When the cold weather hits there are some who shiver indoors, waiting for spring, and then there are the intrepid souls who are busy pulling on their boots and coat, overjoyed at the thought of all the challenging snow and ice-filled adventures to be had.
And let’s be honest – when it comes to challenge, ice climbing can’t be beat. When you’re climbing an ice wall, it’s just you, your harness, your crampons, and the mountain of ice in front of you. This is truly a solo adventure where you’re challenging yourself against…you!
Picture a wall of ice looming from the crag in front of you, then stand at the base of the wall and take the first swing of your ice pick. Feel it settle solidly into the ice with a delightful thunk! signifying your first step up the wall.
From there, it’s just you and your body pushing yourselves to the limit.
If you like to push yourself, get your adrenaline pumping, and reach for new heights, then ice climbing may be just the experience for you. Here’s where you can try this adrenaline-filled winter activity in Ontario’s Highlands.
Who says Mother Nature is the only one who can create an ice wall? Tucked in the vast forests of Haliburton County, Medeba Ice Wall is one of Canada’s first manmade ice climbing walls, towering 36 feet in the air. This is a mountain of ice made for climbing, and whether you’re a novice or experienced climber, Medeba Ice Wall will offer a challenge to get your heart pumping.
Book an excursion to the Medeba Ice Wall with Yours Outdoors and scale new heights while you learn to ice climb from the ground up (and up and up!). You won’t need to worry about bringing the right equipment when you’re climbing with Yours Outdoors, because they provide everything you’ll need for this adventure, including a hut to warm up in, hot drinks, and snacks to feed your hunger. When you reach the top, take a moment to delight in your accomplishment and look out over the wintry vista of Haliburton’s snow-covered forests and trails.
If you long to try your hand at ice climbing, the Southern Ontario Ice Festival in the town of Maynooth is the perfect way to dip your toe in the frozen water. Celebrating its fifth year Feb. 7 to 9, 2020, SOIceFest is the biggest event of the year for Ontario ice climbers, regardless of skill level, and is organized by experienced climbers who want to show others how exciting winter can be.
Rise above it all at SOIceFest with hands-on instruction to get you started, or brush up on your skills by tapping into the knowledge of others with like-minded interests. At the end of a long and tiring day of climbing, the fun is just getting started at SOIceFest! Join your fellow climbers at the Arlington Hotel and Pub and delight in the post-adrenaline camaraderie where you’ll be one of the gang in no time.
If the options above don’t appeal to you, or you have enough experience in ice climbing to embark on a solo adventure, you’ll find some of Ontario’s best ice climbing spots in Madawaska Highlands and Calabogie. The terrain in these regions are filled with cliffs and crags that make for the best ice climbing spots for all skill levels, often accessible from the road or trail. Not for the faint of heart, but then again, what activity that’s worthwhile ever is?