Sunday, June 2, 2013

Trip Report - Skaha Bluffs

Living an active lifestyle is a huge part of our family values therefore it is embedded in our life as regular as doing laundry.  It is difficult to keep Ben (8) and Liv (6) excited and interested in adventure after adventure nearly every weekend. They will only hike to the top of a mountain so many times before they lose interest.  We do our best to add a wide variety of activities that they enjoy so we can continue exploring and fuel our desire for adventure.

One of those activities is rock climbing.  Kids and rock climbing are perfect for one another. Climbing increases their self confidence, builds strong bodies, teaches trust, and empowers them to think ahead and make good decisions. Patience is important and this along with some rope training and safety lessons make rock climbing a safe and fun sport for the family to enjoy.

Dad setting up top rope, kids warming up with some bouldering, and mom snapping some pictures

Normally our adventures take place on Vancouver Island but yes, sometimes we do travel off the island and when we do, we always seek out local adventure!  A weekend trip to Okanagan Falls and Penticton would mean beach time, wine tours, and golf for many but for us it means exploring a new area any way possible.  That is how we discovered Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.

Located south of Penticton along the east side of Skaha Lake, this park offers hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing (we hiked past several mule deer, watched chipmunks scurry away, and found a bird egg shell) and of course rock climbing! The road leading up to the parking lot is paved, narrow and very curvy.  As I was driving up I thought this road must not be used often thinking two cars would have difficulty passing each other.  Was I wrong!  The two large parking lots were nearly full! Glad we missed the rush of cars leaving!

Can you spot the mule deer?

Skaha Bluffs is popular and for good reason.  There is an extensive system of trails and 592 climbing routes to choose from 64 crags!  Sadly, we only explored a tiny section of this park. We chose to climb the Daycare Crag, name sort of tells it all.  

Daycare Crag at Skaha Bluffs

This crag is for beginners. We were easily able to set up top rope climbing, and had 9 routes to choose from ranging in grade class 5.6 - 5.12.

We each took turns climbing and I will note that everyone climbed to the top, a whopping 65 feet, except for me. I'm OK with that!  Part of the adventure is sharing others accomplishments. As with all adventures a picnic style feast was enjoyed, some laughter, even tears and did I mention the view?

Trail side feast overlooking Skaha Lake near Penticton BC

See more photos of Skaha Bluffs:  Trip report photos - Skaha Bluffs

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