Thunder Bay often receives less attention or is completely ignored by climbers with their sites set on Orient Bay. This is unfortunate, as the routes here are of equal caliber. An added bonus is that you can be home eating lunch 20 minutes after beginning your rappel from the top of some routes!
Local classics of all grades number in the dozens. Easy classics include Ice Stud (WI2+, 75m) and White Lightning (WI3+, 50m). Stiffer lines include the classic but rare Alpine Outing (WI4+), Stricken (WI5) and Lost Falls (WI4).
Some of the finest pure-ice testpieces in the area on concentrated on the north face of McRae, and include the classic Child's Play (WI5+) and Chuckies Revenge (WI6) [Pictured left]. Access is not a problem as a city transit bus will drop you near the start of the approach trail to this area! More adventurous climbers might seek out Artesian Wells, a huge ice flow offering several lines of varying difficulty (normally WI4+ and up). First you'll have to snowshow across Whitefish Lake to bag this classic though.
Additionally, numerous areas have lines awaiting first ascents, including a few ephemeral lines close to the city. Mixed climbers find unlimited potential for new routes. Classic moderate lines like Curtain Call (WI3, 5.7, 55m) and All Mixed Up (WI3, 5.9, 65m) await those wanting to venture onto rock. The terrifying East Face of McKay is the place for those looking to push their limits on desperate, hard to protect lines. More world class lines await within an hour or two's drive from the city for the more adventurous.