Elevation: 2,008 ft
GPS: 49.441, -119.563 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 412,919 total · 2,563/month
Shared By: Peter Spindloe on Apr 15, 2007 with improvements by Gabe O'Leary
Admins: Sean Godwin, Mandie Walls, Mark Roberts, Kate Lynn, Braden Batsford, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra

Description

Skaha Bluffs is the rock climbing destination of BC's Okanagan region. As one of the only dry deserts in Canada, a visit here could change your image of the Great White North.

Skaha has a bit of everything, but it's primarily known for its abundance of moderate sport climbs. Despite this reputation, there are some excellent trad lines here as well.  With over 50 crags, the climbing is extensive. The grades range from 5.0 to 5.13, with a plethora of 5.10 to 5.12 routes to choose from. You'll find a reasonable selection easier climbs 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. In the summer, you'll have to take a midday siesta to escape the heat.

Skaha access issues were solved in 2009 after local climbers, businesses, and partners fundraised their way to a new paved road, parking lots, and BC Provincial Park status. Parking is free, but there is no camping in the Park.

The South Okanagan is a special place. Its plant and animal communities are diverse and unique, and many are threatened. Over 40 percent of the province's at-risk species are in this region. Please take care to stick to the trails and not disturb the wildlife.

Getting There

Skaha is on the edge of the town of Penticton and just north of Okanagan Falls. The Bluffs are easy to find via Google Maps. From Vancouver, take Hwy 5 (the Coquihalla) or Hwy 3 (Crowsnest), depending on whether you value time or scenery more. It's possible to drive in from the east or south as well, and to fly into Penticton or Kamloops.

Buy Howie Richardson's excellent guidebook or Marc Bourdon's newer book for complete details and directions. BC Parks has a pretty good trail map to peruse if you don't have the guidebook yet.

An excellent Google Earth view of the crags is available here.

Camping

Camping near Skaha can sometimes be a difficult endeavour because of busyness in the summer and closed campgrounds in the spring and fall. Make sure you plan ahead, and maybe think about snagging a spot before heading to the crag that first day. Check out Skaha Rock Adventures' list of camping spots to get your started. There are reasonable motel and rental options in the area as well.

There is no camping allowed in the Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park under any circumstance. An incredible amount of time, effort, and money went into securing climbing access to Skaha; please don't jeopardize our relationship with the Park by attempting to camp on the hill!

Dogs

We as climbers have gained a lot from Skaha being made a provincial park (guaranteed access, bathrooms, parking, security, etc). We do, however, have to adjust to a few stricter rules. One of these is that dogs must be kept on leash in the park at all times. Many people do not obey this rule, and BC Parks is considering banning dogs from Skaha Provincial Park as a result.

Please keep your dogs on leash, and if you see anyone with a dog not on leash please remind them of the rules. We risk losing dog access otherwise.

Skaha on Mountain Project

The Skaha Mountain Project page is organized into areas and crags according to Howie Richardson's guidebook.

There are many known routes in this area that are missing on Mountain Project. On each crag's page, there is a list of its routes that are missing on Mountain Project but described in the guidebook. Please contribute to the Skaha Mountain Project page by taking the time to add these missing routes if you've climbed them!

413 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Skaha

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 31
Assholes of August
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
 52
Plum Line
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 26
The Raven and the Bear
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 28
Looking Glass
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 24
Ready to Strike
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 29
Genetic Mirror
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 17
Snarling at the Greeter
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 14
Bottom Line
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 34
The Real Special Forces
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 8
Flight of the Fledgling
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 17
Test of the Ironman
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 37
Wings of Desire
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 12
Not Fade Away
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 15
The Spell
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 14
Doctor MegaTrip
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Assholes of August (b) Red Tail Group > (d) Upper Red Tail
 31
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Plum Line (a) The Fortress > (b) Plum Wall
 52
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Sport
The Raven and the Bear (g) Southern Crags > (f) Raven's Castle
 26
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Looking Glass (a) The Fortress > (g) The Corridor
 28
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Ready to Strike (g) Southern Crags > (a) Diamondback > (b) E Face
 24
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Genetic Mirror (a) The Fortress > (g) The Corridor
 29
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Snarling at the Greeter (j) Grand Canyon > (a) The Terraces
 17
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Bottom Line (j) Grand Canyon > (b) Tottering Pillar
 14
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
The Real Special Forces (a) The Fortress > (d) The Grooves
 34
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Flight of the Fledgling (d) Maternal Group > (c) Screeching Wall
 8
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Test of the Ironman (f) White Walls > (a) Great White
 17
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Wings of Desire (f) White Walls > (a) Great White
 37
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Not Fade Away (g) Southern Crags > (e) The Wave
 12
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Spell (c) Doctors' Group > (d) Doctors' Wall
 15
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Doctor MegaTrip (c) Doctors' Group > (d) Doctors' Wall
 14
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Skaha »

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