Rock Climbing & Bouldering

Climbing Gear Essentials: What You Need for Rock Climbing in Kelowna

A woman climbing up the side of a ramp on a skateboard in a skateboard park with other people in the background.
Gneiss Climbing

Rock climbing in Kelowna offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and challenge, set against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes. That being said, having the right gear is crucial for being safe and making the most out of your climbing experience.

Essential Climbing Gear

Climbing Shoes

A climber's best ally is their shoes. Specialized climbing shoes like the Five Ten Kirigami, La Sportiva Tarantulace, and SCARPA Vapor S are designed to provide a precise fit and enhanced grip. These shoes, available in men’s and women’s models, are engineered for different types of climbing surfaces, offering the crucial support needed for Kelowna’s varied rock formations.


Quickdraws connect the rope to bolt hangers on the climb. The Metolius Bravo II Wiregate Quickdraws, designed for ease of use and affordability, are a great choice for those new to leading climbs.

Slings and Locking Carabiners

Slings and carabiners are vital for anchoring and safety. The Black Diamond Equipment 18mm Nylon Runner and the Petzl Sm’D locking carabiner are recommended for their durability and reliability.

Climbing Harness

Safety in climbing pivots on a reliable harness. It's the main point of contact with the safety system and should provide comfort and support. The Arc’teryx Konseal harness, for instance, offers foam padding for comfort, crucial when you're hanging or belaying.

Belay Device and Carabiner

The Edelrid Mega Jul Belay Kit represents the pinnacle of belaying devices, offering braking assistance while retaining the standard belay technique. This kit, which includes a HMS Bulletproof screw gate carabiner, is ideal for beginners, providing an extra layer of safety.


The importance of a helmet cannot be overstated. The Trango Halo, for instance, balances durability with comfort and ventilation, offering protection against falling rocks and awkward falls.

Chalk and Chalk Bag

Chalk is indispensable for maintaining grip during climbs. A basic chalk bag that securely closes to prevent spillage and holds a brush is essential. Metolius Super Chalk is recommended for its consistency and purity, being 100% magnesium carbonate without harmful additives. This blend of powder and chunks ensures adequate coverage for climbers' hands. That being said, chalk is chalk and a chalk bag is a chalk bag so you can get pretty much any kind as long as it fulfills the basics.

Climbing Rope

Climbing ropes like the Edelrid NEO 3R 9.8, made with 50% recycled fibres, are dynamic, durable, and absorb impact forces effectively. These ropes are a climber's lifeline and choosing a high-quality one is paramount.

Rope Bag

A good rope bag, like the Metolius Ropemaster HC, keeps your climbing rope organized and clean. Its simple, durable design and clear window for rope identification are practical features for climbers.

Crag Pack

A specialized backpack, the crag pack, like the Osprey Zealot 45 is designed to carry climbing gear comfortably and efficiently, with an emphasis on capacity and comfort.

Where to Buy Climbing Gear in Kelowna

In Kelowna, climbers can find high-quality gear at stores like Mountain Equipment Coop or Eskala Mountain Sports. These stores offer a range of climbing gear and expert advice for both beginners and experienced climbers.

Climbing Locations in Kelowna

Kelowna's climbing scene is diverse, offering everything from bouldering to multi-pitch climbs. The guidebooks 'Kelowna Rock Climbing' and 'Okanagan Bouldering' are excellent resources for detailed information on local climbing spots. Before heading out, ensure you're well-equipped with all necessary gear, and respect local rules, especially in Provincial Parks and on private land.

Safety and Etiquette

Safety is paramount in rock climbing. Never climb alone, as having a partner ensures there's someone to assist or seek help in case of an accident. Be vigilant about your gear – ensure it's securely fastened and check rope knots and anchors. Be prepared with enough gear, water, and a good understanding of the climbing area. Learning basic rock climbing commands and considering climbing lessons, especially for beginners, are also crucial steps towards a safe climbing experience.


Equipped with the right gear and knowledge, rock climbing in Kelowna can be a thrilling and safe adventure. From purchasing the right equipment to choosing the perfect climbing spot, preparation is key. With this guide, climbers are set to explore Kelowna’s majestic climbs while adhering to safety and environmental etiquette.