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North America, Canada, Newfoundland, Blow Me Down Provincial Park, Ice Routes

Blow Me Down Provincial Park, Ice Routes. On January 1, Arthur Haines and I took the ferry to Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland. Our plan was to climb ice routes rumored to be located above the large inland fjords within Gros Morne National Park. However, severe weather and poor snow conditions prevented us from reaching this area. Instead, we concentrated our efforts around the city of Cornerbrook. On January 3, we climbed a 1,000-foot snow-and-ice route (WI4) located in Blow Me Down Provincial Park. This area lived up to its name with gusts up to 70 m.p.h. and temperatures in the teens.

On January 5, we followed the north side of the Humber River to the base of a large cliff called The Old Man. We climbed a steep ice flow that splits the cliff (WI 5-) for 500 feet. Temperatures rose to 45° F and a strong southern wind blew the melt water up the flow, making for poor visibility and extremely wet climbing. We climbed several shorter flows to the west of Marble Mountain Ski Area on January 5-6.

Although we found no evidence these routes have been climbed, they are the most striking lines and I’m sure, because there are ice climbers living in the area, they have been climbed. I did not find any record of ice climbing in Newfoundland in any of the AAJ or some CAJs I looked through, but I know climbers have visited the area. Overall, this area has a fair amount of easily accessible ice; however, climbing later in the season would provide longer days and potentially better ice conditions.

Dave Anderson