Ice climbers have been getting out for nearly two months in the Canadian Rockies, with over a dozen new routes climbed, a few big solos and moderate classics starting to form. Most of the rest of Canada hasn’t had the cold temps needed for ice to form yet this season.
Alberta and eastern B.C. are still the place to go for early season ice climbing. Most moderate to serious ice routes are formed and have been climbed, including routes like Cascade Falls, Grotto Falls, The Professor Falls, Bourgeau Left, Louise Falls, Weeping Wall, Wicked Wanda the Beer Climbs and more.
A number of ice climbers have been spending time this fall free-soloing big routes. Soloing ice should be left to the highly experienced winter climbers and it’s not recommended that amateur ice climbers go without a rope. Watch Ryan Richardson go solo on Cold Choice this week here.
While some ice had formed on Vancouver Island and along the Duffy Lake Road, it’s all but melted out.
Northwestern Ontario is finally getting some ice, with routes in Orient Bay, Kama Bay and closer to Thunder Bay starting to form. Local guide Aric Fishman uploaded a video of a fall 2020 ascent up Hully Gully, a classic WI2 at Orient Bay first climbed over 40 yeras ago.
While there’s some ice around the northwestern shores of Lake Superior, none has formed out east near Agawa Canyon or Montreal RIver. Temps have also been too warm in southern Ontario, Quebec and the East Coast.
The classic Quebec ice climb Montmorency Falls will be closed this winter as construction is taking place. You can read more about it here.
In the U.S.A., ice climbers are finding good conditions in New England (Huntington Ravine), Montana and Wyoming. Over the past month, Aaron Mulkey and friends have been getting after it, with new routes and bold repeats, south of the border. Follow along on his Instagram below.
With cold temps in the forecast for most of Canada, it won’t be long now before ice starts to form in western B.C., Quebec and the Maritimes.
In preparation of the winter season the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) is offering a series of workshops on Wednesday evenings. In accordance with current health concerns, the workshops will be livestreamed on YouTube.
The workshops will be presented by Doug Latimer, the ACC’s lead winter guide. The program will be about 45 minutes in length and is then open for participants to ask questions via live chat. Everyone is welcome. Visit here for more info.