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Ice conditions in MN??


Original Post
Nate J. · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 15

Does anybody know the ice conditions in Stillwater, Sandstone, or North Shore area? Has anything started to form in the last week, or is it still too thin? Any info would be appreciated...it's hard to find the time to check it out, especially in early season.

Thanks!
Nate

Chase Roskos · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 90

Hey Nate,
I live in Stillwater, but haven't been down to the valley today to check the ice, but I'll get some pics up on Tuesday of what we're looking at.

Nate J. · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 15

Right on, that would be awesome, Chase. Hoping to head out sometime over the extended weekend and thinking that this week's cold snap might just fatten it up to climbable thickness. Pics would be greatly appreciated!

Anybody else know about Sandstone or the North Shore areas?

Thanks,
Nate

Chad Miller · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 150

Thin to non existent to both the North Shore and Sandstone. Not worth the trip yet.

Then again you could always do to dry tooling.

Ben Mahaffey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 50

The ice up here is not in but casket is ready to be climbed. was out there today with another party. The mixed lines are wet but climbable all of the ice routes were thin and maybe climbable.

Chase Roskos · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 90

Hey Nate,
Nothing to show really. Thursday I will be wandering the valley on the hunt for anything, but I'm not having a good feeling. I will keep you posted, and will look forward to getting the scoop from the rest of y'all.

Chase

Nate J. · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 15

Great info everyone. Was hoping to hear that it's all fat up north (and preferably in Stillwater too), but oh well.

If we can keep this beta thread going for the rest of the week (and ideally throughout the winter) that would be awesome! I can't really find any websites that discuss ice conditions in MN, so we should start it right here! Pictures are always helpful too.

Thanks to everyone...please keep sending updates if you're poking around the ice crags, and I'll be sure to do the same.

Zach.Moore · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined May 2010 · Points: 40

I posted an updated picture of Casket Quarry when I was last there a couple days ago. It was a pretty cold day, but the sun was beating down on the ice and ice was falling everywhere.

I think I'd wait on the ice. But, dry tooling is solid.

jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,218

Does anyone know how Sandstone is shaping up?

Nick Dolecek · · Denver, Colorado · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 0

It is in good condition, and the ice is very climbable. Hopefully it will be farmed up a bit more before the festival. Climbed with Nate J there today, maybe he will throw up a few photos

EricCarter · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 0

Hey,

I'm flying from Vancouver to the Twin Cities for Christmas, Dec 13th - Jan 4th. Is it worth bringing my ice gear? I'm happy to drive wherever and belay if anyone is willing to show me around some nice (relatively easy) Minnesota ice.

-Eric
swskier@gmail.com

Nate J. · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 15

Yeah, Sandstone is looking pretty fat, especially the main flow. I don't have the pictures on my computer yet, but will try to upload those within a few days. It should be shaping up pretty good for the ice fest this weekend...hope to see everyone out there!

Eric, it probably is worth your time bringing ice gear if you can find a partner b/c it's looking pretty good so far. I haven't done a whole lot of exploring in this state, but I have yet to find the "easy" ice...maybe Casket has some lower angled flows. Unfortunately I'll be busy or gone during your time here, but check out the partner finder on MP if you haven't already...I'm sure somebody is willing to team up. Will try to get to those pictures soon...

Chad Miller · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 150
Nate J. wrote:Yeah, Sandstone is looking pretty fat, especially the main flow.
A couple friends of mine were there on Sunday December 5th (whoops I said the 12th before!) and said the EXACT opposite.

To quote one of them: "Just hope that they start seriously farming the ice this week. It wasn't looking so great on Sunday."
Nate J. · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 15

(I assume you meant Dec. 5th?) Pretty funny to hear that, Chad, always nice to get other opinions. Compared to even two weeks ago it was significantly thicker and seemed to be shaping up quick with the cold nights. Many of the lines towards climbers right (Reservoir Dogs area) were dripping on Sunday and it likely wasn't from the warm temps. That being said, it seems that Sandstone has the potential to be farmed up huge and I have yet to see it with full cushion for the pushin. All subjectiveness aside, check out the pics.

Sandstone 12/5/2010. Main flow on left.

Sandstone 12/5/2010. Nick D. nearing the top. This line is about 30-40 feet from the end of the Reservoir Dogs area (not sure of the name.) Lots of mixed terrain to the right being climbed that day.

Sandstone 12/5/2010. Quick Silver.

Chad Miller · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 150

Thanks for posting up the pics Nate!

Putting being subjective aside I think that the ice in your pictures is rather thin.

I don't think that any farming will occur again at Sandstone due to issues that occurred in the past years involving poor farming techniques that produced little to no ice while draining the cities reservoir. :(

EDIT TO ADD:

I just got back from checking out the conditions at Sandstone (9am, Dec. 8th). I think there are three ok ice lines formed up that should range from a WI3-WI4. Everything else is mixed climbing or very delicate ice in the range of WI5 ish.

Mark M · · MN · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 20

Anyone have updated info on TC, Sandstone, or N. Minnesota Ice conditions?

Chad Miller · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 150

Sandstone December 13th, 2010


Matrix Area



Pond Left



Reservior Dog Area
Nate J. · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 15

Nice, that's looking good! Especially the main flow and the few lines to the right of it. Hopefully everyone got some good climbing in during the ice fest.

Nick Dolecek and I climbed Nightfall on Sunday 12/12 and it was looking pretty good. Had the whole valley to ourselves...I guess the combination of bitter temps and the ice fest kept everybody at bay. It was not nearly as fat as many of the posted pictures. The top was a bit thin, with the only viable ice line being a ways to the right of the belay tree. The lower section was nice and fat, and the middle was amazing! The ice right in the fall line had water running in it and was super sticky...a real one hit wonder. The whole thing was thick enough to take screws, except the top got a bit runout. The day was frigid though, windchill somewhere around -20 to -30. Approach up the river was a bit sketchy and we opted to approach from the cliffs above (directions were vague and we wandered for a while.) An awesome adventure nonetheless, definitely the deepest and steepest valley I've seen in Minnesota. Will try to post pictures some time soon.

Teddy · · MN · Joined May 2009 · Points: 60

Hi, Ive discovered a very interesting canyon off the saint croix that could maybe be farmed. The canyon is about 100 feet tall, maybe 110 feet at the highest. It looks like there is some sort of stream that oddly flows around the canyon walls and not down them or down the center of the canyon. this canyon definatly has potential to form a giant ice piller of at least 80 to a 100 feet, if the water flow is diverged. also if you hike out there and want to get some climbing in theres a pretty fat chunk of ice about 100 yards down from this canyon that is about 20 feet of steep ice and maybe another 15 feet of WI 2.

small canyon with giant wall, stream running right down the middle of the photo.

flow down river from the canyon

Matt Swanson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 0
Teddy wrote:Hi, Ive discovered a very interesting canyon off the saint croix that could maybe be farmed. The canyon is about 100 feet tall, maybe 110 feet at the highest. It looks like there is some sort of stream that oddly flows around the canyon walls and not down them or down the center of the canyon. this canyon definatly has potential to form a giant ice piller of at least 80 to a 100 feet, if the water flow is diverged. also if you hike out there and want to get some climbing in theres a pretty fat chunk of ice about 100 yards down from this canyon that is about 20 feet of steep ice and maybe another 15 feet of WI 2.
Teddy, this is totally radical! Do you mind sharing a litte more detail on where this is?
Teddy · · MN · Joined May 2009 · Points: 60

Yeah, PM me at ctlanghout@gmail.com

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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