This is the part of southeast Manitoba immediately adjacent to the Ontario/Manitoba border. It is a transition between the prairies and the “full-blown” Canadian Shield landscape found further east in northwest Ontario and while there is lots of rock here, much of it is of relatively poor quality. Its most attractive feature is its proximity to Winnipeg.
Lily Pond is located in Whiteshell Provincial Park on the north shoulder of highway #44 just west of Caddy Lake, 13km north of highway #1. Park at the pullout by the interpretive sign 300m east of the cliff (the shoulder at the cliff is too narrow) and hike along the road. Just east of the Exit Route a trail leads to the top of the cliff.
Despite its rather poor rock, Lily Pond sees a fair amount of climbing traffic because it is the closest real cliff to Winnipeg. It offers beginning climbers a wide selection of moderate routes and more advanced climbers enjoy the challenging top-roped problems found on the steep wall between Dihedral and The Nose. First ascents of most routes are unknown.
Chicken’s Choice 5.4, 12m
A straight forward crack, 7m left of The Tits.
The Tits 5.5, 12m
Bad crumbly rock at the bottom. Bridge with arms up between the two protuberances and gingerly layback or climb straight up.
Staircase Direct 5.9, 12m
Start at the outside corner on the left end of the cliff. Reach up and grab 2 small flakes (1 for each hand), bridge left foot, and bring right foot up to small ledge. Continue up crack.
Staircase 5.3, 12m *
A very good line with sustained moderate difficulties. It starts on the left side of the dihedral near the centre of the face. Climb up the corner to a big terrace. Move onto the face, up the steps, and up a corner at the top.
Dihedral 5.5, 12m
Start to the right of Staircase on the other side of the bulge. Move up and then left to gain the same terrace as in Staircase. Climb the corner.
The Nose 5.7, 14m **
The finest route of the cliff. Start below an overhang a few meters right of Dihedral. Move up and bridge below the overhang, then right to a distinctive “keyhole”. Mantel on to a small ledge and move up to a jug handle traverse right to the arete. Finish up the arete.
The Pig 5.5, 14m
A straightforward crack 3m right of The Nose. The crux is in the last 4m where it moves left on the face.
Beginner’s Crack 5.3, 9m
Start 2m right of The Pig. Climb straight up the crack.
Exit Route 5.1, 8m
Start a few meters left and above Beginner’s Crack and trend right past the blocks.
In the woods about 2.4km east of the Lily Pond Cliff and across a creek from #44 is another cliff (hidden by trees in the summer).
Slow-Poke 5.4, 15m
Robert France, Peter Aitchison, Richard Tilley – 1979 Oct
A fun climb towards the left end of the cliff. Climb the left corner using unconventional moves and follow the obvious crack, angling off to the right.
Top Grunt 5.7, 15m
Peter Aitchison, Robert France, Richard Tilley – 1979 Oct
A strenuous climb that starts below the obvious flake in the middle section of the cliff, 10m right of Slow Poke. Layback up the flake to a large ledge. Continue up the left-hand side (crux).