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Skaha

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Belfry, The 
Blipvert Tower 
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Claim It All 
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Fortress - The Corridor, The 
Fortress, The 
Go Anywhere 
Grassy Glades 
Great White 
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Maternal Wall 
Morning Glory 
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Terraces, The 
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Wave, The 

Skaha 


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Location: 49.4458, -119.5634 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 34,635
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Peter Spindloe on Apr 15, 2007
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There's some steep climbing to be had in Skaha! P...

Description 

Skaha is the rock climbing destination most people think of when they think about the Okanagan area of BC. As one of the only dry deserts in Canada, a visit here could change your image of the Great White North. The area is on the edge of the town of Penticton,

The climbing is extensive with over 50 crags. The routes are mainly sport, but there are some excellent trad lines as well. The grades range from 5.0 to 5.13, with large numbers of 5.10, 5.11 and 5.12 routes to choose from. You'll find a reasonable selection at 5.9 and below as well. The rock is Gneiss and crisp edges are the bread-and-butter holds. Vertical is the predominant angle but you'll find it tipping in either direction to suit your taste.

The season runs from March to October or November. As with most places it's possible to get lucky at other times, but it's usually cold and snowy in the winter.


Getting There 

The four to five hour drive from Vancouver is probably how most non-locals arrive, but it's possible to drive in from the east or from the south, and possible to fly into the Okanagan area.

Camping and reasonable motels are abundant, but can still be very busy in the summer as this is not just a rock climbing destination but a major tourism, summer holiday, boating and wine making/drinking area. Look here for some accommodation ideas: www.penticton.ca/tourism/default.asp

Buy Howie Richardson's guidebook (www.elaho.ca) for complete details and directions, but note that the parking situation changed completely since publication of the guide. Directions to the parking can be found here: www.skaha.org. There is also a downloadable supplement to the guidebook with new routes and updated information on previously published routes.

An excellent Google Earth view of all the crags, as well parking information is at www.skaha.org/Skaha.kmz.


Climbing Season


123 Total Routes


['4 Stars',13],['3 Stars',57],['2 Stars',36],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',3],['5.7',2],['5.8',7],['5.9',21],['5.10',53],['5.11',28],['5.12',9],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Skaha:
Looking Glass   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 82'   The Fortress - The Corridor
Plum Line   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   The Fortress : East Face (South)
Assholes of August   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Red Tail : Red Tail Upper
Naturopath   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Doctor's Wall
Special Forces   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 60'   The Fortress : East Face (Central)
Wings of Desire   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 100'   Great White
Not Fade Away   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 50'   The Wave
Browse More Classics in Skaha

Featured Route For Skaha
Toward the start of Wings of Desire

Wings of Desire 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  North America : Canada : ... : Great White
One of the all-time great climbs at Skaha. A must-do. This route follows a seam, crack, and series of features straight up through the gently overhanging wall, to a small alcove beneath a roof. Pull the roof, and you've only got to hang on for a few more meters to the chains.This route has been lead on gear....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Skaha Slideshow Add Photo
Kelly Franz on The Future is Now.  Photo by Matthew Buckle, used with permission.
Kelly Franz on The Future is Now. Photo by Matthe...
Comments on Skaha Add Comment
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By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Dec 17, 2008

Good news about the parking lot:
www.skaha.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&I>>>

By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Dec 17, 2008

Nice image gallery:
www.skaha.org/index.php?option=com_rsgallery2&Itemid=24&cati>>>

By Krista m
May 27, 2009

How long is the approach? Want to go with kids this summer.

By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
May 28, 2009

The approach from the new parking lot is now much more kid friendly than the old parking lot as it's more level. It probably takes about fifteen minutes to get to the Day Care crag. There are still some uphill sections, but nothing like the old staircase.

By Krista m
Jun 3, 2009

Thanks Peter....that helps.
What's the best guide book to buy for the area?

By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Jun 3, 2009

This book is still the only one, I believe. When combined with the supplement and link to parking info, both listed above, you have everything you need.

By Cam Robertson
Jul 28, 2010

The new access is approximately 3km South along Skaha Lake Road, about a third of the way down the lake.

There is an update for the guidebook located at www.skaha.org. There are rumblings that a new guidebook is in the works....

Note that the area is now a Provincial Park.

By See Brown
Mar 16, 2011

New parking is now amazing .. make sure to check out www.skaha.org or www.projectclimb.com for new routes as the route guide is very outdated ...

By Aimee Rose
From: Bend, or
Sep 6, 2011

The new parking is at the end of Smyth Road on the east side of the lake. If you drive around the lake, you'll see a sign for Skaha Bluffs. Follow Smyth Rd up the hill. Park at the lower parking for the Fortress, Doctor's Wall and all climbing beyond that. Park at the upper lot for the Great White Wall, The Belfry and other climbing areas in the vicinity.

By S. Stember
From: St. Paul, MN
Jun 4, 2012

Hey there Canadians and any one else with some good beta! How bad of an idea would it be to come to Skaha for some quality sport climbing in July? It'd likely be around July 15th. I've heard mixed opinions and I know it can be a bit hot, but is it too hot then?