How bittersweet. We suffer all winter long with minus 20 degree temperatures and when it warms up to where we can climb in short sleeve shirts, no gloves, and dare I say even sweating…our precious ice deteriorates so quickly! Warm temps all week have taken a toll on the climbs with all waterfalls being done for the season and the seeps are starting to follow!
As it stands, Prelude Curtain, Opening Curtain, April Ice, and the far left side of the Curtains are the only climbs along Sand Point Road that are still climbable. Small Curtains along the Lakeshore Trail should also be in….but this weekend just might be the last opportunity if you are stoked to get on the last remaining small climbs of the season!
This weekend in the U.P. saw temperatures jumping into 60-70′s joining the rest of the Midwest in spring like weather. Ice conditions are mixed with many climbs being deteriorated and becoming unclimbable. On the other hand there are still small seeps that are fat and very climbable. Still wanna ice climb? Looks like you still have some time….but don’t delay too much! Most climbs along Sand Point Road and the Lakeshore climbs between Three Sisters and Kramer Curtains are going to be your best bet.
The Good The Bad The Ugly
The Timeless Art of Seduction
A big thanks to John Miller and Michael Ganley for the photo submissions! Don’t forget to call 906-226-7112 for the up to minute conditions report.
First week of April and the Upper Peninsula ice is holding its own! Soft hero ice and cold temperatures- better make a trip up to climb as it really doesn’t get much better than that! Same report as last week- many of the true waterfalls are not climbable, as is many of the climbs that are filly exposed to the sun. Seeps tucked back in the woods are going strong. Looks like we have some more climbing to do!
While it may be spring in your neck of the woods we are still full on winter up here! This weekend brought a mix of conditions with a sunny Saturday to a white out on Sunday. Most climbs are still in and some are actually still growing! Check out the following photos from this weekend to see if one of your favorites is still in. As always if you are planning on coming up please use good judgement on choosing your route as these climbs can change daily.
The Dryer Hose
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Thanks to Bryon Thelen for contributing to this conditions report!
We were not able to get out this past weekend but Munising local and Ice Fest staffer Mario make the pilgrimage out to grand Island and found these beautiful formations still hanging in there. Lake ice was still good and climbable ice is a “healed over snowcone”. With a snowstorm slated for Wednesday it looks like our season will be extended for a few more weeks! As always please use good judgement in selecting your climbs this time of year!
Mid March and loads of climbers still getting after it in Munising this weekend! Reports coming in are a mixed bag of conditions. As expected anything with exposure to the sun is extremely sun baked and similar to climbing a giant snowcone. Nic committed to the brutal ski out to HMR to find it still in climbing condition!
Looking up HMR
Other groups crossed the lake ice to access what was probably the last day of climbing on the East Channel. Large sections are beginning to come down as the sun continues its destruction of these amazing climbs.
East Channel Grand Island 3-14-15
East Channel 3-14-15
While the news tends to be bleak for true water falls and climbs exposed to the sun……..many of the seeps that are hidden in the shadows of the cliffs remain solid and climbable! At this time of year if you are planning one last trip it would be best to check our conditions report to make sure the climbs you would like to tag are still in.
Dryer Hose 3-15-15
Dryer Hose 3-15-15
Climbs that were in and reported climbable this weekend:
Sweet Mother Moses
Curtains, Opening Curtain, Prelude Curtain
West Shore Grand Island
Climbs that are not climbable
East Channel (was climbed but now the lake ice is too unstable to cross)
Call 906-226-7112 for up to minute conditions report!
With bluebird skies, part of the Michigan Ice Fest staff spent the day circumnavigating the island scouting and climbing some beautiful ice. Travel to the island is still good with lake ice holding strong. With the recent cold but sunny days some of the ice on the west shore is starting to be sun baked. If you are looking to get on some Grand Island ice, particularly the East Channel or West Shore, I would make the pilgrimage within the next two weeks. The north side, and the mainland climbs, seldom see the sun so the climbing season is certainly going to last much longer there. Remember Down wind Sports continues to rent gear so come on up and get after it! If you are looking for any route beta be sure to give us a call at 906-226-7112
Between Gull Point and West Shore
Near Gull Point
North East Shore
Topping out North East Shore
Endless bouldering North East Shore
Another early morning start….another below zero day! Minus one with stiff northerly winds kept us off the lakeshore today so we decided to seek shelter inland. Our good friends at Roam Automotive have a new toy that we just had to check out! Half truck- half tank this beauty powered us down to Miners Beach….new snow….no problem! I think Michigan Ice has a new shuttle system!
Check out this beast in action!
Needless to say the conditions of the ice throughout the park are excellent and it seems that it will stay like that for some time to come. The Lakeshore Trail is still packed but that can change daily- if you are planning a trip up make sure to throw the snowshoes into the gear pile.
Linda on a cold stout lead of AGF
Thanks to Thomas and TJ from Roam for the awesome ride today- Check out more videos from Roam here!
With the big blizzard this past weekend and sub zero temperatures predicted for the next week ice conditions at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore remain amazing! Sunday we skied out to Miners Falls in sunny but cold conditions. With the blowing and drifting Saturday if you are venturing out into the backcountry skis or snowshoes are a must!
Lake ice remains in place and opportunities to climb on Grand Island still exist. The crossing at Sand Point is still dangerous so if you have plans to go out please use the Grand Island public access.
If you are planning on coming up next weekend it will be cold but the climbing should be spectacular! Dress warm and remember those snowshoes if you are going into the backcountry.
Over the past week we’ve been blown away by how many great entries we have gotten for our first annual photo contest. There were hundreds of photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the tag #Michiganicefest2015. If you haven’t looked through them all, I would highly recommend it. From pizza in the hot tub to remote lakeshore climbs, these entries seemed to catch every aspect of the ice fest experience. As great as they all were, this is a contest and we had to settle in and pick a winner.
And the winner is… shoot, this is too hard to pick. We had a handful of favorites and just couldn’t come to a consensus. So with that, we are changing the rules. We chose our favorites as finalists and are leaving the final choice up to you. We’re posting all of our favorites to Facebook and letting you vote. All you have to do is go to our Facebook page and use Facebook’s “Like” feature to select your favorite photo from our album of finalists. We’ll leave voting open until Wednesday February 18th at 7PM. Whichever photo has the most “likes” at that point will be our winner.
And what do you get for winning? A sweet prize of course, this is Ice Fest after all. We are giving away a free entry to next years event as well a free class of your choice. In addition to this, we are throwing in a pair of Petzl lazer speed ice screws!
Thanks to everyone who participated. You entered some great images and made our job pretty tough.
Below you can see all of the finalist. Head over to our Facebook page to vote!