This weekend the Sand Point Parking lot was full of visiting climbers and it was so nice to see many old friends on this extended holiday weekend! There is snow in the forecast and continuing cold temperatures which is adding up to a great ice climbing season.
This weekend marked one of the busiest of the season with climbers spread out across the park enjoying the great climbing conditions including the backcountry which is really starting to shape up. Many reports coming in of folks getting back there and ticking off some of the classics. Chris Stark and Brad Waggoner found fat conditions on HMR this weekend with After Midnight and On The Rocks coming in nicely.
After Midnight- HMR – On the Rocks 1-13-22
They found typical conditions on the 3 mile approach to the trail head, then another 3 miles to Chapel Beach, and then the final mile to the top of the climb. Skis and snow shoes were needed for the final 2 miles to the beach.
Our old friend and first ascentist of Dairyland, Paul Kuenn, made the trek out to this beautiful formation and from the looks of it, the climb is a bit thinner than usual but defiantly climbable!
The climb usually forms in two HUGE pillars fed by the creek above. Every year impressive bat wings form at the top that can be intimidating and offers interesting climbing while you top out. From the frozen lake to the top of the cliff, it is over 60 meters high, with the actual climbing lasting for about 45 meters.
Bryan and Jack DeAugustine made the extremely long 8 mile ski along Miners Castle Road to find beautiful sunny (but cold) conditions on Bridalveil Falls. Want to hit up this amazing climb but not into the long approach? Lake Superior Ice Caves Tours is running shuttles out the the Miners Area this winter. Check them out here
Some of the major pillars out the lakeshore are now starting to become climbable. On Saturday the Millers sent Suck It Up which more than likely was the first ascent of the season. We also had a report of Midnight Rambler being in but pretty wet on Sunday.
Almost all of the Front Country climbs are in and most of them saw action this weekend. We are also starting to see tourist showing up to look at the ice formations and watch climbers. Please be courteous and remind them that it is not safe to walk under climbers as they climb as ice will and does fall!
Once again a friendly reminder that there is no parking along Sand Point Road at any time. With the snow forecasted this Tuesday, the city and Park Service will be plowing so please drive down to the end of Sand Point Road and park in the lot and walk back to the trail head.
In other exciting news, there is skim ice all the way out to Grand Island from the public access dock! IT IS NOT SAFE TO TRAVEL ON YET, but with continuing cold temperatures we are one step closer to be able to get out on the island! Conditions can and do change fast. If you are planning a trip and have thoughts about going to the island you can call our guide service at 906-387-8025 or contact the Forrest Service or National Park Service to get up to the date lake ice conditions before venturing out.
Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group need to rent gear Down Wind Sports in Munising offers Ice Gear rentals and are open 7 days a week. Check out the rental details here!
Look at those temps! With this kind of forecast we should be looking good for getting the rest of the formations climbable, and who knows, maybe Grand Island next weekend???
At Michigan Ice we take pride in being your go to site for current ice climbing conditions for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well as climbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. Planning a trip to Pictured Rocks? We have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs. Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!