Ice Conditions Report 3-21-22

 

HMR 3-20-22 PC Brian Kaufman

This past week we experienced warm sunny conditions which took its toll on many of the ice formations in the park.  While the true waterfalls are unstable to climb, there is still plenty of ice to be climbed.  True seeps like HMR are in and as fat as they have been all season.  Brian Kaufman’s crew headed out to find HMR fat but really wet this past weekend!

In the Front Country, (because Michael Ganley wants to know) the Dryer Hose is currently unclimbable, but who knows, maybe by the weekend it will heal up! The true seeps such as Prelude, Opening Curtains, Boomer Falls, The Curtains, Lake Shore Curtains, Totally Todd and timeless Art of Seduction are in prime condition. The advantage of coming up and climbing in March is that the seeps are bigger, the ice is solid, our days are longer and after suffering all winter long sunshine and warmer temperatures makes for easier climbing! Another bonus is that there are less climbers so there won’t be a competition for the climbs.

 

Over the next three days, we will have rounds of wintry precipitation ahead of a strong storm system.  We should see icy/slippery roads, and accumulating snow. We’re looking at around a quarter of an inch of ice and 3-6 inches of wet snow with more than 7 inches in the higher elevations.

Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group needs to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details 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!

Ice Conditions Report- Grand Island Edition 3-15-22

This past weekend saw brutally cold conditions on Saturday, warmer temps on Sunday and perfect conditions on Monday!  The ice is as fat as it has been all winter and thankfully we are looking at an extended ice season in the U.P.!

On Monday, Michigan Ice Fest Guides were spread out all over Grand Island enjoying long routes, soft ice and SUNSHINE!  So good after suffering cold temps all winter to get out and bask in the warmth of the sun.  If you have some time off coming up, get on up here and head out to the island.

The public launch at Grand Island is still the preferred starting point and the lake ice is still solid and surprisingly smooth all the way out to O Brother Where Art Thou Wall.

If you have never experienced the magic of Grand Island, you still have a chance this year!  With some of the longest routes in the Midwest a trip to the island should be on everyone’s bucket list. Our temps are warming up this week but still overnight below freezing Friday and Saturday!

 

 

 

Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group needs to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details 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!

 

 

 

Ice Conditions Report 3-8-22 Holding Our Own

With a steady rain this past Saturday, we thought we would be writing a sad Ice Conditions report this week with the ending of the season but cold temperatures found their way back to us and the ice is still looking good with all formations still climbable.  Our typical steel grey skies are starting to turn giving way to blue bird sunny skies!  Now is the time to come up and enjoy climbing in warmer temps and softer ice!

This past weekend saw a flurry of activity on Grand Island with climbers having fun from Trout Bay to the East Channel all the way out to the West Shore climbs.  Lake ice is still good from the public access to Grand Island.

Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group need to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details here!

With these overnight lows we are looking at an extended climbing season!

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!

Ice Conditions Report 2-28-22

 

Dairyland PC Nic Dobbs

The Munising area saw lots of action this past weekend with visiting climbers finding fat mid season conditions!  On their day off, some of the Michigan Ice Fest Guides hit three of the PRNL Classics Dairyland, Strawberry Daze and Midnight Rambler during a rare bluebird day!

PC David Hixenbaugh

The Front Country is also going strong as the Dryer Hose has resealed it leak and isn’t as wet as it was last weekend. Grand Island is still seeing action with most climbers concentrating on the Trout Bays area. We still do not recommend crossing to the Island from Sand Point, please use the Public Access for Grand Island as the lake ice is much safer there. 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!

For those adventurers who like solitude and want to escape the crowds, there is a lot of ice in the U.P. that is not in Munising. The Black River is an example of that, and Jeremiah Gourd sent a few photos of this past weekends exploration of the Black River.

The Black River is the Western U.P.’s mini ice destination in Big Snow Country, a region also known for its amount of alpine ski hills, and deep lake effect snow. The ice climbs are all located in a small canyon along the fast flowing Black River just a few miles upstream of where it drains into Lake Superior. On a normal season almost a half-dozen lines form along the sides of the canyon walls, with the actual river waterfall rarely freezing and never climbed. All but one of the climbs are located across the river from where you park, which means the river must be well frozen before you can get to the climbs, as the swim across would be rather cold.

Not to sound like a broken record, our extended forecast is still looking amazing for continued ice growth and excellent climbing conditions! Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group need to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details 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!

Ice Conditions Report 2-22-22

Dryer Hose 2-20-22

Now that the fest is over we are continuing to see many climbers coming up to enjoy fantastic ice conditions at PRNL and over at Grand Island. Cold weather is continuing and the forecast looks promising for a long season. We have also received a good amount of snow the last couple of days so prepare to bust a trail if you are heading into the backcountry.

Having said that, on Saturday the Dryer Hose did spring a leak and we are hoping that it will heal up this week. The left side was still climbable but straight on and climbers right were defiantly a no go. See video here!

Left Twin 2-20-22

This past holiday weekend we saw many climbers up and down Sand Point Road which is a good thing but remember there is great ice to climb, many formations still untouched this season, scattered throughout the park. Our friend Captin Scott Gnas sent us the following photos of routes in the Mosquito area that had nobody on the both Friday and Saturday of Ice Fest!

Grand Island has seen lots of action at Trout Bay.  Just a reminder- it is never safe to cross the East Channel to access the East Channel Curtains.  Please use the public access dock for Grand Island. As always, when planning to venture out to the island check with the Park service, Forrest Service, local Sherriff or Down Wind Sports in Munising to see if lake ice has changed.

Captin Scott also sent these photos of the seldom climbed formations on the east side of Trout Bay

For those looking for a bit of solitude, The Millers went out to the Rock River Canyon Wilderness Area and found the Subway in pristine condition.  If you are looking  for fresh ice and no other climbers, we recommend picking up the guidebook and checking this area out as many of these smaller formations never get climbed in a season.

The Subway PC John Miller

 

Our extended forecast is still looking amazing for continued ice growth and excellent climbing conditions! Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group need to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details 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!

Ice Conditions Report- The Obscure 1-3-22

Pc John Miller

 

The vast areas of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore which includes 33,929 acres (53.0 square miles) and Grand Island National Recreation Area comprises of 13,500 acres (34 square miles), hiding hundreds of obscure climbs within its woodlands.  Loads of these climbs are unnamed and never see an ascent over a season.  Some are difficult to find, some have difficult approaches, but the rewards can be worth the effort.  With the upcoming Michigan Ice Fest and lots of climbers coming up the the UP, you may want to head out and find some solitude and fresh ice!

Here are a few obscure climbs, some near, some far that were climbed this weekend.  Thanks to the Millers and Captin Scott Gnass for sending these in.  Remember, there are over 200 documented climbs in An Ice Climbers Guide to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but there are hundreds undocumented!  The guide book lists the East Channel and West Shore of Grand Island as areas but there are probably a hundred lines in these two areas alone!

Our extended forecast is looking amazing for continued ice growth! Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group need to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details 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!

Ice Conditions Report- The Back Country 1-24-22

 

High winds blowing in from the north across Lake superior created a very cold blustery weekend that greeted visiting climbers.  The front country looked surprisingly quite with most climbs open even on Saturday.  The back country did see some action with climbers braving the challenging conditions.  If you have never climbed in the back country, climbers can be at the mercy of the winds as there is virtually no protection from the elements whether you are climbing or suffering at the belay.

While the lake ice was still questionable, this weekend also saw the first snow machines making their way out to Grand Island!  The locals were heading to their favorite fishing hole and if the winds don’t blow the ice pack out we may be able to hit the island next weekend.  If you are planning a trip and have thoughts about going to the island you can call our guide service at 906-387-8025 or contact the Forrest Service or National Park Service to get up to the date lake ice conditions before venturing out.

Erik Olsen, Ryan Nordstrom and David Hixenbaugh headed out to the Chapel Area and came back with this report:

“Spray Falls looked too sketchy to access from the lake when we were there, hollow snow/ice Bridge at the base and it was quite thin. You could see a ton of water rushing just behind the ice. Ships Prow not in. Close to touching down, but not really any water moving on it. Some Other Day was in as well as a smaller curtain we climbed. The shelf ice seemed pretty solid, but we did have to go up in the woods one time to get past a thin spot”.

 

 

Erik Olsen on the sharp end of Some Other Day

 

The left photo is of Spray Falls which Jesse Dolloway climbed the left side last weekend. as you can see, things do change week to week and Erik, David and Ryan found it unclimbable this weekend. Ships Prow and White Fang are coming along but not climbable yet.

With our high winds and recent snow, expect a bit of postholing and drifts on the approaches to any of the back country climbs.  The Miners Beach area, heading out to Bridalveil falls can still be done without snowshoes but any other remote climbs they may be required.

If you are planning on heading to the back country this week and not wanting to battle the long approaches?  Lake Superior Ice Caves Tours is running shuttles out the the Miners Area.  Check them out here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Miller on Rapping Ice  PC John Miller

 

Arni Ronis topping out on Bridalveil Falls

 

John Miller leading Giddy Up

 

 

Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group need to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details here!


With these continuing cold temperatures  we should be right on track for having most climbs in for the fest!

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!

Ice Conditions Report 1-17-22

This weekend the Sand Point Parking lot was full of visiting climbers and it was so nice to see many old friends on this extended holiday weekend!  There is snow in the forecast and continuing cold temperatures which is adding up to a great ice climbing season.

BACKCOUNTRY

This weekend marked one of the  busiest of the season with climbers spread out across the park enjoying the great climbing conditions including the backcountry which is really starting to shape up.  Many reports coming in of folks getting back there and ticking off some of the classics.  Chris Stark and Brad Waggoner found fat conditions on HMR this weekend with After Midnight and On The Rocks coming in nicely.

 

After Midnight- HMR – On the Rocks 1-13-22

They found  typical conditions on the 3 mile approach to the trail head, then another 3 miles to Chapel Beach, and then the final mile to the top of the climb. Skis and snow shoes were needed for the final 2 miles to the beach.

Dairyland 1-13-22 PC Paul Kuenn

 

 

Our old friend and first ascentist of Dairyland, Paul Kuenn, made the trek out to this beautiful formation and from the looks of it, the climb is a bit thinner than usual but defiantly climbable!

The climb usually forms in two HUGE pillars fed by the creek above. Every year impressive bat wings form at the top that can be intimidating and offers interesting climbing while you top out.  From the frozen lake to the top of the cliff, it is over 60 meters high, with the actual climbing lasting for about 45 meters.

 

 

Bridalveil Falls 1-15-22 PC Bryan DeAugustine

 

 

Bryan and Jack DeAugustine made the extremely long 8 mile ski along Miners Castle Road to find beautiful sunny (but cold) conditions on Bridalveil Falls. Want to hit up this amazing climb but not into the long approach? Lake Superior Ice Caves Tours is running shuttles out the the Miners Area this winter.  Check them out here

Suck It Up PC John Miller

Some of the major pillars out the lakeshore are now starting to become climbable. On Saturday the Millers sent Suck It Up which more than likely was the first ascent of the season.  We also had a report of Midnight Rambler being in but pretty wet on Sunday.

FRONT COUNTRY

 

 

Almost all of the Front Country climbs are in and most of them saw action this weekend. We are also starting to see tourist showing up to look at the ice formations and watch climbers.  Please be courteous and remind them that it is not safe to walk under climbers as they climb as ice will and does fall!

Once again a friendly reminder that there is no parking along Sand Point Road at any time.  With the snow forecasted this Tuesday, the city and Park Service will be plowing so please drive down to the end of Sand Point Road and park in the lot and walk back to the trail head.

 

GRAND ISLAND

 

In other exciting news, there is skim ice all the way out to Grand Island from the public access dock!  IT IS NOT SAFE TO TRAVEL ON YET, but with continuing cold temperatures we are one step closer to be able to get out on the island! Conditions can and do change fast.  If you are planning a trip and have thoughts about going to the island you can call our guide service at 906-387-8025 or contact the Forrest Service or National Park Service to get up to the date lake ice conditions before venturing out.

East Channel Curtains 1-16-22

Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group need to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week.  Check out the rental details here!

Look at those temps!  With this kind of forecast we should be looking good for getting the rest of the formations climbable, and who knows, maybe Grand Island next 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!