Kate and myself just spent the last 2 weeks around the south Okanagan near the Skaha Bluffs, one of Canada's premier rock climbing destinations. I was attending an Instructor Skills Workshop for the Canadian Avalanche Association's Industry Training Program. Next winter I will be instructing for the CAA's Level 1 ITP program and perhaps the AVSAR (avalanche search and rescue) program.
Its the time of the year when the 'avalanche patch' meets in the Okanagan for the CAA spring meetings where the Canadian Avalanche Association's professional members meet and connect as an professional association to look upon the past season, review the past winter to take stock of notable events, advances in snow science and research papers etc.
For me the most enjoyable component of this is the rock climbing at the Skaha bluffs. The Skaha bluffs is located in B.C., in the southern Okanagan. It was made into a provincial park in the 1990's and has a most unique landscape consisting of a variety of distinctive terrain features, which function together to provide habitat for many provincially or federally listed species at risk, including bighorn sheep, fringed and small-footed myotis, night snake, and Western screech owl. Other notable species include Clark’s nutcracker, pygmy nuthatch, red squirrel, Pacific chorus frog, white-throated swift, canyon wren and Western rattlesnake.
The geology of Skaha is gneiss which is an ancient metamorphic rock type that yield cracks and sharp in-cut edges that make for both excellent crack and technical face climbing along with some very steep in-cut jug hauling on highly technical overhanging rock. Skaha really has is all and the most alluring aspect of this place is the warmer early season weather and laid back car camping. Contact me if you are interested in a climbing trip with me this month
*Please note* This photo of Western Rattle snake was taken of me moving it from my rope bag to a safe place where he would not be stepped on or for us to be accidentally bitten. When you encounter these creatures, please leave them alone and please keep your dogs on leash - they are a protected species.