Rock Climbing & Bouldering

Reaching New Heights: An Introduction to Rock Climbing in Kelowna

A rock climber rappels from the route Plumb Line on The Fortress with a view of Skaha Lake near Penticton
Kari Medig

The Basics of Rock Climbing

Rock climbing in Kelowna offers an exhilarating blend of challenge and beauty. From bouldering to multi-pitch climbing, enthusiasts find diverse landscapes to test their skills. The Yosemite Decimal System (YDS), used locally, is a set of numeric ratings describing the difficulty of climbs.

Local Climbing Spots in Kelowna

Kelowna is home to numerous climbing crags, each boasting its unique character. Boulderfield, Cedar Park, Christie Falls, Rose Valley, Pebble Beach, KLO Creek, Lonely Crags, and Mt. Boucherie provide climbers with hundreds of routes to explore.

Guidebooks and Resources

"Kelowna Rock Climbing," authored by Karin Hanna, is an essential guide for climbers. This comprehensive book details 426 routes on 78 walls across 7 climbing regions, including select bouldering problems at Boulderfield, Christie Falls, KLO Creek and more.

Getting Started with Rock Climbing

For beginners, Kelowna’s climbing gyms, like Beyond the Crux Climbing Gym, are ideal for learning and practicing skills. Introductory courses are invaluable, especially for rope climbing techniques and safety measures.

Beginner Tips for Rock Climbing

Mastering technique is crucial in rock climbing. Focusing on good movement, footwork, and body positioning helps in efficiently conquering routes. Understanding the balance between static and dynamic climbing, along with mental preparedness, enhances overall climbing prowess.

Body Maintenance and Injury Prevention

A proper warm-up routine, including light cardio, dynamic stretching, and easy bouldering, is vital for injury prevention. Climbers also need to maintain body balance, focusing on opposition exercises and core strengthening.

Choosing the Right Gear

Investing in personal climbing shoes and chalk is recommended for beginners. Shoe demo nights at local gyms are excellent opportunities to find the perfect fit and learn about the latest gear innovations.


Kelowna's rock climbing scene offers a thrilling adventure for climbers of all levels. As you embark on your climbing journey, remember to respect the natural environment and adhere to safety guidelines for a sustainable and enjoyable experience.