Schooner Lake is my favourite lake in Ontario and I could probably say that it is my mom and dad’s favourite lake as well. As a kid I remember canoeing and fourwheeling into the lake to swim at the beach or jump off the rocks. It is my favourite place to camp and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Considering the amount of love I already have for this lake I didn’t think I could love it anymore until this past weekend. I have ice fished the lake countless times, catching some nice sized trout some days, and having no luck on others. The lake has a beautiful cliff located right along the water. In the winter time frozen waterfalls are created by my best friend, nature. I have always wished that some day I would be able to climb them, and thanks to my dad and my fiance my wish came true.
The trek into Schooner Lake is 17km long, one way. As much as I would like to think of myself as hardcore enough to do the ski in, I’m not. Or at the least I could ski in and ski out, but would probably not have much energy left for climbing in between. If doing it as a day trip you would want to leave quite early. I know there is another way in where you have to cross another lake, but I am not sure how long this would take or how far it is. I live closer to this end, so this is the way I like to go in.
Luckily for us, we have access to fourwheelers…
When my dad heard that we were going to try and ski into the lake to check out the ice he immediately offered to come with us, while we ice climbed, he fished.
Even after going to Schooner Lake multiple times a year I never went there with an ice climbing mind set until this year. It really is an ice climbers paradise. Given its remote location the ice had not been touched yet. Or at least the ice we climbed had not been touched.
Since it was just Mike and I climbing and we were a bit short on time we climbed a couple sections of the shorter yellow stuff. Not knowing if the ice was going to be in good condition or not we were not prepared for what was there. Let’s just say we are going back this weekend to do the blue stuff and enjoy some multi pitch climbing.
There are a few that are top ropeable but most climbs require leading and are too tall to top rope.
The climbs in the pictures above are higher than the climbs in Calabogie but not as vertical. Those two climbs were my favourite climbs I have done all year and we have climbed in Bancroft, Calabogie, Smugglers Notch, and Diamond Lake. I loved the ice. I am not sure if it was the ice that made me love it or just the fact that I was finally climbing at my favourite lake. Probably both.
Since my dad isn’t a fan of heights he chose to fish away from us and where the fish would be biting so we didn’t have a photographer. But you don’t need a photographer when you have a tripod and timer!
I contemplated about posting this because in a way I would love to keep this place all to myself but the fact is that it is too beautiful of a spot not to share with others.
If you are looking to ice climb here there is not much information online about Schooner Lake so if you have any questions on how to get here, what the climbs were like, etc. feel free to comment below and I will get back to you a.s.a.p.