Alpine Club Of Canada

Thunder Bay Section

2012 - 2013 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Here are some very old and outdated maps we have laying around.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

Rainy Day Woman (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:May 6, 2013!!

I think this may be a new record for the Reports Archive.

Besides having to cross the open, heavy flowing river, and make a new trail in through really wet snow, it was fun.

This was likely the first time I've ever got a mosquito bite ice climbing.

Everything (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:April 14, 2013

Just had an email asking me about conditions and it occurred to me that I should put a quick post up.  Despite having already stowed my gear for the season Bryce convinced me we should go to OB last Sunday so we did.  I was stunned to see just how much ice was still in condition.  We had a short day and climbed Aqua Blue, and snowshoes were still very much a necessity.  The climb itself was in great "February" shape, still fat and yellow.

Other climbs in the corridor also looked very good still, including Andromeda, Starquake, Tears of Joy, Psycho Icycho, Compulsion, Obsession, Gomar and Hully Gully.  Shockingly even Reflection Wall was still standing (though nowhere near safe to climb).  Other climbs in the corridor may also still be good to go, these were just the obviously good ones.  I'm sure with this weeks weather that there will still be lots to climb this week for those that have given up on spring rock.  The highways may be a different story this weekend though and likely the crux of the day would be the drive.  Still snowing hard outside, over a foot and half in my yard.

Don't expect plastic ice, supposed to be fairly cold in the mornings this weekend.

Various (Ice Palace)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:Late March, early April

Got in some late season climbing recently, and it looks like conditions will last a bit longer.  Climbed mainly in the Ice Palace but also Andromeda and Starquake.  Both are still good, go up the left side of Starquake.  Evil de Sens is about done, but Ranzerox Tangent is still good, as is remember the day.  And got to dig out the Dodge.  Dan said we weren't really stuck, but I pointed out that we couldn't move.

Also bolted a couple new mixed lines between Ranzerox and Remember the Day.  Check them out in the New Routes area.


Tempest (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Kurt Schmidt
Climbed on:April 6, 2013

Headed out from Dryden late and had to do a bunch of errands in TBay first, so didn't get on to the ice until later in the afternoon.  Conditions were a pleasant surprise.  Despite having a thin layer of snow from the day, the ice was in great shape and plenty of it.  We stayed nice and dry climbing the left side, but the entire climb looked nice and solid.  Only had 60m ropes, and the others hadn't climbed much, so put an anchor station about 3/4 up the left side and ran laps until after 8pm... gotta love spring! 

Psycho, Gomar Falls, Amy R, Tempest (OB)
Submitted by:Steve Millard
Climbed on:03/16/2013

Three of us made the drive from MN for the weekend and had a great time.  Started out with left side of Psyco, had great wet plastic ice that protected well but drenched the ropes.  Made the slog back to Gomar next, turns out that BIG snowshoes make the approach bearable but smaller ones don't help so much.  Climbed a line pretty much up the center, great ice for 30 meters turned to nasty crud for the top 30 meters.  Made it to the top rap station with a good 20 cm of spare rope.  Finished out Saturday on Amy R, ice was in pretty decent shape but it climbed suprisingly akward.  This may have had something to do with the condition of our legs after the slog to and from Gomar. 

Sunday we looked at the thermometer and immediately thought we should climb in the sun.  Drove down Domtar Rd toward Gorge creek since I'd never seen it plowed before.  We saw what looked like Blue Non but upon a short but sweaty and curse filled approach found what must have been Speed Bump instead...highly disapointing as the 10m listed in the guidebook appears greatly exagerated!  We ended up on Tempest where the ice was in better shape than it looked from the road and was pretty solid and took great pro.  Hully Gully looked great from the road but we were out of time and had to drive home.

Pics of Psycho, Gomar, and Tempest.

Artesian Wells (Whitefish Lake)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:16-Mar-2013

I thought we were suppose to turn the clocks ahead an hour, not back 2 months. It was like mid January out there yesterday. Probably warmer than the Ice Palace though.

Kevin, Brian and myself made the long, HATEFUL approach across the lake. Average snow depth on the lake was about 1 foot. Snow shoes rarly stayed on top. Even pulling the gear on a sled it still took 45 minute to the treeline. That was a level 10 suck fest.

This climb never fails to disappoint late in the season. This year is no exception. Huge umbrellas loomed overhead instilling an uneasy feeling. Choosing the safe belay is key in the area. Originally I was going to start right and finish through a small notch on the left. I wasn't sure it would go but I was willing to go have a sniff anyway. Once in the middle I noticed that I could sneak undernieth and behind some umbrellas at the top of the column on the right and it looked more enjoyable so I went right instead. It proved to be a challenge for sure. I was able to find mostly excellent gear without having to place any in the column. Once under the huge umbrella I noticed a 1 inch horizontal fracture along the umbrella I was about to step on. A strategically placed long screw way in the back would ensure I didn't fall far if it let go. I wasn't overly wigged out because, as you can see in the photo, a lot of the mass that was hanging there had let go so all that remained were a few smalled daggers attached to the base of the massive overhangs.  From here you need to go down to go up. ;)

Expect steep technical climbing for the second half.

Too much ice up top and the chains are frozen in. We rapped from the anchore near Side Show.  Side Show is trying to form but is not connected and I doubt it will.

Be very weary at the base of this climb. There is a reason there is so much debree at the base, Stuff Happens!

Icebreakers/IB Arete (Kama)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:Mar15

 Duncan and I decided to take advantage of the great conditions and the broken trail (thanks boys!) into Icebreakers.  We got a crack of noon start and enjoyed the warmest part of the day.  IB is indeed in fantastic shape, although as it was -19c in the am it was not the plastic ice that my rockies arms are used to!  The Arete is very techie this year as Wes says.  It was snowing fairly heavily on the way out again, so better bring your snowshoes if you are headed in there.

Also I think we may have put up a first ascent of a rare forming ephermeral top pitch on icebreakers.  Good hooks in very brittle ice.  The whole pitch was a bit unstable and moving under my weight.  Not sure I would recommend a second ascent.  As far as I know it has not formed before and not been climbed.  At the very least, we did not find any tat at the top to indicate it had been done.  Photo attached.

Jackfish North? (East of Nipigon)
Submitted by:Paul Berger
Climbed on:March 10th, 2013

Grade 4, 40 m   

This climb is in great shape, though it may get thicker with freeze/thaw. Rod Brown led; the pillar was fairly hollow, then there's a short flat section and the second half is almost vertical.

Access from a driveway immediately west of where Hwy 17 crosses the Jackfish River, about 20 km east of Nipigon. The driveway leads to the talus slopes, then you'll need to traverse about 300 m northeast until you see the ice and head up. The route is visible from the highway a few hundred metres east of where 17 crosses the river.

We haven't seen a description of this route, but found steel rappel rings on old green webbing and salmon coloured rope at the top. The route is easy to miss from the road, but unless the gear was from a very well prepared hiker who likes to rappel, this route was probably climbed in the 80s. Well worth a trip.

Paul Berger

It is called "Old Time Hockey". There use to be a route description in the New routes section but it was lost in the conversion to the new site. I will get it back up shortly

See for a trip report a few years after we did the FA..


Hell's Chimney, Thermocules, etc. (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:March 9, 2013

Grand conditions on these climbs at the moment.  Hell's Chimney has more ice than I have ever seen on it.  It climbs fantastically at the moment, but is a fair bit harder in these conditions that when thinner/mixed.  There is a cool tunnel/umbrella at the top that you climb behind.  Thermocules is also fat, though the top out umbrella is a bit tricky for the grade.  Perfect plastic ice on Icebreakers, and the Arete.  Wimpsickle was still fat but the bottom was delaminated and erie sounding so we gave it a miss.  Plenty of wet snow falling through the day.  Snowshoes still a must in there.  Great conditions overall.  Blurry photo of Hell's Chimney attached...snowflakes were a problem but you get the idea.  And as Wes says, do NOT use the traditional rappel tree at the top of Icebreakers.  Quite frightening.  Follow a broken trail and rap down the arete instead (watch them umbrellas). 

***IMPORTANT*** (Ice Breakers)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:9-Mar-2013

The rap anchore at the top of Ice Breakers has been removed. With all the ice that has built up high on that tree, and a certain someones massive load on rapple, has caused the tree to split from the ground about 4 feet up the tree. This tree is no longer suitable as a rapple station. The preferred rap route is now Ice Breakers Arete.

BTW, all climbs up there are still in fabtastic shape. Very little sun rot yet.


Ice Breakers Area (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:2-Mar-2013
Report:Ice Breakers is about as FAT as ever right now. IMO it is barely WI5 right now. Climbs great, excellent gear.
For a change, Ice Breakers Arete is the technically harder route up there right now. Some delicate umbrellas need to be negotiated to gain the summit. Super fun, and a little bit of a pucker factor.

Too bad the approach took us 2 flippin hour with snow shoes. Probably still be walking if we didn't have them.

Powerline Falls River (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Feb 17
Report:Here's a few shots of how the river has fattened up from the last post.
Last pic shows the TOP of the river, above the main falls.

Amy R, The Right Stuff, Manufactured Inspiration (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:17-Feb-2013
Report:Kevin and I started the very cold day on Amy R. The ice is in good shape as it sees very little sun. A tad snowy and some crust ice here and there but that is due to it's low angle. Then it was over to The Right Stuff. It has formed again this year and is climbing very nice. A little thinner that other years but protects well. Nothing longer that 16cm. To my surprise a route I developed a few years ago, Manufactured Inspiration M6/7, has formed and is in prime shape. The ice reaches a little lower making the transition from rock to ice a tad easier. The last bolt was encased in ice before I chopped it out. It still may be hard to spot so keep your eye open. The ice took bomber 10cm and 13cm screws to finish. Good fun. Likely my last OB report before Ice Fest so here is a general OB report. The ice is good and likely will hang around a few more weeks yet. Any climb that sees sun is starting to get a bit baked. More snow in OB again so the snow depth is close to 2 feet. There may be a boot pack to most climbs by the time Ice Fest rolls around but don't bet on it. Bring your shovels to ensure you can get well off the road. None of the parking areas are cleared, including the ice palace parking. Maybe the Ice Fest organizers can get that taken care of ?????? You know, to show that you care for the safety of your event participants. Sorry no photos this time.

Tears of Joy & Obsession (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:9-Feb-2013

We headed out to OB on Saturday to shake off the the deep freeze blues. We ended up on Tears of JOy first as it was showing no sun rot and was about as FAT as I ever seen it. Beautiful, dense, thick ice all the way to the top.

Next we went over to Obsession. Very little sun rot on this climb thus far. It is also very fat this year. It climbs well and protects easily.

The rest of OB is pretty dry. Very little water flowing on the climbs. The sun is starting to affect the ice on all climbs that catch sun light. I hear that the Ice Palace is still doing very good.

Night Fall (Devil Track - Grand Marais, MN)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Feb 9, 2013
Report:Frank lead Will and me in for a great adventure on the Devil Track River just north of Grand Marais, off Hwy61, today.  After a nice flat 20min hike in to the base of the climb (pic 2), we treked up the 'scramble' about 300m back downstream to set up a TR line.  Glad we did!  The top out on this climb is VERY thin still.  Even though a good amount of ground water is still flowing down, and growing the right side of the climb, the top is non-existent to extremely-thin at best. See the 3rd photo below my feet at left. The upper 'bowl' on this climb is only covered in a thin layer of snow with no ice.

First Things Second (?) (Mt. McKay, South Side)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Feb 8, 2013
Report:This is the leftmost climb on the back face of Mt. McKay.  It doesn't look too bad - probably the best of all of them, right now.  I just went in for a 'quick' hike after work and didn't actually climb it.
Somebody has done some extensive trail marking with blue flag tape towards the base of this climb which makes it very easy to navigate up to now.  Thanks! 
The next climb to the right of this, First Things Second (?) isn't in very well, and Butterball looks ok but somewhat sunbaked. Catacombs looks ok as well, but a bit thin in the middle section.

Ice Stud (Mt. Rose - The Bowl)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Jan 28
Report:Well, Frank and I were hoping for a better first pitch, but nothing really changed from my Dec 30 posting of Ice Stud.
The only difference is the second pitch is fairly good now - all things considered this year.

Icebreakers (Kama)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:1/13
Report:Icebreakers got climbed a bunch over the weekend, and is in GREAT shape.  There was a lot of water coming down on Saturday (no surprise) and still a fair amount on Sunday, so it will continue to grow.  I got a nice photo of Nate Erickson on the lead.  I should also mention that while Rick Kollath was seconding, one of the big umbrellas at the top cut loose, missing him by about 15 feet.  WOW.  The verbiage that followed will be left to your imagination.  Watch out for that!

Wimpsicle, Thermocules, I.B. Arete (Kama)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:1/12, 13
Report:I thought I'd post some photos and commentary on conditions.  Wimpsickle is in and climbs well, but has an awkward finish through some umbrellas and daggers, grade 5 for sure.  Thermocules is in great, and has the typical awkward umbrella finish.  The tree anchor at the top needs some new cord.  Icebreakers Arete climbs great, but also has some fragile, awkward umbrellas structures at the top.  And look at the cute bunny!

River To Powerline falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:12-Jan-2013
Report:photos of the river into Powerline to go along with Brian's post.

Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:January 12, 2013
Report:Wes, Kevin and I headed out in the rain this morning to Powerline Falls. The river is pretty good for this time of the year but will only get better with the forecasted cold temps. Very little snow out there as you can imagine but watch out for false layers on the river as you could end up with a boot full of cold water. From left to right. The main climb on the left is there but not in the best of shape. It appears as though it fell down at one point, just guessing of course, but it would go. The gear doesn't look the best but you could find a line or two to the top. The treat is the middle section of Powerline which presents lots of steep lines that just eat up the gear. We were lucky as the temps were pretty warm this morning so the ice was friendly. Wes and I lead a couple of lines on that wall and didn't have much trouble finding good gear, actually it was fantastic. The two climbs on the far right of Powerline are also in which surprised me. Extremely thick ice on the left line, thinner but workable lines on the right (shorter section). Kevin put up a lead on brittle ice in that area and managed to find good gear. We replaced the rappel anchor on the middle wall and the one on the far right line was also in good shape. If Powerline is in this condition then one would assume that Grandy Mardy falls just down the road would be the same. Ice Breakers looked massive from the road and Getting Oriented seems to have filled in a bit.

Lost Falls (Mount McRae)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:Jan 6 2012
Report:Got a lazy start with the cool morning to hopefully let the sun warm things up. Jenn and I left around 3pm which was perfect, the sun was in the ampitheatre and made for t-shirt temps on the climb (though the climb itself was shaded and brittle). No wind as a bonus. The climb has seen a bit of traffic and there were others headed in after us. Been a while since I've been in there, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the climb in better shape than it's been for a while. Lots of water flowing on the lower half so it'll grow a bit yet. The usual umbrellas at the top offer a few interesting moves, passed reasonably enough on either side. Great pro throughout.

Getting Oriented/The Siege (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:Jan5 2013
Report:Just a couple of photos of the routes to add to Brian's post. Also, there is a ton of spooky hangfire on the wall to the left upper part of Getting Oriented (where Vertically Oriented tried forming this year). I would absolutely give the climb a miss if the sun is hitting or about to hit that wall. The Siege, as Brian says, is huge and doesn't get much easier than it's current shape. A steal for the grade right now.

Getting Oriented/The Siege (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:January 5, 2013
Report:Bryce, Nick and I crawled our way up to Getting Oriented on Saturday morning. There's lots of blowdown on the trail and the lack of snow makes the rock shelves scary. With the cold temps Getting Oriented was quite brittle. You are faced with featured ice down low which smooths out towards the ramp. The gear was better the higher you went. We exited right as it was flowing water over plastic ice but still thin. The anchor on the right side was good and we could see that there is still one hanging from the left side but never inspected it. Exiting left would have been dry but puts you closer to the large hanging umbrella's on that side. Next we jumped on The Siege which is huge for this time of the year. Straight forward climbing on steep, brittle ice. We replaced the anchor at the top so you'll need to walk back an extra few meters to the large spruce tree. All other surrounding trees are dead. The anchor is tied 3-4 feet off the ground so it shouldn't get covered with snow should we ever get any. Climb safe and park smart.

Mantle Rock (Fireplace)
Submitted by:Frank Pianka
Climbed on:April 1, 2012
Report:A late entry, but what the hec. This route was pretty dry so we left the tools behind and just ran it out. That's me on the sharp end.

Any (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Dec 30
Report:Again, didn't actually climb anything.
I would have taken some pictures if there was something to take.
Not even an icicle to be seen.
(The only exception is Rainy Day.)

Ice Stud (Mt. Rose - The Bowl)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Dec 30
Report:Didn't actually climb it.  That would require some ice :(

Tempest (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Dec 29, 2012
Report:First Ice Event of the season! We ran a Beginner Flex-Schedule Event.
Remember to sign up if you're interested in these short notice type of opportunities.

Tempest was in reasonable shape - given the time of year and the type of season we've been having so far.

Great day all around - 3 brand new ice climbers enjoyed a beautiful day!

White Lightning (Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:December 30, 2012
Report:Went with Nick and Bryce to White Lightning late in the day. The normal line on White Lightning is wet and super fun provided you stay in the groove otherwise its quite brittle on either side. The centre line is steep with good footing. The crux body length move is 3/4 the way up with real awkward climbing and water running in your face. We all got soaked. The rappel anchor in the middle looked ok but we rapped off the chains as the rocks we'd have to go over didn't have enough snow cover to hide the sharp edges. Curtain call is coming in, didn't see water on that one. WL has lots of water running over it so all it needs is some time to build.

Parallax (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:12/28, 12/29
Report:I thought I'd supplement Wes's post with some pics of Parallax.  As Wes mentioned, we finished up on Friday with Parallax. Wes was the first to the base and my concerns grew when I heard him comment 'it looked better from the road.' It did indeed. But, WTF, let's go have a look. I put so many screws in the ice runnel below the curtain, it's a wonder it held together. After bashing a bunch of hanging icicles out of the way, and getting a good screw in the curtain, I stepped as softly as I could onto the dead-vertical curtain. The ice is actually quite good, it's just a matter of keeping the pump at bay as you go for the top. The pro was pretty good, the climbing exciting, all in all it was a blast!

Reflection Wall, Parallax,Glace Ech. (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:28/29-Dec-2012

I was sans partner so I grabbed my rope soloing kit, a stack of CD’s and loaded the car. Not until I was 5 minutes out of the city that I realized I left the CD’s on the table. So I rocked out to Nathan’s Elmo and Cookie Monster CD’s.

Reflection Wall was on the radar so I went up for a look. It looked very nice so I gave it a go. Nothing takes the bite out of a hard climb like “~~C is for Cookie~~” as sung by Cookie Monster, stuck in your head while you climb. The gear was excellent but not dead obvious. No surprises, just straight forward steep climbing.

I snapped a quick photo of Obsession then met up with Dave and Burt to go have a poke at Parallax. Neither Burt nor I wanted the sharp end of this one so Dave was willing to go bang on it. It was barley connected by very crappy ice. It hasn’t had a chance to fill in yet. Dave was able to dig in a bunch of manky screws before finding a decent one which enabled him to commit to the big move. I got the stupid arm and I was only belaying him. I tell ya, Dave’s got skills. Chicks dig guys with skills.

Today Brian and I tried to stay warm and went up to Glace Echlatante. The ice has built up a bunch since the last photo. Lines from WI3 to WI5+. It takes good gear for the most part. Brian was able to bust open the top left side to unleash the zamboni. By the time we were done climbing a line up the middle the water had flooded the ice from top to bottom. That should take care of the false layer and fatten it up some. The ice on the right seems to be getting a bit of sun, but I am sure it will repair itself before long.

Obsession/Compulsion/ Cascade (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:22-Dec-2012

Kevin S. and I went to OB today to climb. We started on Compulsion. It is in decent shape but not very welded together through the crux yet. Awkward climbing but super cool. Gear was mostly excellent but I wasn’t overly thrilled with the screw in the crux. A better screw was found a few moves higher but you needed to commit.

Next it was over to Obsession. WOW! Mid season condition. Super fat. Cruiser 4 with a possible 3+ if you squeeze left going up the column. Gear was excellent. Protect able ice all the way to the bottom of the buttress making this a 90 meter climb if you want to start there and multi pitch it.

Then it was over to cascade to empty the tank. The ice on the left side was still super thin. Water could be seen rushing under the surface. I didn’t even feel comfortable walking over there out of fear of breaking through the floor ice, so we stayed on the right and climbed the mushrooms. The ice was hollow and made an eerie BOOM sound when ever you hit it. It took 19s down low and I figured only 15s higher but those screws never popped through so it was thicker.

Another 6 inches of fresh snow in OB for a grand total of 8 inches thus far. :)

Sorry no photos this time.

Various (Ice Palace OB)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:15 Dec
Report:Here are some photos from last weekend - see Nick and Daves posts: 1. Adrenaline Solution 2. Evil Des Sens 3. Ranxerox Tangent and Remember the Day

Various (Kama)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:12/16/12
Report:Dan and I went up to the Icebreakers area on Sunday, and climbed Icebreakers Arête, and what I'm pretty sure is a new mixed line to the right of Icebreakers Arête. The Arête route is in good shape, we climbed through the big umbrellas at the top by trending right. Details about the mixed line can be found in the New Routes area.

Remember the Day(left side), Adrenaline Solution (Ice Palace)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:12/15/12
Report:Dan Wilkinson and I did a couple routes in the area that don't have conditions reports yet. The line left of Remember the Day is pretty cool, steep, but good stances and pro for the first half. Second half is more sustained, but good pro. WI5 would be pretty close. Adrenaline Solution is an ice route at this point, WI5 I suppose. I used only screws, first one was a ways up, they were all good. If you took a set of C3's, you might find a spot for one or two of them. I stopped at the tree belay at the top of the first 'pitch' as the route doesn't appear to be be fully formed higher up.

Various (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:December 18,19 2012
Report:Bryce was supposed to post something but in case he is too busy with work...Climbed a half dozen different routes over the weekend. In addition to what has already been posted (and of those, Starquake is really, really good right now!), we also did Evil Des Sens and Remember the Day, both were very wet but already quite fat. Evil Des Sens was very featured and super fun to climb, but as with most routes in the Ice Palace at the moment there is significant objective hazard in the form of spray ice on the trees hanging above them from the previous high winds. We had a close call with some very large icicles letting go on EDS in particular - there is a big "Scooby Doo ghost" waiting to wreck an unlucky climbers day up there. Up shot is, there is more ice than usual to top out on. Also climbed Aqua Blue which was stellar - low snow and driving up to the old rail bed made for a speedy approach (or maybe it's still the Himalayan lungs?). The climb is in great shape, and while it will get more difficult as it fills in there was actually a 2+ line up the route if you wandered a bit (exiting left). The anchor could use freshening but I had left my extra cord in my pack. If Bryce has a chance maybe he'll post a couple photos - they are on his camera. Also noted that some other rarer climbs in OB are close to being climbable - seems like a promising season there thus far.

Starquake & Mellow Yellow (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:15-Dec-2012
Report:Brian started the day on Starquake. As you can see from the photo, it has grown considerably in the last 2 weeks. The middle column has touched down and was safe to climb. We placed gear to 19cm and for the most part was bomber except one screw I placed in the upper middle column. A better screw was found a short distance above that. The middle column hasn't had a chance to weld together yet so the ice was very lacy and delicate. Super fun climbed and with warm temps and a south wind, how could we pass it up.
Sice we were scooped on Andromeda we headed over to Mellow Yellow. Andromeda looked super fat BTW.
Mellow Yellow has also grown considerably. The middle curtain is all the way down and 15cm screw could be found with ease.
While the water is still flowing and there isn't any snow on this climb I recommend you get after it. Much more fun in present condition.

Still very little snow in OB right now.

Ice Stud, White Lightning, Alpine Outing (The Bowl/Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Bryce Brown
Climbed on:11 Dec 2012
Report:Just back from the Himalayas and eager for some ice climbing - you think I would prefer a beach about now! Since I am a sucker for the cold, I took the dog for a walk to check out the local ice situation. Ice stud is non existent again this year. Just a tiny smear of ice half way up, no signs of running water and does not look like it will form up at all. White lightning seems to be coming along well. Looks climbable now, but bring some stubbies as the lower curtain and hourglass look thin. Also the middle line looks like fun mixed at the top and the rock typically takes good gear. There is plenty of water running and it should grow nicely in the coming weeks. Pic attached. Alpine Outing seems to be absent also, at least the entire lower half. I couldn't really see April Showers through the snow and trees, but I couldn't convince myself there was anything on the lower ramp. At least OB seems to be good this year!

Glace Eclatante (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:December 9, 2012
Report:Went to go see how Glace Eclatante was shaping up this year so far, and was pretty happy with it in the end! It's amazing how easy approaches are without having to swim in snow the whole way..HA! There are many variations to get to the top, sticking to the left side being the easiest. There are large mushrooms all over and some places the ice is still pretty thin, but there are quite a number of safe and protectable variations to the top. The top half of the right side is still too thin for screws, but the left side offers decent ice the entire way. It did however take some time to find bomber screw placements along the way. All in all, this climb has always been an adventure for me, and this time was no exception to that. Wonderfully fun climb!

Icebreakers (Kama)
Submitted by:Dave Rone
Climbed on:12/9

Icebreakers is in great shape, fat all the way to the ground, and is climbing the best of the nearby routes.  Whimpsickle is entertaining and is climbing a bit harder than usual right now, as is Icebreakers Arete.  Thermocules still needs more time.  All the routes have big umbrellas and overhanging features at the top, bigger than usual.  The mixed routes in this area could use more ice.

The approach was great on Sunday, virtually no snow!  There are a lot of trees down on the first plateau on the approach, requiring a detour to the left and then back around right to get to the fixed ropes.  No issues the rest of the way.

Eveil Des Sans (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:8-Dec-2012
Report:Here are photos or Eveil and 10% Real

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Wes Bender
Climbed on:8-Dec-2012

Brian and I headed to OB to see what kind of fun we could find. As we pulled into Nipigon we saw this hobo on the side of the road hold a sign reading…”Will work for belay”. We couldn’t deny this gentelman his right to climb, so we picked him up. As it turned out his name was Dave and he has been here a few times over the years. I am sure he was left behind when the carnival pulled out of town.

The three of us decided that the Ice Palace was a good place to start. It was pretty tough going breaking trail through 2 inches of dry snow but we eventually made it to Ranxerox Tangent and Remember the Day.

Brians’ lead so he started on Remember the Day. It was really good climbing with decent gear. The crux was a tad lacier than normal and good gear was none existent until the top of the column.

While Brian and I were climbing RTD Dave rope soloed Ranxerox Tangent. I asked him to leave his gear in and rappel down our rope on RTD.

I then pulled his rope and lead Ranxerox using his pre placed gear. Pre-placed gear is where it’s at. HA! I think I’ll bring this Dave guy along more often. The climbing was comfortable but super steep. The gear that I put in felt solid and Brian confirmed the same when he pulled Dave’s gear.

Then it was over to Eveil Des Sans and 10% Real. On Eveil Des Sans I found no possible gear until the start of the first headwall. Most of the gear for the rest of the climb was dubious at best. The climbing was super fun, awkward at times but still felt comfortable.

While we were on Eveil , Dave was rope soloing 10% Real. He mentioned the gear was good for the first half but virtually none existent until the 20 year old triple piton anchor. Then still junkie until the top. I did a TR lap just to empty the tank. I found the climbing steep, technical, and down right awkward for its entirety.

Photos of Eveil and 10% Real to come…

Lots of water flowing in the area. As Aric mentioned, Off the Couch is forming but I suspect needs more time before it could be protected. Adrenaline Solution is almost ready as well. If it continues to build it should go on pure ice gear. In the RTD area, Learn to Swim is also almost ready. It should go with pure ice gear with a little more time.

Mellow Yellow (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:December 08, 2012
Report:Went out today with Sarah and Pete, before climbing we decided to drive the corridor to see how things are doing. Looks like the warm weather has done a number to some of the climbs, but hasn't really negatively affected others. Mellow Yellow today was in great condition; plenty of good options and pretty thick ice the entire way up. Water still dripping on this climb in some spots. The right side is not fully formed yet but there are lots of options if you stay in the middle or on the left. Afterwards, we decided to take a walk through the Ice Palace to see how things were looking there. Saw Wes and a couple others climbing on 10% Real, it looked like it was in wicked shape! Off the Couch also looks like it's nicely formed. Hoping to see a post from Wes soon about his day!All in all, there's still plenty to climb at OB. P.S Don't expect to go climb Cascade Falls anytime soon... due to the weather and sun exposure, it has decided to go back to its waterfall state of being haha.. No pics today, sorry!

Hully Gully (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:Dec 1
Report:Climbed Hully Gully today with sarah, matt, and josh. Despite the rainy weather, the ice conditions were actually pretty good! First and second pitch both have good ice formed (I was even able to sink in a 19cm screw without hitting rock or air), however the long ramp in the middle only has a very thin layer. No shortage of water on this climb though that's for sure. Drove as far as Tempest to check out how stuff is shaping out. Most of the major lines are formed/forming (even Reflection Wall has already touched down!) and it looks like they would mostly all go...but of course it's hard to tell from the highway.. Mellow Yellow, Hully Gully, April Ice, Glace Eclatante, Snowflakes Westwind, Reflection Wall, Cascade Falls, and Tempest all have touched down and have lots of ice on their walls. Be cautious of early season ice conditions still, but go out and have some fun!!

Starquake and Andromeda (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Brian Bottan
Climbed on:Dec 1, 2012
Report:The Orient Bay corridor has lots of ice for those willing to endure the rain and multiple glove soaking conditions. Wes and I climbed Starquake and Andromeda this morning. Both climbed rather straight forward and the gear was good. There was another group on Hully Gully but not sure if anyone climbed Mellow Yellow which looked like it would go. The rest of the corridor is coming along nicely, heck even Glace had lots of ice on it already. About 6-8 inches of snow out there but with the rain and warm temps forecasted that should drop. Parking is easy but we still brought the shovels to clear a spot and get well off the highway. We also took a drive to Kama after we were good and soaked. Powerline looks to have ice forming but the Getting Oriented area hasn't touched down yet. We couldn't see Ice Breakers because the fog was too thick. Have fun and climb safe.

Rainy Day Woman (Squaw Bay)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:November 25
Report:A bunch of water flowing, and lots of ice starting to form. A good way to get a quick fix if you're itching to get those crampons and axes to touch ice already! Myself, Terry and Joey went up it quick while Joey's dog wondered what in the hell we were doing and wanting to join us! 'Wet Ones' didn't appear to have any ice on it or any water flowing either. We tried to look from Squaw Bay Rd at Stud's Ahoy/Alpine Outing, but it was very hard to tell from that distance. It did appeared as though maybe there was some ice forming on Stud's Ahoy..but not on Alpine Outing. It would be worth it going to check it out up close.

Curtain Call (The Bowl)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:November 25
Report:Looks like a good start! Lots of icicles all over the wall, and plenty of water flowing which is always nice to see at this time of year. Looks promising, just need a bit more patience, and good weather conditions in the next couple weeks!

White Lightning (The Bowl)
Submitted by:Aric Fishman
Climbed on:November 25
Report:Things look like they're starting to shape up nicely! The ice hasn't bonded to the rock yet, but there's lots of water flowing which is always nice to see at this time of year. Not thick enough for any screws yet, nor would they even hold at this point. Ice Stud didn't appear to have any ice on it yet.

Bike Path (Thunder Bay)
Submitted by:Frank Pianka
Climbed on:November 14
Report:Saw a few horizontal patches of ice on the bike path while out for our morning walk today. Worked around them safely, no falls.


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