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Routes in Casket Quarry ICE

Description

Casket Quarry has been frequented by ice climbers for several decades. There was some rock development here in the 80’s (4-5 routes) but the incredibly chossy exfoliating rock is less than inspiring so it was pretty much abandoned.

With the rising popularity of Ice and Mixed climbing, more folks started using it as a training ground for other arenas. Top-roping on loose blocks/flakes and vertical kitty litter is great for testing the limits of adhesion and practicing your “I’m-light-as-a-feather” mantra…

Then the crowbars and drills showed up. Mike Dahlberg pioneered the use of RB’s or removable bolts to lead a couple mixed routes but since nobody else owned the uber specialized hardware, they never got repeated. In 2005 Mike and James Loveridge started putting some serious cleaning time in. Countless days were spent hanging from a rope with all sorts of home made “technical trundling” equipment dangling off harnesses. Eventually, if all went well, a route would emerge from underneath the choss.

Now the crag has close to 20 Ice and mixed routes all of which can be lead ground-up with good protection. If this crag were in Colorado there would be 50+ climbers there every weekend! Luckily it’s in Northern Minnesota…. Come on up here, tie in and start getting’ on the sharp end! Oh, buy Mike D and J.Lo some beers for all the money they’'ve spent on bolts…

Please Note: If you plan on TR’ing a route off the anchors, PLEASE use your own biners/draws to avoid wearing out the expensive hardware prematurely. If there are biners or other clip in replaceable hardware on the anchor, feel free to use them. If they are looking worn and sketchy, just replace with biners of your own. Thanks in advance for being a responsible and thoughtful crag steward!

In 2015 Casket Quarry was officially established as "Quarry Park", Duluth's newest city park. The Duluth Climbers Coalition will be working to manage some aspects of the park including conditions updates which can be found on the Quarry Park Facebook site. Please email info@duluthclimbers.org or check out the website, duluthclimbers.org with any questions.

Getting There

From the south: As you begin to descend the I-35 northbound hill into Duluth, take the Cody St exit. Turn left at 59th Ave W. At the stop sign (Highland St) continue straight, crossing the railroad tracks. Park in the lot on the right. The trail to the quarry is off the back corner of the lot.

From Duluth (or other locations north):
Take the Central Ave exit from I-35 southbound. Continue through several stoplights to a stop sign at Cody St. Turn left on Cody. After about 8 blocks, turn right onto 59th Ave W. At the stop sign (Highland St) continue straight, crossing the railroad tracks. Park in the lot on the right. The trail to the quarry is off the back corner of the lot.

Parking is NO LONGER ALLOWED at the 57th Ave W access point.

Caution:

It is potentially highly dangerous to rock climb these bolted routes in the summer. Even though the routes themselves are cleaned of large debris (mostly...) there are many hanging blocks on either side of the existing lines that could calve off at any time. Avoid climbing the Mixed routes at Casket unless it’s been below freezing for a week or so.

Use caution when parking in the 59th Ave W city lot. A spring on the high side of the lot causes a large section of the parking lot to completely ice over. Take note of where the ice has formed and park elsewhere in the lot.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Casket Quarry ICE

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Mark Mahaney
St. Paul, Minnesota
Mark Mahaney   St. Paul, Minnesota
Thank you Kris! Much appreciation. Feb 14, 2012
Kris Gorny    
Climbed there yesterday. Dry as a bone. But still a lot of fun. I'd avoid climbing Martini. The Martini glass-shaped flake sounds and feels like it could go. Feb 13, 2012
Mark Mahaney
St. Paul, Minnesota
Mark Mahaney   St. Paul, Minnesota
Be much appreciated if anyone in the Casket area could post a Condition Report, I would surely show my gratitude with a case of beer, belay, etc. Thanks MP! Feb 13, 2012
Lucas Kramer
Duluth, MN
Lucas Kramer   Duluth, MN
Update to parking at Casket Quarry:

Please no longer park at the old 57th Ave West entry. There is a much safer and better gravel parking lot just opposite the old entry located off 59th Ave West. This lot is adjacent to the Loll Designs HQ building.

From Duluth, continue approximately 2 blocks past Medina on 8th to Central, turn right then immediately left onto Highland. Turn right on 59th Ave W, park in the lot on the right.

From the cities, take the Central Ave exit, turn left onto Highland, right on 59th Ave W and park.

The walk in is shorter, flatter, you will not be towed (no train tracks) and we will not block any driveways.

If you have questions, please contact me. Lucas Kramer 218-726-6257 Nov 30, 2011
Sam Daley
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sam Daley   Minneapolis, Minnesota
Any info on the routes as sport leads? Jul 5, 2010
It will all depend on when the temps drop. Right now we have been getting alot of rain so the streams are flowing and the groundwater level is high. So a couple weeks of below freezing temperatures leading into Thanksgiving and we should have some ice forming up. But a safe bet would be mostly drytooling. Oct 30, 2009
Garrett Soper
Duluth, Minnesota
Garrett Soper   Duluth, Minnesota
Good question...
Answer? Sep 19, 2009
Paul Dieterle
Pasadena, CA
Paul Dieterle   Pasadena, CA
How's this crag around thanksgiving as far as ice goes? Would most routes be exclusively drytooling or would they be mixed? Aug 21, 2009

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