Kushog Lake, December 30th 2018

For those of you who have missed it, I’m starting up my vomit-fest of climbing trip reports once again. As the title of the blog says, a scrapbook of climbing with typos and spelling mistakes (I won’t be checking these, please don’t write in if you find any, just sit back and enjoy living vicariously through the words and pictures).

Map of Kushog Lake

It was awesome to get back onto some ice after a year which proved to be a little thin on adventure (mostly because I’ve been a down and out bum who can’t afford to get out more). Needless to say adventure was needed badly so where better to hit than Kushog Lake. A well known spot for us with easy access and moderate climbs.

Saturday was snowy and we took full advantage of parking at the Ox Narrows Restaurant and Lounge car park. We dropped $5 as a thank you to the owners (don’t cheap out people) and minced our way over a frozen lake. On the drive up we had seen several lakes that weren’t frozen and I was a bit concerned Kushog wouldn’t be. It proved to be more solid than last year in February!

Chris and Eamon at Kushog Lake

Chris brought his son, Eamon, along for the ride and the three of us had an easy, fun day doing laps on Caramel Coating (WI2, 20m). The ice itself wasn’t as fat as last year but the climbing was no less fun. After my scrappy lead, we moved the anchor (bolts on a block on the far right of the top) to a tree directly above the ice and we could work on some mixed climbing technique, tracking skills and enjoy flailing around generally.

Eamon top roping Caramel Coating

Eamon did several laps until he eventually ran out of steam (turkey sandwich, cookies and tea helped) toward the end of the day. Chris and myself worked on some skills ready for this week’s adventure. Although perhaps we should have taken our flippers because the ice was melting and maybe even cascading toward the evening.

The lake itself was quiet all day. The loud buzz of snow mobiles was nowhere to be found. Listening to the wind blow and the trees rustle was really nice and just being outside reminded me how lucky we are to live here – with great access to both rock and ice.

A bunch of climbs toward the right of Caramel Coating were thin. In fact we did wonder whether there would be any ice to climb while we were driving up, because various crags we drove past were pretty empty. It’s early season, however, and I think things will be fattening up nicely from now on.

Climbs to the right of Caramel Coating

What can I say. Fricking awesome to be back climbing and writing about it. Expect more! Just spewing words and talking about my passion seems to make me feel better :)!

Goals for this year? Train for a special trip in Spring of 2020. Get strong. Get lean. Get fit. Up the rock climbing grade to be comfortable on higher grades, Dack’s grade the same, head to West Virginia, Adirondacks, Quebec, New Hampshire. North Carolina, Northern Ontario. Camp lots. Climb lots. Oh, and for now, get out on ice! Woot!