Saturday, May 4, 2019

Skaha Climbing

Penticton is a long drive from Calgary but when its too wet or cold in the Rockies, Skaha Bluffs is usually the place to be. Every spring, climbers descend on the bluffs, only to return in the fall once the heat of the summer is past. Its a shoulder-season paradise! Kyle and I spent 6 glorious days in the Okanagan climbing, biking and catching up with some old friends. Thanks to his amazing wife, Dave Mai escaped from parenting all week to show us around and shoot some photos. Check out his amazing work at DM Productions. We also hooked up with Caillum Smith of Preserved Light Photography
Lake-side campsite at Banbury Green
No trip to Penticton would be complete without a visit to the Naramata bench, home to countless wineries and the legendary Legend Distillery.
Beautiful views over the Naramata Bench
The sign says it all
Delicious cocktails on the patio
We did a bunch of multi-sport days, climbing in the morning and riding in the afternoon. Kyle and I explored Summerland and rode Test of Humanity as well as trails in the Three Blind Mice. Caillum and Dave were excited to have new subjects to photograph and came prepared with cameras and drones. We had a blast lapping features and hanging out with the film crew!
Caillum on the hike-a-bike to our photo shoot
Views of Penticton and Skaha Lake - Preserved Light Photography
Moody skies and bright flowers - Preserved Light Photography
Riding high above Lake Okanagan - Preserved Light Photography
Three Blind Mice Trails - DM Productions photo
The rock roll on Freds - DM Productions photo
Road gap on the new trail "Flow Coaster" - DM Productions photo
Slabs - DM Productions photo
Waiting for the shuttle retrieval
Sunset at the pump track
The rest of our time was spent climbing in the park. I went back and red pointed some projects from a few years ago but we tried to spend most of our time climbing new routes. Kyle got on some more difficult trad routes and I worked on leading more 5.10 sport. The culmination of our week climbing came when we met up with Matt and all climbed the Mendicant (5.11b). After 5 days straight of climbing we were both feeling tired and lazy, but we got caught up in the send train with Kyle flashing and me leading it. Although I didn't send (I fell 2 bolts from the top), I was pretty psyched as this was my first time leading a 5.11! Way to go out with a bang. Other memorable routes included Double Exposure (5.9 trad), the Broken Canoe wall climbs and The Raven and the Bear (5.10a). Woody had taken us to most of the classics 2 years prior so we had to get creative when picking new routes to try.
Parking lot breakfast before a big day of climbing
Can you spot the mountain sheep?
Kyle climbing at the Broken Canoe Wall - DM productions photo
Getting in the zone - DM Productions photo
Right before the fall (The Mendicant 5.11b) - Matt Laird photo