In Minnesota, it can sometimes seem as if winters last forever. In order to enjoy the outdoors, residents may have to resort to trying new winter activities. For those who are both adventurous and physically fit, why not try ice climbing? The outdoor activity is similar to rock climbing but instead features ice-covered rock walls. Read on for a few ideas about where to try ice climbing in Minnesota.
Banning State Park
61101 Banning Park Road
Sandstone, MN 55072
Banning State Park is located about two hours north of the Twin Cities in Sandstone. This area is known for its man-made ice cliffs, and each year, the city of Sandstone kicks off the ice-climbing season with the Sandstone Ice Festival. The festival features ice-climbing clinics, demonstrations and a chili cook-off. In addition, Robinson Park, near Banning State Park, provides several climbing options ranging in size from 60 to 90 feet.
Lilydale Regional Park
950 Lilydale Road
St. Paul, MN 55118
During the warmer months, the Lilydale Regional Park is a wildlife oasis in downtown Saint Paul. During the colder months though, the park turns into an ice climber’s dream. With five ice-climbing locations available, winter enthusiasts are sure to find the right cliff. The ice-climbing season at Lilydale began on Nov. 1, 2012 and will run through March 31, 2013. All those who wish to climb in the park must register and purchase a $25 permit. Visit the City of St. Paul website for more information.
Crosby Farm Park
2595 Crosby Farm Road
St. Paul, MN 55116
Crosby Farm Park is located on the Mississippi River and Crosby Lake in St. Paul. There is one ice-climbing cliff located within the park grounds. The cliff can be found at Super Gulley, located at Shepard Road and Homer Street. Like Lilydale Regional Park, Crosby Farm Park also requires that climbers sign a waiver before using the ice-climbing facility. Visit the City of St. Paul website for a waiver and permit application.
Shadow Falls Park Preserve
30 Mississippi River Blvd. N.
St. Paul, MN 55104
The Shadow Falls Park Preserve in St. Paul also has one ice-climbing cliff available for patrons. As is the case with the other climbing locations in St. Paul, a permit is required in order to use the facility. Shadow Falls Park Preserve has one cliff available, located at Mississippi River Boulevard and Summit Avenue. As a location along the banks of the Mississippi, you can reward yourself with breathtaking views of the river throughout your climb. Visit the City of St. Paul website for a waiver and permit application.
Related: Guide to Minnesota Snowshoeing
2540 Nicollet Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Vertical Endeavors offers outdoor climbing classes and clinics for those who are new to climbing. Class participants learn the proper techniques of climbing, the proper use of equipment and the best skills for successful climbing. Classes run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and cost $199 per person. Vertical Endeavors provides equipment for those who do not have it. In addition, the business also rents and sells ice-climbing equipment. Visit the Vertical Endeavors website for information about class dates and events.
Kristyn Gansen is a freelance writer covering all things Minneapolis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.