Just received a conditions report from Ice Fest staff Nic Dobbs, David Hixenbaugh and photographer extraordinaire Erik Olsen. Looks like Twin Towers has seen its first ascent of the season! While some classic pillars still haven’t formed this is solid proof that if you get out and put the effort in, there are some pretty amazing early season routes to climb! Good job boys!
Notes from the field:
1-2-17 we skied in to Bridalveil Falls and it’s looking pretty good! I decided to lead it, because it was easy hero ice, but the protection was marginal. The ice is kind of sunbaked and there are a lot of hollow pockets on the lower rampy portion, but it’s better up higher off to the left of the main pillar. The main pillar itself is quite thin, maybe varying from 1-2 inches thick and you can see water running inside. The creek bed up top is mostly frozen over still so it’s easy to set up a belay station and keep things dry.
1-3-17 We headed out to Mosquito Beach to check on Twin Towers and Snowcone. It was a long haul in on wet sticky snow. We should have brought glide wax! We were surprised to find that the towers looked better than Snowcone which currently has a big ice free topout. Right Twin looked best so we dropped in and did some laps. The lower section is dead vertical and it’s quite fun because there are great stemming opportunities galore. Once it ramps out that puppy is hollow though. There is a large bat wing up top and a few places where water is spraying out of holes in the ice. It wasn’t extremely wet though. Hopefully things will heal up nicely soon.
One thing about Pictured Rocks and Lake Superior is that they offer an amazing back drop for the talented photographers in the Midwest. Erik Olsen is one of those photographers. Check out his work here! ErikOlsenPhoto.com