The ice climbing season across Canada has been a mixed bag this season as we head into the first full month of winter. Quebec has some big ice, although the classic Montmorency Falls is in thin and unsafe conditions. The climbs on the headwall at Rivière-Sainte-Marguerite near Sept-îles are in fat shape, with wild lines like the three-pitch Pilier Simon-Proulx WI5 good to go. Photos shared by Benoit Lemieux show just how amazing the conditions are. Read a trip report to the area from 2014 here. Other Quebec classics like La Dent de Dracula WI5 are also in.
Central B.C. has been cold, which means that some big climbs have formed, such as Gap Falls WI5 near Revelstoke and Carl’s Berg WI5 near Lillooet, although it was reportedly very wet, much like the nearby Loose Lady WI5. Several long climbs in the Bridge River have also been climbed. In Okanagan Valley, Mae Frank, Keith Towers and Shane Yargeau made the likely first ascent of Maysel, a two-pitch WI3+ near Margret Falls. The 90-metre route can be seen from the road in Sunnybrae. Shannon Falls near Squamish was climbed this winter, but has since melted out.
While northern Ontario from Sudbury to Thunder Bay is having another good ice season, southern Ontario has been warm with no consistent cold snaps. Orient Bay must-climbs like Tears of Joy WI3+ and Andromeda Weeps WI4 are in fat conditions, while climbs at Kushog Lake have melted out. With temperatures hovering above freezing in southern Ontario, it’s possible many climbs won’t form this year.
The Canadian Rockies had a late start, but conditions are amazing as of right now with classics like Sorcerer, Whiteman Falls and Louise Falls seeing regular ascents. The only area that’s fallen behind are the Beer Climbs in Field, where Pilsner Pillar, Carlsberg Column and Guinness Gully are yet to form to their usual sizes.