Ice Conditions Report 2014/2015


Early snow and cold temperatures the last few weeks have local climbers itching to get out and get this season started!  Conditions this weekend  have seen a warm up with temps in the 40’s and rain threatening for tonight.  We thought we would head out this morning to see if there might be any ice that would be climbable before it deteriorates any more.


While all waterfalls are not climbable yet, (Munising falls pictured above) we did find some small seeps that were thick enough to climb on.  Things may change drastically tonight depending on the amount of rain we will get, but in the long run more water in the ground table will produce bigger and better climbs for us this season.






Start sharpening those picks as this ice season is REALLY close to starting!  As always this time of year please call (906-226-7112), for up to date conditions before planning a long road trip up.

Ice Conditions Report 2-23-14


Another great weekend for climbing ice in the Upper Peninsula!  Not to sound like a broken record but conditions are amazing right now and will be for the foreseeable future.  Why?  Well check out the forecast below to see that our temps are holding steady for the remainder of the month.  Could we possible break our record this year and be climbing the second week of May?




Scott Thomas, Michael Donhost, Jack DeAugustine, and Bryan DeAugustine sent in these photos of their outting Saturday. They had sunny skies and fat ice.  It was a beautiful day to be climbing for sure!


Planning on coming up this next weekend?  Pack yer long undies as we are still full on winter!  The lake ice to Grand Island is still solid as is the shore ice along the Lakeshore Trail.

Ice Conditions Report 2-16-14 Michigan Ice Fest Staff Goes Climbing!


For all of our Michigan Ice Fest fans cold temperatures have not released their grip on the Upper Peninsula (thankfully) and our ice conditions are excellent!  Several of the Michigan Ice Fest staff gathered Sunday to travel out to Grand Island for a wee bit of climbing along the West Shore.  Right now conditions are EPIC with big fat beautiful blue ice and it really looks like long term forecast show the ice is not going to go anywhere anytime soon.  If you haven’t been to Grand Island be sure to get up here in the next month or so as you will be treated to long routes, perfect ice and NO CROWDS!



The West Shore of Grand Island has more routes concentrated together than any other climbing location in the Upper Peninsula!  Only a ten minute snowmobile ride from the Grand Island public access, the West Shore is the closest major ice formation to the mainland.  Unlike the major climbs at Pictured Rock National Lakeshore, many of the West Shore climbs are less than vertical, offering moderate leads well above the waters of Lake Superior.




Death and/or old age is coming…..we must live sweet.
The time is now. Why ration passion?
Dream big…..and climb those dreams.
After all, it is not only life, but the quality of this life.

Mike Libecki

As our good friend Mike says- The time is now!  Don’t wait….start planning your trip up and get after the amazing ice that Grand Island has to offer.  If you have any logistical questions about the island or the climbs don’t hesitate to drop us a line.


Ice Conditions Report 2-9-14 A Small Rant From Bill


I really don’t like to rain on anyone’s parade but my newsfeed has been filled lately with notices and photos of the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.  Seems the lakeshore ice in Bayfield Wisconsin has not formed in 5 years shutting people out from exploring the caves.  I keep looking for something that might be climbable but honestly there doesn’t seem too be much ice at all.  What really sent me over the edge was that 8500 people showed up yesterday to explore “the ice caves”.

Ice Caves of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Andrew Burr photo
Ice Caves of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Andrew Burr photo


In my humble opinion the ice cave formations at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are far “superior” and you don’t have to wait for the lakeshore ice to form to explore them.  On second thought, with 8500 visitors in one day maybe everyone SHOULD go the Apostles to check out the ice!

With an early am start and -6 degree temperatures as you can imagine the ice is still in excellent condition.  The lakeshore trail is firmly packed to every climb (thanks Ice Fest participants!) all the way to Dairyland.


The shore ice is still in and climbs are accessible along the lakeshore as well as Grand Island.  Even with the negative temperatures, surprisingly climbs varied today from bullet proof hard to totally soaked.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly




Giddy Up
Giddy Up



All in all a good day today with a report of great ice conditions, safe travel still available along the lakeshore ice and out to Grand Island, and most importantly only two ice climbers in the park today!

Ice Conditions 1-5-14


With brutally cold temperature engulfing the entire Midwest, I thought it would be a lot colder then it was today.  The good news is that conditions are excellent and we are experiencing one of the best ice seasons in decades!  Shore bouldering in Marquette has formed but could use a little more shelf ice to provide better access.

The Dryer Hose
The Dryer Hose

Some Michigan Ice Fest staff hit up Munising trying to get tuned up for their road trip out to Ouray.  The Dyer Hose is in amazing shape as well as the seldom formed Amphitheater.  We also have a report of some folks that headed into Twin Falls and it was in excellent shape as well.

The Amphitheater
The Amphitheater






Things are really starting to shape up for Ice Fest….you won’t want to miss this one as all of the major formations will be in and access to Grand Island is almost a certainty!


Ice Conditions 12-29-13


Another Sunday , another storm!  Lots of blowing snow and cold temperatures today are making for phenomenal ice conditions at Pictured Rocks national Lakeshore.  Most climbs are mid season form and growing everyday!  Once again the seeps seem to be doing the best and high flow waterfalls about a week or two out from being climbable.  The lakeshore trail is packed to Giddy Up and no snowshoes are needed.  That could change over the next week as snow is forecasted but we will keep you updated.

Sweet Mother Moses
Sweet Mother Moses


Sweet Mother Moses
Sweet Mother Moses


Reports from the field of climbs that are in and have been climbed are: (there are many, many more but these have been confirmed!)

Potato Patch Falls


Window Waltz

Dryer Hose


Three Sisters

Sweet Mother Moses





Three Sisters
Three Sisters

We also have a report of ice fishermen that have crossed to Grand Island already!  On Sunday the bay was open water but from Grand Island public access to Trout Bay was covered in ice.  As always I would check with the Park Service or Forest Service headquarters before heading out on the lake ice.  The good news is that if this weather holds….we will be on Grand Island for Ice Fest for sure!

Ice Conditions Report 12-8-13

Every year I look forward to the beginning of ice season.  An alpine start offers a quite drive from Marquette to Munising with virtually no one on the road, and a cloud free sky means terrific star gazing along the shore of Lake Superior. This morning was COLD providing perfect conditions for makin’ ice!  With bitter temperatures predicted for the next week it really looks like we might just have a banner year for ice.


With a relatively light snow pack Miners Castle Road is still passable enabling climbers to access the Miners Beach climbs.  Most true waterfalls are still not climbable but that should change shortly.  Seeps are coming in, and with the wet fall and recent rain storm they are growing everyday!

Potato Patch Falls


Memorial Falls




It was a great day on the ice today as we spent most of the day at the Grotto!  Start sharpening your tools and start making plans to come on up and get some early season ice!  Rember to check back here for ice conditions or call the store at 906-226-7112.  The classics should be coming in soon!


Ice Conditions Report 2012/2013- Let’s Start This Thing!

With the early cold temperatures I thought it might be prudent to head over to Munising to check on how the ice climbs are starting to form up.  Being optimistic, I threw the crampons and tools in the pack….just hoping that there might be something to play on!

Looking across the lake, the East Channel climbs are just beginning to develop but it sure won’t be too long before the whole curtain is touching down.

As usual, the true waterfalls are behind the seeps in their development but the Dryer Hose and Giddy Up pictured here are coming along quite nicely for November.

Sunny Day and Mini Me

The only climb that I found that was remotely climbable was the grade 2 Sunny Day.  This low angle climb had just enough ice to make it worth pulling out the tools and having a go at it!

Munising has around six inches of snow right now and a trail is packed in as far as Sunny Day.  The great news is that all of the feeder streams seem to be full of water, and with our early snow, we should be climbing the major formations right around Christmas!  Couldn’t think of a better gift then that!