Perfect fall for Skaha Climbing
Skaha Bluffs is a provincial park just south east of Penticton BC and has the reputation for the longest and sunniest climbing season in Canada. This 489 hectare park boasts world class climbing routes second only to Squamish BC. Skaha is a series of cliffs that range up to 80m/250ft in height and offer up more than 650 routes. Routes vary in difficulty from 5.4 to 5.13, however the majority of routes are in the 5.8 to 5.12 range and most of these are bolted throughout for sport climbing.
(click the images for a larger view)
The rock geology in the area is predominantly a coarse-grained gneiss which makes for excellent climbing. This form of metamorphosed granite is much edgier and more featured than gray rock found along the coast, and generally more solid than the limestone found in the Rockies (though some areas are a bit chossy). The routes vary from large jug holds to more crimpy routes with an average length of about 30 metres, perfect for beginners to expert climbers.
Some of the more popular walls are:
This is the first cliff on the approach trail with about 40 climbs, both sport and trad and some up to 3 pitches in length. Most routes are in the 5.10 to 5.11 range and this area receives shade on hot summer days.
Lots of sport routes on this wall in the 5.8 to 5.10 range, though the upper wall boasts a number of 5.11’s. This wall is also shady in the afternoon and hence can be crowded.
The Great White Wall
A formidable 40 metre wall of white rock with about 20 routes, mainly in the 5.11 and 5.12 range. This wall receives shade only in the morning so get there early.
The Doctor's Wall
This consistently overhanging wall sports some of the most difficult routes at Skaha. A combination of 5.11 and 5.12 sport routes complemented by some excellent 5.10 cracks.
Some of the details and a map of the area: