Alpine Club Of Canada

Thunder Bay Section

2007 - 2008 Ice Conditions Archive

Read This First!

CAUTION! Scrambling, technical rock, ice and mixed climbing and mountaineering activities are, by their very nature, potentially hazardous activities. You could be severely injured or killed while participating in them. The information presented in these conditions and trip reports is intended to supplement, NOT replace, sound judgement and experience. The accuracy or truth of any information presented here cannot be guaranteed and may change with time. Conditions in a given area or on a particular climb may (and likely will) vary from day to day or even hour to hour. Ice and mixed climbs in particular may vary considerably in safety, stability and overall condition over a short period of time. The onus is on the individual to verify the applicability of the information presented here to a given time and environment before using it as the basis of any kind of decision. This must not be your only source of information on any given subject. Seek additional information from guidebooks, reputable climbing schools, mountain guides, local climbers, Park Wardens and Rangers. Common sense and a strong will to survive must pervade your thoughts and actions. By using the information contained here, you are releasing the authors, contributors and The Alpine Club of Canada from any liability for any injury, including death, that may occur. You have been warned.

These conditions reports are limited to climbs in the Thunder Bay region, and to areas west of and including Thunder Bay, Orient Bay, Kama Hills and Ice Station Superior. All folks posting conditions are required to log in with a valid email address and password. As well, keep your postings clean and limited to conditions reports - this is not intended as a forum for discussion. Any postings containing foul language, erroneous information, false reports, slander, spam or other malicious content will be edited or removed at the discretion of the webmaster. As a rule the ACC Thunder Bay Section does not promote climbing without protective gear such as helmets or ropes. Any posts that suggest soloing or have photos of climbers without protective gear will be edited or removed. Censorship is definitely NOT cool, unfortunately these are our rules.

That said, get out there and start climbing!

If you want a location on any of the routes listed you may find them in the Community Maps

Here are some very old and outdated maps we have laying around.

Orient Bay Marathon

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Ice Conditions Report Archives
2006 - 2007
2007 - 2008
2008 - 2009
2009 - 2010
2010 - 2011
2011 - 2012
2012 - 2013
2013 - 2014
2014 - 2015

Steelhead Alley [New Route] (Sibley)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:12-Apr-2008
Report:With the recent snow storm and cold AM temps I thought I would go out to find some New spring ice. Well I found some. It was Awesome! It has to be the

SUCKER! Made you look!
As of last weekend, this shot of melting ice is probably pretty accurate. So I went fishing. Damn, I froze my ass off out there. But it was worth it. Goodbye ice season, hello Steelhead!
Thanks to everyone who gave a rats ass about the parking issue in OB, and brought a shovel this winter. You are making a difference, by making it safer for everyone else who uses the highway. There still is a few of you that need to learn how to park though. Hills and corner are VERY bad, but I’ll save that rant for this fall when ice season starts back up. Great season everyone, have a safe and fun rock season.

Grandy Mardy Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:April 6, 2008
Report:After yesterdays epic day Wes and I went to see if anything wes left in Kama and we weren't disappointed.  We hiked into Grandy Mardy Falls to find it absolutely huge!  I've never seen it so big.  There were 4/4+ lines everywhere and only a bit of running water in isolated corners.  The 2 inches of snow Kama got last night helped soak up any extra water.  We each put up 2 leads on ice that ate up the gear and was full of one swing sticks.  You don't need the small screws in there as 19's and 22's could be used everywhere. There were probably another 4 lines we could have done but we simply ran out of gas. 

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:April 5, 2008

Nick, Wes and I ventured out to OB to see what was left of the ice after all the high temps over the past week and we had the place to ourselves.  We did a number of leads on 10% real, Evil, Ranxerox and Remember the Day.  Nick started off the day with an epic lead on 10% real where one starts out drilling in 22cm screws to finishing the climb on stubby's.  I took on Evil which has been sun baked but the climbing is ultra easy.  Wes liked leading Ranxerox so much that he did it twice.    Lastly, I did Remember which was perfect, plastic ice that ate up the gear.  The second pitch was pretty snowy but easy climbing. Tears of Joy, Psycho, Aqua Blue, Fast Stitty, Gomar, and Hully Gully will probably last another week. 

Artesian Wells / Sideshow (Whitefish Lake Area)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:30-Mar-2008
Report:Nick and myself ventured into Artesian Wells with hopes of climbing the rare but instant classic, Sideshow, one of the areas finest FA’s since probably Childs Play. I personally haven’t seen it form since the FA and was unable to get an ascent on it the year it formed. So needless to say I was extremely jealous of the 2 that did the first and second ascents. Anyway I got probably the third ascent today. Awesome route. It was in cruiser WI5 shape with some run out bits at the crux pillar. The crux pillar was kind of airy and fragile. Nothing too nutty though. Great gear for the rest of the route.
Then Nick and I had some fun multi pitching on Artesian. This route is always an awesome day out. I won rock paper scissors so I got the second pitch. A wise man once told me, “Never pass up an opportunity for a pump” For some reason that quote stuck but I am not sure why. Sometimes I think he is less wise and more insane. Anyway the ice was awesome hero ice all the way to the business last 1/3 of the climb. The last 1/3 was quite steep and sustained but the gear was good and the ice had softened up and was starting to drip making it a tad stressfull pulling out of the cave. Yes the cave, Now that was cool. About 2/3 up you can step right, into a very cool cave, out of the dripping water. Nick made the first pitch belay in there. He looked comfortable to say the least.
Beware of falling ice and rock. The area is starting to let loose and made me a tad uncomfortable standing at the base. So the lake crossing was fine. The snow started to soften up by late afternoon so I going to take a guess that it may be difficult next weekend. I would have driven had we not had a full on blizzard this AM. I couldn’t see squat from the public boat launch where I started driving from.

The Wet Stuff, WI 4+, 30m (OB)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:March 21, 2008
Report:See details in New Route Section

Variation to (OB)
Submitted by:Burton Lindquist
Climbed on:80's

To Wes again.  Actually the variation you mention (and I mention) to "Steve's Icefall" was climbed by Dave Rone first although I did once go back and climb the same line again at a later time and protected it with additional rock gear.  I don't remember Dave ever being concered enough to give it a name or report it but I do remember it was a really cool barely there plastic ice runnel that spilled out of the slot and Dave had to pull quite a few feet of unprotected moves because there wasn't much ice for pro in the slot and we didn't have rock gear with us?  Again- the thing looks way fat and plastic this season.   "Steve's Icefall" is a really fun climb anyways and really so when it is not so fat.

Reflection Wall, Compulsion, and Obsession (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Jamie Knight
Climbed on:March 22, 2008
Report:Kevin and I decided to borrow a page out of Wes Bender's book and got reflective, compulsive and obsessive.  Reflection wall was in good shape, gear was not hard to find.  Sorry Wes I didn't leave a screw for you this time, thanks for the beta on the climb.  Next we went on to compulsion, after some serious slogging in knee deep snow we found the trail.  Compulsion was in fine form, great climbing.  Hope you didn't laugh to hard at us Wes when we got stuck in that guys drive way.  Off to obsession to finish the day.  Obsession is definetly in easier form this year, great climbing.

Evil Des Sens (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Jamie Knight
Climbed on:March 21, 2008
Report:Kevin and I climbed Evil Des Sens on friday in the afternoon.  The climb is still in great shape. The very bottom is getting a little rotted but after that the climb was solid. 

Waiting For the Dog (OB)
Submitted by:Burton Lindquist
Climbed on:80's
Report:To Wes.  Concerning the route "Waiting For the Dog" in the comments and photos just below.  The second picture is pretty much the route "Waiting For the Dog" although it looks much fatter this year then I have ever seen it before.  The year I climbed and named this route it was more of a runnel to the left of where it is this season but finished at about the same location in the trees.  I see the variation to Steve's Fall is nice and fat too in the second photo below.  The ice looks like it has filled the chimney completely.

Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:23-Mar-2008
Report:Today was spent freezing in the am and roasting in the afternoon at Powerline. The ice is starting to show the effects of sun rott. We were still able to get in 7 leads. We didn’t touch the steep stuff however, as the new pillar that is forming was just a tad too thin down low for an ascent plus the core temp would probably still be a little cold. Next weekend it should be plenty thick for an ascent, as long as you don’t put any screws in it. The rest of the steep stuff hasn’t changed. I watch that movie way too much this year to be inspired so we just cranked sport leads on the sunny stuff. I made the mistake of doing one shady side lead on bullet proof ice. Holy balls! You need a hilti gun and a small boy to get gear in that stuff. I would say at least 3 weeks left in OB and Kama.

Obsession & Compulsion (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:22-Mar-2008
Report:Next day was an obsessive compulsive day. Started on Obsession in the am. Nothing really to report here. No brainer hook fest all the way. This was as close to WI3+ as ever it was. We did it twice just because Brian wanted to go home with 2 ropes instead of one.
Compulsion was a different story. Cool climbing on super thick and featured ice. 2 exit variations here. Right at the halfway point you can either go out to the right on a couple of wild curtains or scoot into the bomber featurless ice in the left corner. The gear was great. A new anchor was installed.

The Right stuff,Waiting For the Dog, Steves Icefal (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:21-Mar-2008
It was a good weekend of climbing in OB and Kama. The ice is holding nicely. Friday Brian and I spent the first half on the Right Stuff. We each cranked 2 leads. There are some nice technical WI4+ lines as well as some nice straight forward steep WI4 lines. I won’t post photos as most of the locals were already there this weekend plus you can see it clearly from the road. A new anchor was installed. Great climb, get it while it is still there.
Then it was off to a set of rare OB classics. Waiting for the Dog and Steve’s icefall. These rare beauties formed up nice this year so we had to get on them. Last time they formed was 2003. Thick bomber ice on Steve's Icefall. This is the climb on the right (First photo). There is a left variation to this climb that I think was done by Burt Lindquist way back. It goes up and through a tiny chute then joins up with Steve's Icefall proper. Cool looking route but we were out of gas to bother. + I think my PHAT ass wouldn't fit through the top of the chute.
Waiting for the Dog is the garbage ice in the back of the corner (left route). It wasn’t half bad though. The feet ripped a lot, the tools ripped a lot, but the gear was good if you chopped for it. 15 metres of this and it was gravy after that.
Thanks for the update Burt. I still owe you that brew!

Infidelity (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:3/15/08
Report:New route in Orient Bay.  Photos and details in the New Ice Routes section.

Lost Falls (Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:March 15, 2008
Report:Tara and I hiked up to Lost Falls today and we found it in great shape.  There is  a huge umbrella that is several metres deep and wide which should make for interesting climbing.   The approach is very easy as the trail is well packed.

Resolution (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:3/1/08
Report:New route in Orient Bay.  Photos and details in the New Ice Routes section.

Gomar Falls (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:March 2, 2008
Report:Tara and I hiked up to Gomar Falls on Sunday which is absolutely huge.  Even though there are a number of  hard packed snowmobile tracks I'd definitely recommend snowshoes as the section up to the climb had us waist deep at times. 

Getting Oriented Area (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:March 1, 2008
Report:Wes and I tried out the Getting Oriented area of Kama Bay this past weekend to avoid all the chaos in the OB corridor with the Ice Fest festivities.  The trail in is very well packed and there are a few fixed lines to help with some of the steeper switchbacks.  Wes jumped on PG13 right out of the gate and was treated to a great climb that rarely forms.  Thin ice at the bottom to thick, featured ice on the upper section made for interesting climbing and tricky gear placements.  There are some awesome looking umbrellas on this climb but you can avoid them if you stay right.  Next, I lead The Seige which was in the same conditions as last year...bullet proof.  Straight forward steep climbing up to the umbrellas where the fun starts.  Get under the left one, grab on to the largest icicle you can find then lean way back and get your right tool up high on the right umbrella.  Let go of the bomber handhold and place the left tool as high as you can then get up and over the umbrellas a quick as you can.  They sounded like you were beating on a metal trash can.  We replaced the anchor at the top of this climb.  Lastly, we ended the day on Vertically least that's what I think the new pillar route to the left of Getting Oriented is called.  Lots of ways to start this one up to the pillar where only the brave will go.  Wes got one good screw in down low before having to run it out for 4-5 body lengths to the big crack about 3/4 the way up.  I don't know who sighed with greater relief, Wes or I when he placed a 22 above the crack.    A great climb that may not form again for along time so if you're up for it bring your A-game and have at it.

Glace Eclatante (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 23, 2008

Shawn, Derrik, Wes and I ran out to Cascade Falls this morning to setup of the Women's clinic and boy was it cold.  Just as bad as last year when Nick, Frank and I nearly froze to death setting up the ropes.  The ice on Cascade this morning was so hard that crampons simply bounced off, brand new screws would not start and when they finally did, they screamed all the way in.  However, this made for bomb proof anchors.  When we  checked in with the girls at the end of the day they reported having a great day on great ice (once the sun hit the climb).

The rest of the day was spent thawing out at Glace Eclatante.  With lots of sun and zero wind it was hotter than a firecracker in could have easily stripped off all their clothes and climbed naked.  Scary thought eh.  It was sooo nice in there that two crazy fools even did some rock climbing.  The ice was fantastic but every once and awhile you had to dig for good gear.  By the end of the day the ice was showing signs of sun rot but with the cold temps forecasted for the week it should hold up nicely for Ice Fest. 

Artesian Wells / 10% Real (Whitefish Lake / OB)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:18-Feb-2008
Report:Today Dave and I decided that driving to OB another day was not what we wanted. So we went to Artesian Wells instead. We were pleasantly surprised. It was in fine shape. It was a tad on the cold, hard, and ridiculously brittle side. In current shape there is only one possible finish to the route and that is via the dagger and small chute just right of middle. Very featured, steep, and awkward climbing. The gear was fine for the most part but some thinking is involved when getting up towards the top. Bring you’re A game as this WI5 is no walk in the park. The walking part is across the lake. That was fine. No snow shoes needed today. We did need them in the bush however. Give Paul a call before you go, to make sure you can park on his property (Artesian Wells Resort). FYI Sideshow is a No-show again this year.
I drove by South Gillies on the way home to check on conditions. They are better than a month ago. Pretty typical conditions for the area. The routes look pretty thin but they should go on short gear.
Yesterday after our batteries ran out we went into the Ice Palace to climb 10% Real and Evile Des Sans. From the last photos that Brian posted 10% Real looked rather inviting. Climbing it would prove otherwise. Very steep climbing with awkward movement, quite typical for this climb but the ice was so bloody hard. Our picks would bounce off half the time. Gear was tough to get as you needed to fight the pump from all the swinging. But on the flipside, the gear was great. A new rap station was installed a little higher up so it won’t freeze in like the last one.
Evile Des Sans was a no brainer. Nice and steep through the middle with fantastic gear. I would have liked to change this rap station, as it is about 6 years old, but alas, I had used up my only kit I brought with me. I guess that is another reason to go back.

Reflection Wall (OB)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:16-Feb-2008
Report:Well today Dave and I ventured to OB for the first time since the last time. We had work to do so up to Reflection Wall we went. We found the harness his partner dropped 2 weeks ago. The climb was absolutely brilliant. It reminded me of Childs Play, 2 years ago. Huge mushrooms and tons of obstacles to navigate. Throw in some brittle ice and 50 kms winds, and you have yourself one hell of a good time on your hands. At one point, while placing a screw, one of those massive wind gusts come along and nearly blew me sideways. It was awesome! The snow was coming in sideways and felt like 1000 bees stinging your face. That part wasn’t as awesome. Oh yeah, did I mention it was cold…
Jamie Knight, I got your screw. Next time can you place it a little more to the center. It was way off my line so I couldn’t use it. A real inconvenience ya know! Anyway, more on the climb. For those leading 5+ you need to stop what you ‘re doing and get on this sucker. Holy O Crap was that not the best climb of the year. Like I said, the coolest climb since Child’s Play. For those in the know, no news to report, We are still working on it.
Click HERE to see a short video of the Full ON hurricane we were in today. No we weren’t the only tards in OB today. 6 other parties in OB. The general conditions are looking great.

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 9, 2008
Report:Here are the condition pictures for 10% Real and High Fidelity.  As well, I forgot to mention that many of the parking spots in the OB corridor could use a good cleaning so if you plan to climb in the area don't forget to bring a shovel.  We've always found that 10 minutes of work will get your vehicle safely off the highway.

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 9, 2008

Derrik, Shawn and I ventured into the Ice Palace today and found tons of ice...big ice.  All the climbs are in good shape especially Evil, 10%, and Ranxerox that look absolutely huge to the best of my memory.  High Fidelity and Remember the Day are also in good shape but we didn't get close to High.

Derrik started the day off with a great lead on Evil Des Sens.  Fantastic grade 4 climbing on hard ice that seemed to go on forever, and ever, and ever.  Next, Shawn took on Ranxerox Tangent which presented 1/3 cauliflowers and 2/3 steep, hard ice.  Shawn worked to find good placements on the bottom third but after that the gear was great.  With the featured, rock hard conditions and sustained steep climbing we graded it a WI5.  Last but not least I climbed Remember the Day with blowing snow, spindrifts and less than great gear...on the first pitch.  The 1st pitch with its usual crux section seemed to disappear under my feet as no matter what I stepped on it just broke away.  The second pitch was just hard ice with great gear.  Fun 3+ climbing.

As for the rest of the corridor I'll give it my 2 cents.  Mellow Yellow, Amy R, The Right Stuff, Andromeda, and Starquake haven't changed much.  However, Hully Gully, Glace Eclatante, Reflections Wall, Cascade Falls, Obsession, Compulsion, Tempest, Sycho Icycho and Tears of Joy look big and thick! 

Purgatory (Paradice)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:2/2/2008
Report:The other new route that Dean and I did this past weekend, I've posted a description in the new routes area.  Also if anyone runs across a 13cm BD screw with a blue dot painted on it I'll buy the beer.

Vertically Oriented (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:2/3/08
Report:A new route goes up in Kama Bay. The details and photos are posted in the New Ice Routes section.

Reflection Wall (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:Sun Feb 3
Report:We just discovered that we lost a harness after rapping down the lower approach pitchof R.W.  We took off crampons, harnesses, etc.  The harness was stuffed under the lid of a pack and apparently fell out between the base of the ice and the road.  It's a BD Blizzard harness so if you happen to be up there and find it we'd sure appreciate getting it back!  If you find it let me know and just drop it off with Doris (or Rocky) at the Towne and Country Motel in Nipigon.  It goes without saying that we'd like to give you some kind of treat for your efforts!

Whimpsicle (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:Feb 2

A couple photos of Whimpsicle, the first few screws were for decoration only, they all bottomed out after about 7cm, but there's something gratifying about clipping into something, anything!  Hey Matt, did you have some rock gear with you?  You're right, it was spectacular climbing.

Right on with the rock gear, I was going to bring some, but of course I forgot  . . .

Hells Chimney, Whimpsickle, Thermocules (Kama)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:2/1
Report:Dave you're welcome.  Dean Einerson and I climbed the above routes on Friday.  Hells Chimmney and Thermocules are both in excellent condition with Hells being rather technical for the grade, good gear and good fun on both.  Whimpsickle probably won't last much longer but the gear seemed reasonable and the climbing was spectacular.  Kama Bay seems to be enjoying a late developing season.

I'll post some photos when I get them downloaded.

Rock gear was helpful for Whimpsickle, you can get a .75 camalot in the hole below Daves first screw and just above and right of the second an OK blade and a good baby angle.  You can place a bit more rock gear up high but screws would work there as well.

Ice Breakers, I.B. Arete, Whimpsicle, Reflection W (Kama, Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:2/2, 2/3

Craig and I climbed the above routes in Kama on Saturday, we sure appreciated whoever broke the trail in a day or two ahead of us!  Ice Breakers was awesome as usual, I.B. Arete was thin but somewhat secure, Whimpsicle was ridiculous.  Craig has photos of the Whimp lead on his camera, I'll post a couple when I get them.  I included a photo of the route on rappel.

We weren't the only ones who got to enjoy Whimpsicle in it's present 'skeletal' conditions.  It appeared to have been led no more than a day or two before we got on it, we're wondering who that might have been . . .

Sunday we were on Reflection Wall, which also is in awesome shape.  We went up left of center, so the screw that was left is likely still there.

White Lightning (Bowl)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 3, 2008
Report:Here's some recent pictures of Curtain Call and White Lightning.  There is water running on both but only in very small sections and easily avoided.  CC first, WL second picture.

Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 2, 2008

Conditions at Powerline Falls are getting better by the day as things are really filling in.  Lots of lines and the trail is well packed.  You can hike the river if you like as well.  Pictures are from left to right.

Ice Breakers (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Jamie Knight
Climbed on:Jan 27

Another unsuccessful first attempt but a fun day.  Ice breakers was a little to much so Kevin and I climbed Thermocules to the left and then top roped ice breakers for some fun.  Ice breakers was in great condition to be climbed.

Reflection Wall (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Jamie Knight
Climbed on:Jan 26, 2008

Went for a first attempt on reflection wall on saturday.  Could not have asked for a better day.  Unfortunatly the line I picked was not the best.  I tried going up the right hand side and about half way up the ice got pretty ugly.  There was a sun baked layer which was pretty dicey.  So I ploped in a screw and came down.  Looks like the middle or left side would be better.  If anyone climbs there in the next little while and picks it up my email is

Thank you

Grim Reaper / Dog On Ice (Dorion)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:26-Jan-2008
Report:The coach put me back in the game. Look out!
Brian and I went to Dorion to check on a route myself and Shawn Morgan put up a few years ago. I don't believe it ever got a second ascent. It has formed again this year. It is not a very tall climb at 25 metres but it more than makes up for it in steepness. The route starts as a couple vertical columns, some of which are hollow. I took this lead first. pretty good WI4 climbing. The crux was topping out through the shrubs atop the first column. Gear was good. The second step was equally steep and featured. Good gear here too. New anchor on the right of the climb. On rap we cleared out all the shrubs and branches. Brian lead it after I was done and said that he found it easier on the left side, especially now that there are no trees. Cool route, go do it. It may not form again for a few more years.
We finished out the day on Dog On Ice. Always a fun climb. It was flowing pretty good down the right side. No way to avoid getting wet here. A little water won't hurt ya. Good gear and fun climbing. New anchor on the right of the climb. Also great top down photo opps on this climb. We asked permission to access the climb via someones property. They were nice enough to let us park in their yard and walk less than 10 minutes to the climb instead of walking for 30 minutes down the river like I have always done. I am not sure if this climb is on their property but it can't hurt to ask any way. The climb is visible from their kitchen window, so they will see you.

Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:January 13, 2008
Report:An ACC clinic was held on Sunday at Powerline Falls with great success.  The area is forming up well with climbs ranging from 3+ to 5.  The trail up to the main climb is awesome as its seen lots of snowshoe and climber traffic.  There is still water trickling down some of the middle lines but everything else is bone dry.  Pictures are from left to right.

Freeze Fraze (OB)
Submitted by:Burton Lindquist
Climbed on:??

Looks like DR on Freeze Fraze.  I just lined up the photo with the one linked below.....

Crafty! You guessed it. Next time your up I get you a brew. If Dave told you though, then I will dump it on him. haha
I thought this would go on a little longer. I will come up with another contest soon.

Naw!  I could tell it was Dave's helmet and grey fleece top.

Suicide Watch (Wes and Andrea's House)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:14-Jan-2008
Report:I may be out but I am not down. You can call off the suicide watch, I have found something else to do while healing the knee. You may want to give Nick a call though. I saw him in D&R fondling a new shotgun. He didn't look so good. haha
Anyway, if Dave were in the movie Sin City, his scene would most likely involve ice climbing. Here is a shot from his scene. Guess the climb and I'll buy you a beer. Nick, Brian, and Dave aren't eligible for the contest because they have seen this shot already.

White Lightning (Bowl)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:January 9, 2008
Report:Randy, Dave, Mike and I headed for the sunny, south facing White Lightning today to stay away from that bitter NW wind.  The water has stopped running on the climb which made for great climbing and awesome gear placements.  We also did a lead on Curtain Call which still has water flowing on the lower portions but once you get through that its all gravy.  Replaced the rap anchor on the centre line and added a catch loop.  Have fun.

Ruby Lake (Ruby Lake Area)
Submitted by:fabio zorzes
Climbed on:Jan. 5/08
Report: Robin Sare and myself snowshoed/skiied into the Ruby Lake area approximately 7.5 km. east of Nipigon to check out some potential ice climbs he observed the week before while hiking in the area.  A long and arduous approach (approx. 1 1/2 hr. each way) brought us to some decent icefalls at the southeastern end of the lake.  I lead a route of about 25 metres of 2+ or 3- ice which reminded me of the second pitch of Ice Stud.  After setting up a top-rope anchor, we did laps with Robin opening up a line to the left of mine which probably went about WI 3 with about 10 metres of vertical ice.  Later on, he did another route to the right which warranted about the same rating.  We believe this was the first ascent of any ice in this area and gave our three climbs the monikers Ruby Promise, Ruby Delight and Ruby Regret.  Although the climbs were fun and the ice was plastic and forgiving, there is no reason to expect  this area will get much traffic as the location is remote and  a very long approach is required.  At one point Robin was breaking trail in waist-deep snow up the scree slope, and that wasn't much fun at all.

White Lighting (The Bowl)
Submitted by:Andrew Lang
Climbed on:Jan 7 2008
Report:At least it didn't rain...

Juicy climbing today on white lightning and curtain call, we had a great time out with the club's 1st beginner clinic for the year.  3 solid lines on white lightning and one on curtain call.  this was the day to be learning how to climb, with one hit wonders almost everywhere you swung and some of the best ice possible, the only downside was getting soaked if you were even remotely near the climbs, but since it stayed above 0 for the day no one got exceptionally cold.  great day, good climbing and a ton of fun, "anymore fun and it would be illegal".

Comets Tail/Less Than 0 Gully/Freeze Fraze (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:5-Jan-2008
Report:Again, we may have been the only people in OB today. What a beautifully warm day. Comets Tail was on the menu this morning. Served up with side order of Less Than Zero Gully and for dessert, Freeze Fraze. YUMMY!
Comets Tail was brilliant climbing on marginal gear. Climbing started right off the ground. A full bag of tricks was used today. Some pigeon toe climbing, lots of hooking, stemming, awkward stances for gear, throw in a gimp leg and you have one hell of a good time. It doesn’t get any better than that. Good solid WI5 though the 15 metre crux then it lies back and offers up great ice that ate up the gear nicely. A new rap anchor was installed on the huge jackpine at about the 60 metre mark. Can’t miss it.
Less Than zero Gully was, and always is, cool. Good gear and good climbing. A little awkward in the middle but still cool. Since this route is a 60 metre rope stretcher we were unable to secure a rap station. Find any means possible to rap down to the new rap station on Comets Tail.
It looked like Dave was having some fun on Freeze Fraze and he made no effort to hide the fact that it was fun climbing. I thought it was best I didn’t climb anymore today. It was plenty steep to keep you paying attention. Some bad gear but mostly good. Descend via the new anchor at the top. The route has fattened up quite a bit since Nick, Jenn, and myself were there early in the season.

Grandy Mardy Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:January 4, 2008
Report:Shawn and I ventured into Grandy Mardy Falls today and weren't disappointed.  We hiked half the way in on the river then took the trail the rest of the way.  The river doesn't have any ice and the trail is well beaten down.  The climbing was a mixture of grade 3 to 3+ climbing with wet, plastic ice on the far left to brittle, featured ice on the centre line.  We TR'd the piller on the far right as it was still to brittle to lead without destroying it or bringing the whole thing down.  There is plenty of water on the left climbs which will only get bigger but its nothing that can't be avoided.   A mixed bag of screws 13's, 16's and 19's will get the job done everywhere.  Lots of fun with a variety of options.  Pictures are from left to right.

White Lightning (Bowl)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:1-Jan-2008
Report:No recent photos of WL so here it is. The ice is fantastic. Good lower angle plastic lines as well as hard steep crunchy lines.

Glace Echlatante (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:30-Dec-2007

Brian and I met up with Sonny and Derrik at Glace Echlatante. It was sunny and warm until noon then the sun went bye bye and the temp dropped about 10 degrees. Good thing we decided to blow into OB at 11:30? Since Sonny and Derrik were there first they had first dibs on lines. They went left, we went right. Both lines had some sweet plastic and a bunch of brittle crap. Good gear though. Brian did a line on the very far right. It was cool. Soft plastic ice all the way.
Even though it was a little cold it must have still been better than staying at home playing with a new ‘sexy’ vacuum!

Icebreakers (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:Fri 12/28

Dan Wilkinson and I got on Icebreakers on Friday, it's in great shape.  Nothing real technical about it, just long, steep, and sustained!  From what we could see from the ground, Icebreakers Arete and Thermocules appeared to be thin at the top while Whimpsicle was real thin at the bottom. 

We did the best we could finding our way in but at times the trail will appear to have been made by a couple of drunken sailors!  We got off track after the first cliff band, and we were too far to the right the rest of the way.  But hey it gets you there and if you don't like it . . . make your own trail!

Tears Of Joy (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:29-Dec-2007

Looks like Brian and myself may have been the only fools in OB today. Only -542 today, whats the deal? Word on the street is others were heading to Kama as well as Ice Station Superior. Anyway Glace Echlatante looked inviting with all its sun and comfort, but we heard that song and did that dance already. We preferred to suffer on tears of joy today. It was cold and ‘breaky’ on the first pitch. That pitch looks like an apartment block in war torn Baghdad after we were finished with it. Lines from WI3+ to WI4. Good thing there was no swing counter or Frank would have lost his title.

The second pitch was fantastic. It was raining water on the far left side and sweet plastic through the middle. Hard, ‘breaky’ ice on the right side. Lines from WI3+ to WI4+. Good fun, if you were the smart one and called ‘Second Pitch!’

April Showers/Alexilonova (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:December 28, 2007
Report:Off for a quick afternoon leg stretch with Pat today, intending to do Alpine Outing but saw this classic was in and since it's a favorite, went there instead.  April Showers is in it's usual shape, with ice most of the way up accepting shorter screws and iced well into/through the crux.  Bags of fun.  Alexilonova is the rarely formed climb in the next gully to the left.  In it's present shape it's  a turf route to a fun thin ice ribbon, with a couple mixed moves to top out (a bit run out near the top, but reasonable climbing).  A very light mixed rack (short screws and some small cams/nuts) suffices for both.  Both climbs were dripping and building today and should become a bit fatter yet, and offer a fun, short day.

Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:26-Dec-2007
Report:Brian and myself went into Powerline Falls today. The trail in was good. But don’t go there to climb the river. There was tons of open water all over the place.
The main far left line was do-able but neither of us wanted to get wet after last weekend. We stuck to the steep, dry, 'breaky', stuff on the right of the amphitheatre. The gear was good and the climbing was fantastic.
I forgot to mention that the area has a ton of new blow down. The river will be very difficult to navigate if it ever freezes over.

Ice Breakers and Getting Oriented (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:26-Dec-2007
Report:Never climbed them but drove by and took a shot. Could someone please go break a trail into Ice breakers for me. You'll be my new hero! :)

Alpine Outing (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:24 Dec
Report:Climbed Alpine Outing Christmas eve with Sunny. The crux curtain at the bottom is very thin, about 12 inches wide and 2 inches thick at the thinnest section. The recent warm weather has also caused it to melt off the rock somewhat - 2 good pins made it a much reasonable proposition! The top gully is pretty good, although still thinner than usual conditions. Overall the route is do-able, but bring rock gear (especially pitons) for the crux! Better yet wait a few more weeks for it to fill out. One pitch/rap (barely) with 70m ropes. Sorry forgot the camera (again)!

Mellow Yellow (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:23-Dec-2007
Report:Started out with rain again this morning, but by the time I had arrived in OB it had turned to freezing rain, then snow. Mellow Yellow was the order of the day. Bomber gear all the way. Some crunchy bits and false layers but that is pretty much par for the course, on this climb. I managed to stay pretty dry today. There was a lot less humidity on this climb. Yeah I know, bummer, I still had fun though. By the time I got back to the car it was full on blizzard conditions. It was an interesting 3 hour drive home.
Thanks to Bryce and Sonny for bring me my anchor.
Merry Christmas Everyone.

Compulsion (OB)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:22 Dec
Report:Sunny and I joined the surprising number of fools out climbing in the rain (plus 3 and actually raining). We chose Compulsion as our method of getting soaked to the skin. Similar to Wes and Brian, we found ourselves climbing awesome plastic, but soaked to the undies. Unfortunately all our gear was too wet for a pleasant second climb, so instead we tackled a meatlovers pizza at Nipigon Cafe with the rest of the gang.

Reflection Wall/Cascade Falls (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:December 22, 2007

Despite the rain Wes and I headed out to OB today with intentions of climbing Reflection Wall and Obsession.  We hiked up to RW to find water cascading down the centre of the climb...yuk!  Once you got within 10 feet of the climb it didn't take long and you were soaked from head to toe.  So we did what any sensible climbers would, we climbed it.  The ice was in fantastic shape with one swing sticks and bomber gear.  About half way up Wes's boots started to fill up with water so instead of losing weight as he climbed Wes was quickly gaining it.  Stick, stick, squish, squish...hey this is like fun, only different.  Great job Wes.  We graded it a 5 minus today and if there wasn't so much water it might have actually climbed as a long 4+.
With 20 lb ropes, boots full of water (yuk again) and clothes soaked right through to the bone I pulled the plug on Obsession.  We decided on a quick couple of laps on Cascade Falls which not being dead vertical had much less water on it than RF.  The ice was great and the gear just as good.   Remember there's a large steel rap anchor 30 feet back on a large birch tree marked with flag tape that safely gets you to the bottom with 60m ropes.
Other than those climbs anything that is vertical and has water on it you can expect to get soaked so bring the gortex.  The only climbs that looked dry are Andromeda, Starquake, Mellow Yellow and Hully Gully.  We cleared a double wide parking spot at Cascade Falls so make sure you leave enough room for another vehicle or better yet, bring a shovel and make the spot bigger as this only takes a couple of minutes.  Climb safe and happy holidays.

The Bowl (Local)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:Dec 15/17/19
Report:Ice Stud is thin so far this year. Thin bottom steps, fat mid section. Not formed quite all the way up to the top - a few metres of easy moves over the finish boulders. Easy to girth hitch a sling in there, so no need for rock gear.
If you haven't heard - White Lightning is FAT this year. Sunny did the left line on sweet 3+ plastic. Problem is it is REALLY wet. The middle pillar is also formed very steep, sustained and featured WI5. Poorly consolidated so far, so gear will be work! Right line is formed to the fixed pitons, bare rock after that.
Next time, did Curtain Call with Reid to avoid the shower next door. Very brittle lower curtains with decent gear. Did a different (possibly new?) finish straight up the rock in the next corner left of the normal dead tree finish - fun, easy well protected rock moves to the top.

RTD/Eveil Decentes (Ice Palace OB)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:Dec 16
Report:There was a butt load traffic in the frigid ice palace on Sunday...

Damian and I added to the traffic on Remember the Day and Eviel. We found both routes very 'breaky' in the -15C temps, better if I was bit bit less heavy handed with the swings. RTD is usual 3+ but steepish through the crux bit. ED was great 4+ with good gear. Fun but lots of work! They both should be awesome once it warms up!

Getting Oriented (Kama)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:December 15th
Report:Dean and I went in to Kama for the first trip of the year along with Nick and Jenn.  Not too much snow there yet and snowshoes were not necessary.  Getting Oriented is in good shape with good gear to be had, the lower section is a bit brittle but things get better before the end of the first steep section.  A couple options to top out, I recommend climbing the ice chimney on the far right till it closes down then steping out left for a couple dry tool moves to finish.  If you go this way a baby angle is handy, and a few smaller cams might be good as well.

The Siege is in but hard for the grade, steep and a bit awkward in the middle with a bit of water running up top. 

From the road the Icebreakers area is looking good, Icebreakers seems to be touching down, the Arete is well iced and Whimpsicle appears to be forming well.  All in all a good but not a great year in Kama.

10% Real (OB)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:December 16
Report:Climbed 10% Real this morning while Wes and Dave were wisely warming upon Eveil.  Found pretty good gear and fun WI 5 climbing had to avoid the brittle sections and swing lightly in a few areas.  The top out is rather thin and a bit overhanging as it hasn't really filled in. 

Then off to warm up on Remember the Day which is in good, fun condition.  We ended the day on Eveil and found great climbing as others have mentioned.

Evil Des Sens & Ranxerox Tangent (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:16-Dec-2007
Report:Out to OB again today to empty what was left in the tank. Not much I can tell you that.
The ice palace was the play ground today. 4 separate parties climbing almost every route.
Dave and I climbed Evil Des Sens first. The route was stellar. Steep enough to keep it interesting, with some awkward movement. As Bryce says, it was “Breaky” in there today. The first half of the route was the business today. Last half was awesome. The normal crux curtain ¾ the way up was not so bad. I would say the crux was the sustained right wall in the middle of the route. Good WI4+ climbing I my opinion. I found great gear on the entire route.
We were scooped on 10% Real so off to Ranxerox Tangent to finish out the day. It was very difficult avoiding the pump on this one. In fact I still had to shake 'em out twice while writing this report. As soon as you step off the ground, you are climbing. Probably 98 degree ice for 35 metres then it ramps back for the remainder of the route. This is the right variation. The centre line was very steep and sustained looking as well although much thinner. Dave chose to lead the right variation. Dave was able to find very good gear. Not sure where he found the ‘nads’ to want to give it a go. Felt like WI5+ to me. It was the hardest route, for us, of the weekend for sure.
NOTE: If anyone goes to Compulsion before next weekend. It appears I left a nicely packaged spectre sling and biner attached to the rappel anchor. Beers to the person who brings it back to me. I miss it dearly.

Feverfalls/Lost falls (TBay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:December 16
Report:Took a drive with the highpower lens today and snapped a couple of shots of Fever Falls and Lost Falls.   FF is still very lean as it does not have ice from top to bottom.  The interesting one however was Lost Falls.  It appears to be rather thick, at least the bottom section.  Unfortunately this climb sits back in the groove so its hard to tell if there is much ice throughout the middle and top sections.  Wes and I climbed this 2 years ago when there was ice from top to bottom and the bottom section looked just like the attached photo when we put the glasses to it.  Might be worth a closer look.   

Obsession, Compulsion, Reflection Wall (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:15-Dec-2007
Report:Today Dave and I were Obsessive, Compulsive and Reflective. We had to break trail into all three. JOY!
Compulsion has fun. It was kind of crunchy for the first half of the column, unless you climbed the left side of it, then you would have been in the rain climbing sweet plastic. It was straight forward steep climbing with great gear. There was an awkward move to pull around a small umbrella at the top of the column. Stellar WI4+ climbing. This climb is going to get huge this year. Still tons of water flowing.
Obsession was fantastic cruiser WI4 climbing. The main column was half wet and half dry. Great gear. Not too much to say about this. It was and always is tons of fun. This climb is also going to get huge this year. Still tons of water flowing.
Reflection Wall was hard and a real treat this early in the season. WI5+ climbing on very featured ice for the first half. The last half was bomber ice that would have been plastic had we not started climbing at 4pm. Lots of cauliflowers which made for great feet down low. There is a new anchor on the big tree. This climb is also going to get huge this year. Still tons of water flowing.

Glace Echlatante ((Orient Bay))
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:December 15

Randy and I snowshoed into GE today with the hopes of finding warm temps and soft ice but neither were found.  The snowshoes sure made the approach easy so I'd highly recommend bringing a pair if you plan to climb here.  I lead a line on the far right which presented lots of snow in the face and some brittle ice.  The gear was good which gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling, especially when my sunglasses were covered with so much snow that I finished the climb via the brail method.  Randy charged up the left side, just skirting the edge of the wet line.  Again the gear was excellent but some thought was required as there were a few false layers.  Soon after that the wind picked up telling us that it was time to go.  The rest of the corridor looks fantastic as things are filling in nicely. 

Again, be smart out there and bring a shovel to clear a parking spot or make an existing one larger for more traffic.  Have fun and be safe.

White Lightning (The Bowl)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:December 13, 2007
Report:Headed up for the after work dash with Jenn yesterday, was shocked at how much the climb has changed, starting to get positively huge (sorry, no photo, it was dark).  We climbed the usual left-hand (hourglass), which while very wet was probably the most fun I have ever had on it.  There is plenty of running water on the route (extra gloves and gore-tex recommended), and all that water means lots of cauliflowers and chandeliers which make for some super fun climbing.  Protection was reasonable enough given the type of ice.  The centre line is now massive and in similar conditions, the right side is looking good, and Curtain Call is coming along nicely (all of this viewed by headlamp, so...).  The chains are buried in ice, so we should probably establish a good anchor on one of the plentiful trees at the top; I forgot my anchor stuff and so just wrapped the rope around a large tree, of which there are several.  Ablakov's are also an option.  For those who like to walk lots, the trail to the top has apparently been broken as well, we ran into a party on their way out that indicated they had walked off.

Ice stud (the bowl)
Submitted by:Andrew Lang
Climbed on:12/12/07
Report:The bottom is getting badly beaten up on the right side but the left is getting fatter every day.  the top pitch is coming in nicely, a perfect day today with a bit of water running on the whole climb, and be-e-a-uitifull hero ice on the second pitch made climbing seem like walking up a stair-master.  top slings haven;t been replaced, and if you stay left on the 2nd pitch you can top out with no more than 2 drytool moves and then walk to the cable rap. 

Cascade Falls (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:9-Dec-2007
Report:Today was -672 so I figure I better go give Cascade a go. Another no- wind sunny day in OB. The ice was friendly. Bomber gear all the way up the steep section on the right. Bomber gear on the lower angle section on the left, accept the top out. This section is very thin. About 1 1/2 inches to be exact. It looks thick but as soon as you swing into it you will see that it is very thin. The whole top out on the left is a giant shell. Pretty spooky. Sounds like your beating on a big drum.
NOTE: Do not walk to the base of the left, low angle, section without a rope and crampon and tools. It is hollow and thin.  You could fall into the water fall, which is almost 15 feet below the surface of the ice. I knew about this danger before hand so I tested it while on rappel. Sure enough my body weight was too much, I broke though to the water fall. Yeah yeah, I know what you thinking, lay off the cheese cake fatty!
Hey, I'm working on it.
Now that there is a hole the steam should vent and cool things off a little. Should be solid enough in a week or so.
Other notable climbs in the corridor are Reflection Wall and the Right Stuff. Both are huge. The Right Stuff is a rare climb that I have only ever seen formed fully once. A little steep but very fun. Parallax has touched down and getting fatter every day. I can only imagine the ice Palace is a winter wonderland. Obsession and Compulsion looked fat. OB is in full swing. Get after it.

Glace Echlatante (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:8-Dec-2007
Report:-21 this morning, well, we might as well go climbing. Off to OB Nick, Brian and myself went. Funny, the temp kept dropping, yet we pushed on. YUK! I had a few clever diversions, like stopping for a cool photo op of the steam on Lake Superior, a drive down the entire OB corridor, but they were only delaying the inevitable. We did a quick warm up shovel of the parking area and away we went on an unbroken trail, well at least until Nick got in front of us. HYAAA MULE!
So by the time we got geared up the entire climb was in the sun and had been for over an hour. -21 + sun = sweet sweet plastic ice. bomber gear on most of the climb. There were a few bad screws but the climb had laid back by then. Each of us got a solid lead in. Ice from cruiser WI3+ to WI5 death fest. We stayed on the 4ish stuff as none of us felt strong enough to haul a body out, as well as, the new FREE gear we would inevitably inherit.
NOTE: The parking area for Glace Echlatante will fit two, possibly 3 vehicles, please don't take up th entire spot if you go.

River of Frozen Dreams, etc. (Ice Station Superior)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:December 7, 2007
Report:Too flippin' cold for Kama, so off to ISS, following a nicely broken trail thanks to RH and partner.  Into the River, only to be stopped before the first measly ice step by an impassable, deep unfrozen pool.  Tried traversing rock around, didn't work, then skirted up the cliffband along the canyon rim hoping to bypass, only to see several more similar pools along the way.  Unfortunate, as it looked like Awakening, et al. was in, but we need a few more weeks of cold to make the River passable; in fact the ice underlying deep snow was very thin, we were safe thanks to the party before us finding all the holes.  Climbed Superior Icefall next, in quite fat but less than enjoyable climbing; all the deep snow has resulted in massive layers and false skins; bring a shovel.  Passed by Inferior Icefall, though the first pitch looks to be in the best shape in quite some time, though the upper pitches looked like more of the same snow junk ice.  We exited on Pocomotion, which is really not in very good shape, and more of the same snow lenses and digging to get to the ice on the lower angle bits.  Broke the clifftop trail out from the top back to the parking area.

Kama is coming along nicely and there is lots to do there, with most of the classics in and the usual random assortment of mixed routes (it seems like the ice forms in different places there every  year).  Getting Oriented, etc. all look to be in and the road is plowed, though there is an active log haul in progress so use caution driving and park intelligently (straight aways and shovel).  Smorgasbord area also looks fairly good.  Icebreakers is forming quite wide and looks fat, touching but the usual thinner icicle to negotiate at the bottom.  The Arete and nearby routes are all more or less in, VERY cold in there though.  Be prepared for some serious trailbreaking to get in there too.

Looks like most of the "regular" stuff is now in everywhere.

Ice Stud (The Bowl Area)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:6-Dec-2007
Report:Brian and myself went for a quick tool up Ice Stud this evening. Ice was a little on the crunchy side on the first pitch. Recent traffic pushed some of the snow off. I has thicken up since the last report. You can top out on the first pitch without sketchy dry tooling on loose rock. The ice is thin on the top out but you shouldn't flatten your picks if your careful.

The second pitch ice ends before the climb does. Both top out variations require a few dry tooling moves. Nothing too scary. The webbing around the rock, near the top of the pitch, needs to be replaced, I didn't have any anchor stuff on me or I would have replaced it myself.

My Rant (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:30-Nov-2007

Time for my rant again. Although I haven’t witnessed any blunders yet, I want to warn everyone about the parking issue in Orient Bay. Please be reminded that your vehicle HAS to be off the traveled portion of the road when parking. Please use good judgment when choosing your parking spots. Do not park on a hill, do not park on a corner, and during a snow storm have your vehicle off the side of the road completely. Find a pull off, not a driveway, and park your vehicle. A standard piece of gear, that is always in our vehicle when climbing, is a shovel. We make sure our vehicle is off the road complete as to not Anger the MTO or TWD and have them call the OPP. It takes less than 10 minutes to make a pull off large enough for 2 vehicles, plus, it is a good way to warm up in the AM.


Aqua Blue, Fast Stittys Judgement (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:30-Nov-2007

Brian and myself went into Aqua Blue and Fast Stitty’s Judgement today. A little cold in the AM, but hey this is Northwestern Ontario in November, nothing we are not already use to right. Tons of snow in OB. The approach was a little arduous as you can tell from the photo. The climb was probably the easiest I have ever climbed it, despite the crunchy false layer. Very ramped, and very thick. 19’s all the way to the top. The false layer made for sketchy feet. Still an enjoyable climb. The trail was cleaned up this fall so you should be able to find it quit easy.

Then it was off to Fast Stitty. There was a good amount of ice on this climb as well. Thin in places but plenty protect able. There was a false layer on this climb as well. We tried to take most f it off on our descent as well as Aqua Blue. There is a new anchor at the top of Fats Stitty. The trail to this climb was also cleaned up this fall making this approach much less effort.

White Lightning (middle) and other local routes (Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:December 1, 2007
Report:Reid carter and I decided on a jaunt up White Lightning today in case the snowstorm made the OB drive too treacherous, thanks to Tim's encouraging photo.  Since Shaun and Derrik had dibs on the usual (left) hourglass line, we chose the central line.  Very thin, brittle curtains to start (no real gear) to the middle third which offered excellent WI3+/4 climbing on thin, technical ice (occasional thicker sections took good med/long screws).  The upper third was quite challenging and cruxy, a very brittle, hollow, narrow column with poor gear to the exit ramp, which was very thin/brittle and awkward (off balance), but takes okay 13s.  I think the line warranted a WI5 rating due to the technical nature of the upper third today.  Before the crux, you can get an excellent cam and/or knifeblade placement in a crack to the right (I used both), which is reassuring as the ice on the crux is poor.  I would highly recommend waiting a couple days before doing it again as the top will be much safer as the ice softens and the bottom and exit ramp fattens up.  In its present condition I recommend a couple small cams and/or pitons on your rack, and a patient belayer (thanks Reid!).  It should form up into the classic WI4 line in the next couple of weeks.

The hourglass has fattened up nicely and is in it's usual classic 3+ shape, water still flowing but quite manageable.  The chain rap station at the top is however completely covered with ice, but plenty of good trees may be found.

Also did a driving tour yesterday just before dark, E and N Face routes on McKay are not in, though Outer Space has a small dagger on it.  Ditto for McRae, only a hint of ice on Chuckies Revenge.  Fever Falls looks possible, the 2+ line up the left edge of the first pitch appears in but thin, and the 4+ pillar is forming, the second pitch looks nearly there but a bit mixed.  Lost Falls is also a bit patchy.  Not much doing in Squaw Bay, it looked like Alpine Outing is trying to form but it's very, very thin for now, and hard to judge if what little ice is there is decent or not.  Too much snow to tell much about April Showers.

Freeze Fraze (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:November 25, 2007
Report:Decided to wander off the beaten path hoping for some moderate mixed climbing with Jenn and Wes.  Comet's Tail looked formed from the road so in we went slogging up what has to be one of the most dangerous talus fields in the valley.  Up close, the ice on Comet's Tail looked very delicate/unconsolidated, so we left it for another day.  Less Than Zero Gully is also not formed properly, and had a lot of water coming down it.  Freeze Fraze, however, was excellent.  After a thin start and some very easy mixed, at least 3 good lines present themselves.  Bring extra shorties if you're gunning for the left line, probably 4+/5-, the two right lines go about 4/4+ and the rightmost offers the best protection.  Some TCUs are handy to protect the funky moves getting to them.  Brand new rap station on the fat spruce at the top, watch the edges when rapping (sharp, loose rocks).

In the afternoon, Jenn pulled off a fine lead and dragged our sorry carcasses up Andromeda Weeps, which Wes commented had nearly doubled in fatness since his ascent the day before.  We found perfect plastic WI3.  The climb took med screws no prob, and you probably could place 22s if you wanted in places.  Starquake looks like it will be in prime shape within another day or two.  The snowstorm on the drive home was the crux of the day, snow depths were approaching 6 inches in places when we left the corridor.

White Lightning* (The Bowl**)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:November-ish
Report:The third pitch is FAT...see photo.

*I may be confused, the report, and associated photo, are most likely not White Lightning :-)
**And the climb is also likely not in The Bowl.

I'll buy a beer for whoever guesses which climb it actually is first.

High Fidelity, Refraction (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:11/24

Dan Wilkinson and I climbed High Fidelity Saturday, and even though it was delicate in places it was outstanding!  5+ for sure with good but somewhat runout pro.  Then we went to Refraction, which has a lot of ice on it.  Too much as it turns out as I had to chop out the 5th and 6th bolts, and was unable to find the 7th so I bailed.  Too bad these bolts get covered up.  Reflection Wall has a lot of water streaming down so when it gets cold, it should form up nicely.

More on OB (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:November 24
Report:Just to add a bit more to Frank's observations, OB is definitely off to a good start.  Ice Palace this morning, lots of folks on most climbable routes, High Fidelity looked great and was being climbed, looked to be at least solid 5 for now.  Evil Des Sens a bit patchy but would probably go with some effort, the initial ice looks like crap though.  10% Real thin but there, Adrenaline is still a mixed route for now.  Ranxerox climbable for the very bold, but not terribly safe looking yet, and pouring water.  Remember the Day thin but in and looks fun, again save for the massive amount of water - we left both for a drier day.  Afternoon on Mellow Yellow, climbed the right hand line, a brittle featured stiff WI4 at bottom, perfect 3+/4- pillar at the top on fat hero ice, took long screws most of the way.  Comet's Tail area looked to be in usual early-season mixed shape from the road, Obsession is also there but looked very wet and unconsolidated from the road.  Parallax is also thin but nearly formed.  Lots to do!

Hully Gully (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:17-Nov-2007
Report:Brian and I headed out to OB to see what we could find that was climbable. Not much is what we found. Still needs another week for protectable ice. We did get a lap in on Hully Gully. The the first pitch did not lend itself nicely to decent protection. Thin crappy ice that would only take 13 cm screws which were just crappy. One would need to feel comfortable solo climbing WI3/crappy ice in order to finish this pitch. The second pitch had a few screw placements that were good albeit small.

The rest of the corridor is forming but no where near climbable. Tempest may lend itself to a solo lap or two but that is it. Reflection Wall had ice, Parallax had ice. Things look to be shaping up for a pretty decent year (knock on wood).

Kama Bay is looking about the same. Ice Breakers Had ice from the top to bottom but very thin.


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What fascinates me about it [climbing?] is the weird confluence of the desire for self-improvement with what seems to be deep-set sadomasochistic tendencies. It’s torture when you do it, and then you look forward to going back.

 ~Gary Taubes