FORMIDABLE!

Skaha Open. This is fantastic news, congrats to all the hard workers on this project and thank you for preserving a destination climbing area. I look forward to returning to Skaha this spring for a session on the steep crags. And thanks to MEC for their support as well, of course it is in their best interest to support these campaigns, I would still like to extend my personal abundance of gratitude. A job very well done to all persons involved. For more information go to www.mec.ca or http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008ENV0006-000048.htm

Or if you haven’t been before and want to go, contact Skaha Rock Adventures, I hear only good things… http://www.skaharockclimbing.com/

PENTICTON The B.C. government, The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) through the NCC-Government of Canada Natural Areas Conservation Program have partnered with Mountain Equipment Co-op and other supporters to acquire a 304-hectare property adjacent to the popular Skaha Bluffs recreational rock climbing area.


The newly acquired land falls within the proposed Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park recommended in the Okanagan Shuswap Land and Resource Management Plan and will be managed for its important conservation and recreation values as a Class A provincial park. The property is made up of coniferous forest, riparian areas, rugged terrain and some shrub-steppe grasslands. This habitat helps support up to 15 species-at-risk, including California bighorn sheep.

This purchase was made possible through the co-operation of many partners and their unwavering dedication to seeing the project through, said B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner. I had a chance to hike through the property and see the Skaha Bluffs first-hand last summer and, with the encouragement of MLA Barisoff, enthusiastically authorized the provincial financial contribution to secure public access to great recreational opportunities and protect a special part of the Okanagan.

Photo by Rich Wheater, sorry Rich, it’s a good photo, consider my ‘stealing’ or ‘highjacking ‘ this image from the web to make my own site look more interesting, a form of flattery, ha ha ha. For more pics of Skaha go to www.richwheater.com

And in order to celebrate, go to the liquor store tonight and find yourself a nice bottle of red wine (grown somewhere in the Okanagan Valley) and pour you and your lovely companion a delicious glass of satisfaction.

Back to life. India is still F%$#ING RAD. I am in love with this country. It is so old, so beautiful and there are practically no rules, ANYTHING goes. Lydia and I got a scooter last week, the first time I have ever rode on one, usually opting for the motorcycle. But it was all we could get and the thing is DOPE. Super fast and easy to handle. We rip all over this city, the cows and chickens make it exciting, as do the occassional elephant and goat herd, but yet traffic continues to flow and there are no stop signs, few traffic lights and practically zero traffic jams. It’s a real trip. 4 million people in this city and no traffic jams. We should probably be wearing helmets, but like I said ANYTHING goes here. It’s like the place of all my dreams, complete trust and total FREEDOM. I can order a coffee at one shop and then walk around the block to another shop to meet with friends all the while carrying the glass mug and returning it later, the shop keeper just trusts me. Try that the next time your at starbucks. Or when we ‘rented’ our scooter, we basically wrote down our passport number, which could have been anyones, and then handed him 1400 ruppes, in cash and he gave us the key. No insurance, no policy number, no suits. He wore a bath robe the whole time and we drank fresh Chai in his back yard that his wife just made. The whole bloody country is like this, you just have to have the guts to trust people and you’ll find the place to be a paradise. Hear is another example. Our friend Dave, he is studying BONE SETTING. On his first day the “doctor” had him setting peoples bones, about 30 -40 patients a day. No training, no studying, nothing, just grab and torque. He said some people have fresh fractures and they are screaming in pain and still Dave has them held down by assistants and he’s reefing on their forearm with traumatic forces. This is just not acceptable in North America or even Europe, in Western Culture we would simply just file a lawsuit, but it’s not like that here, there is no official system, it’s every man for himself and it’s exciting and lively and I truly love it.

Okay so now for the good part. Yesterday on a whim, Lydia and I left the major city in hopes of finding some peace and quiet. 25 minutes on the scooter brought us into farm country, open road and a beautiful river bank. From there we spotted a mountain, totally smothered with boulders. HOLY COW. No seriously, cows are holy here, so today we are packing a picnic and heading back to that mountain in hopes of discovering the next Hueco Tanks. It’s crazy how much rock India has, I sometimes feel as though the virgin rock potential here is unlimited. Okay, we loading up on water and supplies, wish us luck on our mission we are leaving as soon as I submit this.

CLICK.

  • sLAMDOG

    YO Sucka. Hows your ass?
    You got any plans to go to Badami. Apparently they got some nice good clean unclimbed crack… if you know what I mean.

    PS

    Gettin things dialed for the you know what when you get back!

    Keep er puckered!

    M&A

  • Suzanne

    Europe can be much the same way Sonnie, in Spain they don’t wear helmets when on motorcycles (not that I support that idea for obvious reasons), but, so do those in Gibraltar, and in Greece. If you want another superb country to visit, visit Greece especially Crete, again you wouldn’t be disappointed.

  • Sonnie

    My ass has never felt better, but thanks for asking Mike, so considerate of you to inquire. Perhaps I could send a picture?

    Suzanne,
    I can’t wait for Greece, very high on my list.

  • Suzanne

    Sonnie, you won’t be disappointed with Greece, especially if you pick ‘Crete’, it isn’t crowded, it’s clean, has beautiful sandy beaches, coral, and tropical seas, and is definately hot! It never rained once the whole time I was there (for ‘Crete day’ with the British RAF), it was duty (in theory) but (in practice), it was really a holiday, mountain biking all day; or gorge walking (hiking) all day; always finished off with a swim in the sea; and a seafood Greek Salad meal afterwards. We camped in the open for 2 x nights. It was camping all the way. “Happy Holidays to you”.

  • Suzanne

    The beaches (just like this):

    http://www.explorecrete.com/travel/images/beach-falassarna.jpg

    Rock climbing (Now I wish I’d been a climber when I was there):

    http://www.climbincrete.com/english/climbing/index.php

  • Suzanne

    Last one (sorry).

    If you do go there, I recommend you hike this gorge; I am pleased to say I’ve “been there, done that.”

    Click for slide show:

    http://homepage.mac.com/zibi_turtle/PhotoAlbum16.html