction has temporarily stopped until there are buyers. This was great news for us. We had a nice paved road up to the tippy-top of a cozy hillside overlooking Skaha Lake. Here, we pitched our tent away from traffic, pedestrians, and other city activity. It was perfect.
Aside from each other and a perfect, little camp spot, the next best thing came excellent rock climbing. We camped at Skaha for a week and climbed as many of the classics as we could find. We had a blast. We surprised ourselves, too. For not climbing at all over the winter, we managed to get on some really inspiring and challenging routes. E onsighted some beautiful pitches and fell at the anchors a few times on ‘Not Fade Away, 12a’. He is definitely an inspirational climber and he motivates me everyday to get after it. While at Skaha, that’s exactly what I did. My primary focus was more on leading, building my strength, and fostering my confidence. I was able to hang most of my own draws on my climbs and send them! I am feeling pretty comfortable leading and can’t wait to test out this newly found confidence at other incredible climbing destinations.
In short, Skaha is wonderful and has given us the opportunity to grow as rock climbers. This amazing place with its solid rock and inspirational routes offers special something for all climbers. We enjoyed this place immensely and at some point, will make it back to send those climbs we left unsent, make new and cherish more memories, and continue to do what we love.
Here are a few more photos of our time at Skaha Bluffs and Penticton. Please enjoy. Our next stop is Pendleton, Oregon. Here, we will visit with Poppas S and MK, unpack our little car, do a bit more sorting and organizing, and repack our green Volkswagen bus with mega climbing gear. Smith Rock, here we come!
To end our Skaha trip, we met MK in a small town in Washington called Republic. Here, we chatted over delicious porters and enjoyed a comfortable atmosphere. The brewery was located in an old Fire Hall and was super neat. Check it out —
What an incredible trip! Thank you for sharing it with us. Stay tuned for updates and the next big leg of our journey!