Another glorious weekend in the U.P. and many folks were out searching for climbable ice! The last few weeks have been a perfect storm for producing early season ice, lots of snow combined with warm day time temperatures, and cold nights have seep climbs nice and fat! The true waterfalls are also a couple weeks ahead of schedule but are still not suitable for climbing.
In Marquette, there are two climbs, the Lakeshore Climb and near Hogback Mountain and both saw ascents over the weekend. Bryan DeAustine and Mike Tyron reported fat conditions on the Grotto. The Lakeshore Climb near Hidden Beach is fatter then normal at the base and very thin conditions at the top. Also to note, with the high water levels in Lake Superior this year, there is very little room at the belay compared to years past. Keep this in mind if the lake is kicking up some waves there might not be any safe ground for a bottom belay.
The Dryer Hose is starting to form up with a very large cone for this early in the season. The front side of the pillar is extremely thin and with lots of water flowing over it. Please use patience on climbing any pillars at Pictured Rocks as these formations are extremely delicate and need a few more weeks to solidify. Seeps on the other hand are very fat given that it is only early December! The Curtains along Sandpoint Road are slowly developing with a few routes climbable. Today we headed out the Lakeshore Trail to climb some of the curtains that form between Intersection Falls and Sweet Mother Moses. Snowshoes were not needed up to Intersection Falls but came in handy walking along the base of the climbs.
There are dozens of shorter climbs that have formed along this section of the park. If you are psyched to get on some early ice, there are certainly some short climbs formed and ready to go………might be another two weeks of cold temps before we can start climbing some of the classics that Munising is famous for. Check out the following photos…..pretty amazing for December 7th!