The 37th Mt. Kobau Star Party will begin at dusk August 21st, 2022 and will end at dawn August 28th, 2022

Southeastern view

MKSP is ready for you



When the star party organizers met in June, choosing to proceed towards MKSP 2021 in August, we based our “go” decision on the state of the COVID threat. In response we had an excellent vote of confidence through pre-registration applicants (currently at 75% of our self-imposed attendee cap).

Now a greater risk is presented by wildfire. Could it be that we weathered a global pandemic only to be shut down by the worst fire season on record?

Sadly, yes. The fire danger rating throughout the southern interior of BC is high to extreme. There have been many small fires in the area, including three that would have been serious threats to Kobau if they hadn’t been controlled at the small stage. There is currently a major fire burning out of control just across the Okanagan Valley to the east in plain view from Mt. Kobau. Another large fire smoulders to the north of that, also visible from the star party site. Two more major wildfires burn in Washington State less than 100 km to the SW.

If there’s any silver lining in this daunting scenario, it’s that no major fires are currently burning to the immediate west and northwest of Kobau – the directions most likely to push smoke over us. But this is barely reassuring, as fire smoke easily drifts in from a distance of hundreds – even thousands – of kilometres and the winds can change conditions dramatically in a matter of a few hours.

Under conditions of such obvious risk, and out of respect for the price that could be paid in terms of property and lives, the organizers have voted to cancel MKSP 2021 while registrants still have time to make other plans. If you have applied for pre-registration and sent payment, our Treasurer will be in touch soon regarding refunds.

About the Star Party

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-colimate 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!

Recent Updates

Notice of Cancellation - 2021

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