Every year we are chomping at the bit to get out for the first climb of the season and we know a lot of you are as well. The staff at Michigan Ice are keeping our eyes on the temps and are excited to be your go to for up to date ice conditions reports.
With some free time and an optimistic attitude Michigan Ice Fest Guide Colton Moore and I headed out to see if any spray ice had formed on Bridal Veil Falls. We had seen photos of some ice on BV from the previous week and it looked like there might be a possibility.
With a fresh dusting of snow in Munising, we headed down Miners Castle Road to the parking lot/trailhead. On our way, we checked out Potatoe Patch Falls and found the falls were roaring which is a very good sign of the high water table. We just need colder temps!
Arriving at the climb at dawn, not surprisingly, there was no ice to climb. Once again there was a lot of water flowing and the surrounding cliffs are seeping so we will have to wait another week or two to actually start swinging the tools.
While we did not find ice, we are optimistic that we will be climbing our favorite routes by the holidays which in reality is pretty normal for Munising. Overnight lows look really good next week and you can be sure we will be back out updating the report. Checking back through our archives, this seems to be a pretty normal year…….ice starting to form early December and first routes climbed mid to late December.
Continue to sharpen your tools and start making plans to come on up and get some early season ice! Remember to check back here our our facebook page for the latest ice conditions.
This weekend the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior turned on the weather machine and brought us cold temperatures and coated the area with up to 15 inches of beautiful powder. It finally feels like winter is here! The ice in Munising is also starting to come around with true waterfalls finally becoming solid enough to see their first ascents of the season.
With all of the fresh snowfall if you are planning a trip into the backcountry it may be a good idea to pack the snowshoes or skis. As of last Thursday there was a boot packed trail to Mini Me and Sunny Day out along the Lakeshore Trail. Since Thursday the Munising area has been hit by a significant amount of lake effect snowfall so plan on snowshoeing in.
While at one point this season, most local climbers thought that accessing Grand Island this season was out of the question. Now there is a slight chance that Munising Bay will freeze enough to allow passage to the Island and some of the country’s most unique ice climbing. Keep your fingers crossed!
While seeps seem to be pretty darn solid, some of the waterfalls are very thin as they have only recently formed. Please use your best judgement when selecting climbs right now. As always, patience now will mean more and better ice for the next few months!
With recent cold temperatures we have seen an amazing growth of the climbs in the past week! Michigan Ice Fest guide Colton Moore, graciously scouted out some of the Sand Point Road climbs to give folks an idea of how things are progressing along. While seeps are starting to be climbable, due to the high volume of water in our streams, the waterfalls are still a week or two out. As always with early season climbing, please be very careful climbing any pillars as with this late of a start, anything that is knocked down might just stay down for the season.
Happy New Year! Things are starting to take shape as our Upper Peninsula temperatures have continued to be cold and the snow has been falling.
With its low angle and exposure to the cold winds blowing off Lake Superior, it looks like Bridal Veil Falls is the first climb to come in. Super cool gargoyle formations are taking shape at the top, produced by those north winds blowing off the lake. Climber left seems to be the best line so far and fairly dry considering the falls is still flowing.
While climbs are starting to form, there is still very little to climb. Progress is being made with pillars and seeps beginning to fill in.
Special thanks goes out to Colton Moore, Josh Hohner, Mario Molin and John Miller for submitting these shots for the Ice Conditions Report!
Like most Midwest climbers we realize that today officially marks the first day of fall and the impending ice season is soon to be upon us. Having said that, the Michigan Ice Fest web page and Facebook page will be updating the ice conditions every week throughout the season. Today marks our first report and we can honestly say the conditions are poor. Paddling out to the Grand Island East Channel climbs we were able to get up close and discovered in fact that they were pretty wet. Let’s hope the Gales of November blow early this year!
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.
Thanks to Bryon Thelen for contributing to this conditions report!
Gloom, despair, and agony on me….deep dark depression excessive misery……if we had no bad luck we’d have no luck at all. Last weeks warm up had a devastating effect of the ice in Munising. We hit the Curtains today and found several pillars that had fallen down and only one climbable route. The good news is that winter has returned and hopefully we will be back in business in a week or so.
We found this little pillar on the way over to the Dryer Hose and it is something that I have never seen formed before. With all of the water in the ground table, new seeps are forming all over the park!
The Dryer Hose on the other hand has been devastated with all of the melt. Looks like we will have to give it two more weeks before it will be climbable. Keep checking back for current conditions or call the store at 906-226-7112 to get up to date information!
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!