Holy moly Skaha was amazing! I just got back last night from my first trip down to Skaha Bluffs, just outside of Penticton, BC. We were super excited about the weather and climbing as soon as we hit the Revelstoke valley, where the trees, flowers, and plants were busting out madly in crazy shades of green. When we left Canmore it was very grey... and snowing! This was the first time in 3 years I had been west of Revelstoke, and it was awesome to see the different (and very beautiful) landscapes of western Canada. It was my first time ever going down Highway 97 through the Okanogan, and I really couldn't believe how different it was from where I live in Canmore, only a few hours away. It's lush, colourful, and everything feels miniature and quaint. The lakes are stunning with the hills protecting them from too much development on either side.
Diamondback Crag, & the super ultra classic 10 a gear corner climb.
Okay, okay, the climbing: WICKED! We camped with our huge posse from COE (staff training trip) at Braebury Greens. This little campground is a gem, with all the sites right along the lake. Around 7am each day it gets too hot to stay in your tent, so we would relax with our coffee and cereal on the shore for an hour before even thinking about preparing for the day. The climbing experience is so great here because everyone feels like they are on vacation (and they are!).
The first crag we went to was Diamond Back wall. With the new parking lots, its only a 10 minute hike away, and has routes from 5.9 to 5.12. It's super scenic, and has an ultra classic 5.10 crack climb that we all made sure we did that day. The bottom has a cool little roof, and the top half is made up of a series of lay-back moves that feel incredible. We had 2 more amazing days of climbing mostly at Red Tail area, and then headed back to Canmore a bit early so Ian could do his ACMG TopRope Climbing Course. Thankfully the car got back okay, after the axel busted right through the rim of the tire as we were driving up to the crag one day!