Alpine Club Of Canada

Thunder Bay Section

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

Here are some very old and outdated maps we have laying around.

Orient Bay Marathon

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Orient Bay general report (OB)
Submitted by:jon jugenheimer
Climbed on:11/28-11/29

On a American Thanksgivving road trip we enjoyed another fine weekend up north in the cold. Below is a general condition report of the climbs Liz and I got on last weekend.

Andromeda Weeps-in and slightly wet in the middle

Tears of Joy-In

Obsession-Pillar was wet and had to remove a few inches of ice for good gear

Cascade Falls-Both sides in and dry


Off the Couch-Very little ice in the chimney, added a pin with a biner to the fixed gear on the route where I bailed from.  1/2 way up on the right wall.  Might be too far out to actually clip from a stance though. 


Remember the day-In


Powerline Falls (Kama Bay)
Submitted by:Terry Prodanyk
Climbed on:Nov 29

Frank, Bill & I hiked up the river today. Our point-man, Frank, got a couple 'booters' in some thin spots. All the river falls are climbable and in good shape - considering the time of year it is.  In the main falls area - the left side is good so far and the right is very wet and 'raining' right now.  I was hoping to set up a line on the right falls too but there was just too much water coming down. Hopefully still a lot of growing to do for both the walls.  The minor side climbs at the path head, to the far right of the main twin falls, are forming up nicely as well.

Ice Palace (Orient Bay)
Submitted by:Nick Buda
Climbed on:November 23, 2014

Drove the whole corridor today before settling on the Ice Palace for the day.  Was hard to see many routes through the fog.  Overall, looks like it will be an average season in OB.  Parallax is about 3/4 of the way to reasonable, a ways to go before it connects.  Hully Gully, Mellow Yellow good to go, Amy R okay looking and the mixed rigs to the right are trying to form.  Gomar has a small hole but will likely be filled in by the weekend, and Glace looks good to go (would likely be super wet).  Cascade and Obsession look good and were climbed yesterday.  Reflection Wall is in but I would imagine is a shower, probably best to leave it for another week.  Tears of Joy mostly there but likely a shower too for now.  Andromeda in, Starquake only about half way there.  All the main stuff in the Ice Palace is climbable but very, very wet.  We spent our day on RTD and Ranxerox.  RTD is as easy as it gets, no overhang on the lower bit but a shower.  We opted to continue mostly straight up skipping the midledge, steeper but on an excellent ice column in between where the showers were.  Ranxerox is barely there on the left but the righthand version is fun featured climbing, not nearly as hard as it looks, but also extremely wet.  Good gear can be had throughout.  Beefed up the anchor on the right top.  That tree is getting rough though and may rot in a year or two.  The ice palace "trail" is in rough shape with lots of blowdown.

There is about a foot of sloppy snow overall, and you WILL need a shovel to park safely and legally - that is, well off the white line/pavement, and NOT on a bend or blind corner.  Friendly reminder to park in smarter spots and walk the extra 5 minutes (cautiously) along the hwy.  Parking right in front of Reflection Wall or Amy R is not a good idea even if you're off the white line - better to dig in at the Ice Palace or Cascade instead (be quick and careful parking in either spot as both are close to blind corners).  And remember to park intelligently if you dig in - leave room for others.  We dug out enough for two cars today.  The same would apply at Glace.

If temps drop as forecast, and we get any amount of snow this week (and OB will), snowshoes will be highly recommended.  The climbs should only get fatter with the amount of water flowing there.  You can hear the water running from the road +5C when we left today.  Also heard some ice and snow features collapsing nearby.


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Quotable Quotes

Remember not to have a fatal accident, because the community will think climbing is a dangerous thing, your friends will be bummed . . . and you'll be dead. (Closing remarks at American Alpine Club lecture.)

 ~Kitty Calhoun