Skaha Bluffs Closed

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Brent Nixon, Acid Test 5.12a, Great White Wall, Skaha Bluffs, BC.

Brent Nixon, Acid Test 5.12a, Great White Wall, Skaha Bluffs, BC.

Skaha Bluffs, near Penticton, in southern British Columbia, is a collection of over 50 gneiss cliffs with over 800 climbs ranging from 30 to 160 feet in length. The area sees about 18,000 climbers per year, with people drawn from all over the world, because of the long (for Canada) climbing season, the high quality of routes in the 5.7 to 5.12+ range, and the scenic beauty of the area. While roughly 75 percent of the Bluffs used by climbers resides on Crown (public) Land, the Bluffs are isolated by a continuous strip of private, residential developments and agricultural land. Previously, climbers gained access to Skaha Bluffs via a trail and parking lot at Braesyde Farm. However, as of November 1, climbers have no access to the Bluffs. A 14-year agreement between Braesyde Farm landowner Hugh Dunlop and British Columbia climbers, allowing parking and access to the Skaha Bluffs climbing area, has expired. The gate to the parking lot was closed on November 1, and it will not reopen for the Spring 2007 season. Dunlop has conditionally accepted an offer for sale of the property, slated to be converted to a vineyard and winery. Despite recent developments, local climbers maintain a strong friendship with Dunlop for the 14 years of access he provided. For the updated info on how you might help access at Skaha Bluffs and what's being done, go to skaha.org.

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