Ice Climbing in Northwestern Ontario

Updated: Nov 16, 2021


"Obsession" WI4 - A classic ice climb in Orient Bay.

When one thinks of ice climbing in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay is usually the first place that comes to mind. Depending on the weather and road conditions, it can take approximately eight hours to drive out to Thunder Bay from Winnipeg. Add another hour or so to your drive if you plan to head out to Nipigon to climb in the Orient Bay area. Be sure to check the road and weather conditions before heading out as the Trans Canada Highway can be quite treacherous.

The Thunder Bay section of the Alpine Club is quite active and I highly recommend checking out their website or their Facebook page. They have an awesome online climbing guide and conditions report for the surrounding areas. Great bunch of people too!

Okay maybe you only have one day to head out for some ice. Have no fear there is ice closer to home. In and around the Kenora area there are a few known cliffs where ice does form; although ice is not always guaranteed to form every year. Many of these cliffs require a bit of effort to get to, but that’s part of the adventure right?


Ice Climbing in Northwestern Ontario sometimes requires a bit of effort to reach the ice

The Gooseneck cliffs up near Minaki also have ice that forms. Although a lot is dependent on the season as different pillars have formed over the years.

Heading even closer to home is the Whiteshell Provincial Park. The smaller cliff half a kilometer east of Castle Rock on Big Whiteshell Lake has been known to have ice form on it. See our Castle Rock climbing guide for details on these climbs.

We are always on the lookout for new areas to ice climb. If you know of any cliffs in Manitoba or Northwest Ontario where ice forms, send us a message. We’d love to come climb it!

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