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Spring Break Ice Climbing


Original Post
Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 464

Really soon to be thinking about this one! But a friend of mine and I were talking a few weeks back about this and it just got in my mind again after fondling some tools at a gear shop.

I like the idea of a spring break rock trip, which I've done for the past few years, but the problem is that it shows up just as ice season is winding down- or even before it has had the chance to die off! I'd rather let the ice season go out with a bang than do a spring rock trip and have to sit on my hands for a few weeks after while the weather in the Northeast comes around again... I'd take the smooth action of a well driven screw in March plastic over the snappy security of a quickdraw going onto a bolt anyway.

So. Any recommendations for ice climbing in Mid March? I live in the north country of New York and climb mostly in the Adirondacks, but would like to get away. I was thinking the White Mountains would be a good place. Any other suggestions in the continuous United States? Something more "exotic"? Ouray seems like an excellent option... Never been out west so that'd be wild!

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 15,565

You can usually be OK mid-march (but not late March) in NH's White Mtns...but not much different from Adks (except for Huntington Ravine); so why not go further north into Quebec, maybe along the Gaspie ?  

Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 464
Robert Hall wrote: You can usually be OK mid-march (but not late March) in NH's White Mtns...but not much different from Adks (except for Huntington Ravine); so why not go further north into Quebec, maybe along the Gaspie ?  

No hablo French. ;) My friends that go to the Chic Chocs to ski tell me that none of their guidebooks or signs are in English, and that it isn't always common for people to speak English. Guess that threw me off. But, maybe I should get an intro to French book and start checking it out! Ever been?

Jon E. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 86

You could try Nipigon, their icefest was at the beginning of March this year. The stuff in the UP is worth looking at as well, although I am not sure how late that tends to be in season.

White mountains can be fickle in March as far as ice conditions go, at least that has been my experience.

Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 464
Jon E. wrote: You could try Nipigon, their icefest was at the beginning of March this year. The stuff in the UP is worth looking at as well, although I am not sure how late that tends to be in season.

White mountains can be fickle in March as far as ice conditions go, at least that has been my experience.

The UP might be interesting... Maybe I'll do some pocking at Munising and such too. Hopefully there's some north facing ice crags and a good place to crash

Keatan · · MT · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 50

Ouray and the San Juans could be hit or miss, you'll have to watch for conditions updates closer to the trip. Hyalite will still have lots to climb as will Cody and the Canadian Rockies.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 15,565

Re Quebec - Not personally been there.  A friend went up for "cat" skiing and said there was plenty of ice "everywhere".  If you're in the Adks anyway, why not drop by the Canadian Alpine Club cabin some Canadian 3-day weekend; I'm sure you'd find some climbers there who could give you Beta. (also, maybe join ACC ?)

Jon E. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 86
Upstate Climber wrote:

The UP might be interesting... Maybe I'll do some pocking at Munising and such too. Hopefully there's some north facing ice crags and a good place to crash

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/113802841/17-18-midwest-ice-conditions?page=9

Looks like there were decent conditions in Munising until April.
Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 464
Robert Hall wrote: Re Quebec - Not personally been there.  A friend went up for "cat" skiing and said there was plenty of ice "everywhere".  If you're in the Adks anyway, why not drop by the Canadian Alpine Club cabin some Canadian 3-day weekend; I'm sure you'd find some climbers there who could give you Beta. (also, maybe join ACC ?)

I'm already part of the Adirondack Climber's Coalition *wink*. Anyway, shoot, just missed Victoria Day! I'll start asking any Quebec climbers I meet, its about that time of the year in the Adirondacks!

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255

As an "Upstate climber" myself, I'd second a vote to Hylite.  Bozeman is beautiful and there's plenty of icefall to get on in the backcountry.  I spent a week out there for the Bozeman Ice Fest a couple years ago and was very impressed. 

jg fox · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5

Cody or Hyalite Canyon.

If you don't like regressive Québécois, then avoid Quebec and all their wonderful ice.  Though if I still lived on the east coast, I would of learned French to climb and ski up there.

climbing coastie · · Wasilla, AK · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 90

March is the perfect time to climb ice here in Alaska!

Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 464
climbing coastie wrote: March is the perfect time to climb ice here in Alaska!

I've seen Alaska State Troopers, I don't know if I can handle that place

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

gaspe seems to be pretty good in march???? never been in winter but it looks amazeing on facebook!

climbing coastie · · Wasilla, AK · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 90
Upstate Climber wrote:

I've seen Alaska State Troopers, I don't know if I can handle that place

That’s about like me saying the entire state of New York sucks and is really dangerous because of NYC. 

Check out Alaskaiceclimbing.com to see a fraction of what’s available up here. 
Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 464
Nick Goldsmith wrote: gaspe seems to be pretty good in march???? never been in winter but it looks amazeing on facebook!

Seems like I could have a fun trip by going to Rivière-du-loup for some fun ice park action, then up to St-Alban for some quick tooling on the way to La Gaspésie. A bit of a drive, but just about as far as the Red River Gorge for me, though I'm sure it'll be more quiet in Quebec.

Will do some guidebook searching and translating later...
Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 464
climbing coastie wrote:

That’s about like me saying the entire state of New York sucks and is really dangerous because of NYC. 


Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, but in all actuality I wouldn't be able to afford the gas to get there, nor is flying anywhere a feasible option since no one rents cars to people under 22 or 23 years old
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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