PENTICTON - Bring your family and sense of adventure to the climbing festival this Labour Day weekend Sept. 2-5, 2011, at Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.
Just outside Penticton, Skaha Bluffs is recognized worldwide as a rock-climbing destination. In fact, it was climbers who provided the initial impetus for turning the area into a park.
The bluffs include several long canyons with walls up to 80 metres high and fortress-like stone formations that give the area a primeval quality. The park was created in the spring of 2010, protecting both the bluffs and the many plants and animals that make their homes in the distinctive terrain.
To help celebrate this heritage, the festival offers beginner climbing clinics, climbing competitions, safety demonstrations, film nights, a photo contest, barbecue and live music.
The event will be co-ordinated from the parking area located on the Skaha Conservation Area property, which is adjacent to the provincial park and accessed using Gillies Creek Rd. A recent easement through lands owned by Painted Rock Vineyard has made this access possible.
The festival is a partnership between BC Parks, Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Skaha climbing community celebrating 100 Years of Adventure during BC Parks' centennial year. It's the latest in a summer-long series of special activities in B.C.'s provincial parks that also include hiking, biking and paddling as well as camping and exploring.
- Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park is home to about a dozen identified species at risk, including the canyon wren, western screech owl, bighorn sheep, spotted bat, night snake, western rattlesnake and western skink.
- Some climbing areas are subject to periodic closures when, for example, baby owls are in their nests and have not yet learned to fly.
- B.C.'s first provincial park - Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island - was officially created in 1911. Today, the province has nearly 1,000 parks and protected areas, including 65 new parks created since 2001.
- Parking fees were eliminated from B.C.'s provincial parks on May 3, 2011, to help make them more accessible and inviting to families.
Find out More:
100 Years of Adventure: www.100YearsofAdventure.ca
BC Parks website: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/things_to_do.html
Connect with BC Parks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourBCParks
Ministry of Environment