Bear Lake (Kluke)! January 20th

Dudes! At least we’re getting out this year!

This one was a bit of a trek! Further than Captain Kirk has ever gone! Drive north on highway 400 then turn right and weave your way along highway 60 through (the most gorgeous) Algonquin Park until you pop out on the east side. Drive a bunch then park on the side of the road next to an ATV trail (if you can find it).

Hike the ATV trail in snow shoes until you hit Bear Lake then be amazed that such a gorgeous location is only a few kilometres from the road. Up to the north is some-sort-of-cliff-type-thing that isn’t really a cliff (chossy) but could sport amazing ice routes. You can see ’em and you can feel ’em even if they’re not quite in.

Bear Lake is a great place to head to and the snowshoeing is a blast. Getting up to the crag is a bit of a slog if the snow is deep and you have to make sure you don’t twist an ankle going up the talus in deep snow.

Chris And Graeme at Bear Lake
Graeme and Chris find Bear Lake.
Bear Lake
The choss-like cliff on the north side of the lake looks just gorgeous!

We explored a bunch, had lunch and then Chris racked up. It had been -24c in the morning and by mid-day it hadn’t gotten much warmer. Infact the ice was solid and frozen from several days of cold and easy to shatter with the swing of an axe. Oh darn! Chris was noble leading up some WI2 at least…

Chris tying in
Chris racking up.
Ice Climbing Booty
Ice climbing gear!
Chris leads on at bear lake
Chris leading up WI2. The upper curtain was bad-ass and thin. What a hero.

Bailing is totally an option when you are ice climbing. Especially if the upper curtains are shit and break off when you nudge them with your axe (as opposed to hitting them hard). Ice is brittle during real cold temperatures and this is a remote location. So we played safe, bailed and then top-roped some WI3 that was hmhmhmhm at best. Laps. Lots of laps. Front points, axes and hanging on the rope. Great day. Long snowshoe. Amazing hike and fantastic fun.