SO-ICE Conditions 2013/2014 - The last bits of ice are out there!
Please seek qualified advice and training. This conditions page is neither. As a disclaimer, know that the observations below are likely to be lies, gross exaggerations and/or wishful thinking. I in no way, shape or form encourage you to climb frozen water droplets. It's simply not that pleasant when compared to the joys of being stuck in bottom less white powder head-over-heals after having botched a turn or when sitting by a fireplace... Respect that ice conditions can change by the hour. You are solely responsible for your own judgements and actions.
Feel free to send ice observations and thoughtful questions to akolosAAAAThotmailDOOTcom
(Image file names describe the route pictured.)
Consider becoming a member of the OAC and support YOUR access to the crags!
Just a quick note - although I'm pleased to post access notes to all ice condition observations, I'll only be making mention of the areas which do not have access restrictions. The OAC maintains a crag access list, which also includes popular ice climbing venues. The notable exclusion on that list is Rosseau, which is on private property - climbing is not allowed.
The Ice Updates document has been updated. It can be found on the ontario ice page.
I'm writing an ice and mixed guide to Southern Ontraio. If anyone has any photos they would liek to submit for inclusion, please send them my way. I'm excited to have worked with a lot of great photographers recently, but know that others out there have also seen some great things through their viewfinders. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a November 2014 release party!
March 30, 2014 - Blackcat Hill (Danylo)
There's a well-cut, well-beaten ATV/snowmobile trail between Bear Lake and Little Cub Bay that makes for easy travel. Lake ice was solid, but getting slightly gloppy on the way out (thankfully not much penetration) Fatcat - fat (the left side is closer to WI 4 shape)
Alleycat - good
Thundercat - the thin pillar was in; couldn't see the higher ice through the trees
Pussycat - looked to be in from a distance
March 29, 2014 - Bancroft (Danylo)
Rollercoaster – fat the whole way up.
Curtain – very fat, heroic ice.
Men without Hats is a big, easy bulge;
Hollow Victory is a wet shower stall,
Jestream – fat (dry line on the right),
Jetstream variation – in. Bootsause (late season ice, right of north easy way down, left of backside rappel of Curtain platform) - fat
Blue Angel – fat up top, starting to delaminate down low
Dirty Harry – big fat ice up top, bare at the bottom (folks were top-roping it)
Hidden Gully – both starts are in. Knights in White Satin - in
March 15, 2014 - Papineau Roadside
Sessioned again at Papineau Roadside. Trojan Horse and Clip and Go are good, but slowly starting to recede. Consolation Prize is good. Zippadeedooda is in wonderful shape. Fun fun fun. Thin Wafer is OUT. Naked Soul is still hanging in there. Streets Cry Freedom is a bit thin, maybe best to TR? Same with Sticks and Stones... Of note put up a another bolted line to add to the options: Maynooth Go Boom. In between Spectre and Thin Wafer. M6-ish, with the moves getting progressively harder the higher you go... Thanks Peter and Adrienne!
March 17, 2014 - March Break Report (DD)
Monday, March 10 - The ice at Moosehead in Mattawa looked good from across the river. The river isn't frozen. I didn't feel like running across the railway bridge. For the record - there is no significant ice on the cliff/hill at the end of Mountainview Rd east of North Bay.
Tuesday, March 11 - Sun Demon at Mt. Ruban near Sturgeon Falls is in good shape. Lots of snow on the route - should protect the ice for some time yet. For the record - there is no ice on the Lac St. Claire cliff near Field, north of Sturgeon Falls. Nice little cliff though.
Wednesday, March 12 - - For the record - there is no significant ice on any of the 5-6 cliffs east of the Wakonassin River off the West Branch Rd, 35 km north of Webbwood. Webbwood Icefall - IN. The climb is most easily visible from far across a farmer's field north of Birch Lake Rd at a point some 3 km north from Highway 17 along the Birch Lake Rd East (the Birch Lake Rd is some 2.5 km west of Webbwood along Highway 17). Not exactly sure how you get to it though. I drove to the end of McLary Road, the road leading north-west out of Webbwood and then walked northwest along a snowmobile trail, but that ended in private property and a maze of small ravines from which you couldn't see the cliff. The snow was too deep, so I turned around. I suspect the best bet would be to go north from Birch Lake Rd along Dam Rd for just over 1km (but it isn't plowed) to get nearer to the climb. Goltz Pillar (east of Massey) - IN. Caddel Rd Icefall (west of Massey) - IN. Climbed a small new route 100m north of Highway 17, 2 km east of turn-off to Elliot Lake. "Guy Drove by This?", WI3, 13 m. Climb 7-8 m up a vertical curtain, then some easier ice to the top.
Thursday, March 13 - - For the record - there is no significant ice on the spot labelled Ice Mountain on the Elliot Lake map, on the south-west outskirts of the town of Elliot Lake between First Lake and Second Lake. It's not a mountain and not particularly icy - just some 4-5 m large icicles. - The ice at Granary Lake is holding in, although it is getting somewhat snow-coney and baked. You need to dig for screws. Go-Go Beavers is still fat and solid (it had fallen down by this time last year), but don't get on it, if you hear water running behind it. That's all for now.
March 9, 2014 - Restoule (Danylo)
Snake - in good shape. Fat on the bottom. Nasty, chandeliery-layered curtain with awkward, squeezy bypass on right up top.
Lookin Like Elvis - there's ice on the slab, leading up to the pillar. The pillat itself looked thin, but isn't quite touching down. Although slightly baked, it looked "climbable".
Anaconda - looked to be IN.
March 9, 2014 - Fish Lake
Knob in the Gob - IN
Crown of Thorns - IN, but with a layer of baked ice on top.
Premature Ejaculation - Climbable, but not "IN". Good pro on the left side culminating with a great gold camalot at your shoulders as you pull onto the upper curtain.
Strapadictomi - IN, but it's getting hit by the sun and quickly disappearing.
Fish Lake Slabs - IN, and in good shape.
March 8, 2014 - McCauley
It's always awe-inspiring, when you first bust out onto the beaver ponds. So much glistening ice! Lake travel was easy and fast, and a great trail has been stomped out.
The North Cwm has lots of ice. Love... is OUT. Quickly... is IN. Space Jam - OUT, initial slab has melted out and the final dagger is stubby. Gift - OUT. Lightweight ID - OUT. Blue Esther - blue! The Wailing - in great shape, with the final pillar wide enough to avoid the fight vegetation. Mortgage Derivatives and 6 Tits - out. Fishing for Hooks - is tricky. Adoptadrip - out. HVS - blue bulge at the bottom has all but eliminated the tehcnical crux. The exit onto the goatee is delicate with thin, lacy and airy ice to tackle before you can get established on the fta curtain above. Blue Max - fallen down. TIOLI - IN!!! Initial pilar is narrow, but the mid-face blob is big. The exit curtain might actually be hanging down too low. Forked-Tongue Devil -IN.
March 7, 2014 - Raven Lake (Danylo)
I was here on March 2, and then back here again today. Many new routes have formed. Conditions were good, but are deteriorating fast, as the sun is beating down on them!
Twisted Staircase - IN
Inchworm - no ice, just drytooling
No One MOurns The Wicked - The ice looked delicate down low, and the upper pillar is sunbeaten
Wet Sherpa - IN, fat at the bottom; exit pillars are in, but not great
Pacific Unknown - not quite
This Ain't Muskoka - IN
Stepladder - IN
Mr. Poe - IN
Unknown Soldier - IN, but the exit pillars looked hard.
Gimme Gimme - looked IN
Unknown People - corner looks good, but the sun made it melt underneath before our very eyes...
Unknown Civilian - IN
Bellyflop - IN fat
First Time Lucky
Some new routes to report:
Spilt Tea, WI3-, 35 m (FA Danylo Darewych, Dave Britnell, March 2, 2014). Located just to the right of Pacific Unknown. Head up an easy-angled gully for 10-15 m, then move right to an awkward near-vertical 5-7 m ice-bulge, climb over that and up easier angled ice and snow to the top. (I moved to the right around the ice-bulge on easier-angled ice and foundmyself on some scary, delaminated, bonging ice – should have stuck to the left side.) Rarely forms. (photo by Randy Kielbasiewicz).
Goo Way WI 2, 55 m (FA David Britnell, Danylo Darewych, March 2, 2014). Located 30 m right of Mr Poe at the turn/corner of the cliff where slabby rock comes down to the lake. Climb up and right up a vague easy-angled gully for 13 m to some trees. Slog up and right across a large platform for 15 m, skirting to the right of a short rock outcrop, then up several small ice bulges and more snow to the top. Rarely forms.
Criss, WI3-, 35m? (FA Danylo Darewych, David Britnell, March 2, 2014). Located some 30-40 m right of Bellyflop. Two fat flows will be visible side by side on an upper tier of cliff. Start on the lower left, climb up two short ice steps (11 m), traverse up to the right across a snow slope (another 12 m) and exit up the fat right-hand flow (12 m, WI 2-WI3-). I believe the ice on the upper tier comes in every year (not sure).
All Give Thanks to the Polar Vortex, WI3-, 30m? (FA Randy Kielbasiewicz, Graeme Taylor, Dane Graham, March 2, 2014. Located 10 m left of First Time Lucky. Start in an alcove. Climb a steep corner/groove passing a large cedar tree on its right(trees are in right!). Follow the obvious and enjoyable narrow grooves and corners to the top. Enjoy the incredible view while belaying. On the FA the ice was clear and beautiful with acceptable protection from 10s and 13s. Lets all hope lines like this come in again.
March 2, 2014 - Hidden Gems (Peter)
I went back to Hidden Gem Crag this weekend and put up a new line, went from the ground!
Raven M7+ R, 25m (Peter and Dave)
Located in the corner between Black Pearl and Mack 10. Start on the slab, climb up to a pin and negotiate the roof. Follow the corner crack system before going straight up to an alcove. Go straight up or take the ramp out right depending on what ice conditions are. (FA was done taking the ramp) Protection is smaller blades and cams up to #2 C4. I ended up leaving two pins. Last bolt on Mack 10 is kind of close at one point though, so you can bail off by traversing to that bolt, rather than comitting to some manky ice.
The pro is good down low on the route - higher up shitty pro (equalized pins and a crappy cam/s, but perhaps others can find some better gear) makes for a bit of a potential fall. Although I repeated Black Pearl last week, it was a big adventure for me going ground up! I felt this was harder than Black Pearl, but I'm looking forward to other repeats so we can settle on a consensus grade - not looking to either sandbag or inflate the grades. Still new to this!
March 2, 2014 - Papineau Roadside (Dave)
The Spectre M5, 15m (Josh and Dave)
The obvious corner system between Zippedee Doodah and Wafer Thin. Climb up an initial slab to a corner capped by a roof. Climb past the roof and into a beautiful dihedral. Climb the diherdral past two pins and a glaze of ice to another small roof then exit onto the ledge with bolts and chains for an anchor. Rack required. The pins are good, but also help keep the rope out of the cracks...
March 1, 2014 - Skel 5
HUGE! mid-face seeps are drying out, but teh flows that come all the way from the top are in record fat shape!
March 1, 2014 - Kushog (Danylo)
Flaming Jubilee – in Medeba Boys – thin; not quite in. Exorcist – main pillar is just a stub now; a large chunk is lying on the ground. Blue Pillar – bottom left – huge hole of bare rock; bottom right – hacked up to the point of being overhanging; top looked OK. Hopscotch variation – in. Keyless – snow covered. Spaghetti Wrestler – not in. Maple Glaze - in. Caramel Coating – huge, monstrous, many variations; pegged out. Cotton Candy – in. There is another short rolling climb formed up 10 m left of Cotton Candy - The Village Bicycle WI2+, 11 m (FA Joe Bundren). Because everybody rides it. Blue Boy – in. Sadly Unknown – in.
February 24, 2014 - Bear Lake
Frankenhooker was thin, spicy and surprisingly sun rotten. Perhaps the cold has simply dried out the peripheries of the climb, and you had to dig for the good ice. We finished up by traversing in to the top of Crankenhooker and rappelling down on a single 70m rope. Sweet and alpine-esque!
February 23, 2014 - Hidden Gems Crag
Black Pearl, Blood Diamond, Black Diamond, Fools Seldom Differ all got repeats. All ice is in great shape too, but Black Pearl's ice had receded... Some more mixed climbing was had than on teh FA, but a huge juggy crack up high helped with the transition back onto the ice!
February 22, 2014 - Diamond (rumours)
Guardian Angel is very sunbaked!
February 22, 2014 - Papineau Roadside
A strong gang made their way down to the roadside crag at papineau. Consolation Prize is in huge shape.
Everything but Spectre and Wafer Thin was repeated! It's all in great shape!
February 19, 2014 - Hidden Gems Crag (Jim Elzinga)
Early explorers of the Madawaska region must have gotten confused with all the lakes in the area. Whereas in the past, they could positively identify a lake by the presence of a cliff, here, in the southern reaches of the Canadian Shield, amidst all the lakes that see rock outcrops sprout out along its sides, posed apparent challenges. And thus within an hour's drive of Bancroft (which is just a stone's throw for the motivated Southern Ontario ice climbing enthusiast) TWO lakes co-exist as Diamond Lake. And fittingly enough, both offer climbable terrain in all seasons!
Recent climbing activity and the second Diamond Lake (Hidden Gems Crag) has uncovered a few classics of both the ice and mixte variety, however a long looked at line that marked the focal point of the large amphitheatre withstood assaults. It’s black streaks oddly intimidate suitors, as do the thin dribbles of ice. But we are talking about Southern Ontario after all, so don't expect the intimidation of a headwall that befits Kootenay or the Malbaie.
“Black Pearl done!” made its way across multiple inboxes, notifying the recipients that a long-looked at project had fallen.
The start is burly with little for the feet, but the angle relents before the pump builds to unmanageable levels. The higher you climb, the bigger and more positive the edges become. Bolts protect the majority of the climbing, except the substantial amount of ice that leads to the top. Hopefully the forecasted rains won’t wash away what little of the delammed ice remains, so that others can get a taste of Black Pearl as well.
What are you doing this weekend?
Black Pearl M7-, 22m
Find the black-streaked and ice-drizzled wall in the centre of the amphitheatre at Hidden Gems Crag on Diamond Lake west of Bancroft. It’s easily found on google maps by following South Baptiste Road west for 14.3km.
Jim finding his Black Pearl at Hidden Gems Crag
February 17, 2014 - Eagle's Nest
Dirty Harry is absolutely in great shape. Not hacked out, but PHATTTT!!! Ice is solid at the bottom, but not thick enough to swallow a screw. A 70m rope is recommended, but not essential.
February 17, 2014 - Hickey Road
Beauty crag. Faces south so it soaks up the sun! Incinerator is an all-time classic route, that shouldn't be missed. In (thin) fun shape.
Steady As She Goes WI4+, 12m (Andriy and David McCaig)
Climb up the first steep step of Scarface to gain the upper tier. Belay at the base of a boulder to the left of a HUGE angling roof. Climb up the boulder’s left side, and tackle the steep, narrow trickle of ice above. A crack under an overlap on the right offers options for small cams that will keep you off the ground (but not the boulder). Swing gently, but with conviction.
February 16, 2014 - Kluke (Sam)
Hey Andriy, climbed a new route at the far east end of Kluke lookout on Sunday:
Chiraq M6+ WI5, 42m (Matt Zaleski & Sam)
Bring a #3 #.5 #.75 some small nuts, some small cams, and some small pins, 3 or so small screws. The cruxes are all naturally protected. Two fixed pins, and 4 bolts make up the fixed pro. After passing Quercus, continue up the hill to the far left to a thin strip of ice that looks just in enough to climb. Start out right in a left leaning crack, boulder up to a leeper pin, follow the crack in to the ice. Follow thin vertical ice that is about an inch thick for 25m. Get on to a good snow ledge, shake out, climb some more thin ice that is way steeper than it looks, and top out! The climbing is super similar to Remission Direct in a thin year!!! Hope you had a great weekend!
February 16, 2014 - Watt Lake
Bryant Madhouse is in thick (FA?) shape, so don't go in there looking for the wicked mixed route (M4). Holy Hannah is looking prety lean. Fair-Weather Climber is starting to come into condition. The top of the cliff can be reached by walking around to the left in case you're not up leading them. Some routes to update ya'all in case you're looking for scratchy-mixte typed routes to play on:
Prisoner 24601 M6, 20m
Start to the left of Holy Hannah. Bolted, but bring gear for the finish, depending on the condition. Climb up the face to the right of the arch overlap to join an iceflow higher up. Can be climbed on thin ice or as a dry route.
New Diesel M6+, 20m
Start at the base of the large ramp that cuts across the face. Climb up and eventually trend left across the face to finish on a smear at the top. A red camalot protects the start. Bolted otherwise.
Almost Sorcery M6+, 14m
Start to the left of New Diesel, stick clip the first bolt and make your way up the crack to the lower-offs. Rack to 1".
February 13, 2014 - Etobicoke Smears (Danylo)
The mighty Etobicoke Smears are IN and the creek is mostly frozen.
First Flow WI2, 9m.
Located more or less straight across from the bottom of the paved path at the Horner Ave. entrance, on the west side of the creek. Not as wide as the main flow further downstream, but slightly steeper.
Frozen Rivulet – in. There were pick marks in the ice – somebody‘s been climbing there, incredibly enough.!
There are 4-5 more WI2 flows ranging from 7 m – 14 m immediately downstream from the Frozen Rivulet. Have fun!February 8/9, 2014 - Bancroft, Kluke and Papineau (Peter)
Eagle's Nest was faaaat! Dirty Harry has been whacked out at the bottom, but seems pretty good though.
Kluke was thin. Ice is extrememly delaminated, and Quercus was in delicate condition.
At Papineau Roadside all the smears on the Face That Launched a 100 Awes (far left side) seemed to be "in", although The Streets Cry Freedom might be drying out a little. Had to chip out the bolts on Trojan Horse.
(what is now known as Sticks and Stones)
February 9, 2014 - Papineau Roadside (Danylo)
Sorry, Dave WI3-, 10m (DD and Gary Reiss)
Located directly above the roadside boulder at the start of the cliff on the right side. Climb a narrow 4m pillar of ice to a platform, then exit above ducking under bramches. Not too hard.
Stick and Stones WI4-, 15m (Gary Reiss and DD)
The corner at the left margin of the Face That Launched a 100 Awes. Climb an iced-up squeeze chimney that's just tight enough to be annoying. Work your way up the thin flow, finding gear in the corner (#1, #3.5 and #5 Camalots, a small cam and a pin and a nut). Stick the thicker ice up high on the right face, and on the blocks right side and wish your body up and over. These climbs form differently every year, and it's been a process of patience watching this line form. (Nothing, however, to the patience, or rather perserverence on display on EuroMaidan, which even sticks and stones won't thwart the country's enthusiasm!) It was a team effort with Danylo putting in a good first effort, which set Gary up for the send!
You'll be Fine WI3+, 14m (gary Reiss and Danylo Darewych)
Located on the face between Sticks and Stones and Madawaska Shuffle. Start on aplatform 4m up and climb the crackless corner above on thin ice. Sling a very slim sapling birch and continue up PHAT ice to the top.
February 9, 2014 - Watt
Bryant Madhouse seems to now have neve-ice packed into the back corner. Holy Hannah seems to be slowly leaving us...
Feb 9, 2014 - Fish Lake (Joe)
February 6, 2014 - Papineau and Bancroft area
After the dump of snow down south on Wednesday, I was surprised that Bancroft and points north only got a cm of accumulation. There wasn't too much accumulation on ledges, nor on the footpath already stamped out into Papineau Roadside. Consolation Prize continues to grow. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah is in great shape right now. Sure it's thinner than Danylo's inaugural ascent, but the gear is great in the corner, the hooks are very solid, there are ledges and edges and stemming and even chimney possibilities at the top. Plus very convenient flakes to grab onto at the top, just when you thught you've worked yourself into a pickle! Great eye Danylo! Take #0.75 to #4 to caalots and hexes, or even a 2nd #3 if you want to plug one in at the start. With added ascents, this will be a quick and easy warm-up (or a great first mixed route to jump onto/into, although it's steeper than it looks! m4-ish I think...)
Eagle's Nest - is getting fat, although Blue Angel's start looks thin from afar. There's probably thick, but patchy ice in the depths of Dirty Harry's start. Swing by The Granite for an amazing burger, and let them know you were out ice climbing!!! Bow Lake looks good too. Park on the sidestreet and approach across the lake.
Naked Soul M5+, 18m (AK and John Bestfather)
The epitome of SO mixed? Nothing but the safe goods? You decide! Start in the pit out right of The Streets Cry Freedom and transition into the iced up splitter seam with iced up pods. Gain the ledge, and launch up great hooks on 89.5 degree terrain, plugging in cams into dry rock, until you can step left onto the smear that leads to a lower-off in a tree. (This lower-off also serves The Streets Cry Freedom, although for TR-ing, you may opt for a screw directional.) Easily accessible by a 5 minute waddle from the top of Consolation Prize. Two bolts protect the start (first one can be reached from the boulder behind). Std Rack (including a red tricam) to red camalot. No pins needed.
Madawaska Shuffle WI4-, 10m (AK and John Bestfather)
Found on the second face to the left of The Streets Cry Freedom. This is a more moderate and fatter version of that. Start on an angling platform and climb a bit of thin ice up to the blobs which form underneath the hangers. Ice there is thick enough for a short screw. Shuffle up and right to more thick ice and the top. Fun. Although the tree belay is located well back, a 60m work still reaches the ground. Or simply walk over to the top of The Face That Launched a 100 Awes (The Streets Cry Freedom and lower down that route.)
February 2, 2014 - McCauley (ACC crew)
McCauley is coming along nicely. Blue Max has fallen down - looks like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the lip! All the others are good to go. Space Jam is a wicked route. Good eye!
The North CWM is IN and fat.
Blue Esther is IN, The Wailing is chandeliery, but climbable. Both Bifurcation, Mortgage Derivatives and 6 Tits are not in...
February 1, 2014 - Livingstone and Bear Lake
Had we considered the wet snow in the forecast, we would have brought a slop-proof kit. Livingstone looks good. Bear Lake is in early season shape, but a few tricky options exist. A pillar low on the left of Big Frank could offer access to the ice above. (A knifeblade in the seam under the roof, should let you breath easier.) The sneak route up the left side, looks to offer access to the top. The Cave has a pillar touching down low on the route. Ultra is close... I'll let the pics, do the rest of the talking. Plus, we put on the final touches to The Shining, and it's now open for others to enjoy...
The Shining M7, 35m (J. Smith and A. Kolos)
aka Crankenhooker. Belay at a two-bolt station to the left of Frankenhooker, at a ledge below the "ruffs". Climb up and over said roof on its right side, up the corner above, and up the ice to a lower-off at the top. Bolted. Good clean air. A long rope is good.
February 01, 2014 - Sherborne (Stanley)
Goldfinger is thin at the bottom. White Fang still needs some time. The Falls looks good. Highander - wow, what a line! Dumb and Dumber is good. Laurel and Hardy was nice and fat. We took off the snice and crust for you all!
January 25, 2014 - Papineau Roadside (North)
Conditions are fattening up. Consolation Prize is in great shape and is a must, offering 4 or 5 different variants. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah is thin, but looks great, although not as long as it looks in the pic. Clip and Go is great. Trojan Horse is icing over. Wafer Thin looks a wee bit fatter now than on the FA.
The Streets Cry Freedom WI4, 15m (A. Kolos & A. Manderla)
Just to the left of Thin Wafer lies the Wall That Launched a 100 Awes... Climb straight up the thin smear in the middle. The ice covers up a myriad of cracks on the face, some of which may be accessible for pro, should you opt not to trust your screws. (It would be most appropriate if this climb was in Kyiv, but alas, it's in Madawaska...)
(Al seconding The Streets Cry Freedom) AK Photo
January 20, 2014 - Papineau Roadside (North)
Notes: A few new noteworthy routes at North Papineau (for approach desriptions, see the Ice Updates document):
Clip and Go M6, 15m (S. Eastman & M. Norman)
A great opportunity to mixed climb on bolts. Start just right of Consolation Prize and follow a line of bolts. Not that hard - go give it a twirl!
(photo by Brett Lantz)
Trojan Horse M7-, 18m (S. Eastman & M. Norman)
A wee bit harder than its left neighbour. Climb rock and ice to the left of a column pouring out mid-cliff. Surmount the overlap and tackle the headwall. Long moves between really good holds. Although the route occasionally ices over, it can be climbed in any state. Bolts protect the climbing and lower-offs make for an easy descent.
(photo by Brett Lantz)
Wafer Thin M8- WI4R, 20m (M. Norman & S. Eastman)
Found further down the cliff to the right of Trojan Horse. A hard boulder start is protected by a bolt. Snow and ice on the sloping ledge makes it reasonable... Without, as on the FA, it's tough! Take a breather on the ledge and then tackle the corner and smear above. A second bolts protects the exit onto the ice pillars and the top. Take your rack to protect thin cracks and a #3 and #4 Camalot. Lower-offs mark the top.
January 19, 2014 - Papineau (Peter)
Papineau Lakeside: Thin, but there's enhough options for screws on climbs. Slaughterhouse Five can be protected in the left corner and then by traversing right to the upper pillar. Evangeline hasn't arrived yet.
Papineau Roadside: It looks thin, although none of the smears actually look in.
(Peter Hoang Photo)
January 19, 2014 - Watt Lake
Holy Hannah hasn't changed much - thin. Bryant Madhouse has remarkably seemed to fatten up, with styrofoam neve packed into the back of the corner. With Saturday night's snow, the entire face was loaded with fresh powder!
January 18, 2014 - Sherbourne (Scott)
I was up at Sherborne Lake last weekend. Laurel and Hardy is in, nice and fat. Highlander is in slowly filling in, but the top looks tricky.
Climbed what we think is a new route, although it might be Elvis Lives...
Bodybuilder WI2+ 14m (Scott Preston & Garrett Turcott - Jan 19, 2014)
4m left of Laurel and Hardy in the portage area (a.k.a. Hideaway). It was certainly not 10m left, which would indicate it was Elvis Lives.Quite thin and climbable in only the right conditions. Similar to Elvis Lives, starts somewhat vertical witha few steps and tapers off about half way up. Ice is very thin at the start requiring delicate placements, and gets wider and fatter near the top. Screw placements - EVEN SHORT ONES - not possible in the first 5m. Named for a thin bottom, and thick upper half.
January 18, 2014 - McCauley (Peter)
Wet, wet, wet! Lots of running water. With some cold this place will explode with ice! Had some thigh-deep post-holing with some hard surface crust. Trail should be broken in now. YOu can thank me with beers. Bog is not really frozen, so keep your skis or snowshoes on.
Blue Max - in for the committed. Not touching down, and the two separate curtains have not formed together yet.
High Voltage Superman - A stream of water awaits at the exit; doable if you want to get wet and swing at wet ice
Blue Esther - Not in the best condition, but "in"
TIOLI - Would be hard to get in a screw at the start, but in more-less
Forked Tongue Devil -IN (looks like the pillar hangs down far enough to allow for a "not very, very tough transition"
Adopt A Drip Project - Not touching down
Fishing for Hooks - Exit doesn't seem to have enough ice to take screws, but climbable.
We dried out overnight at the Maynooth Hostel, which served us well. The Arlington Pub was a welcome surprise and hit the spot! The party scene was awsome!
(Peter Hoang Photo)
January 18, 2014 - Eagle's Nest (Mike)
Conditions were good. Dirty Harry is trying to form a solid touchdown on the right side. Jetstream Variation and Jetstream proper is offereing some great climbing!
January 18, 2014 - Tiffany Falls
Rumour has it that Tiffany broke apart in the warm spell.
January 16, 2014 - Skeleton #2
Lake approach ice was exciting. Vertical ice took a beating from the warm snap, resulting in a rotten layer on top and surface fracturing that didn't make for good sticks. This Ain't No Party was so delaminated you could fit a quarter side ways behind it.
January 6, 2014 - Hammer-ville Ice
Tiffany offered soft sticks and chandeliers. The curtain has sprung some leaks, but the coming cold will patch things up!
Felker's is not even close with a lot of water currently running.
January 5, 2014 - Diamond Lake
Busy day with 4 groups and 18 people at the crag in total! Only a Turn for The Douche isn't very fat - everything else is good to go!
Teenage Fatty WI4
On the dark vertical wall 20m to the right of Tammy Baker's Face, climb up to a pedestal, and delicately climb the slendar detached pillars to the top. A lower-off anchor can be found on the left. Bring your rack, sling a pillar the size of a chubby teenager's wrist, but rest easy knowing a bolt a little higher will keep you good, should the pillar go crack-bang-boom.
January 5, 2014 - Granary Lake (Tim)
Chris Lil and myself (Tim Kingshott) went to Granary Lake on Sunday, and the conditions were incredible. A bit of snow and slush on the lake, but easily avoided. The pictures speak for themselves; there is lots of ice there.
January 4, 2014 - Skeleton Road #2 (DD)
Man Ernie (This Ain't No Party) - IN
This Aint No Disco - IN
This Ain't No Fooling Around - very thin at the bottom
DOA - mixed
3+ Comet - IN
J&B On Ice - IN
The Scottish Way - IN
Shaken and Stirred - OUT
January 1, 2014 - Caddle Road Icefall (DD)
It's in fat. Good looking climb, although we didn't climb it.
December 29, 2013 - Diamond Lake (Dave)
Guardian Angel - IN. Malachite Brochade - IN. Kermit's Finger - IN. WED - probably leadable.
December 29, 2013 - Watt Lake
It was good to get the first post hole session of the season out of the way. All others should be easy. The ice was leaner than in past years, but well formed and soft. Amazing how much wet snow could accumulate on the face.
December 28, 2013 - Granary Lake (DD)
Everything was in and fat, especially Go Go Beavers, which is huge. The only exception is Naked Edge, which hasn't formed up yet. We did two new routes left of Naked Edge.
Hats Off to the Sledheads WI3-, 40m (Danylo Darewych, Stefan Kloppenborg)
Located in the middle of the face about 20 m left of the alcove. Climb an initial 8m off-vertical step straight off the lake, and continue up shorter steps and rolling bulges to a near-vertical curtain.
December 28, 2013 - Pastry Crag (DD)
Buttertart - IN
Grandma Shannon's Coconut Cream Pie (GSCCCP) - IN
I Don't Like Rhubarb - NOT IN
December 26, 2013 - Lawrason Creek (Stefan)
Some interesting possibilities, but it's under a bit of snow...
December 24, 2013 - Tiffany (JP)
Figured I'd head to Hamilton and run a few laps at Tiffany. Coming up the 403 to Ancaster, I saw the 403 Icefall was running like mad. This is what I found after the walk in... this week's cold should help.
December 15, 2013 - Skeleton Rd 5 (Peter)
The ice is a little thin, but IN. The mixed stuff on climber's left is IN too. It would be good to note that the piton on Trespassers Will be Violated is gone. The rock must have expanded, because when I touched the piton with my draw, it just fell out.
We met the owner, who is very pleasant. He's concerned that commercial guiding is being conducted on his property - please kindly approach his home near the crag and ask permission to climb here.
December 15, 2013 - Bow Lake (Danylo)
Lake ice was suspect in places - we stayed very close to the western shore of the lake and crossed onto land in a couple of places when the lake ice was very thin.
Crystal Pillars - OUT
Ramp Routes - sufficiently thick, solid ice most of the way; thin in the middles section.
Red Rains - pillar up top was just touching down (but not yet climbable); start of the route at the bottom hasn't formed up yet.
December 8, 2013 - Bancroft (various)
The main curtain is still pretty drippy, but climbable. Although "leadable" they still need to fill in a bit before they are adequatly protectable. Jetstream is leadable. East Meets West is ok, but you'll be in for a shower. Dirty Harry was nice: thin hard-to-protect bottom, but the upper section will take some screws. Lakes are starting to fill in too, but need a bit more time, unless you're open-minded about swimming with your pack on...
December 1, 2013 - Bancroft (Danylo)
I was out at the Eagle's Nest Saturday and Sunday. The ice is incredibly fat for this time of year. Lots of ice on Rollercoaster and the Curtain. Even Jetstream is already touching down. Lots of dripping water, so the ice will continue to build quickly, so long as temps stay cold. Dirty Harry is still very thin.
Bow Lake and Paudash Lake were aleady frozen over, but I'd be wary of their thickness. The ice is 4 inches thick on the smaller lakes. Bow Lake in particular looked good - Red Rains appeared to be touching down.
Consolation Prize at Papineau North is in.
It snowed Saturday night and Sunday. There's a good 10-15cm of snow on the ground up there.
November 27, 2013 - Eagle's Nest (Justin)
We got 8 to 10cm of snow last night, not good for lake freeze. Jetstream is starting to touch down, curtain is beefing up, Dirty Harry is getting some ice but still fairly scant.
November 24, 2013 - Eagle's Nest (Justin)
Climbable today, anybody up? I am here all week... Andriy, post it!