© 2017-2019 by Climb Sudbury

Kynoch Ice | N46° 30.628' W83° 08.080'

A huge thank you to Danylo Darewych for contributing the guide to Algoma amongst other guides. 

Approach Directions

 

These cliffs are located near the north of the hamlet of Kynoch, which is itself north of the towns of Iron Bridge/Thessalon, in the district of Algoma, roughly midway between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

In Iron Bridge, turn north from Highway 17 (Trans-Canada) onto Highway 546. Head north for 10.9 km. At this point Highway 546 veers sharply right. Continue straight ahead on Highway 554 for 12.1 km to Kynoch (a small settlement of farms and houses with no road sign declaring its existence). It’s 23 km from Iron Bridge to Kynoch (a 20 minute drive). 

In Kynoch, Highway 554 makes a sharp left-hand (westward) turn. At the far end of the turn look for Brock’s Road on your right (north). Turn right onto Brock’s Road. At first, the road looks like a driveway for several farms and it will seem that you are simply driving onto someone’s farm (which you are in fact doing). At 1.3 km along Brock’s Road, just past the main house on the hill on your left and some big barn structures to your right, you will go through a usually open farm gate (CLOSED from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, see access restrictions below). Note it well, but keep going. The road heads slightly uphill into a forest and becomes a logging road. Continue on:

  • 4.1/4.2 km - you will cross a hydro line.

  • 4.5 km - there will be a small road coming in from the right that leads to a hunt camp (this is also the end of the ATV by-pass road) 

  • 4.6 km - the road will start to run along the Little White River. You will see a “smaller” vertical cliff ahead of you. This is the Fortress.

  • 4.7 km - there is a small pull-out to the right. This is where some often camp, on a rock outcrop next to the river. Room for 3 tents.

  • 4.9 km - on your left you will be passing the Shower Stall Wall, a small ice climbing cliff on the left side of the Fortress cliff (the ice is just visible through the trees in winter).

  • 5.0 km - you will be just below the main face of the Fortress, a smaller, steep cliff of red rock.

  • 5.1 km - the road will turn sharply to the right.  

  • 6 km - you will start to see a large cliff towering over the road and trees ahead of you. This is the Shotgun Cliff.

  • 7.0/7.1 km - the nose of the Shotgun Cliff rears almost directly above the road. The big hanging ice flow of the Crown Jewel should immediately catch your eye.

  • 7.6 km - there is a bridge over a small creek (this is past the Shotgun Cliff).

  • 8.6 km - there will be a fork in the road; head down the right fork. The road may not be plowed/driveable beyond this point in winter, depending on whether there is logging going on further down the road or not.

  • 10.9 km - there will be another small bridge over a creek.

  • 12.7 km - you will pass a hunt camp on the left side of the road (Brown Camp), situated on a small lake.

  • 14.8 km - there will be a small track to the right that leads to another hunt camp in the forest (a trail continues past this hunt camp down to the Little White River, fairly close to the south end of the Eyeball cliff, ~200 m bushwack)

  • 15.1 km - there will be a small sand pit on the right, followed immediately by a small, grassy field.

  • 15.8 km - on the left side of the road, some 100 m downhill from the road, (almost) invisible behind the tree lies a short 10-15 m cliff band with multiple ice lines in winter. This ice climbing crag is called The Beach (so called because Danylo & co. climbed ice there in the sunshine in t-shirts and shorts in May of 2015).

  • 16 km - at a flat spot at the top of the hill (with another hill visible in the distance) there will be another, smaller logging road headed right. This is the road that leads down to the Eyeball.  

Access Restrictions

 

The road leading to the crags north of Kynoch does indeed pass through private property, namely the farm that you pass by a kilometre from Highway 554. The farmers who own this property are devout Seventh Day Adventists. For Seventh Day Adventists Saturday is the holy day of the week. As a result the farmers close and lock the gate opposite their house from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. This poses some access problems for your regular run-of-the-mill weekend warrior from Toronto, because it’s next to impossible to make the 6 hour drive from Toronto after work on a Friday and get through the gate before sunset. You have to leave shortly after noon and then make sure that you don’t have any emergency on Saturday that would call for an unexpected departure.

 

Alternate Access/Bypass Route

 

About 800 m south of Brock’s Road on Highway 554 there is a community centre on the east side of the highway. There is a dirt road here that heads east and then north, bypassing the Adventist farmer’s property and joining the main logging road some 4.6 km further along. You can make it down this by-pass road in a 4-wheel drive truck, but be careful - one section is quite eroded. 

Shower Stall Wall

The Shower Stall Wall is a smaller crag with shorter routes. It is located some 4.9/5.0 km along the logging road from Highway 556. Look for a small cliff line running away from the road on the left (north) side of the road, just before the more obvious red cliff of the Fortress looms above the road. The climbs are just visible through the trees. The routes were climbed on a really warm day in March when there was water running down the faces of all the routes, hence the name of the crag. The ice seems to form here reliably. The routes are described from right to left as you would come to them when hiking in from the road. It’s about 75 m to the first ice.

Selson Blue WI3 | 30 m

FA Dave Broadhead/Josh Burden/Danylo Darewych March 11 2013

Pitch 1, WI3-, 18m: A nice, fat, blue ice pitch.

Pitch 2, WI3, 12m: Located about 10 m uphill from the first pitch to the right of a small rock outcrop. Climb some easy-angled ice, and then a steep vertical step.

Baby Shampoo | WI2 | 20 m

FA Danylo Darewych/Shaun Parent March 11 2013 

Located about 10m left of Selson Blue.

Pitch 1, WI2, 12 m: A nice pitch of fat, rolling ice. There are left-hand and right-hand variations.

Pitch 2, WI2, 20 m: Walk 10 m uphill, then up a semi-frozen creek bed, and finish on a 5 m vertical pillar on the left side of a rock outcrop.

The next two climbs are located fairly close together another ~60 m further left and up the slope.

Sub-par Plumbing | WI2 | 18 m

FA Josh Burden March 11 2013

Irish Spring WI3 | 18 m

FA David Broadhead March 11 2013

Selson Blue
Irish Spring
Sub-par Plumbng

Shotgun Crag Ice

The Shotgun is a stunning, tall cliff towering right above the logging road and the Little White River, approximately 7 km from Highway 554. It’s probably close to 100 m tall and some 400 m long. The closest (and tallest) section, the Nose, is a mere 50 m from the road. The further sections are some 150 m away. The rock is mostly very compact and solid with no continuous crack

lines. It’s also incredibly shattered and poor in a couple of sections. A lot of the rock appears to be slate or very close to it - it’s incredibly smooth and slippery. The first set of ice climbs is located about 500 m before you reach the main section of the Shotgun cliff (where it comes closer to the logging road). This is a set of shorter ice climbs on a smaller cliff band/outcrop fairly close to the road and clearly visible from the road. These were first climbed by mistake by folks who thought they were climbing at the Shower Stall Wall. The lines are located right next to each other. They are described from left to right.

Baby Shampoo

Lucky Misdirection | WI 3+/WI4- | 18 m

FA Rafael Kolodziejczyk/Margaret Kolodziejczyk/Alex Perel/Ian Cable February 14 2016

The Guy from the Car | WI3 | 16 m

FA Jon Gullett/Margaret Kolodziejczyk/Rafael Kolodziejczyk February 15 2016

Valentine’s Day Present | WI 2 15 m

FA Rafael Kolodziejczyk/Margaret Kolodziejczyk February 2013

My Crampy Valentine | WI2 | 14 m

FA Alex Perel/Ian Cable/Margaret Kolodziejczyk/Rafael Kolodziejczyk February 14 2016

Rainmaker | WI3 | 53m

FA Dave Broadhead/Danylo Darewych/Shaun Parent/Josh Burden March 10 2013 

Located 300-400 m left of the main (roadside) Shotgun cliffs, about 100 m uphill at a vague drainage. Perhaps the easiest way of finding it is to locate the Crown Jewel first (it’s really obvious) and then backtrack some 380 m. You can just spot the Rainmaker while peering uphill through the trees. Park at the side of the road and slog uphill 100 m to the base of the route. You gain 40 m of elevation. Fat, beautiful ice. Deceptively long.

The following two climbs are located somewhere near the Crown Jewel, but the exact location isn't 100% clear as information was given by a climber from the Sault and incomplete.

Vegematic WI 2+ | 25 m

FA Colin MacGregor/Ian Dunlop 

Kynoch side of Three Way.

Three Way | WI? | M? | 20 m 

FA Steve Foster/John Myles

Ice snot up to overhang and dry tool up the rock face. Tough move on the overhang but managed. This climb was on the same side of the road as Crown Jewel toward Kynoch.

Crown Jewel (aka The Thing) | WI5 | 55 m

FA Dave Broadhead/Danylo Darewych/Jon Gullett January 25 2015

The big, obvious iceflow on the main Shotgun Cliff, easily visible from the road. Park at the side of the road and head 60 m up the talus slope to the base of the climb. The bottom half is a tall, steep, frequently chandeliered, vertical pillar with a rest behind the pillar on the right 1/3 of the way up.

The top half is fat, rolling, easier-angled ice. Tree belay. The bottom part of the vertical pillar of The Crown Jewel does not

form completely/in solid shape every year, as it faces southeast and is exposed to the sun. The upper part of the vertical pillar is

somewhat shaded because it’s in a corner formed by the big roof to the left. There are two bolts to the right of the bottom of the Crown Jewel from a failed mixed attempt to access ice higher up and series of 5 (?) bolts to the left of the bottom ice that can be used to access ice higher up on the right or left. These are covered by ice when the Crown Jewel is in fat shape.

Cousin It | unclimbed 

Located some 130 m right of the Crown Jewel on the right side of the Shotgun Crag. This is a long, very thin route that doesn’t ever seem to come in fat (especially in the lower half) and melts out quickly. Try catching it after a quick December/January freeze before the sun hits it.

Lucky Misdirection
Guy from the Car
Rain Maker
Cousin It
Crown Jewel
Three Way

The Beach

The Beach is a small, hidden crag with multiple fat, short ice lines. It is located about 15.8 km down the logging road, just before the turn-off for the Eyeball, on the left side of the road, some 100 m downhill from the road, (almost) invisible behind the tree. It is about 250 m long, between 8-14 m high. This ice-climbing crag was named the Beach because it was climbed in the sunshine in t-shirts and shorts in May 2015. Potentially, it can't be accessed in the midst of winter, because the road isn’t usually plowed this far, unless there is logging taking place. You might actually have to wait until the spring to climb here. 6 lines were climbed at the Beach, all in the WI2-3 range. The is potential for more to be done. The order of the routes/route names might be messed in the following descriptions.

Broads on Quads | WI2+ | 14 m

FA Graeme Taylor/Danylo Darewych/Randy Kielbasiewicz May 2 2015

Located at the left end of the crag next to some wavy rock. The first significant ice you come to. Starts with a 3-4 m vertical step, then eases off.

Randy’s First WI3- 

FA Randy Kielbasiewicz/Graeme Taylor/Danylo Darewych May 2 2015

Located 25m right of Broads on Quads.

Short Sleeves and Swimming Trunks | WI3-

FA Danylo Darewych/Graeme Taylor/Randy Kielbasiewicz May 2 2015

A wide sheet of ice located 30 m right of Randy’s First.

Everything but the Beach Babes WI3

FA Danylo Darewych/Graeme Taylor/Randy Kielbasiewicz May 2 2015

Located about 120 m right of Short Sleeves and Swimming Trunks.

Spring Showers Bring May Ice Climbs | WI3

FA Randy Kielbasiewicz/Graeme Taylor/Danylo Darewych May 2 2015

Located about 10 m right of Everything but the Beach Babes.

Graeme’s Second | WI2

FA Graeme Taylor/Danylo Darewych/Randy Kielbasiewicz May 2 2015

Randy's First

The Eyeball

Winter Approach - River Crossing Route

In winter it is usually easier to get to the ice climbs at the Eyeball by crossing the Little White River. From Iron Bridge head north on Highway 546, but at the 10.9 km mark, instead of heading straight ahead on the 554, continue on Highway 546 as it turns right and heads north. At about the 24.4 km mark, Highway 546 starts to run along the Little White River. After about 30 km start looking at the numbers on the hydro poles on the west side of the road. Look for number H3203 (N46° 29.630' W83° 07.527'). Park at the side of the road. (If you have very sharp eyes you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the Three Daughters through the trees somewhere along here as well.) Bushwack a short way (100 m) to the Little White River. Cross the river. The river is usually frozen by mid-January (the earliest it's been know to be crossed is December 31). Bushwack another 500-600 m through the forest in a NNW direction to the base of the cliff. The bush is fairly thick at first, but thins out as you get out of the planted trees and closer to the cliff. You should come out on the cliff at its shorter southern end.

For more info on this cliff and map visit the Eyeball page.

Wisdom Wall

 

Three lines are located in close proximity to one another on the short, southern end ofthe cliff (N46° 29.823' W83° 07.986'). These are the three daughters of St. Sophia (Wisdom) – Faith, Hope and Love. Two of these have been climbed. There is a large talus slope at the base with some steep, large blocks at the edge of the talus field directly below the climb. Best to approach across the talus from the right.

Faith | WI3+ | 17 m

FA Danylo Darewych/Rafael Kolodziejczik/Jon Gullet/David Broadhead/Randy Kielbasiewicz/Dane Graham/Chrys Lovett-Doust March 15 2014 

The left-hand of the three routes. Climb several ice steps and duck into a cave on the left for a rest, before swinging out on a vertical final step/curtain on the right. I exited back left above the cave where the top-out was less shrubby. More sustained and harder if the cave is blocked and you have to go straight up.

Hope | WI3  M4 18 m

FA David Broadhead/Jon Gullet/Randy Kielbasiewicz et al March 15 2014 

The middle of the three lines. This route was quite badly melted out on the first ascent, so it was climbed partially (at the bottom) via a mixed variation on the left.

 

Love | unclimbed 

The right-hand of the three routes. "If somebody climbs this and names it Man, Ernie II, I’ll kill ‘em," were words rumoured to be heard spoken by a prominent route establisher.

Good Things Come to Those Who Don’t Wait | WI3+ | 50 m

FA Stefan Kloppenborg/Jon Gullet/Danylo Darewych December 31 2013

Located about 500 m right of The Three Daughters of Sophia at a taller section of the cliff in a big, deep cleft formed by a left-facing wall (N46° 30.019' W83° 07.751').

Climb the ice that comes spilling out of the cleft and follow it to the top via the far back end of the cleft. It’s fat, soft and blue initially, but becomes extremely brittle and hard when you step into “the freezer” - the dark recess of the cleft. When you lose the feeling in your fingers, you can get a no-hands back rest in the cleft. This climb seems to have a steady water supply and gets continuously fatter all season.

Honesty | WI4 | 50 m

FA Dave Broadhead/Randy Kilebasiewicz/Danylo Darewych/Astrid Palantzas March 15 2015

A variation to Good Things that starts up the same initial fat, lower flow, but goes up a slightly steeper line some 5 m right of the back of the cleft.

Three Sisters
Faith
Good Things