Ice Climbing in NY, VT, and MI

Ice climbing is one of the greatest joys for winter adventurers. New York, Michigan, and Vermont have some of the best ice climbing in all of the United States, but which climbs do you choose? Below is Appalachian Outfitters’ compilation of some of our favorites, as well as some recommended gear.

New York’s Lake Placid of the Adirondacks is breathtaking no matter the season. The area has ice climbs suitable for beginner, intermediate, and expert climbers. The routes of Lake Placid and the Adirondacks provide some of the best scenery a climber can imagine.

lake placid
Lake Placid Photo Credit: http://www.lakeplacid.com

  • Wallface is the tallest and largest cliff side in all of New York. At 800 feet, it is known for its alpine dimension. Climbers agree that Wallface may be intimidating at first, but it is enjoyable, interesting, and well worth conquering any fears you may face!
  • Pitchoff’s North Face provides Adirondack Park with moderate-level ice climbing. Thanks to its high elevation and northern exposure, there are solid routes that last from early November to late spring in ice climbing season. This remote area is cold, windy, and a worthy challenge.
Thanks to lake effect weather, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore provides ice climbers with some of the best routes available. No matter your experience level, there are many routes to choose from.
  • Hiawatha National Forest is also called the Great Lakes National Forest. The region is tucked between Lake Huron, Michigan, and Superior, which is arguably one of the most scenic areas in Michigan. The incredible ice formations, accessible with the park’s standard admittance, are the favorites of many ice climbers.
  • Hungarian Falls, located between Lake Linden and Torch Lake, makes this route extraordinarily steep. This exciting climb offers the inspiration of scaling to the top as well as a beautiful view. Ice climbing Hungarian Falls is free, and its routes are frequently maintained, making it one of the best places to see the Midwest’s wintry wilderness scenery.

lake willoughby ice climbing
Mount Pisgah Photo Credit: http://maclellanimages.com/

Vermont’s best ice climbing routes are at Mount Pisgah, which overlooks glacial Lake Willoughby near the border of Quebec. Mount Pisgah is an easy 15-minute drive from Burke, Vermont. Every winter a lacy veil of ice covers the cliffs, creating the largest concentration of ice climbing routes in the northeastern United States
  • Smuggler’s Notch provides many different routes. Depending on how you enter the Notch, you will see ice walls on both your left- and right-hand sides. There is an endless selection of routes for climbers of any experience level at Smuggler’s Notch.
  • For great ice climbing nearby Vermont’s famous schist rocks, Bolton Quarry provides both moderate and difficult routes. If you want an additional adventure, the Quarry is home to Cat’s Ass Wall, one of the most difficult ice climbs in the region.

Black Diamond Ice Climbing Equipment at Appalachian Outfitters

Before you drive to New York, Michigan, or Vermont, visit Appalachian Outfitters to suit up for your ice climbing adventure! Since 1957, the global company has been its own biggest dreamer and its own harshest critics, resulting in the best gear for climbers around the world. Designers at Black Diamond created gear that safely pushes the limits of innovation – just like you safely push your athletic limits to attain your ice climbing goals. Before you begin your next ice climbing adventure, visit us for your own Black Diamond gear!