Currently there is a Great Horned Owl nesting right beside the route Priapism, Belfry, Grand Canyon. A climber on that route, who was unaware that the owl was there, was fully attacked by the owl. The nest is in the chimney feature on top of a small bush but is not visible from the ground. Please do not climb Priapism at this time, you may even have to avoid Little Blue Pill as well.
If the weather is bad on the coast it's usually dry in Skaha. Hundreds of routes at a variety of grades, on numerous different walls. The majority of routes are sport with some trad lines as well.
The following is a description from www.skaha.org on how to access the new parking area:
To access the new parking lot, drive as if you were going to the old Braesyde Farm parking lot, but instead of turning off South Main Road onto Crescent Hill (the steep one), continue south on South Main for 3.5 km. Here you will see Smythe Road on the left. The turn is near the crest of a slight rise & a blind corner. Take care making the left turn! When you reach the cul-de-sac at the end of Smythe Road, continue straight ahead onto the gravel road. Drive straight through a gravel intersection until you are back on asphalt. The parking lot is at the end of this road.
Visit www.skaha.org for great information and updates.
Oct 17, 2009
Oct 31 has been chosen by BC Parks as the date to stop opening the gate to access the parking lot at Skaha. This date may vary, dependent on the weather. In the meantime, the work on the approach road continues.
So the end of the season is near. Hope you all had a good time this year at Skaha. The new parking lots and the approach road have been a great success, with the lower lot full on many sunny weekends, and both lots packed on the Thanksgiving long weekend.
See you all next year.
As of March 8th. The access road to the new parking area is still covered in snow. This road is not plowed so we'll have to wait for it to melt. Check out www.skaha.org for regular updates.
About half the length of the road into the new car park is still icy and undrivable but one spell of warm weather should see that clear.
The news form the new owners of Braesyde (the old parking area) is that they are not interested in allowing any further use of that area as a climbers' car park.
There is still no news from Parks if they are getting money in the next budget to get the overflow car-park up and running.
The good news is that parking in the new lot will be free until that lot is designated a Provincial Park and them will be subject to the same fees applicable at any Provincial site. Their fee structure is considerably cheaper than the that for the old Braesyde site.
This presents some difficulties for Easter and Victoria Day and possibly beyond.
We do not want to discourage people from coming to enjoy Skaha on these long weekends but there is the possibility that if few people turn up it might be assumed that our estimates of the level to which Skaha is used will be seen as inflated and the need for the overflow car-park seen as less urgent.
Again, we do think people should come at Easter and Victoria day but with the realisation that there may be considerable inconvenience.
Here is the plan.
1) The new car-park is marked out with spaces for about 100 vehicles, but by directing parking to maximizing use of the area perhaps another 30 can be squeezed in.
Local climbers will be on hand to direct parking over the Easter weekend to see that as few people as possible are turned away at the gate. This way we can demonstrate demand but inconvenience few.
2) Late arrivals who cannot get into the car park will have to find space somewhere on the approaches to the Bluffs.
However, YOU MUST NOT PARK ANYWHERE IN THE TURNING CIRCLE AT THE END OF SMYTHE DRIVE OR ANYWHERE ALONG THE ROAD THAT LEADS FROM THERE UP TO THE NEW PARK. THIS IS A PRIVATE ROAD AND THE EASEMENT AGREEMENT STIPULATES THAT THERE CAN BE NO PARKING ALONG HERE. BREACHING THAT AGREEMENT MAY RESULT IN ANNULMENT OF THE EASEMENT AGREEMENT.
Construction on the new parking area on Sublot 18 is well underway. There will be approximately 80 parking stalls available. Completion is planned for Spring of 2009. Alternative parking options for busy times will be available. BC Parks is currently working on a draft management plan for the Park, however no climbers are involved with it's creation to this point. Thanx again to the local Skaha climbers for their work on the ground with TLC and BC Parks.
Things are moving along well. This season Hugh Dunlop is again allowing access through the usual entrance to the park. In the meantime BC Parks, The Land Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy are working together to secure the easement required to build the road up to Sublot 18. The plan is to have the road in place by Spring of 2009. Local Skaha climbers are also involved in discussions with the above mentioned groups and are keeping CASBC updated on the situation.