Please feel free to reach out with any questions or contributions. The following personal and friends’ notes., accounts and observations are from across Southern Ontario, or from travels further abroad. Two major notes:

SOIceFest Photo Contest Voting ends TONIGHT (March 22) at midnight!

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Click here to cast your votes! goo.gl/HBkvgS

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Read more about the ACC and OAC’s Bow Lake success here: https://alpineclubtoronto.ca/2019/02/11/bow-lake-is-re-opened-for-ice-climbing/

A Final Note - the site will go dormant over the summer, but will be back for next season!

March 17, 2019 - Eagle’s Nest (DD)

The season is far from over! Conditions right now are at the their prime!

I drove by Eagle's Nest in Bancroft on Sunday.

Almost everything was in and fat, even the stuff behind the cemetery. Only the bottom of Dirty Harry is not completely iced up.. lots of dripping water everywhere especially on Blue Angel and North Face of the Eiger. Temps are ripe for the ice to continue growing.

March 16, 2019 - Kluke and Black Cat (DD)

Kluke: Ursus, Reversus Operandi, Lepus Americanus, Quercus (thin), Lontra are all in. I regret not dropping by Kluke earlier in the season - judging by the remnant ice blobs there was lots of interesting ice on the main face earlier. 

Blackcat Hill: Fat Cat and Alley-Cat were big and fat. Lots of water flowing down the left side of Fact Cat. Jungle Cat - not in. Pussy Cat looked to be in from a distance.

March 10/11, 2019 - Bear Lake

On Friday, Tiago and I had the ice to ourselves, whereas Saturday felt like a Howie Tool training camp! Every one of the pick models was used that day, plus a few prototypes for good measure. Great crowd, great ice, great blue skies - don’t forget your sunnies! Welcome back to Ontario Sam, even if it’s just for a short week - hope you enjoyed the Frankenhooker and Ultrahooker link-up! (Next step us is the Harlot Trilogy, by adding Crank…)

Completing a route left of Shining, a line I started with Danylo about 10 years ago, felt rewarding. I got re-inspired after Daniel and Stas climbed through the opening crux to access the Young Lust pencil. Only through collective support and patience of others (Danylo, Tiago, Laura, Brent and many others) did Collective Arts become a reality. Thank you!

Sunday was to be rainy and more rain is forecast for Thursday, but cloudy skies and cooler temps shall follow. Climbing should be good into next weekend.

Nightmare on Elm Street (Ultrahooker) is in good shape with a step-around the cave being committing. The opening slab is sounding pretty hollow and may not last much longer, but the bolted start (Ultra Direct) offers a fun alternative.

A Foggy Day in Hookerville (Foggyhooker) is hanging in there well. Stas showed a lot of discipline, endurance and great route reading to take it to the top on his first go.

Cave Route is fun and fat (except for a lean start). Amazing how there’s more ice than ever on the wall, and yet the Cave Route hadn’t touched down.

Frankenhooker is nice and wide, offering a distinct left and right variant. The left has seen the most traffic, but the right has enough vegetables to balance out any diet ;-)

Crankenooker is in great shape. The ice can be reached more easily than usual.

Collective Arts (Megahooker) also has more ice than usual, but it doesn’t come into play as early as one would hope. Found 5m left of Crank. You can start from the bolted belay/rap station (30m gets you back to the base), although it may be wiser to belay from the trees out left. Bolts protect the 1st and 2nd roofs/overlaps. And then steep ice takes you to the lower-offs out right (in the good rock). It’s possible to exit through the steep corner above, but be ready for a tight bushwack of an exit.

…and now with 5 blockbuster routes to do in a day any ideas on naming the link-up? Josh???

Photos: Tiago, Brent, Andriy, Garry

March 3, 2019 - Raven Lake (Mark)

Wet Sherpa ramps were quite fat, exit pillar was thinner but good enough.

This Ain't Muskoka looked good under snow.

Mr Poe not as fat as I've seen it but very much in, if a little baked in places (great lead Janet).

Unknown Soldier & Gimme Gimme were thin and sun-baked.

March 3, 2019 - Sherbourne Lake (DD)

Out with Laura and Brent today. In general, conditions are good. Photos are from both Brent’s camera and mine… easy to attribute who took each photo.

Beach Boys and Good Vibrations – very fat, solid ice

Rhymes with Art and Turning Japanese – fat

Snatch – fat

Usual Suspects – looks good

Silence of De-Lambs – looked thin

Ukrainian Mafia – fat

Highlander – The starting ice up to the ledge on the right was in good shape although fracturing somewhat. There was big block on the ground with a lot of blood around it. I hope they’re ok. It looks too thick tunnel behind the curtain to the traverse ledge and the going around the front looked difficult.

Flatlander – Getting established on the pillar from the ledge was tricky since the bottom of the pillar was on the thin side and broken-up (good lead Laura). Generally good ice and good screws on the upper pillar, but some small sections were sun-rotten and coming off in large chunks.

Lowlander – long, steep dagger/pillar.

Redemption and Retribution – had a large blob of ice.

Sins of the Father – good ice. Brent led a tricky mixed/thin-ice, alternate start up the face below the main flow

March 2, 2019 - Bow Lake (DD)

Climbing is Dangerous - Climb at Your Own Risk signs are posted. Climbers are now free to enjoy the ice climbs (and assume consequences for their own decision making). Check the ACC post on where to park.

Ice is fat and in good shape with only minimal sun-rot.

Crystal Pillars, Centre Ramp and Right Ramp are all in. Red Rains and Touch of Zorro aren't.

Mar 01, 2019 - Bear Lake (with DM)

Bear Lake has got the goods, but be ready for a big day! All lines are in great shape. Even some new stuff looks to be out right in the cliff bands on the right.

Foggy Day in Hookerville 75m

Thanks to Daniel, Ultrahooker now has a brother: the often looked at ice line to the left that spills over the roof. Not sure how frequently the direct start will be formed, but right now it adds an exciting entrance exam to the upper dagger. Thanks to Jeremy, Daniel put in a few bolts last weekend. 70m ropes just barely get you back down to the ground.

Feb 23, 2019 - Fish Lake (from Danylo)

Everything is in fat. Every slab of rock off to the right is covered in ice.

Crown of Thorns – good shape

Premature Ejaculation – actually looks to be a proper ice route for a change.

Strap a Dick to Me – lots of snow on the route.

Slabs – lots of fat ice. Pick a line any line.

Climbs among the trees above pond – lots of ice.

Boulder Ice (flow that spills down the slope opposite the huge house-size boulder at the far-right end of the pond) – fat, but also lots of snow.

Fortress of Solitude (up the creek past the huge boulder) – honkin’ fat, sapphire blue ice.

Lots of ice on the slabs past the Fortress of Solitude as well.

Feb 23, 2019 - CanRocks Observations

Info seems scattered and harder to come by. A few random observations from driving up the parkway, and slogging around Banff:

  • Despite the vortex dropping temps east of the divide, temps in Kicking Horse Canyon can be reasonable. (Learned the rock is especially loose, even by Rockies standards). Even climbing in/around Field seemed reasonable.

  • Guiness Gully (in), Cascade Kronenburg (not touching down, but consider Trapiste Triple M7 to reach the ice), Carlsberg Column (in), Pilsner Pillar (in).

  • The usual suspects seem to be in along the parkway. Weeping Pillar is wider than most seasons, and the Upper Right Side has a few options (Tales of Ordinary Madness is in, but in the shade more than the rest of the sun-soaked wall). With the cold and intermittently sunny weather, the ice isn’t healing quickly and has developed a sun-baked crust. (see: Ian’s post here: https://www.instagram.com/ianwelsted/)

  • Both Bourgeau climbs are in and getting climbed.

  • Even with the power of black ninja outfits, the approach up the side of Rundle is a workout in itself. (And the walk through the golf course in Banff is longer on the way back, than on the way in. Funny how that happens.) Bottomless sugar snow through steep terrain makes for slow and wet going; try to shake off the huge mushrooms off of trees before committing to pull on them! Of the Trophy Wall climbs, only Sea of Vapours is a “maybe” (seemed worth the effort to get a closer look…). La Goutte pillar has snapped, Ten Years After although getting some attempts earlier this year, seems to be slowly sublimating away). (I hear Peter shared a story about trench-digging through facets on either https://www.instagram.com/pete.hoang/ or FB ;-)

Feb 16/17, 2019 - Golden, BC

Found much warmer temperatures west of the divide. Ice conditions are fat, pretty much everywhereare. (Photos of Fine Line Direct, French Maid/Electric Kool-Aid, I Scream, Essondale Right).

Feb 18, 2019 - Granary Lake (from Danylo)

Good, sun-kissed ice.

Feb 17, 2019 - Algoma (from Danylo)

On the way to Bog Wall, near Kynoch, peaked through the trees to see Crown Jewel. Not in yet. Conditions at the Bog Wall were good.

Feb 17, 2019 - Schooner Lake (from Jon)

Schooner was better than the last time.  All the routes were “in” but the routes take a beating from the sun.  The routes were soft & partially baked with the exception of the route we climbed with Justin.  To give you an idea, I placed 3 screws in the 80m of Tachicardia. Pics attached.

Feb 17, 2019 - Skeleton Lake - Sandy’s Crag (from Steve)

We ended up climbing at "Sandy's Crag" on Skeleton Lake. The snow was super deep and made the approach exhausting, but we had an awesome day on the ice anyway!

Feb 16, 2019 - Lawrason Creek (from Adam)

There is 2+ feet of snow on the creek and where the routes where.  The old tractor trial has between 3-4.5 feet of snow; without snow shoes would be very difficult to walk.

On the plus side, 1 km down the road behind the paint shop there is a very fat and nice 40-45m I would say WI 3+ -WI4 that is well-formed and a fun route. Unless you know of an existing name, I’ll be refering to it as Hammer and Nails.

Feb 11, 2019 - Post-SOIceFest4 Roadtrip: Bear Lake (from Paul and Tak)

It was wonderful meeting everyone at SOIceFest. After a more relaxed, non-IceFest wake-up we drove over to Bear Lake in Haliburton as you recommended. We walked in and climbed 3 brilliant routes (Ultrahooker, Frankenhooker and Crankenhooker). Beer time!

Feb 8, 9, 10 - Southern Ontario Ice Fest

#SOIceFest4 fulfilled its goal of assembling and growing the climbing community. With the help of Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, the ACMG, Arcteryx and MEC nearly 100 climbers attended the instructional clinics over two days, including 36 that tried ice climbing for the first time. The Alpine Club of Canada’s Toronto Section held drop-in climbing events at both Hidden Gems and Papineau Roadside, and had a standout role at Diamond Lake offering chili to hungry climbers and raising over $400 for North Hastings Children’s Services in the process!

It was great seeing everyone under one roof Saturday for dinner (hosted by the Maynooth Business Association), the Vendor’s Village, slideshow and skills contest!

Photos from Gabriel Rivett-Carnac (www.gabesimages.com)

Photos from Brent Elliott

Photos from @LifeOutsideStudio (www.lifeoutsideonline.com)

Feb 10, 2019 - Diamond Lake New Routes

This season has been great for ice conditions growing thicker than usual. DL is a popular place, so it’s hard to be certain, but two new lines have been documented:

More Cowbells WI4, 15m FRA - Nathan Kutcher and Janet Wong

Just right of Teenage Fatty is a dark-coloured wall that rises above a low ceiling. The ice was thick enough to withstand breaking off the low goatee hanging from the lip, and allowed passage to the top. Medium/large hexes in the horizontal right off the ground provides peace of mind, but that doesn’t last too long. The ice flows over a lip at the top, and makes for a spicy lead. The bolted anchors for Teenage Fatty (below the Juniper) work well for this route too.

Less Cowbells WI 3, 15m FRA - Brent Elliott, Laura Duncan and Danylo Darewych

Just around the corner, left of Zero Gully is a smear that offered fun (and much less committing climbing than its new neighbor to the left. See above.)

Feb 3-ish, 2019 - The Trial at Diamond Lake (from Daniel and Stas)

The Trial M9+ WI6 – FA Stas Beskin and Daniel Martian

The sister route of Metamorphosis. Anything Kafkian about these routes? ;-)

Starts as for Metamorphosis. Depending on the year the first 15 meters can be on good or bad ice or even mostly dry tooling.

From below the mid-anchor on Metamorphosis traverse right, sling the tree and follow bolts (around 9 of them) climbing a thin seem (some years choked with ice) to the top dagger. In years when the final dagger is not big enough, one might not be able to finish the route as there are no holds for dry-tooling the top section (at least we could not top-out last year without the dagger). The route is of very high quality!!! Enjoy!!!

Photos: Will Tam

Feb 3, 2019 - Papineau Roadside

The ACC drop-in climbing at Papineau Roadside is looking like it’ll be awsome. Consolation Prize is wide and thick. Clip’N’Go and Trojan Horse are fat. Even Zippidee-Do-Dah was back in first ascent condition with beautiful trickles of ice flowing down the right wall.

I’m getting my photography game honed in preparation for the SOIceFest photo contest - more info here: www.SOIceFest.com/PhotoContest.

Feb 2, 2019 - Bear/Livingstone Lake (from Danylo)

I think snowmobile-assisted ascents should be marked by an asterisk. Although they have their place, one musn’t forget the fun of floating on powder snow on snowshoes… Mat and I enjoyed our approach. (And I’m sure Randy and Jon enjoyed their 15 minute approach as well, but I’m not bitter.)

Conditions at both Livingstone and Bear Lakes are great!

Frankenhooker’s first pitch accepts 10’s and 13’s. We split the upper headwall into two with a belay in the cave. One long rap returned us to the 1st belay ledge/tree.

Nightmare on Elm Street (aka Ultrahooker) looks to be in fine shape too. Even the original start formed up and was climbed. Very cool.

Bump Signs from Hell is also in.

Feb 2, 2019 - Watt Lake

Brent, Laura, Mike and I stomped out a good trail to Watt. It should be a quick ski now. (Note: an ATV won’t make it, as evidenced by the family struggling by headlamp.)

Holy Hannah is down. It always looks beautiful and never disappoints; always knows what you need and delivers in spades. Prisoner 24601 was good, but thin ice up top would make for a challenging lead. Pretty Diesel’s second last bolt was ice covered and couldn’t even be found. There are two last bolts (one for a left exit, one for a right; either can be clipped for climbing the flow directly above) - both are uncovered this year - yay options! Giddy Girls has ice for the traverse & exit. Fair-weather Climber was fat, and leads straight to the handy lower-offs.

The Arlington, as always, was handy for drying out ropes.

Feb 02, 2019 - Haliburton (David)

I’m excited to bring Ameche Designs to the ‘Fest next weekend. I managed to climb in Haliburton and figured I’d share my findings. We climbed Irish Redemption on Eagle Lake and Caramel Coating at Kushog. Both are well formed. IR was in easy shape.

Jan 27, 2019 - Restoule (Garry)

We climbed this very cool line around the corner from The Snake with Jon and Chris. It was super windy and bitter cold but what a great route! After following up with Danylo, it turns out the route is called Slithering.

There's an old piton very low down on the slab. He told us how Dave first noticed it when climbing the mixed variation start in ‘08. The pin may be from early rock climbing exploits by Uwe Embacher, Jean Marc Fillion, Guy Charon or Robert Chisnall. Very cool regardless.

Jan 27, 2019 - Timbertrail (Brent)

Approach with blowing snow took longer than expected. We came in from the south. Good conditions on Scattered and This Town.

Jan 26, 2019 - McCauley Lake

Did well to not sweat too much on the approach. Regardless of how low the temps drop, amazing how much body heat/sweat you can generate!

Minimal slush puddles on the lake, meant skiing was good. Beaver Ponds aren’t all that well frozen, and the deep snowdrifts meant maybe snowshoes work best in there.

The ice hasn’t grown much since Danylo’s and Jane’s reports (late Dec and early Jan). The ice was cold and brittle. Dinner was served up on trays, not plates!

Jan 26, 2019 - Irvine River (Danylo)

Checked out the Irvine River ice climbs and surrounding areas. Scary Pillar is quickly forming, but not in yet. Found some ice to play on - good times. (Sorry no pics this time - camera froze).

Jan 22, 2019 - Ham Ice (Matt)

Checked out the 403 Icefall today, accessing it from the top. I never would have guessed, but that’s a very very nice frozen waterfall (inclined drainage). Good climbing, but lots of air bubbles. I’m glad I as on top-rope.

Jan 20, 2019 - Mill Lake (Dustin)

Hey,  Conditions at Mill Lake were great. Water wings was not in, though. Not sure what the mixed lines are to the left of Ice-olation, but they were fun. The anchor was 15 feet up and right of me in the photo. Fun and not too hard.

Jan 20, 2019 - Etobicoke Creek Challenge (with Danylo and Matt)

Challenge Accepted! On the coldest days of the year, out came the double plastic boots; gen tools; mountaineering crampons; bib pants; windbreaker. Following in the footsteps of Freedom Climbers!

Jan 13, 2019 - Hamilton Ice (Danylo)

Borer’s / Rock Chapel - not in yet. Lots of hanging ice though.

Jan 13, 2019 - Blind River (Marco)

Granary Lake

Go Go Beavers was like climbing a snow cone. Six inches of slush on it with horrible ice underneath, and the top was not consolidated onto the rock. Lots of running water behind and badly sunbaked. Needless to say it wasn’t fun. 

Between Speed Bump, Waving the Rules and Breaking all of the House Rules you could get a couple lines in there.

Lake Lauzon

Lauzon, the lake itself wasn’t safe to cross. We ended up bushwhacking to the top from the road and you can tell that the centre part of the lake had just recently froze. There is substantial snow on top of the lake ice, which isn’t allowing it to freeze too quickly. Needless to say we got to the top of Notorious for Wolverines but couldn’t identify the exact location and so we bailed and went up the Constance Lake. The top pitch is looking great there, but the bottom isn’t close to down yet. Some one had been there and climbed the lower angled ice 150’ to the left of the main climb. Looked fun.

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 12, 2019 - Constance Lake, Algoma (Dustin)

We amde it to Constance Lake. The ice was still pretty thin and puonky on the mian flow, so we stuck to Salve For the Wounded Pride and Wagon Wheels.

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

Granary Lake:

Go Go Beavers - not in. Very thin ice, with lots of water flowing; Only Breaking All the House Rules might go - lots of water

Intersection Rock:

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.

Kynoch:

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)


Talus Cliff:

(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)

2018 12 08 Consolation Prize.jpg

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.

 Eagle’s Nest

  • 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.