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SKAHA, BC. The perfect place to go on a climbing trip. (Edited Feb 1 / 2004)

When the weather is good so is Skaha. It is located in central BC. Traveling on the Trans Canada west from Calgary, when the sign for Kelowna appear, (Salmon Arm) head south around the lakes into a lush valley that is full or fruit Orchards, and Wineries. Skaha is located at the far end of Okanogan Lake. From Kelowna, cross the floating bridge and follow the Highway through Peach land, Summersville, and then Pentictin. Pentictin is a wonderful town, it has everything you need, Fast food and drive through beer stores. Skaha Lake is located on the other side of Pentictin. That is where Skaha Bluffs got its name.

Danielle climbing Hells Bells 5.9 on the Red Tail Wall.

The Red Tail Wall, which is an extension of the Fortress East Face, More or less the right side, composed of almost 100 routes on the Red Tail Area Alone.  Most 5.10.

Friends of Ours from Portland, OR Andy & Danielle, came for a visit this year to Skaha BC. We originally met them in Nepal in 1997. We shared a very special day. It turned out that the four of us were wearing clear socks and underwear the day we met. Well, it may sound weird to some people but when you have trekked in the Himalaya for a while, putting on a clean pair of socks and underwear can feel very special. Anyway, we have been good friends since than. We visit with them every year, some time its for climbing or skiing or hiking.


Josee Jammin Jim's 5.9 Crack
on Go Anywhere Wall


Go Anywhere wall located down below the Great White Wall, is a fantastic wall to try and climb the wall in a day.  15 routes in a day WOW what a challenge, but for this Particular wall you can do it.  With the hardest route being a 5.10c, most 5.8 or easier.   This is a nice wall to warm up on, if it’s your first or second time to the area and want to get used to what the rock and climbing will be like.

Don Puttee seconding : Malpractice 10d

Malpractice 75m 2p: Doctors Wall

Pitch one is a wild stemming climb that takes allot of thinking and patience. The footholds are sloperish for the feet so precision is key. The wall is for every overhanging, but the handholds are good. The crux, and the wildest move on the route, takes you out left to the slab wall around the arete. The final pitch has wild in cut small edges up a vertical wall.
Josee finding the fingers on Easy Prey 5.8
Diamond Back Wall

The Diamond back wall has some magnificent routes to do, espesially the classic Ready to Strike 5.10- Croner crack.  The route to the right of Ready to Strike called Just Basking 5.11c is a sandbag and I feel it rates more on the 5.12a, but thats just me.

Kelly Leading : Slowpitch 10c N 2P 80m : Climbing on The Prow

Climbing on the Prow is like going to Squamish and doing the Grand Wall. Well may be not as big, but commitment wise, its hard. Going up the initial part of the route is strenuous and challenging. To get the stance to be able to place a piece of gear, you must be able to do the stem, and a very big one. Then pulling the roof and up is the easy part, its how long can you go with no pro. I mad the mistake and did not bring enough large cams. The crack goes up for another 15 to 20 meters or so, and is a constant 3-inch approximate size crack. I could not find very many other pieces to place; luckily it was nice and cruisey 5.9.
Kelly leading Gang bang 10c :
Great White Wall

One of my favorite places to climb in Skaha is at The Great White Wall.
Gang Bang is this really prominent corner on the wall. The corner is completely natural protection, take extra nuts, it sucks them up fast, take a 60-meter rope. The climb itself is well over 50 m long. Two ropes to rap to ground.

Kelly Cranking on : Not Fade Away 12b

If the weather looks iffy and it might rain, this place is the place to go, steep, short and pumpy. Not Fade Away has two fixed draws on the traverse up. The remainder of the climb goes out this steep roof, small powerful in cuts through to the anchors. A wonderful climb with lots of wild positions that makes you twist and turn, until weird positions become the result. Click picture to see the interesting move I created, I needed a hand to clip so I inverted myself and hung on with my toes. A great way to clip.
Josee Leading : Genetic Mirror 10b

Located just beyond the east Face of the Fortress, which is the first wall encountered when you finish the gruesome uphill stairway walk. The climb is on the fortress in the canyon near the Owl and the pussy Cat, another great route. There is a pinnacle in this canyon on your right, with a great looking crack climb. You can spend a whole day climbing all the climbs here in the gorge.

Kelly leading : Double Exposue 5.8

Double Exposure gets its name from the wild position it gives you. The wall constantly overhangs and this low angled ramp goes out thru the overhanging face. The exposure the second person finds them selves in with a wild swing if they pitch off.

Kelly going for it on

Just Basking is the stroking face to the right of Ready to Strike corner.  You start as for Ready to strike, but after you pull the roof of the corner, you make your way onto the wall on the right and climb beautiful edges and incuts, some cracks and then to the top bolt where I believe rates in at 5.11c and than the final moves to the anchor are very tricky and hard, which I believe is more on the 5.12a side.  Careful if you climb around onto the right side on the arête, the sloppers can create a horrendous fall.