Lot’s of good news coming out of Munising over the weekend. The recent cold temperatures are building ice FAST! Many of the seeps are fattening up and ready for some thin, delicate climbing. All of the waterfalls are still flowing due to the high amounts water in the rivers but they are forming ice and when the set up they should be fatter than any time in recent memory! It looks like the late start may mean a banner year and great ice for the festival!
Black Diamond rep Jon Jugenheimer made a trip to Grand Island on Sunday to climb the curtains on the East Channel. The bay is nowhere near frozen and a boat was required for access so this is certainly only for the adventurous but what he found was in great shape!
Jon also made it out to the Chapel Beach area and had this to say about what he saw, “…chapel and east(at least from my view from a distance) it’s looking like it will be one of the best ice years I have ever seen out there as it isn’t hit by the sun like everything from GPP [Grand Portal Point] and west is.”
In addition to Jon’s report, we’ve seen a lot of photos of rapidly forming ice.
These two photos of the curtains were taken 10 day apart. The exciting part is not that the curtains are in (THE CURTAINS ARE IN!!!!!) but how much ice has been made in the last 10 days. It went from nothing to something and with the cold weather in the forecast we’re looking great for Ice Fest!
Here’s a video by Ray Baker from the end of December showing a fat and flowing Potato Patch Falls. A lot more ice has come in since this video and it won’t long with these cold temperatures until the true waterfalls are climbable.
Please use your best judgement when selecting climbs right now. Most, if not all of the formations are thin are fragile right now. While ice is forming fast, we are at an important stage of the season and if climbs get knocked down now they may take weeks to recover. Please avoid the pillars and hanging walls and stick to seeps that are adhered to the rock. A little patience now will mean more and better ice in a few weeks.