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Munising Michigan is THE place in the Midwest to ice climb. Routes up to 200 feet high form right out of Lake Superior, with not a single ice climb rated below WI3. There are over 150 climbs in a 20+ mile long shoreline (including Grand Island) with many, many climbs rated WI5 and a lot rated WI6 for you bold climbers out there.
The Local Guidebook, An Ice Climber’s Guide to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, by local climbers Bill Thompson, Jon Jugenheimer, and Matt Abbotts, is a MUST HAVE resource. Buy a copy. downwindsports.com/guiding/…
For more information contact Down Wind Sports
Munising has a good mix of front country and backcountry climbing. A word of caution for those climbing in the backcountry, as the last few years have seen rescues due to falls, hypothermia/fatigue, and inability to climb out after rappelling down:
- There is often limited cell service; consider a satellite messenger.
- Many of the lakeshore climbs are difficult (or impossible) to retreat from on foot. If you rappel down, you have to be able to climb out or ascend a rope.
- Many of the climbs are 2-10 miles from your car. Plan accordingly.
- Ice around grand island can be unstable. Currents erode it from below. Check ice conditions and consider roping up for crossings.
- For hanging belays above the lake, don’t under appreciate how quickly spray can freeze. People have had ropes and runners freeze solid, which makes it very hard to tie/untie or operate a belay device.
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