So i decided to join a crew of experienced ice-climbers as they made their way to the Orient Bay area off Highway 11 north of the town of Nipigon in the heart of Northwestern Ontario. The area is a giant canyon that has been carved when water out of Glacial Lake Agassiz (present day Lake Winnipeg) started to flood eastward through Lake Nipigon and out the Nipigon River into Lake Superior about 9,500 years ago. The Nipigon River still has the Largest amount of water flow into Lake Superior over any other river.The valley i like to call the “Northwestern Ontario’s Yosemite Valley of Ice”, has the perfect environment for ice to form along its cliffs creating many ice layered waterfalls which are ideal for ice-climbing. We did a variety of climbs, i think all of which were at least two pitches (70m+) camping out for the night and driving in and out of Nipigon to have a nice meal at the Husky Restaurant while we watched an addicted gambling truck driver display an immense waste of paper from purchasing lotto tickets by the stack over and over again. We camped out for the night and had to continuously move our vehicle off the road to let logging trucks go by. The highway is so tight here you have to dig yourself a parking spot. Some of the approaches were so intense i felt like i was mountaineering (which i guess i was).
All in all the whole experience gave me a lot of confidence with ice-climbing and a new perspective of winter in Northwestern Ontario. Can’t wait to be able to get out again
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