Rock Climbing Adventures at Skaha Bluffs
Canada › Skaha Bluffs
Added by Matt Ford
- Excellent climbing and rock quality
- Over 650 routes on a variety of walls, from extreme overhangs to technical slabs and dreamy cracks
- Warm, dry climate makes for a great early and late season destination
- Lakeside camping
With many different walls to choose from, Skaha Bluffs is a phenomenal climbing area for any level of climber. The rock quality is nothing short of phenomenal, and you will learn to trust even the smallest of holds!
Because Penticton is in the Okanagan Valley, it does get quite warm. Consider planning your trip for either spring or fall – it's just too hot to climb in the middle of the summer, when temperatures can reach 45 C. Even in late April, it can hit 30 C! If you do go in the summer, start climbing early, then hit the beach in the afternoon to cool off.
Regarding specific walls, “Day Care” is great for easy top rope routes, offering a variety of easier sport, trad and mixed routes where you can learn gear placement and get warmed up for the day.
A definite favorite is "The Terraces," specifically "The Snarl" and "Bel Air" walls. Both of the 5.10b's have three star ratings for a reason: you simply have to climb them! If that doesn't push your limits, then head over to "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," a stellar 5.11a located just around the corner.
“Diamondback” is another excellent wall: the 5.10a mixed climb "Ready to Strike" is one of the best crack/corner climbs around. (Photo above of Eric leading this climb!) For more information on climbs in the area, pick up a copy of "Skaha Rockclimbs" by Howie Richardson, a great guide book packed with local knowledge.
Be aware that there are two dangers to look out for while in the Skaha Bluffs Park: ticks and snakes. A thorough tick check at the end of each day is highly advised: in the past, we have found about one tick a day on our group. Although we have never encountered any rattlesnakes, they are definitely around.
Out of the many camp grounds in the area, Banbury Green is an excellent choice. Although it is a bit of a drive from the climbing area, it is far more scenic than other locations, offering beautiful lakeside views. It is also often packed with fellow climbers, making it a great place to meet new friends. Not to mention, it offers hot showers and flush toilets at a particularly affordable price.
Finally, consider stopping off at the custom burger joint Burger 55 – there's nothing like a cold beer and a burger made just for you after a long day of climbing!
Driving Directions: From Penticton, drive down Lakeside Road for 2.9 km. Turn left onto Smythe Drive. Continue straight until you reach the parking lot. Burger 55 is located at 52 Front Street, Penticton, BC V2A 1H2
- Climbing rope
- Trad rack
- Sport rack
- Climbing helmet
- Sleeping bag
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Camping, Rock Climbing, Swimming
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