Ice Climbing in New Brunswick 4/4 – Parlee Brook

April 28, 2010

Feb 21, 2010 – Parlee Brook, NB

Parlee Brook, a true winter wonderland

We returned to Parlee Brook on February 21st, but this time to climb Parlee Brook proper.  Winter hangs on up in the hills here, and the snow clung to the branches like metal shavings to a magnet.

Parlee Brook

It was a beautiful day for a snowshoe hike up the hill, and the snow in the trees threw a blanket of silence over the whole world.

Into the Mystic

We climbed up and up through a hardwood forest by a tricking stream.  Under the canopy of trees, it seemed like we were inside a courtyard, looking out at the wintery weather through the glass ceiling.


and up

and up

As we climbed, the sides of the valley got steeper and steeper, until we reached the ice wall.

King's Horses

Cory started the day with an easy lead up King’s Horses.  Note the color of the blue ice coming through the snow.  It was truly spectacular.

Blue Pillar

Followed shortly thereafter by Lucas leading the Blue Pillar.  I climbed up as far as I could with my winter boots on and the view was just breathtaking.  There’s no wonder where it got its name.

Here’s where I took my photojournalism (quite literally) to a new level.  Anna and I were going to do a tandem climb following Lucas’ lead.  I decided to take my camera with me and try to get some photos from midway up, beside Anna, which offers a great vantage point for climbing photos, and it was an added challenge for me.  This on top of the fact that it was by far the hardest climb yet, and it was only my 5th climb ever (4 of those being the previous day).

Don't Look Down

At the top, Lucas gave us a crash course in rapelling.  If there’s a good time to learn, this would be it.

It was a short day of climbing, because it was pretty warm, and the snow was making us all wet.  We spent a little time exploring the ice caves formed over the rock.

And that concluded our day at Parlee Brook.  We headed back through the canopy of snow covered trees.

Delayering on the walk back.

What a fabulous day of enjoying the Great New Brunwick outdoors!


4 Responses to “Ice Climbing in New Brunswick 4/4 – Parlee Brook”

  1. fabulous scenery and action packed 🙂

    • gypsyproductions said

      Thank you Raymond,
      I think you just broke the record for post to comment time. I just posted this less than ten minutes ago! Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you enjoy it!


  2. Wow, don’t look down is right! Looks like quite an experience, not sure if I could stomach it.

    Just curious how one knows if the ice is “safe” to climb? Seems out in Western Canada we hear occasional reports of people getting injured or killed during ice climbing when the ice gives way with a climber on it.

    • gypsyproductions said

      Hi again Prairie Voyageur!

      Well, there are a few ways to tell, and one way is to make sure you have experienced climbers with you when trying this sort of thing. I’m no expert, but I believe you can tell by the color of the ice, and the type of formation as well. For example, a free standing pillar of ice is less stable than this sort of “seepage” ice seen here. There is always a risk, and though you can’t eliminate risk entirely, you take steps to reduce it so you can enjoy yourself. I can’t wait to get back out on the ice this year!

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