Ice Conditions Reports
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CAUTION! Scrambling, technical rock, ice and mixed climbing and mountaineering activities are, by their very nature, potentially hazardous activities. You could be severely injured or killed while participating in them. The information presented in these conditions and trip reports is intended to supplement, NOT replace, sound judgement and experience. The accuracy or truth of any information presented here cannot be guaranteed and may change with time. Conditions in a given area or on a particular climb may (and likely will) vary from day to day or even hour to hour. Ice and mixed climbs in particular may vary considerably in safety, stability and overall condition over a short period of time. The onus is on the individual to verify the applicability of the information presented here to a given time and environment before using it as the basis of any kind of decision. This must not be your only source of information on any given subject. Seek additional information from guidebooks, reputable climbing schools, mountain guides, local climbers, Park Wardens and Rangers. Common sense and a strong will to survive must pervade your thoughts and actions. By using the information contained here, you are releasing the authors, contributors and The Alpine Club of Canada from any liability for any injury, including death, that may occur. You have been warned.
These conditions reports are limited to climbs in the Thunder Bay region, and to areas west of and including Thunder Bay, Orient Bay, Kama Hills and Ice Station Superior. All folks posting conditions are required to log in with a valid email address and password. As well, keep your postings clean and limited to conditions reports - this is not intended as a forum for discussion. Any postings containing foul language, erroneous information, false reports, slander, spam or other malicious content will be edited or removed at the discretion of the webmaster. As a rule the ACC Thunder Bay Section does not promote climbing without protective gear such as helmets or ropes. Any posts that suggest soloing or have photos of climbers without protective gear will be edited or removed. Censorship is definitely NOT cool, unfortunately these are our rules.
That said, get out there and start climbing!
If you want a location on any of the routes listed you may find them in the Community Maps
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Ice Conditions Report Archives
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2012 - 2013
|Amy R (Orient Bay)|
|Submitted by:||Terry Prodanyk|
|Climbed on:||Dec 1|
Lots of water flowing! Had to 'retire' the gloves after two climbs - soaked. The line up the left is a nice 2+ right now and reasonably dry. The center of the climb is raining water and growing nicely. The ice is very thin in a few spots still but lots of good placements for pro.
FYI to All - The height descriptor on this climb on the ++Ice Climbs of OB++ map should be modified. On the map, it only shows it as 20m but it's more like a solid 30-35m depending on the rap rings you use at the top. We had a 70m rope today and that just comfortably got us to the bottom by rappeling from the closer rings at the top right - suggesting the climb is much closer to 30m. From the anchor rings on the tree at the top left, a single 70m would likely just reach. Climber beware if you're only using a single 60m rope.
|Ice Palace (Orient Bay)|
|Submitted by:||Nick Buda|
|Climbed on:||December 1, 2013|
The photos say it all. Well worth the trip and unbelievably nobody there. Going to be an epic season in OB this year. Lots of rare stuff in, lots of snow, and lots of running water. Seems like things are 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. Nice to enjoy a warmish day before the freeze!
|Reflection Wall, Obsession (Orient Bay)|
|Submitted by:||Wes Bender|
We made it to OB today. Everything is looking fantastic. Parallax getting bigger. Wall of Doom has ice on all of the existing routes. The Ice Palace looks like it is mid winter conditions from what we saw from the road. The Reflection Wall area is super fat for Nov. Most of the low angle classics have ice and are climbable. There are a few rare climbs forming this year, most notable is Comets Tail, which hasn't formed since 2008. Tears of Joy is slow this years but will catch up in short time I suspect.
Starquake and Andromeda look good.
We hoped on Reflection Wall first. Pro was excellent. 19s and 15s with on 1 13 at the top. Climbing was straight forward, just steep. It was so much fun we did it twice. Then it was over to Obsession for a quick lap. The column was a little airy but good gear was easily found. typical shape right now.
Snow depth is about 12" or more so you'll need to bring a shovel with you to ensure you are well over the travelled portion of the highway.
Note: The anchor tree atop of Reticulation has broken and now hanging from the top of the cliff above the normal staging area. This route is now un-climbable until someone cuts the tree down. A simple hand saw will do the trick. If someone goes up there before me please remove it.
|Getting Oriented (Kama Bay)|
|Submitted by:||Patrick Martel|
|Climbed on:||nov 23, 2013|
Kevin & I were planning to meet the others in OB but highway 11 was blocked by the jackknife truck so we opted for Kama bay. It was COLD and windy.... but well worth it! From the road Icebreaker, Icebreaker arrete, and whimpsickle seem to be forming well and reaching the ground. We opted to climb oriented which is also forming well and so is orient express & vertically oriented. Getting oriented is still thin with colliflowers but protectable with shorter screws. Would suggest a few cams for the exit... probably a BD #.5 or #.75, and #2
Froze ourselves but had a great time!
|Mellow Yellow (Orient Bay)|
|Submitted by:||Wes Bender|
Rather wintery out in OB today. A transport hit a patch of ice and was stuck on a hill between Mellow Yellow and the compressor station so we were stuck in a line of cars for about 1/2 hour before we abandonned our plan to climb Starquake and went and cranked laps on Mellow Yellow instead. Decent ice protects well with 13's and 15's. We climbed a couple of variations on the main flow as well and the left wall and arete.
I waited all spring/summer/fall for today. Not the climbing but to beat Brian and Rock Papaer Scissors for first lead. Good ole rock!
Parallax is in and touching down. Probably thick enough for a bold ascent if temps warm up.
Great first day out.
|White Lightning, Ice Stud, Curtain Call (The Bowl area)|
|Submitted by:||Frank Pianka|
|Climbed on:||November 21|
Please respect the signs posted for the access road to The Bowl area (Ice Stud, White Lightning, Curtrain Call). Watch for more information as it's available. Info: Frank, email@example.com 807 577-7950