Alpine Club Of Canada

Thunder Bay Section

2010 - 2011 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Here are some very old and outdated maps we have laying around.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
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2007 - 2008
2008 - 2009
2009 - 2010
2010 - 2011
2011 - 2012
2012 - 2013
2013 - 2014
2014 - 2015

Ice Stud (The Bowl area)
Submitted by:Frank Pianka
Climbed on:April 19 (!)
Report:Five months to the day after my first time up Ice Stud this year, I couldn't resist Terry's invitation for an evening ascent with him and Monica. The first pitch was as ramped out as I've ever seen it but with thick ice shell in places, most of which is now removed. The second pitch was about as good as it gets - fat, plastic and a funky finish through a leaky umbrella. As Terry worked his way through the umbrella, a scene from the classic "La Escoba De Dioss" film (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5ZBYewIdYU&feature=related) - available at the Con College library - came to mind. Charlie Fowler is picking his way through a tricky pitch while the narrator says, " . . .and the whole time, Charlie is cooing and cawing about how cool the climbing is." The water shower made it even cooler!

Feaver Falls (Thunder bay)
Submitted by:Frederic Giroux
Climbed on:April 8, 2011
Report:Went to Feaver Falls with Terry M. today. The ice is in very nice condition. It was soft, not too wet, and the screws were pretty bomber! It should still be good for another week. Great climb in a great area! The climb looks pretty much the same as it did in January. Sorry no photos.

Disoriented (Getting Oriented area)
Submitted by:Scott Backes
Climbed on:March 31st 2011
Report:Matt Giambrone and I lead what we believe is a new route just to the left of Getting Oriented last Thursday. The route started out as a very thin (18-30cm) ice sliver in the corner of the buttress directly to the left of getting oriented. The climbing required frequent drytool moves where the ice was hollow or detached and the gear for the first 15 meters was "problematic". Interesting moves around a fragile free-hanging pillar and an OW section led around the corner to the top of the buttress. Easier ice climbing leads to the top. We thought about WI6 M6 for the rig.

Artesian Wells (Whitefish Lake)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:April 2
Report:This may be the latest I've climbed ice in TB for awhile. Went with Fred and Wes to the Wells on Sat (thanks boys for letting me tag along!). Also Wes, thanks for demonstrating the Whitefish sled technique (see prior posts). 25 min across the lake is some kind of new record! The climb is super FAT and SOFT. Lines from WI4 to WI 5+ are there for your climbing pleasure. There is still lots of ice and it should last at least till next weekend, if not beyond. Bring lots of gloves!

Evanescence (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:March 30th
Report:This route is located on the upper cliff band above and right of Grandy Mardy falls. It is a small but obvious pillar hanging in the middle of the wall. James Loveridge and I made the first ascent a few years ago and I believe Scott and I just made the second. This is an EXCELLENT route if you are comfortable at the grade (M7/7+) that might last through the weekend if it's not too sunny. There is a large amount of rock climbing with hands and tools on the bottom pitch which climbs over some blocks before entering a left facing corner and chimney system. A large rock rack is recommended 4 and 4.5 Camalots were used on both pitches and doubles of 2,3, and 4 could easily be used. There are a couple of fixed pins on the first pitch and a fixed belay/rap anchor is found in the middle of the ice pillar about 35m from the ground. The second pitch climbs easier though still challenging terrain to the cliff top. Rappel from a small spruce to the climbers left. The route is about 70m so plan accordingly.

Shattered (Tbay)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:March 29th
Report:Scott Backes and I climbed Shattered on Tuesday. Several 10cm screws were useful, a bit runout in places. Full value is available on both pitches. It won't last long but its in good shape right now. Belay on rock gear just below the fat pillar, one long rappel gets you back to the ground.

Lost Falls (Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:March 27
Report:Well, I have to change my previous "Waste of Time Falls" nomer to "Good Time Falls".  Despite the hurricane conditions at the top of the cliff, it was sunny, warm and beautiful at the bottom. Amazing what a difference!

The climb has fattened up quite nicely over the past month since my previous report.  The right side is still very thin and the left side had water flowing down the corner by supper time with a steady, light drizzle just to the right of center.  The left-center line of the climb was excellent all the way up. The entire bottom is very much like upward cauliflower but the top was completely plastic. Lots of variation over the ~25m climb

On the second vertical section, there's an ice-cave formed behind the ice curtain on the right. Stay to the left of center. 

Reflection Wall / High Fidelity (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:20-Mar-2011
Report:Sun. we hit Reflection Wall and High Fidelity. To our surprise we found decent ice on RW. I had to chop out a few inches but I was able to find good ice.
FYI: I recommend only re-welding your picks twice. A tad breaky the third time HA!
High Fidelity was in a little rougher shape but still safe to climb and protect able if you dig a bit.
It looks like the long term forecast is cold for OB so at least 1 more week. We may or may not be in for a surprise next weekend.

For those thinking of making the trip for one last kick at the can, I suggest you pay close attention to the forecast and make your decision last minute. I know I will be out there climbing or swimming up something next weekend. If not then I'm going fishing.

Starquake / Andromeda (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:20-Mar-2011
Report:Almost done. OB is getting it’s melt on. Brian and I spent the weekend in OB climb various routes. Sat was the north facing Starquake and Andromeda. They were still in very good shape. But the ice is getting honeycombed in some places on these route so I would imaging the south facing climbs would be soloing adventures because your gear wouldn’t be worth the time to put it in. The routes that don’t get hit hard by the sun are in decent shape but anything that gets sun is pretty rough looking with the exception of a few soldiers.

Psycho Icicle (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:March 13, 2011
Report:Easy climbing for a full 60m.  Water is running under the ice on the left side with a bit on the upper left section.  Good ice all the way. 

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:12-Mar-2011
Report:Brian ,Fred, Danylo, and myself went into the Ice Palace to play for the day. Spring Ice has finally arrived. Not much has changed since the last time, accept anything that sees any sun is quit sun rotted. If you chop through you can still find good gear. Shady climbs like 10% Real and the steep right line on Ranxerox were perfect. Climb beautifully and eat up all sizes of gear. The upper portion on 10% Real being the acception. Nothing longer than 13cm.

Getting Oriented (Kama Hills)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:March 5, 2011
Report:A heavy fresh snow fall made the approach long and tedious, but was all worth it for the climb. It is in wicked shape with 3+ (left side) to 4+ (right side) variations. Ice was a bit airy on the lower half and brittle on the top half of the climb. Check out this short video of our day:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlYNAIeVFZA

Ice Breakers (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:March 5, 2011
Report:

Ice Breakers and many of those in the immediate area are huge so if you haven't been up that way this season they are worth the long hike in.  The trail is well packed so no snowshoes required. Ice Breakers and Whimpsickle are climbing WI5. Steep sustained climbing from start to finish.  FYI - the sun doesn't hit the climbs until around noon. We froze for the first few hours.

Getting Oriented and The Seige also look huge from the road but PG13 not so much.  Trail is broken into those climbs as well.


Tempest / Pause for a Whisper (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Feb 27, 2011
Report:Last official ACC climb of the season.
Didn't actually get any pics from Tempest, but here's a couple pics from its 'rare' neighbor "Pause for a Whisper".
Wasn't quite as warm as it was forecast to be, but a good day anyway...especially the pizza at Nipigon Cafe!

Rainy Day Woman (Squaw Bay - Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Feb 25, 2011
Report:Is it ok to call the 'Woman' Fat? Well she is.
Went out for a nice evening climb since it was too cold to ski.
The ice was almost too soft... even slushy in a few places. A lot of water running under the ice. Hit a couple gushers too.
Better than frozen dinner plates!
All the verticals were nice blue ice and clear with some minor snow on the horizontal runs.
Didn't get too far up Wet Dreams. Darkness set in and the snow was too deep on the bottom sections to pursue it with headlamps.

 

Lost Falls (Mt McRae) (Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Feb 20
Report:I prefer to call it "Waste-of-Time Falls".  Maybe it's been 'fatter' and fully formed at other times...but not today!  The top half of the climb is a series of thin ice-shelves. Interesting that the size of the shelves can even support their own weight! Took 15min to get from the parking spot to the base of the boulder field and then 1/2 hr! to get up to the base of the falls.  Tough slog through deep, crusty snow that swallows at least half your leg on every second step.

Actually only climbed up the gully to the right, enjoyed the view, then opted for the long hike down the backside of the mountain. I really have to start packing a crazy-carpet with me!

If you were thinking about going into Lost Falls, you may want to reconsider for a while...and bring your water-proof gear. The water coming off the top of the falls is spattering quite liberally.

River of Frozen Dreams (Ice Station Superior)
Submitted by:Frank Pianka
Climbed on:Feb 20
Report:A group of six of us went - very quietly - in to Ice Station Superior today. The trail in is nicely broken now - stay left at any branches you come across. Pocomotion and Inferior are disappearing quickly but Superior is in great shape with a little more snow on the lower gully than in the last report. The "river" was pretty snow covered but provided welcome shelter from the wind. While the keeners couldn't resist the steep stuff on the canyon sides, it was a personal treat to be up the "River of Frozen Dreams"  20 years after my first time in there, and sharing the magic with those new to the area. My feet hurt!

Glace Eclatante (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 20, 2011
Report:

A fantastic sunny day at Glace was the ticket to avoid bulletproof ice.  Snowshoes make the hike in easy.  The left side was flowing pretty good when we first arrived and was a river by the end of the day.  Left side climbs 3+, gear was ok, rappel from bolted chain anchors.  Middle line is steep, grade 5 with ok gear and good sticks.  Right side is climbing 4 to 4+, gear was good, rappel from the bolted chain anchor on that side.  All plastic and sun rotted ice today.  Those north facing climbs looked really cold...glad we weren't there.


Whimpsickle, Icebreakers Arete, Galadrial's Phial (Icebreakers Area)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:12/12,13
Report:

I and Dan (when he finally showed up) spent the past weekend in Kama, and thought I'd post closeups of a few routes.  There hasn't been much activity up there this year, although that will likely change now that it's warming up.  I didn't get a photo of Icebreakers, it's huge.  Climb up the left side, or as Kyle and Duncan did on Saturday, up the right side.  There is a well-traveled, hard-packed trail all the way in.

I also worked out a new mixed route on the wall around the corner to the right of Whimpsickle.  I'll get a description and photo in the new routes area soon.


Artesian Wells (Whitefish Lake)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:11-Feb-2011
Report:I went back into Artesian Wells again on Friday with an old buddy. First time climbing anything significant in 6 year and I take him to Artesian in -28C. No wonder I was climbing alone during the holidays. Anyway the reasons I went back out was 1. it is one of the coolest climbs we have and 2. there were two new routes that needed to be climbed. I ended up taking Shawn on the left side this time. It was much harder line than the right side. Not as awkward but the tugs were harder and the good pro was further spaced apart. It was very exciting climbing and an inspiring line. I did a little aggressive pruning at the anchor to ensure the ropes don’t get snagged again. Worked like a charm.
Now for some of my infinite wisdom, well ok, Brian may or may not have planted this idea in my head, but I am taking credit for it regardless. We were able to shave 15 minutes off our lake crossing time. I simply went to crappy tire and bought a sleigh for $9.99. We bungeed our packs to the sleigh and used the rope to make 2 loops which we put around our waste. It was way easier and we still had energy to burn once across the lake. Never again will I cross that lake without the sleigh or my truck. HA!
 The first of the 2 new routes was a WI4+ that climbs half way up the cliff. Not the usual route that forms on the left of AW. This is way left of AW by about 30 meters.
Climb the ice until it ends then you need to climb that crap rock to a hanging curtain to finish. Unfortunately there was no natural protection in the rock and it was -30 so jumping on the hanger lower was not an option., so I did not finish the route. Even though most of the rock out there is absolute crap there is a small band of seemingly decent rock conveniently at the level below the curtain so I will be going back to see if it will accept a bolt or 2 to complete the route. Inspiring line. The second route I finished and I posted in the new routes section.

Tears of Joy (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 13, 2011
Report:

Wes, Shawn and I swam up to Tears of Joy this morning.  There has to be at least 4 feet of snow in OB right now.  The approach was long and difficult, even with snowshoes. Lots of false layers and airy sections on the first pitch.  Swim up through the bowl and the second pitch is much of the same.  The gear seemed a bit better on this pitch.


Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 12, 2011
Report:Some pictures of Powerline Falls. 

"up the river" to Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Frank Pianka
Climbed on:Feb 12
Report:Too much snow - fugedaboudit!! On the other hand, if you stick to the trail, Power Line Falls area is in pretty good shape.

Ice Stud (The bowl)
Submitted by:Jamie Knight
Climbed on:February 9, 2011
Report:Carla and I climbed ice stud in the freezing cold, not much new to post the climb is huge and in great condition, the only reason for the post is we managed to drop an ice screw somewhere on the climb, if someone finds it I would love to have it back (beer and karma points for its safe return).  My email is robknight19@gmail.com or 204-291-9032

Artesian Wells (Whitefish Lake)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:6-Feb-2011
Report:Today Jamie and I went out to Whitefish lake to climb Artesian Wells, after we helped setup for the beginners clinic. The lake crossing took the usual 40 mins but then it got hard. Full-On level 10 bushwack from the other shore to the base of the climb. That took nearly an hour it normally takes about 20 mins. With snow shoes we still sunk in 18”. As is usually the case, it was cold and windy in there. The first half is pretty standard WI3+ to WI4+ climbing but the easiest way to the top for the second half would be WI5. I ended up taking a small column tight to the rock on the right side as it looked fun and I have never done this variation before. The ice was decent but the climbing was awkward. It was pretty tough to look graceful going through there. Rap the route via the new shiny anchor on the top left side.

10%Real, Evile Des Sans, Ranxerox Tangent (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:5-Feb-2011
Report:Jamie Knight and I went into the Ice palace to see what kind of fun we could get ourselves into. Since Dave was already on Evile Des Sans, Jamie and I warmed up in 10 % Real. Good solid WI5 climbing with a real awkward finish. Good hard off balance pulling through the tight squeeze at the top. Fun climbing and great gear for the most part. The gear gets a little small through the 1st crux, but this is no surprise. Bone dry

Next Jamie wanted to lead Evile Des Sans so he dragged the ropes to the top. This climb is in fantastic shape. Good WI4 climbing with excellent gear. There is a steeper more committing variation through the mid section. I have never seen that much ice on the upper section as there is right now. Bone Dry

Next we went over to Ranxerox Tangent for a lap. 2 variations a solid WI4 striaght up the center. It is a little steep down low but manageable. There is also a WI5 line up the right side. I chose the right side and was able to find good to excellent gear. Good steep climbing that grabs your attention and keeps it. Bone dry. We ran out of day light so we called it a day. Even thought the temps were a balmy -6C the ice did not know this, it thought it was still -30C out and it was hard and cold on all the climbs we did. I suspect the same on the routes we did not get on.

Ice Stud (Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Feb 5, 2011
Report:

Here's some updated pictures of Ice Stud. The second pitch is the most fun and even had some water flowing at the top.


Cascade Falls WI3, 40m (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Feb 4, 2011
Report:Well, this climb has certainly matured since the last posting here, so I figured I'd post the pictures.
The path in from the road and the path up to the top are all well beaten down.
The Rap/TR anchors on the top-right of the climb are still very visible and easily accessible.
The left side of the falls is definitely the easier way to go, with the middle being a "free shower" and the right side having some fun vertical sections.
Watch out for some false layers of thin ice over snow on the bottom half of the routes and a fair amount of snow once you top out on the climb. 
Beware of a large open hole at the base of the left side; you could easily loose your entire leg down the 'bottomless' hole.

Studs Ahoy (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Jan 28, 2011
Report:Don't let the nice blue skies in the picture fool you...it was COLD today!
Especially when the sun went around the cliffs.
Grade 2 on this climb? Really? I'm no expert, by far, but it felt a little more committing than a 2.
Anyway, here's a pic of how it looked today.
Good catch Jeff! :-)

Mt McKay - South Wall (Thunder Bay, ON)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Jan 25, 2011
Report:Well, not so much 'climbed' as a reconnaissance mission :)
I went for a wander up the back of McKay to check out the commitment level of getting into these climbing.
Glad I had a light pack on! Managed to find my way and beat down a snowshoe trail in the process for any future eager climbers. There's Pink trail tape on the trees on the McKay Summit Trail then go off to the left about half way up. I'm not convinced it marks the best path to the base of the climbs. On the way out I noticed Green trail tape at about half way that will take you on a more direct approach to the base of the climbs.
No huge change in these climbs since Nick posted some pics a few weeks ago, but here's new pics anyway.  I believe what you see here are: First Things Second (2??) or Cave People (3) [first pic - left], Butterball (3) [first pic-right & middle pic] and The Catacombs (2+) [last pic].
 

Rainy Day/Wet Dreams (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Jan 23, 2011
Report:I didn't take any pictures because you wouldn't be able to see the ice anyway!
It was beautiful and picturesque with a considerable amount of new snow...~6"-12" everywhere.
Recent, well-packed snowshoe trails into base of climb and around the general area.
Rainy Day Woman - hasn't grown or shown much progress since about a month ago when I was there.
Wet Dreams - the vertical wall at the top of the climb also hasn't progressed noticeably over the last month.
It was a nice 'alpine hike' all-in-all and it felt good to get out after all that ugly cold weather.
 

Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:January 22, 2011
Report:It was a beautiful sunny day at Powerline Falls yesterday. 6 of us broke in to 3 teams of 2 and simultaneously climbed the far left side, middle, and far right side of the falls. The far left side (climber's left) is in decent condition asides from a false crust of ice here and there along the route. The top out was like climbing on to a cornice, snow and ice pellets have consolidated together and is strong enough to get on to. The middle line goes beautifully the whole way with great ice on the left side of the dihedral and amazing footholds all along the right side. The far right ice climb (which is not quite as tall as the ice to its left) was nice and thick all the way. Since this climb never sees the sun and it was cold out, the ice was pretty brittle. Once the top layer would shatter away though, the ice just beneath it was bomber. All in all, fantastic day at Kama with wicked climbs that are beautifully formed! Go and enjoy! 

Ice Breakers Area (Kama)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:1/15
Report:

Dan Wilkinson and I hiked into the Icebreakers area on Saturday (1/15).  When we arrived the temp was -20C, and the wind was really blowing!   First route was Icebreakers Arete, but it was too cold to be any fun.  The route is in good shape, some fragile umbrellas to negotiate at the finish. 

After some serious whining and stomping of feet we climbed Whimpsickle (in our belay parkas), which is in great shape this year.  We added a new sling to the rap/belay anchor.  By the time we finished, we were in the sun and feeling a little better, so next we climbed a new mixed route we've been watching for some time.  It's to the north of the Thermocules chimney.  Details in the new ice routes area.

We finished the day off with Icebreakers.  While the route is really big, the ice isn't that great.  A lot of hooking on mushrooms and bulbs, many of which had a tendency to break off when standing on them.  The pro was decent though.  I went up the left side and near the top traversed right to finish.  The best ice is at the top. 

Only one photo of Whimpsickle and then the camera froze up.  Let's hope it warms up soon!


April Showers (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Joey Miller
Climbed on:January 18th
Report:Climb with Fred G this morning, good ice to about 5 metres above middle belay then some funky rock moves for the last 30 ft.  Good screws on bottom half and rock pro for the top. fun adventure with some steeper ice after the mid belay.

Tempest (Orient Bay, ON)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:January 15, 2011
Report:We had a good (COLD!) day at the Anchors Clinic lead by Andrew.
Here's a few pic's of the climb I managed to snap when my fingers weren't frozen and the camera shutter cooperated.
Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of Andrew's water well drilling project at the top right of the climb!
I remember the sound fondly, however :)..."Aww Sh*t!! ....gushhhhhhhhhhhhh"
More pic's in the Gallery Section.

Glace Ech. (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:16-Jan-2011
Report:We had a fantastic day at Glace Ech. Yesterday. What a great place to be on a cold day. With the sun was shining and no wind it was very easy to forget it was -22C. Since everyone, but Cindy, bailed on the intermediate clinic Cindy received all the attention she wanted. She did laps on WI3+ and WI4 ice. The ice was very plastic for the most. The gear was decent. I noticed some hollow sections here and there but was happy with what I found in general.
After Cindy was finished for the day, Nick and I got t play on the central pillar for a lap. Good steep climbing and a good place to test out the Denim 311. The gear was good, but I wouldn’t feel too comfortable about taking my time as the sun would melt them out quickly.

Sorry no photo, check older post and add a couple feet of ice. The cave is almost closed.

Chucky's Revenge (McRay)
Submitted by:Patrick Martel
Climbed on:jan 12th 2011
Report:Condition same as previous report.
There is a now a  bolted chain anchor at the top of the first pitch on top of the prow.
Patrick

Catacombs, Butterball, First Things Second (South Face of Mt. McKay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:January 8, 2011
Report:After walking in toward McKay and quickly remembering bitter cold and free-hangers don't mix, the warm south face of McKay beckoned and Bryce and I followed the dogs in that way. I'd forgotten about this spot, a great spot for folks that really like climbs like Ice Stud (the routes are shorter, but face south and so are out of the wind and warm on a day like today). To my surprise, we weren't the only ones with that idea, busy place today. Catacombs is in with as much ice as I've ever seen on it, like a mini-ice stud for diffficulty, one 60 m rope is all that is needed to rap it (though the rappel trees are suspect and two ropes will get you further back to some potentially better trees. Ice is still brittle since it's tucked in a shady chimney. Butterball is much nicer since it's out on the face and exposed to the sun (if using one rope for this one, you will have to stop just below the sun-rotted ice to top out and rap off a large poplar tree - otherwise the climb is about 35m+). Glancing around the corner, but short on time, it looked like First Things Second was also in good nick. A worthy spot for climbers interested in sunny moderates, Butterball is typically rotted out by early Feb most years. A bit of slog in, but easy enough with a trail broken in from about half way up the summit (south) trail on McKay.

Obsession & Reflection wall (OB)
Submitted by:Duncan Hutchison
Climbed on:2-Jan-2011
Report:

Obsession is in excellent condition. Climbing easy for its grade, good pro, lots of fun to climb right now. access to anchor is tight due to ice almost closing of gully at top.

Reflection wall in great shape still. Ice is starting to become more featured and 3-D. Still lots of good pro. More ice building in center.

Found two older bail-screws halfway up climb. Call me if you want them back. 768-4904.

 


Remember the Day (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:January 2, 2011
Report:Everything in OB looks huge these days or is still getting bigger.  The recent snowfall added about 6 inches to the existing 18-24 inches. Attached are some pictures of Remember the Day and its neighbour Ranxerox Tangent.  Water still running down Remember the Day.

Nanibijou (T-Bay, Mt McRae)
Submitted by:James Loveridge
Climbed on:Dec 16
Report:

Naniboujou

December 16th Adam Daily, Jon Jugenheimer and I humped it up to the base of McRae to see what the areas rarely forming premier crag looked like. Walking by the impressive Pukasahib and Chuckey's, we went over to Naniboujou and decided it was the worthiest objective for the day. It could just have been the fact that I was tying in for my first "real" (trad/no bolts) lead of the season but P1 was well sketchier than I thought it would be. Probably M6 R/X, not that hard but serious for sure. Two 10cm screws sticking out of 7-8cm of ice blobs "protected" the lower crux. I am thinking that as the ice ablates, more rock gear possibilities might present themselves (KB's and LA's). Keep in mind however that until you get through the crux (about 15m) it is all chossy shale. After one gains swingable/screwable ice, the climbing is really cool and can be well protected. Pitch 2 is amazing! I took the right variation as it's easier and had better protection (stubies and some medium sized cams wedged under chock stones). You are chimneying on thin ice runnels for most of the 2nd pitch so if you have a belay parka pack on, I'd highly recommend using a long sling to dangle it below your feet. I did that but my seconds didn’t and they said it was hateful. I'd say it goes around M5 WI5 (and funky at that) Note: if you plan on climbing P2 you MUST use the new bolted belay on the overhung block just below the big ledge (I put it there for a reason!). If you skip it, the big ledge gets PUMMELED with ice and the belayer will get killed. Over the last 10 years, I've done this route 6 times and the conditions this year are the thinnest I've seen but it is still climbable. If you can sack up and do the first 15m the rest of it is in the bag! (pun intended... ;-)


Chuckey's Revenge (T-Bay, Mt McRae)
Submitted by:James Loveridge
Climbed on:Dec 17
Report:

Apologies for the WAY late report! Wes pretty much covered Pukasahib (AKA Childs Play) and Chuckey's Revenge in his previous posts but I just thought I'd add my $.02 and share some pics... Adam Daily, Jon Jugenheimer and I went back to McRae on Friday December the 17th and climbed Chuckey's. Originally the plan was to do Pukasahib and Chuckey's back to back but we got scooped by Patrick and Sonny! It was no problem as we got a late start and climbing as a party of 3 kinda slowed us down so we wouldn’t have made it up both anyway. Nonetheless, I led both pitches of Chuckey's. P1 has 2 cruxes; one Mixed M6 bit to get to the ice, then a second steep ice bit to gain the ramp that takes you to the belay. From Wes's pic, it looks like Dave Rone took the same route as I did on the first crux (mixed rock climbing up and left to the right side of the start of the ice). Looks like he took a different left hand variation for the second ice crux. That looked awkward to me (and I was looking for rock gear!) so I went for the "curtain pull" on the right side. The 2nd pitch is short and tops out brushy with S%!t for gear but it's like WI 4+ and M3 climbing so no biggie. After that we humped it over to the top of Mishipeshu (finding a Pelican Box geo-cache on the way!) and rapped Mishipeshu (the 110m M8/WI6 rig I put up in '06). What we found was hard thin ice/mixed climbing in an incredible position that needs about 8-10 more bolts to make it go. I'm planning on spending a few days at the end of January to re-equip Mishipeshu for lean year ascents (and also possibly add some more bolts to the first pitch to make it a more reasonable proposition). I'll post a full report when that happens!


Refraction, Tatooine, Arrakis (Orient Bay, Amy R Wall (AWOL))
Submitted by:James Loveridge
Climbed on:Dec 19th
Report:

On the 18th Adam and I went up to Reflection Wall as he wanted to do Refraction. It was in FAT and went reasonably at M6/WI5. I can't say enough about how fun this rig is! It's fat with ice and all the bolts are out so this would be a great year to get on it. How often do you get to climb ice while clipping bolts?! Next we went to the Amy R Wall (aka AWOL) to go get pumped silly on a couple routes I put up last season and neglected to report (they are now posted in the new routes section). Not much to report on conditions as they are bolted drytooling rigs but I can say that both Arrakis and Tatooine are as fun as they were last season so if you are into bolted M-climbing, go get on them!


Black Pearl (Pearl)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Jan 1, 2011
Report:Colder than a witch's (insert your own simile/metaphor here) out there today!
Tip: Don't take Eric's advice for a warm place to climb :)
Not sure what the climb to the right of Black Pearl is called...I called it The Shattering Be-autch.
Chunks of ice were flying off there faster than a comet zipping through space.
One of us walked away with a fatter lip than we came in with.
Decided to TR the Be-autch. The ice sounded like banging on aluminum when you hit it.

Note: New red webbing (thx Eric) & maillon (thx Jeff) at the top of Black Pearl. 

Edit: The routes in there from left to right. Black Pearl, Killer Pillar, Oysters Omen
From your photos, it appears Killer Pillar is not connected yet.

p.s Thanks Wes for the routes' names info. (does that sound awkward?)

Grandy Mardy Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:January 1, 2011
Report:GMF is in with a variety of lines from 2+ to 4+.  The hike in was pretty easy despite the blowdown.  The far left line is the easiest and shortest.  The centre falls formed very weird this season, a combination of giant cotton balls and solid ice...makes for interesting climbing.  The right lines are steep and very fun.  Sorry no pictures, the camera died for some reason.

Powerline Falls - Approach (Kama Bay, ON)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Dec 29, 2010
Report:Here's some pic's of the beautiful approach into the main falls.
That's Frank leading the way :)

Ice Breakers Area (Kama Bay, ON)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Dec 29, 2010
Report:Well, we didn't actually climb it, but we looked at it 'in awe'.
Thought some of you may be interested in its current state.

Powerline Falls (Kama Bay, ON)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Dec 29, 2010
Report:Again, I'll let the picture speak for themselves..worth a thousand words!

Note: New orange webbing (back-up to existing only) and biner at top of left route anchor.

Starquake,Andromeda,Amy R (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:27-Dec-2010
Report:Thanks to the previous party who shoed into Andromeda and Starquake. That trail is like concrete now. The climbs are in fantastic shape. The water was still flowing on both climbs. Although the water was not coming from the top on Starquake, it sprung a leak about 20 feet off the ground. Andromeda is in super shape. No need for 13’s on this one. Both have put on a few pounds over the holidays.

Amy R climbed nice as well. Good bomber ice for the most part. Some water still coming from the top on this climb.

Ice Stud (The Bowl/Mt. Rose)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Dec 22, 2010
Report:I don't claim to know anything about posting useful condition reports here...being my third time on ice.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The last pictures I saw here for Ice Stud were about a month ago.

Professional Business Men (Ice Palace OB)
Submitted by:Matt Giambrone
Climbed on:12/19
Report:After spending Saturday being humbled by the drytooling lines adjacent to Amy R (excellent climbing) Scott and I wandered into the ice palace. Since all the ice routes seemed quite wet PBM seemed a good option. Nothing much new to report although we did replace the anchor on a spruce tree to the climbers left of the top out. Just enough ice up top to be inconvenient, I'd suggest a couple stubbies or possibly some rock gear, slinging shrubs works too. It appears to be a good to great ice year! Quite the change from last season.

Alpine outing (sqaw bay)
Submitted by:Duncan Hutchison
Climbed on:19-Dec-2010
Report:Climb is in good shape compared to past couple years. Middle section thin (just a little wider than shoulder width in places) well bonded in center and a little detatched on the sides. Still thin in spots but took 13cm screws no problem. Remember to bring small rack of rock pro for crux section. Second pitch-good pro throughout with forming ice to top out. Bryan left behind new rap anchor. Climb still wet in many places but center pillar may detach before long-as it usually does.

Childs Play/Chucky's Revenge (Mt. McRae)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:19-Dec-2010
Report:It seems like McRae was the popular spot this weekend. Dave and I went back up there for a poke at the fun. Since I live here and can back off this rig when ever I want Dave lead Childs Play today. All I have to say is good hard climbing. It really stays with you. That crux section was a real mind warp. My helmet goes off to all who climbed it this weekend.

Dave climbed Chucky’s as well. I can’t really comment on this one because I let Dave rap the route and clean his own gear. He really loves that. I can tell. All I can say is it looks pretty flipping easy. HA! Ò¿Ô
If anyone goes up Chucky’s before me can you retrieve my screw left at the belay.

Reflection Wall Area (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:18-Dec-2010
Report:Attached is one of Brian’s photos of the Reflection Wall Area.  In addition to Brian’s post I climbed Refraction and found it in great shape. Some good hard tugs throughout with the final tug not being an exception. Good secure climbing true to the grade. All but one bolts were found. The one bolt I did not find, I substituted with a 10 cm screw. If you can call that a substitution. Not a pure ice route yet, but it mostly likely will with the current condition in OB this year.

Next Dave wanted to repeat his bolted mixed route called Resolution. He said the ice up top was good and was able to place good screws to finish. I let him rap the route and pull his own gear. He likes that.

I climbed a previously unclimbed (by me) variation in the right corner of RW. From the ground it looked engaging and fun with decent ice. I’ll sugar coat it for you. The ice was crap! It was deceivingly thin. I mean in places I thought there would be no problem sinking a 22 I hit rocks with a 16. WTF Over! It was odd. It hit rocks on a “few” occasions. Sorry Dave. I was 2/3 right however. The climb was engaging and fun. Good movement and plenty steep.

April Showers (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:erik howells
Climbed on:18Dec10
Report:

Dallas and I went in to check out April Showers and Alpine Outting. We found lots of ice on April Showers and had a great climb. Only glitch was I dropped an axe after pulling a rock move. Climbed the last 20 meters on one axe which was fine because it was mostly rock anyway.

We walked over to AO and looked at it from the road. It looked in from a distance. We are going to check it out tomorrow to see if it will go.

Sorry no pic.

Merry Christmas


getting oriented (kama bay)
Submitted by:kyle brooks
Climbed on:dec18
Report:ice on getting oriented is good  lots of pro.   the top out has little ice on right side stoppers might be handy....   siege is in good shape no crazy ice formations..   every thing looks great at kama  

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:December 18
Report:

OB was a busy place today for sure.  We finally got some nice temps and with that everyone came out to play.  A large group started the day at Reflection Wall and put up multiple lines.  The left side of RW was excellent, the pro got better and better the higher you went and the subtle features were great for the feet.  Still has water running down this one but it can be easily avoided.  Other lines were climbed but I'll let those individuals post the report.  Next, Nick and I headed into the Ice Palace for a quick lap on Evil.  Lots of water pouring down this one, got soaked.  Interesting climbing though...should have brought the snowshoes for the hike in.  Next time, they would have really helped.  I'll post pics for High Fidelity, Evil and 10% Real.

The rest of the corridor is shaping up nicely.  Lots of ice everywhere.  Happy holidays and climb safe.


Inferior Icefall (Superior Ice Station)
Submitted by:Joey Miller
Climbed on:Dec 11
Report:Aric, Matt, Terry and I escaped the cold and wind and had an excellent day on the lake!
Climb is very well formed, some daggers at the bottom of the first pitch, otherwise great ice and gear all the way to the top!
First time at ice station but it looks as though lots of ice is forming throughout.

Glace Eclatante (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:December 11
Report:

When the wind blows and the temps are low...its off to Glace with the hopes of sun and plastic ice.  First off, it took two of us 20 minutes to shovel out a parking spot.  Who ever goes there next can widen it for two, there's not much work left.  That was the easy part...the hour twenty snowshoe in was anything but fun.  Two plus feet of snow and a talus slope that just about made us turn around.  Actually, we climbed it twice... once without packs, and the final push with them on.  GE is forming nice, still water running down multiple lines.  We did a lap on the right side with gear that was anything but great.  Really airy ice with a couple of false layers.  Rappel off the bolted rap station from the right line, its marked by flag tape. 

The rest of the corridor is recovering nicely.  They haven't plowed the banks back yet so you'll need a shovel to park safely and snowshoes are a must in my opinion.  Enjoy.


Childs Play (Mcrae)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:10-Dec-2010
Report:I have been peeping Childs Play for a few weeks now, monitoring its condition. I compared photos from the previous week and this past week the climb nearly doubled in size, thickness, prompting me to book a day off and head up for a sniff. From the base it totally looked like it would go. After an easy win at Rock Paper Scissors with Nick the first pitch was mine. Ask one of the survivors off the first boat to land at Nomandie, if it was a good idea to go first. Regardless, you are not walking up to this route expecting it to be easy and I never do.
The climbing starts right off the deck. The gear leading up to the crux was decent and the climbing was secure. The ice was a tad airy but not too serious. Once at the crux the climb becomes very awkward and starts to hang over past vertical. Once I thawed my frozen hands I got up in the business and unfortunately found a pretty decent 15cm screw which means I should keep going. I was unable to find secure tools and the feet were horrible. I was unable to piece this puzzle together so I decided to do battle with this climb another day and started down-climbing and pulling gear. It may have been easier just to keep going. HA! I am home typing on my PC so the day ended as planned.
I know there are a few visitors from south of the boarder coming up and mostly likely will be interested in this climb so I attached a better photo taken on Tuesday and one from today. Not much difference today, just a little more snow and few screw holes. No water coming from above the crux but the lower right side of the climb was flowing.
To Be Continued…

Feaver Falls (Northwest Face of Mt.McRae)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:December 9, 2010
Report:Beautiful day today; not too cold, not too warm!
Went out to Feaver Falls with Matt.H to check it out for the first time ourselves. Most of the trail is pretty well packed down from snowmobilers and hikers.
The ice is in wicked shape. The left side of the falls goes all the way (2+) with good screw placements. For the bottom half of the falls, there are still a bunch of hanging icicles (large daggers), but you can still go straight up the middle (3+/4) the whole way.
The top half of Feaver Falls is all in, pick any way you want to go!
Enjoy :)

Feaver Falls, Pukasahib (Nor'Westers)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:December 7, 2010
Report:Took some nice pictures of Feaver Falls and Pukasahib today while driving to Raven Lake. Thought I would share a couple of them with everyone for some inspiration. From Mountain rd, it looks like they are good to go!

Raven Lake, Rainy Day Woman, Wet Ones (Raven Lake & Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:December 7, 2010
Report:It was nice and cold today, decided to hit up Feaver Falls. When we parked we could notice that there were 2 climbers at the base of the ice climb, so we decided instead to go check out Raven lake. From the look of it, there is a ton of ice forming that has not formed in at least a couple of years. There is ice everywhere! At raven lake, the ice is there, but obviously really brittle today just because of the really cold weather; some nice sized plates broke off when climbing.
After Raven Lake Terry, Joey and I continued on to Squaw bay for a quick run up and down Rainy Day Woman, and Wet Ones. Both have enough ice on them but they are in different conditions to each other. Rainy Day Woman was really brittle while Wet Ones was like soft plastic and dripping in many spots (hence the name I suppose). There is ice forming everywhere, I am hoping that the 2 climbers who were on Feaver Falls will post a condition report as well! It looked really great!
Now Go Out And Climb!!

General (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:December 5, 2010
Report:Wow...a whole lotta slogging today and no climbing. Curiosity got the better of Jenn and I so we headed to Kama today to see what there was to see. There is a ton of water there and lots of ice forming, but nothing we got up to today was climbable. Unfortunately, I managed to leave the rock gear at home some how (not discovered until we got up to the climbs - doh!), otherwise probably would have done some tempting mixed routes. The Getting Oriented area looked great from the road (except PG13 probably won't be there this year, narry a speck of ice on it). Unfortunately, we got up to the routes and all of them were gushing water and barely formed. A wetsuit would've been helpful. We headed left and went and checked out all the classics. Some of the rarer mixed routes are forming and all of the ice routes are starting, but most still were open and pouring water down the middle. Some of the more tantalizing daggers were frighteningly detached after the warm spell, and we heard some crashing ice as we zipped outta there. After that slog we figured hey, we'll hit Powerline as consolation, and didn't get closer than 50m to the climb and still were getting sprayed. The easy left flow is not in, and the two lines to the right that have formed were slush and pouring water so we figured we'd leave it and make up for it on the plice instead. Due to the high volume of water the river itself is still barely frozen over with lots of open water. After another week or two of colder temps, Kama should have a better-than-average season ahead.

Starquake,Andromeda,Mellow Yellow Left (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:4-Dec-2010
Report:After we got out of the Ice Palace, we figured maybe Starquake would go afterall. We began, what would turn out to, a horrendous slawg to the base. Falling in to our eyebrows, wading through chest deep snow, and even crawling on our hands and knees, was all part of this adventure.
Starquake was first. The climb had water flowing but I didn’t get too wet. Finding good pro was an issue though. Mostly 13’s and 15’s. I wasn’t really on belay until the third screw. The rest of the screws were good enough to get me where I needed to go.
Brian then made quick work of Andromeda. The ice was good on this one. Here was water flowing down the center which was easily avoided. Pro was excellent.
We then headed over to Mellow Yellow as we saw how much it had formed in the last week. There was another party there climbing the main climb. The bottom curtain has touched down. The middle looks to have filled out and actually has some ice on it. Brian and I each did a lap on Mellow Yellow Left. Is that even it’s real name? Anyway the arête looked inviting so I ran a line up there. The pro was actually quite good. 15’s all the way. I probably could have sunk a few 19s at the top but I didn’t bring them. Brian did a lap a few metres to the left and found the ice a little airy but found some decent pro with the exception of 1 15.

OB is looking good, at least 2 feet of snow. 6 inches of which on top of a crust.

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:4-Dec-2010
Report:Brian and I went to OB hope to get into the Ice Palace and climb. We went in but soon walk right back out. The recent warm temps and flash freeze Thursday and Friday have created a lot of white fast freeze ice. No good, even with a 12 year Scotch. Lots of water and could be heard from the trail. We walked as far as Arjumins Shroud and turned around. Most routes have fattened up but the gear most likely would have been crap. But who am I anyway. Looking at photos posted by Pat of Evile and 10% Real, they have both shrunk considerably. With Evile being the most noticeable. Ranxerox has changed a bunch too, since last weekend. The majority of the ice coming straight down instead from the right side. The last 10 metres looks like crap though. That being said, the key point is there is tons of water in dem der hills, it is shaping up to be a really good year.

White Lightning (The Bowl)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:December 4, 2010
Report:Not much time in between chores today, but Jenn and I decided we needed to squeeze at least one climb in today. Local conditions are really coming along. Both White Lightning and Curtain Call are in. WL is in classic early season shape, with the usual line on the hourglass climbing beautifully. Gear is adequate until 1/3 up where it is great after that point, I was able to place long screws whenever I needed them with some looking about. Really, really fun climbing right now with lots of water running behind and around the ice, some interesting hollow features higher up. No problem staying dry, ropes aren't even wet. Curtain Call is iced right across, and the upper right hand corner has ice down it but would still be a mixed climb in it's present condition (if you're wondering, take a light rock rack and do it, it's great fun in these conditions, climbing about M5-. Also noticed the right-hand ice is forming/formed on the first pitch of ice stud, and that many of the rarer local climbs have ice on them (Stricken, EF/NF routes on McKay), but will need another week or two yet.

Cascade Falls (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:27-11-2010
Report:Matt.H, Joey. M, Terry. M, and I decided to check out how Orient Bay was shaping up. After driving down the entire length of the corridor to see what was formed, and seeing the big truck accident, we decided that we would climb Cascade Falls.
Knee high snow covered any sign of a previously packed trail, but the 4 of us did a pretty good job of breaking trail; no snowshoes were necessary though. When we got to the base of the ice, we saw immediately how wet and precarious of a climb it would be; there was water pouring spewing from several holes that were not completely frozen over yet. I decided to lead the left  side of the climb since it was the easier way to get to the top. I quickly realized however just how committing it would be to get to the top; the ice was there, but it was definitely not in the very safest condition to lead on. Very often I was standing on a very thin sheet of ice, water flowing hard under it, and about 6 inches to 1.5 feet of air between those 2. Placed many screws, but it was pretty hard to find bomber screw placements; get creative! Toping out was a bit scary too just because of the thin condition of the ice and the hard flow of water beneath. We set up a top-rope on the right side of cascade falls. It is also spewing out water, but it is not AS wet as the left side. Ice on the right side looks like it can take bomber ice screws all the way to 22cm. All in all, very fun day, ice season is in! it is just a tiny bit early for those ideal ice conditions we're all waiting for. I'd say another week or 2 till we have much better conditions, but that aint stopping any us from heading out on the ice already is it? It's great to see so many people getting out already, great start to the season!

10%real - Eveils des Sens (Ice Palace)
Submitted by:Patrick Martel
Climbed on:28-11-2010
Report:Nick & I went to Ice Palace on Sunday. On a warm -5C day, we found the season had started there. Thanks to Wes & Brian the trail was well packed; not requiring snow shoes that day. We still had to swim in snow up to our arm pits at the base of the short talus. We had our first winter drenching cold shower on Eveils des sens, then we climbed 10%real. 10% is in very real commitment condition. There are some very thin sections requiring mix moves, protection is sparse although better than we expected from bottom. I manage to place quite a few dubious short screws  and even a long one. Most cracks are frosted over, I did need a microcam in the oblique R crack on the exit after the pitons. It was Great!

Parking (Rant)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:27-Nov-2010
Report:For those of you new to the area, we are experiencing parking issues in Orient Bay and it would help out our cause a lot if you could make sure to park well off the road. This means no tires touching the white line. Please bring a shovel and dig in. The shoulders are plenty wide enough to get your vehicle safely off the road. The snow is plowed high enough in Orient Bay now that a shovel is needed. It takes 5 minutes to shovel out of good parking spot and is a great way to get the blood moving before the day starts.
Parking on hills and corners is very dangerous for other drivers, not too mention very DUMB! The big trucks, if they have an ounce of consideration, will move to the middle of the road to avoid hitting or kicking up rocks on your car. This puts them and on coming vehicles in danger. Most truckers, however, don't give a rats ass and will knock your mirrors off, if given the chance. The above photo is an accident that occurred below Obsession on the corner. The cause is unknown.

BTW law enforcement will ticket you and get on the bull horn and ask you to come back to the highway to move your vehicle. This from one of Ontario’s finest. No not me, the O.P.P silly!
Ò¿Ô

Reflection Wall/Remember the Day (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:November 27
Report:The OB corridor is starting to get fat so Wes and I jumped on Reflection Wall this morning.  Awesome, steep grade 5 climbing with a spicy finish.  The climb easily takes 16's and 19's all the way except for the top out where a 13cm is all you'll get before pulling over the rock finish.  Trend right if you can.  Water is raining down the climb so we got a bit wet but nothing to worry about since it was nice and warm today.  We finished the day in the Ice Palace on Remember the Day.  Lots of water on this one...bring your flippers!  Easy climbing and good size gear throughout.  The rest of the Palace is forming nicely.  There's lots of snow in OB, I'd guess close to 18 inches, so snowshoes and a shovel are essential equipment now.  Climb safe.

Ice Stud (The Bowl, TB)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:November 27, 2010
Report:A couple pics from an afternoon ascent today with Frank. The climb has fattened considerably since Thursday. Best way up the first pitch is up the middle, nice ice pedestal to stand on to step onto the upper turf. The most useful tool for the second pitch would have been a shovel. Right hand exit best for now. Shorter screws are best but you could place long ones on both pitches in places.

Mellow Yellow (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:November 20
Report:As you can see by the number of new postings that as far as ice goes....the season has begun.  Wes and I headed out to OB this morning and jumped on Mellow Yellow and Hully Gully.  Wow, its a winter wonderland out there.  There was about 10-12 inches of snow on the ground so we have a good layer of insulation already.   I won the right for the first lead of the season by winning rock-paper-scissors.  Good old rock...nothing beats it!  The ice is thin, hammered a ton of rock on the way up. The upper curtain is still hollow and 13cm screws is all that the climb will take.   After both of us doing a lap we moved over to Hully Gully.  Easy as usual, still hollow on both pitches with lots of water running behind the climb.  The rest of the corridor is shaping up nicely, everything has ice on it, just needs some time for things to build up.  

Ice stud (bowl)
Submitted by:kyle brooks
Climbed on:nov 20
Report: Ice was good and soft Pitch 1 takes screws after the fist step even one 15 cm ,  Stubies for the crux .   Rock pro for 2nd pitch

Hwy. 61 Climbs (Thunder Bay and West)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:November 20, 2010
Report:Had to do a drive to the border this afternoon and rubbernecked a fair bit to see what was forming. Most of the regular climbs, and a few of the rarer ones, all have a smattering of ice on them and are looking promising, but it will be a while before it's worth checking any of them out for climbing, probably at least a couple of weeks I would think. No pics, nothing worth photographing.

Ice Stud, White Lightning, Curtain Call (The Bowl, TB)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:November 19, 2010
Report:Just some pics. Went out with the pup to check local conditions today and was stunned to be 6th in line for Ice Stud. Turned around as time was short and couldn't wait. Ice stud is thin but there, crux looks to be topping out on the first pitch, ice doesn't look like it will take any gear yet. Strong climber was nearly done the first pitch when we left, perhaps he'll post up the details. Curtain Call, looks like similar ice but the mixed right-hand corner variation ('bout M4) that ends between it and WL should go (no ice gear, just bring rock gear), but the loose blocks at the top don't look all that safe (i.e. frozen in) yet. WL had an open waterfall on the hourglass that was visible and audible at the base of the talus slope. I suspect all 3 climbs will be in good enough shape for those eager and capable at their respective grades by Monday if the cold mornings arrive as forecast. Healthy amounts of running water on all of them. Nothing much on the EF of McKay, sun did that all in I think. NF McKay routes similar, nothing.

General Conditions (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:13-Nov-2010
Report:We were out in OB cleaning trails again this weekend. There was ice in the AM but it was just sparse patches of onion skin, which had fallen down by the end of the day. Tons of blow down in the area but most of the high traffic climbs have been cleared.

Geraldton Area (Geraldton, ON)
Submitted by:Andrew Dubinsky
Climbed on:Nov 2, 10
Report:Ice is starting to form on the edges of the lakes in the Geraldton area the ice is on its way.

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Quotable Quotes

My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.

 ~Aldous Huxley