Published: November 24th 2007November 2nd 2007
We hooked up with Daragh and Cass (friends from MEC), loaded the car up and hit the road for Skaha, a climbing area inland BC near Penticton. Daragh and Cass supplied ample tunes for the trip, which, along with good conversation made the five-hour trip go pretty quickly. The tunes were a welcome relief from the handful of CDs I had bought from the thrift store (that’s what they call op shops over here).
We set up home at a campground right on Lake Skaha on Friday night, and woke Saturday morning to a new scene. I love arriving at places in the dark and have the sunlight reveal everything the next day. The scenery was so different from Vancouver -a lot more arid, with greys and browns dominating the flora rather than lush greens.
I was so excited to see clear blue skies, that I initially didn’t notice the bone-aching crispness. There were a couple of climbers camped just near us that I went up and said hello to, and on hearing that this was our first trip here, one of them said something about staying out of the wind. This just went in one ear and out
The rock, albeit splendid, was FREEZING. We only got a few climbs in before the cold just froze through our fingertips to our bones. A feature was a pumpkin hanging off a bolt half way up one of the climbs, in Halloween style. We finished the day off with dinner in a heated pub (despite having had good dirt-bag intentions of cooking at the campsite). The pub was very cosy until the karaoke started… and there was some BAD loud ‘talent’. It was still too early to go to sleep and too damn freezing to wanna hang out around outside, so we went to see a bad horror movie, the name of which has escaped me along with the plot - though I don’t think there was much of that to remember. The theatre was not really very well kept and wasn’t even that warm, but warmer than outside.
I don’t recall getting a whole lot more climbing done the next day either. But what we did do was awesome. Jono and I were kicking ourselves for not coming earlier, especially as access is a little uncertain. To give a brief explanation - in order to
The rocky path
built for fit people... like climbers
access the area, climbers have had to go through private land and the land owner has changed his mind. The climbing community are in the process of trying to raise money to buy a chunk of land which they can access the bluffs from, but the deadline for this was meant to be early next year and they are still needing another million dollars or so.
Jono and I were inspired enough (despite the cold) to make the epic trip the following weekend, alone. We ended up seeing Jono’s old climbing pal and mentor, John Fantini, so that was worthwhile. We climbed with him both days, and I got totally put in my place. The guy must be in his late 60’s and is climbing harder than ever - he did a 5.13a (28) this year. Wow.
Oh, I have also included a few photos from a local walk that Jono and I did on the Howe Sound trail late October.
There are more photos below