2014 Ice Recap
Although we started ice climbing in December 2013 this year I am calling this the 2014 Recap because, well, I want to.
We began our season by hiking into the cliffs at Calabogie checking it weekly to see the formation of the frozen waterfalls. Since last year we climbed only at Calabogie we decided to branch out and explore as many different areas as we could. We were happy with what we found.
We went to Bancroft in December so the ice was fresh but climbable and that is what we were looking for. Bancroft might have the easiest access in Ontario and may be the only climbing area where you can pick your routes out while enjoying a hot chocolate at Tim Hortons.
What we like to refer to as our local ice. It is located 5 minutes behind Calabogie Peaks and requires a 5-10min approach to the ice depending if you are leading or top roping. The trail branches off when you hike up the first hill, you can either go left which leads to the top of the ice where you can set up top anchors or you can go straight to the bottom if you prefer to lead. Calabogie only has single pitch climbs which range from WI3-WI5. We climbed here 20 + times this year, half of those being night climbs.
A new favourite, just outside of Palmer Rapids, Diamond Lake is obviously located on a lake which requires a 5-15min crossing depending on which side of the lake you park at. It’s smooth surface makes for a nice belay station but there are also a few other climbs that you may want to hike around to check out.
My absolute most favourite ice climbing spot EVER! Not sure if it is the connection and memories I have with this lake or the colour of the blue ice but whatever it is, Schooner Lake is incredible. There are different ways to get to it but the one we know and use involves parking at Mountain Chute Dam in Calabogie and driving our fourwheeler 17km into the lake. With multiple spots for multipitch climbing, easy leads, and one great top roping section, there is no need for words. The pictures will be more than enough to explain my love for this lake.
We went on a random road tour to Vermont for a couple days this winter in search of some skiing and ice so we headed to Smugglers Notch. Just minutes from the ski hill is a trail that goes through the notch and has a variety of ice. It was easy to spot after walking for 5-10 minutes. There is multi pitch in the notch but we chose to top rope that day.
Our most recent trip was to the Adirondacks where we spent a day ice climbing and a day hiking before a huge snow storm hit the area. In the the Keene Valley just across the Cascade Lakes is a spot called Pitch Off Right, this is where we climbed yet there were many others we could have chose from. With extremely easy access you can spot a lot of the climbs from the road. We will definitely be going back to the Adirondacks next year to climb. There is so much ice.
And there you have it, our 2013/2014 ice season wrap up. This isn’t to say we won’t climb again this season but we won’t be traveling to climb anymore this year. It’s time to think about kayaking.