© 2017-2019 by Climb Sudbury

Lauzon | N46 13' 33" W82 51' 54"

Lake Lauzon has close to a dozen ice routes, most of which are WI2-WI3 and between 20-30 m. Lake Lauzon is located in Algoma, near the town of Blind River. The crag faces north and thus the ice can be incredible brittle and cold. 

Lake Lauzon is located in Algoma north east of Blind River, midway between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. From Sudbury head west on Hwy 17 (the Trans-Canada) to Blind River around 160 km.

 

You will be driving just south of Lake Lauzon as you get close to Blind River from the east, but it seems that the distance to walk to the ice routes from the south would likely be long, thus the standard approach is from the west even though the drive is longer.

From Blind River head north on Hwy 557, and keep going straight onto Granary Lake Rd when Highway 557 makes a sharp turn to the left (west), 3 km north of town. Almost immediately turn right (east) onto High Rd at the cemetery. Drive east along High Rd. After about 5 km the road will make a leftward (northward) turn near a hydro line. Follow the main road to its end, by-passing a left-hand turn to Bass Lake. The road ends at a public boat launch. It’s approximately 7 km from the Granary Lake Rd, 10 km total from Blind River.

From the boat launch head out into a small bay, then turn right and head west for 1 km to the north shore of a big peninsula jutting into Lake Lauzon (passing to the right of a large island). A long discontinuous cliff line runs for over 2 km along this peninsula. The cliff varies in height from 15 m to 60 m. In places it rises straight out of the water, in other places it is set back from the shoreline 20-30 m. The rock is slabby and compact, with many small features and very few continuous crack lines, between 75° and 90°in steepness. The high point of the cliff is named Old Baldy on maps. Its far western end is called Pregnant Point (you’ll understand why when you see it).

The ice flows at Lake Lauzon are found in 3 distinct areas along the cliff line:

1) The West End – several short flows approximately 150 m past Pregnant Point

2) The Central Area – basically just the long, beautiful ice flow of Notorious for Wolverines

3) The East End – a group of several fat longer flows almost at the end of the cliff line, past a small bay

 

The routes are described from west to east.

West End

The cliff line at the west end rises straight out of the lake. The cliff line here is fairly short and interspersed with treed slopes and gullies. There are several shorter ice flows here, two of which have been climbed.

 

The Smiling Bohunk | WI3 | 10m

FRA David Broadhead/Randy Kielbasiewicz/Danylo Darewych February 17 2014 

Climb a short, steep curtain of ice.

The Demon Magarac | WI3 | 17m

FRA Randy Kielbasiewicz/David Broadhead February 17 2014

Located in the corner of a small “bay” along the cliffline, some 20 m left (east) of the Smiling Bohunk. Climb the ice straight up to some trees.

Central Area

 

Continue east along the cliffline for another 500 m. The cliff line rises higher in a series of rocky knobs/outcrops as you head east. Then the cliff recedes back from the shoreline some 20-30 m. On this section of cliff there is a lone, prominent ice flow.The flow is wide up top, but narrows to a thinner tongue of ice down low.

Notorious for Wolverines | WI3 | 35-40m

FRA Danylo Darewych/Tiago Varella-Cid February 17 2014 

Climbs the left-hand side of the ice flow on short vertical steps, interspersed with easier-angled ice. 

At the Highway 17 restaurant in Blind River Danylo the ascensionist asked the waitress, who lives on Lake Lauzon, what animal was making all the tracks along the base of Old Baldy. With a completely straight face she replied: “Lake Lauzon is notorious for wolverines.” “Oh, really?” he replied, blissfully ignorant of the fact that wolverines are not found in Central Ontario. The large and raucous group of ACC ice climbers at the restaurant, all 14 of them, had a good laugh at his expense over that one.

Notorious For
Wolverines
Battle of the Bulge
Into the Wind
Cold Plates
Dinner Plate Blues
Himalayan
Monk Pants
Notorious for Wolverines

East End

 

Continue east along the shoreline for another 600-700 m. The cliff line peters out after about 200 m in a bay and becomes merely a treed slope for 200 m. The cliff line reappears again on the far side of the bay. It doesn’t look particularly high from a distance, nor does there appear to be much ice, but first impressions are deceiving. There are 8-10 lines located in close proximity (within 100 m) of one another on this slabby section of cliff. The ice on the right side and centre of the slabs comes in fat and reliably every year. The ice on the left side tends to be a thin veneer down low.

Magic Carpet Ride | WI2 | 10m

FA Dane Graham/Randy Kielbasiewicz/Danylo Darewych March 16 2015

A short flow located 50 m before (right) of the main area.

The next three routes (pictured above) are all basically variants that go up the same iced up slab.

 

Himalayan Monk Pants | WI2+ | 30m

FA Ernie Tymeczko/Karen Houle-Tymeczko

Located on the far right end of the iced-up slab, in a bit of a gully left of a slight rib of rock. Solid blue ice. 

Named by Mark Hurst who climbed it on a bitterly cold February day and overheard Jon Gullet nearby claim it was so cold he'd stuff a Himalayan monk down his pants...

Dinner Plate Blues | WI3 | 25m

FRA Jon Gullet/Kim Gullet February 17 2014 

Located about 5 m left of the previous line. Start between bushes/shrubbery down low and head straight up the centre of the first iced up slab. Named for the colour and brittleness of the ice that day. 

 

Cold Plates | WI3 | 25m

FRA Joe Palma/Astrid Palantzas Feb. 17 2014 

Another line up the first iced-up slab. Climbs the left side.

 

Into the Wind WI3 | 25m

FRA Dave Britnell/Jessica Cao/David Lamb February 17 2014

Climb up a slight gulley/runnel filled with thick ice some 15 m left of the first iced-up slab. “As steep as the center ramp at Bow Lake. It was a hell of a lot harder in the cold.”

 

Battle of the Bulge | WI3 | 20m 

FA Ernie Tymeczko/Karen Houle-Tymeczko

FRA David Broadhead/Randy Kielbasiewicz February 17 2014

 Located 8 m left of Into the Wind, on the other side of a clump of trees, or 25 m left (east) of Cold Platesand Dinner Plate Blues. Climb up fat ice over the namesake bulge midway up. In a really fat year the bulge will blend into the ice around it.

 

Battle of the Branches | WI2 | 20m

FRA Danylo Darewych/Randy Kielbasiewicz/Dane Graham March 16, 2015 

A variant of Battle of the Bulge, located 4 m left of that route in a slight groove just past a small rock outcrop. Climb up the groove, weave through the branches of a tree 7 m up, and continue up to a second tree.
 

Cold, Hard and Britnell | WI2+ | 37m

FRA Randy Kielbasiewicz/Graeme Taylor January 13 2015

Located 15 m left of Battle of the Bulge. Climb an ice-filled groove/gully. The only solid belay trees are set back an additional 8-10 m from the top of the cliff. Head right to rappel off the rap station above Cold Plates. Named for Dave Britnell who upon seeing the line the previous February muttered his timeless mantra “Nice gully.”

Dü It | WI3+ 30m

FRA Dane Graham/Randy Kielbasiewicz March 27 2014

Located 20 m left (east) of the Cold, Hard and Britnell. Climbs very thin ice on a 70° slab. Start left of center. Finishes in the middle dodging some trees. 

 

Death by Tatonka | WI3X | 30m

FA Randy Kielbasiewicz/Dane Graham March 14 2015 

Located another 15 m left of Dü It. Another climb up thinly iced-up slab. No pro for the first 15 m. Scary, but not nearly as debilitating as Tatonka - the mix of Zubrowka and apple juice concocted by Raphael the night before and foisted upon an unsuspecting former Seventh Day Adventist.

 

Bunny Hill | WI2+ | 15m 

FRA Graeme Taylor/Randy Kielbasiewicz January 13, 2015

Located another 75 m left of Death by Tatonka in a low point of the slabby cliff-line. Climb a short, fat, wide flow of ice.

Better than Nothing Right | WI3 | 25m

FA Dane Graham/Randy Kielbasiewicz March 14 2015

Better than Nothing Left | WI3- | 25m

FA Randy Kielbasiewicz/Dane Graham March 14 2015

These two routes are located another 300 m left of the Bunny Hill, in a separate small bay. The two routes share a common start.

The Tao of D | WI3- | 12m 

FA Randy Kielbasiewicz and a reluctant Graeme Taylor

"Is it worth it?" Taylor

Climb a short flow of blue ice straight off the lake.

Himalayan Monk Pants
Battle of the Bulge
Cold, Hard
and Britnell
Du It
Better Than
Nothing Right