This weekend the Michigan Ice Fest Guides hit the back country to see what conditions might be like in the Miners Falls area. Heavy snowfall has blanketed the area this season loading the trails with ton of snow so it looks like skis or snowshoes are your options for travel.
As usual Miners Castle Road is plowed up to Carmondy Road (there is now a big snow pile blocking the road so it is impossible to drive down it now). From this intersection it is close to a two mile ski to the Miners Castle Parking lot. From the lot there is an additional 1.2 miles back to the falls proper.
With the high volume of water that Miners Falls has, it just hasn’t been cold enough to freeze the main flow. We scouted Spray Off but it was just too wet to climb as half of the climb is taking the full brunt of the spray of of the falls. As soon as the main flow freezes it should be an amazing climb!
To safely access the climbs on the east side of the river you will have to go downstream and cross on a small tree that has fallen across the river. Crampons and ski poles will be needed to make a dry crossing!
Widow Maker has chandelier type ice and the top outs remain thin. Hopefully with the upcoming forecast the colder temperatures will start to produce more ice!
NOTE: All pillars at Pictured Rocks remain unclimbable! If you are looking to get some early season swings start looking at the smaller seeps in the backcountry as the lower flows tend to form first.
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!