Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Love, Honour and Belay

** The title of this post is named after a climbing route in Skaha but I thought it aptly describes Andrew and I.  :-)

Andrew and I met up in Canmore on June 12. I'd been out here with a friend taking a 9-day Advanced Wilderness First Aid Course. The weather had been questionable the whole time and I was thankful to get through the course without being wet and miserable. Of course, the rain arrived when we wanted to go climbing.
From Lonely Crags, looking out over Kelowna

The forecast looked somewhat better in the Okanagan so on a very rainy day in the Rockies we headed west. Even my non-climbing family and friends know that Skaha Bluffs near Penticton is one of my favourite climbing areas so it shouldn't have been much of a surprise.

We stopped in Kelowna for a couple days, climbing at Lonely Crags and Mt. Boucherie, while continually checking the weather forecast. (Andrew got some really awesome photos of a curious marmot that was at the Crag with us.)

On another rainy day we drove the rest of the way to Penticton, checked out a couple wineries and, seeing that the forecast was improving, planned what we most wanted to do the next few days.

The Fortress -- climbers on Stout Hearted and
Saggy Bumline. Plumline is in the middle of these
two routes.
Some favourites of course . . . "Plumline", the "Hiking with Howie" group, a variety of climbs at "Grassy Glades" as well as a few routes and areas we hadn't been to before. I'll be doing a separate blog post about Skaha -- a "guide" (fully biased of course) for those who haven't been there before since we're often asked for suggestions.

We camped most of the time beside Skaha Lake but splurged one night and treated ourselves to a night at Burrowing Owl Winery. Very nice!

Busy day at Back of the Lake, Lake Louise

On the gradual drive home we stopped at Lake Louise and climbed at Back of the Lake for part of a day since it had been many years since we'd been there. Unfortunately it was a sunny Sunday and crazy busy! We managed to sneak onto a few fun routes but there were many more we would have liked to try.

Our last day of climbing took us to Kid Goat near Canmore. Again, we hadn't been there for several years but an easy trad multi-pitch route in the sunshine while being surrounded by storm clouds was a nice finish to our trip.
Storm clouds over Yamnuska, but sunny on Kid Goat

Eight out of 10 days climbing . . . sore, tired, glad to be heading home but always looking forward to what comes next.

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