Ice Conditions Report- 1-6-23

It was a tough week for building ice in Munising. Heavy wet snow and warm temperatures blanketed the Upper Peninsula this past week and put lots of water into our streams and watershed. The effect of this is that many of the pillars and waterfalls are now blown out. Some seeps are still climbable such as Lakeshore Curtains, Big Pine Pillar, School Room, Drake Seep, Opening Curtains and Prelude Curtain. With the heavy snow, if you are heading into the backcountry snowshoes will be needed! An exception is that a group from Ohio has packed in the Lakeshore Trail to Cliffs Campsite, the route to Dairyland. The good news is that a report came in from a party that HMR is in as is FAT!

Please be mind full that Munising early season formations are extremely delicate and knocking any pillars down at this point may take a month to reform. BEFORE MAKING THE LONG DRIVE UP– please call Down Wind Sports for up to the minute conditions: (906) 387-8020

Weather and ice conditions can change hourly and what may appear to be “good conditions” to one climber may not be so to another. Please remember that just because a conditions report says that a particular climb is “in”, each individual is ultimately responsible for making his/her own climbing decisions.

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. We also offer a full guide service and are currently booking guided ice climbing trips for the 22/23 season! Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!

Ode To The Dryer Hose

Ode to The Dryer Hose

Miles Prahl on The Dryer Hose, ca 1980’s

Way up in the old U.P.
Just out of Mew-ni-sing
There rose a pitch of water ice
A beauty to be seen.

It hung from a lip with air all ‘round.
Stood tall as a lean white birch.
To gaze at it and contemplate
Was like a prayer in church.

Tall and fine, its cold crystals set
Straight as a drop of water falls.
To take the sharp end up that path
Really took some … er … nerve!

Alas, and now it wears a “skirt”;
Its steepness lost to fools.
Today some dance upon its flanks
Without even using tools!

Old memories long for the day,
When challenge it would pose.
But now it’s just an “easy day”,
Since someone took The Hose.

Yes, Way up in the old U.P.
At Ice Fest it still flows.
But, the thrill will never be the same,
Since someone took The Hose.

Phil Watts

Today it is known as Life’s a Pitch, but the original route The Dryer Hose was so named because a well-placed clothes dryer hose directed water from a small stream over an undercut sandstone edge to form a direct flow for freezing. When the Pictured Rocks National Park administration decided to actively promote the ice climbing resource, they removed the dryer hose. The route name was changed to protect the innocent.