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Ice Forming from Canada’s West to East Coasts

With winter settling in on Canada, new and old ice routes are forming. The West Coast had a wet fall with weeks of rain. With the recent cold snap, there are a number of lines forming along the valleys and up in the mountains. At the Smoke Bluffs, Alice on Ice WI3 has formed as a thin smear that has been climbed.

Many of the classics in Lillooet have formed, including The Rambles WI3, Cherry Ice WI3 and Carl’s Berg WI5. In the Fraser Canyon, many of the well-known lines are almost formed, including Sailor Bar WI3 and Picadilly Circus WI3. Ice is forming on Vancouver Island and around Revelstoke. Routes along the Kicking Horse Canyon and near Field are mostly all in. Guinness Gully WI4 has been climbed and reported to be in but brittle.

A photo posted by Drew Smith (@drewsplan) on

In the Rockies, Cascade Falls WI3, Professor Falls WI4 and Bear Spirt mixed climbs are formed along the Bow Valley. On the Icefields Parkways, Weeping Wall WI4 and Icicle Fairy WI5+ have been climbed. Kitty Hawk WI5 on the David Thompson Highway is fat. Storm Creek Headwall and Stanley Headwall climbs are in good condition. The Trophy Wall above Banff has no routes formed. Most of the classics in the Ghost are being climbing, from GBU WI4 to House of Sky WI3 and Sorcerer WI5. A few new WI5 routes have been climbed, one in the Ghost and one near Caldron Lake.

In Ontario, climbs around Thunder Bay and Nipigon are forming. Obsession WI4, Gomar Falls WI3 and Reflection Wall WI5 should be climbable within the week. Along the east shore of Lake Superior, cold temps are freezing routes around Montreal River, Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma Canyon. In southern Ontario, the dry summer has left many walls dry but hopefully some freeze/thaw will help with runoff.

In Quebec and on the East Coast, cold days have started to freeze a number of big lines. On Mount Gros Bras and Le Dome, long 100-metre routes are starting to freeze. In Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, reports of routes forming have come in and with cold temps in the forecast it should only be a few days until climbers get on some ice.