By Shaun Parent

Sault Ste. Marie is a great place to go climbing in Ontario. Superior Exploration, Adventure & Climbing Co. Ltd. is your local expert for rock and ice climbing in Northern Ontario.

Climbing since 1979 Shaun Parent, Owner/Operator of Superior Exploration, Adventure & Climbing Co. Ltd., is considered the Pioneer of Rock and Ice Climbing development in the Lake Superior Region of Ontario. 

Ice climbing is a winter sport which is becoming more popular with outdoor enthusiasts. While many might think it is relatively new to the Sault Ste. Marie area, people have been climbing this area since the mid 80’s. In the last few years, this region has become an ice climbing destination for people from all over the world to come and experience the wilderness and excellent climbing opportunities we have to offer here in our back yard.

We boast over 400 ice climbs north of Sault Ste. Marie and offer some of the best climbing in Central North America.

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By Shaun Parent

Rock climbing is a spring, summer and fall sport which has become popular with outdoor enthusiasts. It can be enjoyed by all ages – young and old. Sault Ste. Marie is one of the best places to go rock climbing in Ontario.

It started in the Sault Ste. Marie area in the mid 80’s. It has become a rock climbing destination for beginners and experienced climbers locally, as well as from Southern Ontario and the Midwest States.

Rock climbing first began in this area at a place known as Robertson Lake cliffs. Since 1999, several other climbing areas were developed for rock climbing and more are still being developed.

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In Thin Air, Making a Mark In the Ice

ON a snowy December morning, 15 miles inland from the icy east shore of Lake Superior, in the hills beyond the tiny town of Batchawana Bay, Ontario, a 52-year-old climber from Michigan was perched and hesitating on the face of a frozen waterfall.

A foot of fresh snow covered the forest floor below; a line of deep boot tracks led to the base of the cliff. Ice creaked and crumbled underfoot as the climber, Doug Furdock, kicked to reset his spiked mountaineering boots. Shards and small white pebbles of ice exploded as he swung an ax into the frozen vertical wall.

“Get your ax solid in the ice,” said Shaun Parent, a local guide who stood 20 feet below, holding a yellow climbing rope, belaying Mr. Furdock up the three-story-high formation. Thousands of tiny ice chunks, like shattered glass, littered the ground. “Get your left foot up onto that ledge.”

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