Showing posts from February, 2010

Living in Paradise Integrale

Between working, traveling, getting injured and dealing with life in general, I was not getting out as much as I wanted to. Hell, it was even looking like the reading break adventure, which has become something of a tradition for my friend Eamonn Walsh and me, was not going to happen. But then a free day materialized. Weather and snow conditions were stellar, and deserved something more than a casual day out. Living in Paradise on Mt. Wilson. Photo: Eamonn Walsh I suggested Living in Paradise, a long ice route on Mt. Wilson above the Icefields Parkway. I already had a bit of a history with it, having first tried it in December 2002 with Guy Lacelle. We approached by way of Midnight Rambler and Stairway to Heaven, hoping for a grand link up. Unfortunately we found the crux pillar on Living in Paradise to consist of unconsolidated icicles, with a poor belay to boot. We bailed. My second encouter with the route in April 2008 was a bizarre one. Jon Walsh and I had topped out on Dirty Lo

Michigan Ice

Earlier this month I flew to Michigan for the weekend to attend the Munising Ice Fest. Michigan? Ice climbing? They seem to go together about as well as Alberta and bouldering. But even though the Midwest is not the Rockies (I have been told I have a knack for stating the obvious), there is some excellent ice to be had. The best of it is across the great water, on the north shore of Lake Superior in Ontario. Indeed, the ice and mixed climbing around the various Bays (Thunder, Orient, Kama...) is as good as anything in Colorado or New England. A bold statement perhaps, but just check out the north shore sometime. The south shore is poorer in steep ice, but there are a few gems there as well. On Sunday afternoon Jon Jugenheimer, Matt Stellner and I skipped the busy scene at the Curtains, an accessible teaching area, and went for a hike along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. When the lake is not frozen, most of the climbs along the shoreline can only be accessed from the top, maki