This past weekend Kendra and I traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the Climb UP! Event hosted by Down Wind Sports. Friday afternoon we joined several locals from Marquette at the AAA Walls for a cleanup and some climbing. The AAA walls is a collection of a couple 30-40 foot walls that offer sport and trad climbing. The cleanup went really fast, so we got in lots of climbing!
On Saturday we met about 40 other people for a day of climbing at Silver Mountain which is located at the western base of the Keweenaw peninsula. Silver Mountain is a gem among midwest climbing. The rock quality is fantastic, the routes are varied and interesting, and there are multipitch routes!
On Sunday, Kendra and I along with our friends Jon Jugenheimer and Erol went to Norwich Ledge. It is an obscure cliff that is 200 feet tall and maybe a mile long with only 4 documented routes! Kendra and i had never been there, but Arrow had hiked into the top before, and Jon had scoped the cliff from the road. It was going to be a day of adventure!
After a little bit of scrambling around at the top of the cliff, we found the rap anchors and rappelled to the bottom with a single 60m rope and had several feet of rope to spare. We scoured the cliff for the best lines to climb. Jon and Erol decided on the route Book of Saturdays. Kendra and I decided to try to put up a new route a little left of the center of the cliff. Our prospective route didn’t turn out too well. There wasnt very much gear to be had, and I wasn’t willing to run it out as far as was needed, so I backed of and we searched around for another climb. Eventually we decided on an easy looking route near the southern end of the cliff. It ended up being a two pitch 5.7 R with some fun moves and refreshing but moderate runoutes. When we were near the top of the cliff, Jon and Erol came over to find us having successfully climbed their route. What an amazing cliff! It has some height to it which can be difficult to find in the midwest, has beautiful scenery, and a remote feeling due to the lack of climbing traffic.
We named the route the Stritch Route in honor of the easy adventure climbs from the early 20th century.
On the way home Kendra and I stopped at some lakes and collected water samples for the ASC Microplastics project.