This past weekend the Park seemed a bit quite, but the climbers who did come up were treated to some of the best ice of the season! Cold overnight temps and warmer days has our ice looking really good and it is setting up to be a banner spring. Virtually all climbs are in and are actually growing!
Miner Castle Road is still being plowed to the Park Service sign which shortens the backcountry approach quite a bit. Use caution though, we have had a bunch of snow lately and are expecting more in the next day or so. Driving all the way out to Miners Beach in NOTR recommended and the towing fees are $500-600.00
For those adventurers who like solitude and want to escape the crowds, there is a lot of ice in the U.P. that is not in Munising. The Black River is an example of that, and reports are that the western end climbs are in!
The Black River is the Western U.P.’s mini ice destination in Big Snow Country, a region also known for its amount of alpine ski hills, and deep lake effect snow. The ice climbs are all located in a small canyon along the fast flowing Black River just a few miles upstream of where it drains into Lake Superior. On a normal season almost a half-dozen lines form along the sides of the canyon walls, with the actual river waterfall rarely freezing and never climbed. All but one of the climbs are located across the river from where you park, which means the river must be well frozen before you can get to the climbs, as the swim across would be rather cold.
Grand Island continues to be inaccessible due to open water and very thin lake ice. We aren’t giving up on the island quite yet but it is not looking good for any climbing out there. Be sure to check our website of social media channels for the latest ice conditions reports. If your group needs 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!
Our long term forecast looks amazing for building ice and excellent March climbing conditions. Time to come up and get after it! Weather and ice conditions can change hourly and what may appear to be “good conditions” to one climber may not be so to another. Please remember that just because a conditions report says that a particular climb is “in”, each individual is ultimately responsible for making his/her own climbing decisions.
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. We also offer a full guide service and are currently booking guided ice climbing trips for the 22/23 season! Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!