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First Skaha Climbers Festival a Big Success

Hundreds of climbers gathered in the Okanagan Valley to celebrate one of Canada's top climbing areas

The first-ever Skaha Climbing Festival kicked off on May 28 at 8 a.m. in the Skaha Bluffs parking lot with a vendor market. Several climbing brands were on hand, including Petzl, La Sportiva and Boreal.

Games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey were played while some climbers took up the rope coiling challenge. There were fun clinics, a competition and a film night.

Rolf Rybak who helped organize the festival said that Over 1,200 climbers visited Skaha over the weekend. Climbers from across Canada and the U.S.A. stopped by for the event. Skaha Park Watch, an organization started in 2015, hosted the festival and all of the funds raised will help the group to increase their presence in the parking areas to keep vehicles safe.

On hand at the festival were Skaha climbing legends Howie Richardson and Jon Jones. Richardson said the first route to be recorded in the area was back in 1987 on Stove Cliff called Primus.

On Saturday night, top Canadian climber Mike Doyle, who learned to climb in Skaha, spoke to a room full of climbers about some of his climbing adventures. His talk was followed by this year’s Reel Rock 16 films.

Skaha is one of North America’s top climbing destinations and its great that there will now be a climbing festival that celebrates the world-class climbing it has to offer. Follow Skaha Climbers Festival on Instagram for updates below.