Driving down Hwy 508, park at the parking pullout across from the Manitou Hiking Trailhead near the Calabogie Peaks ski hill. Walking in on the trail, if you want to access the bottom of the cliffs keep right at the junction. If you want to head to the top, head left at the junction and begin your ascent immediately. The cliffs are only a short 5-10 minute walk in. Please be mindful of safety around the top of ice cliffs and encourage others to do the same. A popular hiking trail follows the ridge and hikers frequently want to check out the ice climbers in action.
I will highlight the regular and most reliable ice on the main cliff. As ice formation varies from year to year, it is difficult to predict what the climbs will looks like each year and as the season progresses.
1) The first climb you'll see is Nameless One WI 3+, 15m. This short but steep climb is hard early season with a single pillar, but late season fills in with a vertical wall. This climb seems to always be dripping off on the left. This photo is from mid-season. It is reliably in every year.
5) Next up is this late arriving section that has a variety of routes up. This section is a W3 18 metre high wall with some sections that could be a 3+. The 2016 photo below is from mid-season.
8) Over the rock climb 'Cool but Concerned', is a climb called Unknown WI 4-, 15m. This climb is not always in, and offers different lines up the main right line or thin left line.
I've had success climbing at Calabogie and then venturing on to other ice climbing destinations in the Ottawa Valley and Adirondacks as well as winter mountaineering objectives. Ice climbing is also a great way to stay in shape for rock climbing as well.
And finally, please be respectful of the environment. Please take your garbage home with you and dispose of human waste discreetly far away from the base of the climbs and off the main trails.
So there you have it! The main ice lines at my local ice spot: Calabogie. Stay tuned for another blog post on mixed climbs and more of my local training segments. Catch up with my Local Training Part 1: Ski Touring Training at Calabogie Peaks.
Please comment below if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you!