Please feel free to reach out with any questions or contributions. The following notes and observations are from across Southern Ontario, or from SOIce-ers’ travels further abroad.
Jan 13, 2019 - Madawaska et al
The cold temps made it more fun exploring for new ice. Condition pics of Eagle’s Nest and Papineau Lakeside. Congratulations SunRun Cafe in Maynooth on the big 7! See you in 4 weeks for SOIceFest A few pics/notes to share.
Jan 6, 2019 - McCauley (Jane, Incheol and Jaime)
Pics tell the full story. Jaime led Blue Esther and Incheol led Yellow Fever in thin conditions. The Whaling is thin at the top.
Jan 6, 2019 - Hidden Gems & Diamond Lake (Alex)
Onyx at the far right end of the crag is quite skinny at the bottom. The frozen ice one would stand on also barely supported body weight. We decided to check out the other Diamond Lake (south of Combermere) in search of fatter ice. Conditions there are remarkable for this point in the season.
Jan 1, 2019 - Thunder Bay Recap (Danylo)
Thanks to Cory for showing me around!
Jan. 1, 2019 - Mt. Godfrey, Thunder Bay:
White Lightning (WI 3+, 50m) In very good shape. Even some plastic ice despite the -20 to -15 temperatures. Water was still dripping down the route in places. Well, beaten-in trail.
Jan. 2, 2019 - Squaw Bay:
- April Showers (WI3+, 5.6, 50m). A really interesting and entertaining route up a narrow cleft capped with a massive chockstone. Decent ice to start, followed by tight iced-up squeeze, mixed moves over a block and a top-out to great views over Squaw Bay There is now a trail beaten in.
- Alpine Outing (WI4+, 70m). Looked thin and bony at the start. We didn't climb it.
- Studs Ahoy (WI2, 5.5) Ice in good shape. Steep mixed exit with good hooks and feet.
Jan. 3/4, 2019 - Orient Bay:
- 10% Real (WI5, 53m) Somewhat hollow ice in places, but solid enough for screws when necessary. Lots of baubles to stem off of on the left wall. Thin section 3/4 of the way up. Very strenuous top-out over overhanging ice.
- Eveil des Sens (WI4, 50m). In very good shape. Wet.
- Adrenaline Solution. Very thin ice glaze down low.
- Ice Stud (WI 2+, 65m) In very good shape. Some snow-wallowing required.
December 31, 2018 - Roadtrip Recap: Algoma & Montreal River (Danylo)
Dec. 28, 2018. Secret Lasagna at Endikai Riverside cliffs looked to have ice top to bottom from the road, but would have been very wet. Little White River isn't frozen.
Dec. 29, 2018. Stoney Creek, Highway 129, north of Thessalon with Incheol and Jaime. Ozzy's Chute (WI3-, 47 m) and Hungry Man (WI4, 50 m) were both in very good shape.
Dec. 31. Mile 38 Road, Batchawana. Dutch Treat (WI3, 50 m) and Keetes (WI4, 30 m) were both in good shape, but wet. Blue Avenjure didn't look to be in.
December 30, 2018 - Diamond Lake
Today was a good reminder that not all routes can be climbed any given day, even if they’re seemingly “in”. Contrary to what one might think reading the previous sentence, it comes from a wonderful day out after roller coaster changes to the weather: rain and plus zero temps (but cloudy), followed by extreme overnight cold, a cool cloudy day to let ice heal and bond to underlying rock (even if it’s black and usually exposed to the sun) with another cold night, and gradual warming up to -5 during the day (still, overcast, gentle snowfall).
Ice is big everywhere. In particular, the icefest mixed sector (including Every Day is Training) is loaded with ice right now.
Both Malachite Brochade and Tammy Baker’s Face are wonderful and growing.
Teenage Fatty - very enjoyable today. Added a new set of anchors below the juniper bush. These should remain ice free (even during this monstrous ice year). Although there are two bolts to protect the moves onto and exiting the hanging curtain (making it super fun), you still need a bit of gear low down for the horizontals while negotiating the bumps and blobs (finger to 0.75 will do).
December 27, 2018 - Algoma (Danylo)
Drove around and walked into a few spots with Incheol and Jaime. Conditions in general were poor. However, the rain that fell the next day on the 28th was light and temperatures returned to cold right away, so conditions should improve quickly.
Duborne Lake: not in
Go Go Beavers - not in. Very thin ice, with lots of water flowing; Only Breaking All the House Rules might go - lots of water
Some leadable lines: 70s Bush, One Good Screw, Big Boy Panties. The rest would only be top-ropable as the ice is looking thin and sickly.
Shower Stall Wall looked to have some ice, but we didn't go closer.
Lucky Misdirection Wall was not in.
Rainmaker - IN, but bony on the 2/3 shelf (the only route we climbed on the Dec. 27)
Crown Jewel - lots of hanging ice, but not in.
December 25, 2018 - Hidden Gems (Danylo)
Lake ice is solid. We were disappointed to find almost no ice, even Onyx isn't touching down and there's only one small section of ice on Jade. Everything else is bare
December 24, 2018 - McCauley Lake (Danylo)
I was at McCauley Lake on Monday, December 24 with Raymons, Janet, Kevin, Cynthia and Daunte. Lots of daggers and ice forming, but conditions, generally speaking, were thin.
Lake ice was solid (thicker than the 17 cm screw I drilled holes with). The beaver ponds aren’t frozen solidly yet (except for two) – we skirted the other 3-4. It’s beaver heaven up there.
Northern Cwm – didn’t venture up there; couldn’t see much ice.
Quickly Out of Trouble – no ice
Space Jam – thin ice on top of the initial boulder problem, small dagger at top.
Gift by Omission and Lightweight ID – both have ice top to bottom, but very thin down low (as is usually the case). Lightweight ID is quite wide.
Valentine Slabs area – mostly snow.
Blue Esther – Kevin led it. In, but lean (the ice runs out on the top half).
Grey Alan – some ice there
Three Stooges – don’t know.
Yellow Fever – not in.
The Wailing – looked to have ice from top to bottom, but a narrow final pillar (with mandatory top-out through juniper bush) will be exciting.
Bifurcation – Daunte led it. Only one, fairly short, section of ice
Mortgage Derivatives - nothing
A Dick, 6 Tits, V-Tree – nothing
Blue Lagoon – looked in, but would be a slog to get to
Blue Max Area – Lots of hanging daggers, most still on the unconsolidated side. (see pictures for your steep route of choice)
(We slogged to the very far end of the Talus Cliff, going not through the talus, but by walking up slopes on either side of the creek and then cutting towards the cliff at the far end. Last 15 m is a particularly nasty bushwack – partially cleared now)
Manon – Danylo led it up the easier right side. Fat.
Jon Johnson – good
Alpine Shugh – scrappy in the middle section
Blue Icefalls and Practise Area on the East Wall looked good (we walked by them on our slog uphill).
Not bad for very early season.
December 23, 2018 - Diamond Lake
Great team out at Diamond Lake today - a pleasure to be out there with Jane, Danylo, Daunte, Jaime, Incheol. Horizontal ice is solid. Vertical ice is sweet. Ice, ice everywhere! Although plenty of ice lines abound, keep an eye out for the sun and water running underneath. The pics speak for themselves. Every Day is Training has good ice which will take one to the top. Left of Wed (Meta - P1) is down, but can still do with a bit of consolidation/growth. Malachite Brochade looks to have come in big for the season. Kermit’s Finger is still growing. Teenage Fatty is close - the bold may be hard to see under a blob of ice. Special mention to:
Between Egos and Wimps (BEW) - fat, fat, fat ice to the top, but the climb got a bit of traffic, so it could benefit from a bit time to heal.
Where Egos Dare - flowy ice all the way to the top.
Dirtyer Harryer - ice accumulated in the upper sections, and good thing too. Full value outing; not to be rushed.
December 22, 2018 - Eagle’s Nest
Sweet day at the Nest: ice is soft and quickly growing. Both Dirty Harry and Jetstream Variation were pretty and fun. The Curtain has a few dry lines (and plenty of wet ones). Hockey Night in Maynooth / Room 7 (brought to you by the Arlington, Collective Arts and Danylo’s Ferrero Rochers!)
December 18, 2018 - Eagle’s Nest (from Jesse)
Conditions seem pretty similar as last reported. Dirty Harry is slowly getting fatter (pretty nice up top) and closer to touching down. NOt much ice in the upper part of Hidden Gully.
December 16, 2018 - Papineau Roadside
Just like migrating birds, climbers succumb to the itch, sharpen their points and steer northwards. It was great seeing old friends (even if some stayed in Bancroft - boo) and meeting new ones. Plenty of good climbing, and more to come…
Nakes Soul - is a wall of ice, but placing good pro in the iced up cracks will require discipline (and endurance).
Wafer Thin -is making another attempt at forming fully to the ground. Only the bottom 6 feet are without ice.
Zippidee Do Da - pretty thin ice on the right wall.
Consolation Prize - in mid-season shape.
Clip n Go - has a beautiful vein of ice that can be taken right to the top.
Trojan Horse - the ice is as it should be to keep the climbing fun and the grade reasonable.
December 16, 2018 - Dog Bay, Baptiste Lake (from Danylo)
Disappointment - there was almost no ice formed on the cliffs at Dog Bay. It's normally pretty consistent, but there's nothing there this year. However, the good news: the lake ice in the bay was solid - about 17 cm thick. We walked across it without any problems.
P.S. - There were 14 ice climbers in the Tim Horton's in Bancroft at 9:30 AM (and one had already left (ahem, A. Kolos), and two more hadn't yet arrived). Busy times!
December 15, 2018 - Kushog (from Incheol)
Caramel Coating is pretty good condition... some mixed at the top.
Blue Pillar was too thin for comfortable lead but okay on top rope.
Blue Boy wasn’t really in yet.
December 9 - Eagle’s Nest (from Danylo)
Ice has grown considerably fatter since two weeks ago.
Rollercoaster - decent ice nearly the whole way, though there are still a couple of scratchy sections. The midway ledge is now covered in ice.
Curtain - Men Without Hats, Hollow Victory, Jetstream are all in. Very wet, chandeliery ice. But it should build quickly.
Dirty Harry - patchy, thin ice; not touching down.
Amazing Glace, Hidden Gully - thin ice (climbable, but not protectable) up to the ledge; couldn't see whether there was any ice in the upper gully.
December 8 - Papineau Roadside (from Incheol)
Consolation Prize is coming along. The left side is better formed than the right side. 13s are ok, but I suspect it’ll build quickly.
December 2 - Eagle’s Nest
December 1 - Watt Lake
Good ice forming on the side of the Arlington Hotel… and lots of water running down the face at Watt, but nothing was really “in”. Made it in (and more importantly out) in record time thanks to the Barbie Truck.
Holy Hannah trying hard to touch down. Good ice forming on Prisoner 24601. New Diesel’s left column, and right exit is coming along. Flying Ferg was nearly all ice! Madhouse Bryant pretty Scottish…
November 25 - Mont d’Coq - from Pascal
Sick conditions at Coq's! De Bonne Heure su'l Piton was good yesterday, and it will only get better. Attached is a decent topo map of the climb.
November 25 - Bancroft - from Danylo
Lots of small roadside sloughs and ponds had a thin layer of ice on them already. The south end of Paudash Lake (the shallow end) was starting to freeze over; Bow Lake wide open. Couldn’t see the Bow lake cliff because of mist. It drizzled very lightly between Peterborough and Bancroft, but stopped when we got to Bancroft. There is wet snow on the ground in Bancroft. Ground/turf isn’t frozen underneath.
Rollercoaster. The law-abiding citizens’ start is devoid of ice. There was thin. hollow ice on the initial bulges, then a sketchy middle section of snow on slab with unfrozen turf and one vertical step with good ice. Got in two 10 cm stubbies and a 13 cm screw on the way up. No ice underfoot on the big ledge, just snow on bare rock or moss. From the ledge we climbed to the top of Rollercoaster through the notch. There were just 3 ice steps on the way.
Curtain: Men Without Hats - not in.
Curtain: Hollow Victory left side - climbable, decent ice, but on the soft, mushy side.
Jetstream - just touching down, but thin. We left it alone.
Dirty Harry - ice is only visible up top.
Hidden Gully - ice is only down low.