KELOWNA — It’s a sport that’s climbing in popularity and one of the best spots in the country for it is right in our own backyard.
Bouldering is an extreme type of rock climbing with no ropes and no harness, your two hands and two feet are your only tools to scale the massive rocks.
The Boulderfields in south Kelowna boasts some of the best climbs in the country and arguably the world and for being so prestigious, they’re pretty much untouched.
“There are boulders the size of apartment buildings. They’re huge,” says boulderer Andy White.
And there’s thousands upon thousands of them in the massive Kelowna canyon.
White has been free scaling rocks for the better part of a decade and says while the sport can be difficult it’s also easy for beginners.
“There’s climbs that are easy enough for the vast majority of the population to climb.”
White and a handful of Okanagan residents are developing the landscape of the boulderfields, forging new trails to make the boulders more accessible and cleaning the rocks to make them safer for climbing, “clean enough so your hands don’t slide off it,” says White.
For the past two years, local boulderers have held a “Rock the Blocs” event, which doubled in size from its first to second year seeing 140 climbers in 2014. It’s opened up the sport to climbers from around the world.
“There’s people travelling from all over North America to climb [here],” says White.
While local climbers like the quiet, they’re also ready to share their hidden gem.
“We have this massive playground and we just want to share it with other people.”
For more information on the Boulderfields and to get involved in the sport, you can go to the Okanagan Bouldering website.