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Naramata Creek Near Skaha is a Must-Visit Okanagan Crag

And a new 5.12 trad climb by local route developer Stan Sabourin

Photo by: Dave Mai of Stan Sabourin on Watermelon Man 5.12b

The town of Naramata is on the eastern shoreline of Okanagan Lake. The new-ish crag features 30 sport routes and over a dozen trad lines. This is a great option for when Skaha is too busy.

Drive north from Penticton and up Arawana Forestry Road and park just past a cattle guard. The hike starts to the left and eventually heads down to a creek. Follow the creek to the crag and continue along to a waterfall.

On Oct. 24, Stan Sabourin sent his trad project after the area received an arctic blast and an early-for-the-Okanagan snowfall. He called his new route I Choose a Mortal Life aka Trad Dad. He said that he had to dust snow from the top of the route when he topped out. The temps in the area hovered around freezing all day.

In 2019, Sabourin sent Watermelon Man, a few years after he bolted it, for his first 5.12b (above photo). It’s been climbed with and without a knee-pad, and called “one of the best of the grade in B.C.”

Sabourin had a busy 2020 in the Penticton area. He made the first ascents of a number of routes in Skaha, and these at Naramata: So, You Have Chosen Death 5.9, It Comes in Pints? 5.9 and Whisspers of a Nameless Fear 5.10b.

Skaha has been having its busiest late-October climbing season in years. The parking lot is often full by late afternoon and crags like Doctors Wall and The Wave are busy until sunset.

The cold temps this weekend did little to scare climbers away, as many are waiting for warmer temps later this week.

Lead photo: Dave Mai of Stan Sabourin on Watermelon Man 5.12b