Ice Conditions Report 3-1-21

PC Bryan DeAugstine

This past weekend wrapped up with some warm weather and good sticks! Cold temps and windy conditions ushered in the weekend in the Upper Peninsula giving climbers mid season conditions in late February!  Saturday gave way to sunny skies and mild temps and it is beginning to feel like spring climbing season is here.  Some climbs are fat, while others are beginning to see some wear and tear. Based on what we saw this weekend, it looks like the next few weeks will be the perfect time to come up and climb in Munising!

With the gale warning we are now under, a lot of the lakeshore ice around Grand Island has moved back out into Mama Superior. It is still NOT SAFE to cross from Sandpoint Road to the East Channel Curtains.  This freeze/thaw cycle has refreshed climbs and made them thick, but some of the classic pillars are becoming fractured.  Evaluate these climbs carefully this time of year!

S.B 57 PC Mario Molin

A group of locals headed out to the far end of Grand Island to discover some new ice.  S.B 57 is a 35 meter sheet of ice just north of the Ramps area. The current lake ice conditions are changing daily.  If you are planning on crossing please check with locals when you get to

town.  The winds have blown all of the lake ice below the West Shore Curtians out into Lake Superior to there is no access from the lake to the climbs.

Grand Island PC Captin Scott Gnas

Erik Olsen on the sharpen end. Left Twin PC Emily Gantner

Emily Gantner bouldering on Spray Off

In our opinion the best climbing conditions in the U.P. are in March as the ice is fat and the sun starts to come out from its winter hibernation!  There are still ample opportunities to get some swings in so grab your friends and head on up for some spring climbing!

Also don’t forgot our photo contest is still going on. Submit your photos using the #michiganicefest2021 on Insta or Facebook!

Ice Conditions Report 2-23-21

Its been really good to see so many familular faces coming up and enjoying the ice these past two weekends!  There have been lots of folks exploring all corners of the park as well as Grand island. The ice is awesome right now and the forecast looks like it is only going to get better. Based on what we saw this weekend, it looks like the next few weeks will be the perfect time to come up and climb in Munising!

The crossing to Grand Island (ferry dock to ferry dock) is doable right now, but make sure you check with locals BEFORE crossing. Best travel on the island is via the mainland trials, NOT lake ice on the west or east side. IT IS NOT SAFE TO CROSS TO THE EAST CHANNEL CURTAINS FROM SANDPOINT.  The West Shore, The North End and Trout Bay have all seen action the last two weekends with many days being sunny which is rare for February!

Strawberry Daze PC Chris Zacharias

Dairyland PC Chris Zacharias

Pretty much all climbs on the Mainland are in with the exception of the Ampitheater although that might cahnge this week with the warm day temperatures and overnight freeze!  Please remember is you are climbing in the Front Country there is no parking along Sandpoint Road, only at the parking lot by the beach.

This is important as it allows enough room incase emergency vehicles need to pass through to thge end of SPR.

In our opinion the best climbing conditions in the U.P. are in March as the ice is fat and the sun starts to come out from its winter hibernation!  There are still ample opportunities to get some swings in so grab your friends and head on up for some spring climbing!

 

The Michigan Ice Fest Guides does offer a wide array of climbing gear for rent during the ice season. With gear from Black Diamond, Petzl, CAMP, La Sportiva, LOWA and many other great brands, we have what the gear you need to enjoy a day on the ice with friends.

If you have the skills and experience and are only lacking the gear, this a great way to get out. You can reserve any gear here.

At Michigan Ice we take pride in being your go to site for current ice climbing conditions for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well as climbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. Planning a trip to Pictured Rocks? We have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs. Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!

Covid Ice Fest Week- Ice Conditions Report 2-9-21

Well its Ice Fest week and as usual our weather has not let us down!   Traditionally this week the weather gods have pulled out all of the stops and have greeted visiting climbers a taste of what winters in the U.P. are all about!  So, whats in store this week?  COLD, COLD, COLD!

This past week it was a cold  but on the upside nothing fell down yay! Also rare for us the sun was shining helping to take the edge off the bitter cold.

While it has been cold, and it’s going to get colder,  the crossing to Grand Island is not quite ready yet. 4 snowmobilers found that out as their machines were headed to the bottom of the East Channel last week.  Will it be ready by this weekend?  Maybe.  Best to check with locals if you are coming up this weekend before venturing out onto any lake ice.

Erik Olsen ready for the sharp end. Dairyland

All climbs are in (with the exception of the Ampitheater) and are growing each day!  Just a friendly reminder that Pictured Rocks is a very large park and there are amazing experiences to be had beyond the Sand Point Road area.  Not sure where to go?  Be sure to pick up the guidebook to the area or stop by Down Wind Sports for some beta.

While we won’t be gathering as an Ice Fest Family, we do hope you spend the evenings after climbing tuning into our live #covidfest virtual presentations starting Feb 11th @ 8pm! The presentations have always been a big part of the event, and we just can’t imagine a year without the injection of inspiration they provide, pandemic or not. So we’ve gotten together with a few friends and sponsors and we’re putting on a few virtual slideshows during what would be the festival weekend. These will be broadcast on Facebook Live so tune in and engage!

If you’re coming up for the weekend don’t forget to stop into Down wind Sports for Ice Fest gear along with ice climbing gear rentals! You can reserve any gear here. Not coming?  You can still get your discount on any climbing gear or clothing at our online site .  Recieve 20% off all winter by using code COVIDFEST2021 at checkout.

Been to Munising this winter? Our photo contest for free entry to Ice Fest 2022 is still going on remember to tag your photos with #michiganicefest2021

 

At Michigan Ice we take pride in being your go to site for current ice climbing conditions for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well as climbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. Planning a trip to Pictured Rocks? We have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs. Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!

American Alpine Club Raffle 2021

American Alpine Club Raffle 2021

 

Join or renew your AAC membership now through Feb 16th and email us a copy of your confirmation and you’ll be entered into a raffle for a free entry to ice fest 2022 and a class of your choice!
The American Alpine Club has been a strong supporter of the Michigan Ice Fest for over a decade, partnering to create the AAC Ground School and signing up hundreds of new members. More people become AAC members at the Michigan Ice Fest than almost any other event in the country, and we are really proud of that. Usually at Ice Fest, each person who joins the AAC is automatically entered into a raffle and are guaranteed a prize. That would be kind of hard to pull off this year, but we still feel that supporting the AAC is important whether we are all getting together or not.
This year if you email us the confirmation that you joined the AAC, we will enter you into a raffle where we will give away a free entry into the 2022 Michigan Ice Fest and a class of the winner’s choice! Email your AAC confirmation to: michiganicefest@gmail.com.
There are plenty of perks when you join the AAC, but if you really want to know what
the AAC is all about and why it’s important, take a look around you. Look to the mentor who first showed you how to belay. The partner throwing you a high-five at the summit. Your local legends. The AAC is about all of these people. It’s about community—about coming together. It’s about developing the legacy of climbing, and celebrating that legacy. Just like the Michigan Ice Fest, and that’s why we make such great partners.

Try Before You Buy- New Petzl Demo Program!

 

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers the most varied ice climbing terrain in the Midwest. From steep pillars, to the slabbier sheets of ice on Grand Island. Add in super cold temperatures with bulletproof ice, and Munising is a premier area for testing new equipment.
New this year to the Michigan Ice Fest is a full service Petzl Demo Center featuring all of the amazing ice tools and crampon products for the beginner to World Cup level ice climbing equipment. Our extensive demo line allows visiting climbers to experience a variety of products in a variety of conditions.
Stop by Down Wind Sports in Munising where you can select from a wide variety of Petzl equipment, and test the gear in a spectacular climbing setting!  Love the gear?  You can apply your one time rental fee towards the purchase of the Petzl gear!

Ice Conditions Report 2-1-21


HMR 1-30-21 pc Rob Brugman

Happy February everyone! It was so nice to see so many familiar faces and people enjoying the outdoors this past weekend. Lots of the climbs we have been patiently waiting for are now in including the Munising classic Dairyland!

Dairyland 1-30-21

You may have also seen the lake ice in the bay starting to form. But it is NOT SAFE conditions to cross over to Grand Island yet. We will be the first to let you know when ice lake conditions are safe. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Lake Superior can be a little cold this time of the year!

Also access to Miners Area/ Chapel Area roads are not drivable anymore so approaches will be longer and not via an automobile. Remember we do rent snowshoes/ xc skis at Down Wind Sports in Munising to help get you out to the backcountry! Speaking of there was a lot of action from Miners Castle to Chapel which is wonderful to see. When venturing out that far be sure to be prepared for long days and take precautions if someone in your part cannot ascend the climb!

Rappin Ice & Deadwood pc Captin Scott Gnas


Deadwood pc Gina Lynn

Sweet Mother Moses pc Greg Thelen

Emily Gantner on Widow Maker Miners Falls Area.

 

With the exception of The Amphitheater, all of the front country is looking pretty good! Just a friendly reminder that there is no parking allowed along Sand Point Road. Please park at the end parking lot and take the short warm up approach to the climbs.

Bryan DeAugustine rope soling on Swamp Thing

The Dryer Hose pc Micheal Straka

Swamp Falls pc Michael Straka

 

The Michigan Ice Fest Guides does offer a wide array of climbing gear for rent during the ice season. With gear from Black Diamond, Petzl, CAMP, La Sportiva, LOWA and many other great brands, we have what the gear you need to enjoy a day on the ice with friends.

If you have the skills and experience and are only lacking the gear, this a great way to get out. You can reserve any gear here.

At Michigan Ice we take pride in being your go to site for current ice climbing conditions for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well as climbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. Planning a trip to Pictured Rocks? We have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs. Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!

Covid Fest 2021

Michigan Ice Fest turns 30 years old this year. That’s right, for 30 years the Midwest ice climbing family has been making the trek to Munising to climb spectacular ice formations above a frozen landscape that stretches to an unbroken horizon. We planned a huge party to celebrate our anniversary. It was going to be one for the ages. Then everything changed. The world was different. We can’t gather 1,000 climbers in the Mather auditorium to hear our heroes tell tales of adventure and daring. We’re not allowed to head down to the bar to share our own adventures with the dozens of new friends we made during the day. After 29 years of feeling like things would never change, they did. But, after the shock wore off, we realized that the Michigan Ice Fest is more than just parties and slideshows. It’s about the people and the place, and those things haven’t changed at all. Our family is still our family, and the ice will still form.

If we can’t all get together this year, it just means that we’ll have twice as many stories to share when we can. So, we hope you will tune in virtually and join us in celebrating our virtual Ice Fest.

Covid 2021 Fest Schedule

Virtual Presentations

The presentations have always been a big part of the event, and we just can’t imagine a year without the injection of inspiration they provide, pandemic or not. So we’ve gotten together with a few friends and sponsors and we’re putting on a few virtual slideshows during what would be the festival weekend. These will be broadcast on Facebook Live so tune in and engage!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

American Alpine Club Raffle 2021

 

Join or renew your AAC membership now through Feb 16th and email us a copy of your confirmation and you’ll be entered into a raffle for a free entry to ice fest 2022 and a class of your choice!
The American Alpine Club has been a strong supporter of the Michigan Ice Fest for over a decade, partnering to create the AAC Ground School and signing up hundreds of new members. More people become AAC members at the Michigan Ice Fest than almost any other event in the country, and we are really proud of that. Usually at Ice Fest, each person who joins the AAC is automatically entered into a raffle and are guaranteed a prize. That would be kind of hard to pull off this year, but we still feel that supporting the AAC is important whether we are all getting together or not.
This year if you email us the confirmation that you joined the AAC, we will enter you into a raffle where we will give away a free entry into the 2022 Michigan Ice Fest and a class of the winner’s choice! Email your AAC confirmation to: michiganicefest@gmail.com.
There are plenty of perks when you join the AAC, but if you really want to know what
the AAC is all about and why it’s important, take a look around you. Look to the mentor who first showed you how to belay. The partner throwing you a high-five at the summit. Your local legends. The AAC is about all of these people. It’s about community—about coming together. It’s about developing the legacy of climbing, and celebrating that legacy. Just like the Michigan Ice Fest, and that’s why we make such great partners.
Michigan Ice Fest Photo Contest 2021
While the global pandemic may stop us from all getting together during Ice Fest, it doesn’t have to stop you from climbing, or from taking some amazing photos while you’re climbing. We still want to see what all of our friends are doing, and reward their creativity, so we are running our photo contest a little differently this year.
Here’s what to do:
1. During this climbing season snap some photos of ice climbing in the U.P. Photos of climbing, approaches, whatever as long as you feel it represents your the U.P. experience.
2. Post your photos to Instagram with the hashtag #michiganicefest2021. You can enter as many photos as you want. Please make sure your privacy settings allow us to see your photos. If we can’t see them, you can’t win.
3. On March 15th, all of the photos tagged with #michiganicefest2021 will be judged by a panel of Ice Fest staff. Photos will be judged based on some seriously strict criteria like exposure, composition, creativity, and coolness.
4. The panel’s favorite photos will be shared on the Michigan Ice Fest Facebook page and the photo with the most likes at the end of the voting period will be the winner.
The prize will include a registration for the 2022 Michigan Ice Fest and a class of your choice at next year’s event. On top of this already stellar prize, we are throwing in gear and clothing from some of our event sponsors.
Let the contest begin!
Covid Ice Fest Discount !
This year Down Wind Sports launched an online shopping site to help their Ice Fest participants get the gear they need during the pandemic. The Ice Fest family can use the site to get their discount without ever having to leave the comfort of their keyboards. Recieve 20% off all winter by using code COVIDFEST2021 at checkout.
So, while everything may look different this year, and we might not be celebrating our 30th festival the way we planned, remember the U.P. air is still fresh and crisp, the snow is still a dazzling white, and Munising will always be waiting for you. Somethings never change.

Ice Conditions Report 1-26-21

 

This past weekend was full of surprises! Cold weather, more snow, lake ice starting to form, and best of all the Dryer Hose is in! If you are dreaming up a backcountry trip up here soon, remember to grab your snowshoes or backcountry skis to access climbs and account for the extra miles in your trip. The Lakeshore Trail out to Dairyland should be packed in but beyond that snowshoes or skis will be needed. Need shoes or skis? Down Wind Sports in Munising offers rentals. Speaking of rentals, check out this new program.

Photo by @wilkinsonvisual – www.wilkinsonvisual.com

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers the most varied ice climbing terrain in the Midwest. From steep pillars, to the slabbier sheets of ice on Grand Island. Add in super cold temperatures with bulletproof ice, and Munising is a premier area for testing new equipment. New this year to the Michigan Ice Fest is a full service Petzl Demo Center featuring all of the amazing ice tools and crampon products for the beginner to World Cup level ice climbing equipment. Our extensive demo line allows visiting climbers to experience a variety of products in a variety of conditions. Stop by Down Wind Sports in Munising where you can select from a wide variety of Petzl equipment, and test the gear in a spectacular climbing setting! Love the gear? You can apply your one time rental fee towards the purchase of the Petzl gear!

Most climbs along Sand Point Road are now in as well as most climbs along the Lake Shore Trail. Climbs that are close but not quite would be high volume waterfalls such as Miners Falls and Giddy Up. Of course that could change this weekend with the overnight Temps dropping to zero!!! Looks like some nice ice making weather leading into this coming weekend!

At Michigan Ice we take pride in being your go to site for current ice climbing conditions for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well as climbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. Planning a trip to Pictured Rocks? We have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs. Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!