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Ice Climbing in MN?

Original Post
Ed Schaefer · · Centennial, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 35

Hi all. I'll be visiting MN from CO around Christmas and was wondering what kind of ice climbing will be in as I would really like to get out while I'm visiting, and would even consider extending my trip if there is some good ice to jump on.

I'll mostly be in/near Belle Plaine and Prior Lake, but would be willing to drive around a bit to explore. I know there's a park in Sandstone which is definitely on my list, but I was having trouble finding beta for other ice since MN doesn't seem to have ice and mixed climbing listed on MP the same way we do for CO.

Is there a guidebook I can/should pick up?

Thanks in advance!

alpinejason · · Minneapolis · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 175

It's hit or miss if we'll have climbable ice at Christmas. Sandstone has had ice as early as Thanksgiving but last season not until end of December/early January. The climbing within the cities is not worth extending your trip, however, there is good ice up north especially if you want to include Nipigon/Thunder Bay, Kama Bay in your itinerary.

The only guidebook that I know of that covers the area is Ice Climbs of the Lake Superior Region. Which has been out of print for several years now. Mountain project has good information on a lot of the routes you just have to identify the locations with "ICE" in their title.

Ed Schaefer · · Centennial, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 35

I don't know how I didn't see the ICE areas on the MN listing before, thanks! I'll watch for low temps and keep my fingers crossed, but won't get my hopes up.

Mike Kubes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 171

Check out Casket Quarry in Duluth. It’s hard to say what conditions will be like but Casket should be pretty good by then but we might have some ice in at Gooseberry Falls North of Two Harbors too.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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