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His Take: Cliff Jumping in the Okanagan

There are few pleasures in this world that deliver as much of a rush as cliff diving. I don’t know what the difference is about leaping from a pure rock face when in comparison with a diving board that may be just as high, but the rock face wins every time. Perhaps it’s that a …

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  • His Top Tips
1. Don’t start jumping from 40′ cliffs. Accidents are not uncommon. Start out with small rocks, getting comfortable, and gradually work your way up.

2. Don’t jump without testing the waters. Swim to the spot where you plan to land and see just how deep it is. Throw a couple of rocks and watch how long it takes them to sink to the bottom. As a general rule, don’t jump from a rock that you’ve never seen anyone else jump from.

There are few pleasures in this world that deliver as much of a rush as cliff diving. I don’t know what the difference is about leaping from a pure rock face when in comparison with a diving board that may be just as high, but the rock face wins every time. Perhaps it’s that a diving board suggests that you should jump, whereas a cliff face dares you to.

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If you’re looking for a spot to get your thrill seeking, cliff diving fix then make your way to the Okanagan Valley. Squally Point on Lake Okanagan is extremely popular, and there are a number of towering leaps available on the Shuswap Lake as well. I remember hanging in the air for about 4-5 seconds at a random spot I came across while houseboating on the Shuswap, which I would describe in better detail if I had any idea where they were. However, I have yet to find a more pristine spot than Rattlesnake Point on Lake Kalamalka in Vernon B.C.

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ImageSource: Mowgli.ca

ImageSource: Gregory Ewanowich @ REDBUBBLE

If you’ve ever made the drive from Vernon to Kelowna, or vice versa, you would know that Lake Kalamalka on a sunny day is spectacular. It’s Native American name means, “lake of many colours,” and in my opinion it’s one of the most incredible places in the world that nature has to offer. With weather soaring around 40 degrees C (that’s about 104 degrees F for all of you Americans) and turquoise blue waters, you would think that you’re in the Carribean, not the interior of British Columbia. Rattlesnake Point doesn’t offer the highest jump in the Okanagan, but it offers the most picturesque. The spot that you need to hit in order to clear the rocks isn’t too far of a leap, but the climb up to the main jumping point can be a bit sketchy. For those who don’t quite have the stomach for it, there are a number of smaller rocks on the other side of the inlet which offer safer dives from lower heights.

Finally, don’t do anything stupid. If you’re drunk and likely to loose your footing, if you haven’t surveyed the water personally to see just how deep it actually is, or if you’re planning on jumping in head first, your plunge could end in tragedy. Enjoy yourself, but don’t be an idiot.

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