I'm a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, and I think it's time to shed a bit of light on who the faces of Okanagan bouldering are, past and present. With a conservative estimate of well over 1200 established problems in the valley right now, we all owe a lot to the individuals who have put in the time and effort to open the doors of Okanagan bouldering for everyone to enjoy.
The nature of this endeavor goes well beyond the scope of one post, so please stay tuned for the sequels which will highlight some very important folks in our climbing community. On top of that, and maybe on a slightly self-serving note, this exercise will also help with the creation of a key section of the upcoming Okanagan Bouldering guidebook.
To start things off, I figured I'd highlight who I know to be the 3 most prolific developers in the Okanagan over the last bunch of years. Each of the following climbers has personally put up hundreds of problems, and has played a vital role in making Okanagan bouldering what it is today.
Doug Orr AKA "The King of the South"
Doug on Saturday Night in Mosside (V4) Rusty's Sack
Jason Duris AKA "Squeeze Holds Until they Cry Jay"
Jay on Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger (V11) Cougar Canyon- Photo: (Jess Zotto)
Andy White (Me) "Crimp Down Like a Baby Andy"
Me on a new project in the Winter Pig Hotel
I suppose I've done a little bit in the bouldering community here in the Okanagan. To be honest, I can barely remember what I ate for lunch yesterday, so trying to remember how many lines or areas I've developed is near impossible. Let's just say it's a few. Since becoming a "boulderer" and realizing the potential of our "virgin" playground, I've had a fire for developing that's been hard to put out. Not only that, but along with others around here, I feel like Okanagan bouldering has something really special to offer, and as a result, I've put in the work to promote it and share it with the climbing community. I just hope that in the future I can continue to wander freely, putting up new lines and sharing them with others. If I can do that, I'm a pretty rich man. A couple of my favorite lines would be Driven (V11) in the Boulderfields and the Mistress (V9) in Cougar Canyon.
So, there's part one of a series of posts about Okanagan bouldering's key faces. If you happen to see any of these people or the ones yet to be mentioned, give them a high five for what they've done to open up this region's potential so we can all do what we love.
Stay tuned for more...