The 33rd annual Mt. Kobau Star Party will begin at dusk July 30, 2016 and will end at dawn August 7, 2016

Southeastern view

Overlooking Lake Osoyoos

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MOUNT KOBAU WELCOMES YOU

Recent Updates

Update with new dates for 2016 Star Party


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Mount Koboau - Spring 2016

Hello Kobau Friends!

For those of us in south central British Columbia, winter has begun to remove its fluffy white cloak, our mountains growing browner week-by-week, from the bottom up. Mt. Kobau itself got a good blanketing of snow this year -- the better to water new growth as spring comes to east-facing slopes charred by last summer’s wildfire. We’re anxious to see how quickly new life rises from the ashes, and just as eager to bring the indomitable MKSP spirit back with it!

Here’s a quick update for those of you who have been left wondering about the effects of the Testalinden Creek Fire, the cause of which (though lightning is a likely candidate) is still officially listed as “undetermined”.

Most importantly, all star partiers and staff were evacuated without injury, with no significant loss of property. We’re very proud and grateful for the quick action of our on-site officials in executing a successful evac under very stressful conditions.

In the days following the August 14 outbreak, the fire moved upslope and northward, burning right up to – but, happily, not through – the star party site. It took nearly a full month for firefighting crews to completely subdue the blaze.

When the Kobau Rd. opened in mid-September, some of us who live nearby took the opportunity to assess the damage. The trip to the summit courses in and out of burnt areas – some wooded hillsides looking as vigorous and green as ever, while many others are stark stands of stick-trees in an ashy bed. The great sage-covered knoll at the summit was almost entirely scorched, but in other directions, the view from the MKSP site is unaltered.

The transformation of “our mountain” is sobering, but nevertheless part of nature’s cycle. There must have been hundreds of blazes over thousands of years since these slopes were molded by volcanic fire and glacial ice. There will be more. For now, remnants of rejuvenating fire provide one more wonder to marvel at on your way to Mt. Kobau Star Party. We hope to see you here this summer!

Introduction

This is a special place. The great rampart of Mt. Kobau separates two ancient river valleys. From either side, the mountain’s grassland slopes rise quickly, conceding first to scattered pines, then to steep, thick forests of fir.

A kilometre and a half above the rivers, the woods yield to a sub-alpine ridge.

Here, wildflowers bloom between hardy conifers and sagebrush. By day, the vista seems endless. After sunset, it may be so.

Mt. Kobau Star Party is for those whose hearts swell at the sight of faint starlight; it is not for the faint of heart. The bumpy road to the summit can de-collimate more than your telescope. At night, while good seeing tests your scope’s resolution, cold temperatures will test your personal resolve.

But as the saying goes, nothing worth doing is easy. And - we think you’ll agree - nothing compares with the exhausted exhilaration you’ll feel packing away scope and charts as the spectral hues of dawn tempt away the night’s last stars.

Mt. Kobau has a reputation as a star party for serious observers. That doesn’t mean “no fun allowed.” Nor does it mean you have to be a grizzled sky-veteran to enjoy the experience. The fresh enthusiasm of a fired-up beginner fits right in. Just give proper consideration to the trials Kobau may put you through...and when you come, come prepared!