Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you guys located?
We are north of Sault Ste. Marie in Batchawana Bay. Our office is on the Chippewa River near Mile 38 Road. It takes about 35 minutes to drive to Batchawana Bay from Sault Ste. Marie. You can fly to Sault Ste. Marie from Toronto.
How do I get there?
Fly to Sault Ste. Marie, we can pick you up for a fee, or you can rent a car, or take the bus and they will drop you off!
What about gear?
Don't worry if you do not have the tecnical gear. We supply all the technical gear. See our web site for equipment lists and ratal costs. Bring your warm clothes and we supply the rest.
Do you guys sell gear?
We carry ice screws, webbing, carabiners, and quick draws. We might have a new rope for sale too.
Where can we stay and what do we eat?
You have a few choices of where to stay. You can stay in Sault Ste. Marie and drive out for the courses or you can stay in Havilland Bay at McCauleys Motel. One of our teaching climbs is across the road. You can also stay at our Bed and Breakfast on our property.
There is a store in Batchawana and one in Havilland Bay.
There is a restaurant in Havilland Bay as well as one in Harmony Beach.
Are the Ice Climbs difficult?
We have discovered over 100 climbs of all grades and difficulties, so don't worry: there is a climb for everyone. The beginner courses are held on a climb called "Talk About Good." It offers all levels of climbing for the beginners to get to know the ice. There are harder climbs if that is what you want to do.
What about the Rock Climbing?
We take you out to several areas which we have developed along Mile 38 Road. Tock climbs range in difficulty from Grade 5.3 to 5.10 and heights can exceed 150 meters. Area has easy access and excellent views.
How long does a course last?
We guarantee that you will get lots of climbing while on our course. On average the beginners climb a minimum of 300 feet in the Ice Day Course. On other courses, we stay out until you have had enough climbing for the day.
Do you guys have Snowmachine Shuttles?
Yes, we have 2 snowmachines and 2 sleds to haul a total 3 climbers to climbing sites.
Guidebooks to the areas?
We have most if not all of the rock and ice climbing guides to the Lake Superior region. If you need Rock or Ice Beta we have it! We have compilation summaries of the rock climbing areas, and are working on the NEW guidebook to both rock and ice.
See the most recent rock climbing guidebooks to Montreal River and Mile 38 Road on the homepage.
Canada's WestJet Airlines "UP" Inflight Magazine
Lake Superior Magazine 2000
Up The Down Waterfall - Lake Superior Magazine Feb 2000
Cover - Lake Superior Magazine, Feb 2000
Ontario Travel Winter 2007
Ice Climbing is Nice Climbing - Winter in Ontario Website
Ontario Travel Guide
Ice Climbing at Orient Bay
Ice Climbing at Orient Bay - 1996
Father Figure - An interview with Shaun Parent
Core Sports Magazine
In Thin Air - Making a Mark on the Ice - Jan 11, 2006
Cold Call- University of Manitoba
Thunder Bay Rock Climbing 2006
Rock Climbing in Thunder Bay Ontario
Via Rail Magazine 2006-07
Destinations - Dec - Jan 2007
Soo Today 2006
The New York Times and the Batchewana Bikini Gal
Globe and Mail 2004
Stairways into Winter
Available Guidebooks & Posters
The following Guidebooks are still available:
Ice Climbs of the Montreal River Area
10th Edition - January 2011
Includes over 50 ice routs with maps and descriptions.
This compilation of ice climbs covers all the newly developed areas found in the Montreal River area. Areas covered include:
- Tower Road
- Ranwick Rock
- Garshore Dome
- Panama Wall
- Ryall Wall
- 10 Year After Wall
Cost: $20.00 CDN
Ice Climbs of Cerro De Hielo
The Ice Mountain of Batchawana Bay Ontario
8th Edition - January 2011
Includes over 25 ice routes with maps and descriptions.
This compilation of ice climbs covers all the developed areas found on Cerro De Hielo. Areas covered include:
- Discovery Wall
- Wall of Deception
- Transverse Mercator Wall
- Aquafina Wall
- Wall of Sinn
- Wall of Shame
- Wall of Sorrow
Cost: $25.00 CDN
Ice Climbs of Mile 38 Road
Batchawana Bay Ontario
9th Edition - January 2011
Includes over 93 ice routes with maps and descriptions.
This compilation of ice climbs includes all the new climbs found along the Mile 38 Road. Areas covered include:
- K-13 Area (All Levels)
Cost: $25.00 CDN
Superior Ice (SOLD OUT)
1st Edition - 2000
Available through Wilderness Supply in Thunder Bay.
Major Contributor: Shaun Parent
Includes 367 ice routs and over 200 photos.
This comprehensive reference work to the ice climbs of the Lake Superior region covers the entire Lake Superior region, both U.S. and Canadian sides. Areas covered include:
- North Shore (MN)
- Thunder Bay and outlying areas (ON)
- Orient Bay - new routes (ON)
- Kama Bay - new routes (ON)
- Paradice (ON)
- Marathon (ON)
- Agawa Canyon (ON)
- Montreal River (ON)
- Munising (MI)
- Black River (MI)
- Wyalusing (WI)
- Lone Rock (WI)
- Gov. Dodge (WI)
- Starved Rock (IL)
Cost: $40.00 CDN
North of Superior Orient Bay Ice Climbers Guide
Available through Chessler Books
1st Edition - 1993
Includes 2-color tear-proof map.
Covers the ice climbing areas of Orient Bay, Kama Bay, and the Ice Station Superior. Over 150 routes in all ratings.
cost: $25.00 CDN
Agawa Canyon Map (2nd Edition)
A must for all climbers heading into the canyon!
11x17" Illustrated Map - 2 Pages - By Shaun Parent.
New 2nd Edition Agawa Canyon Ice Climber's Map - This four-colour map contains information on route descriptions and locations, thumbnails of selected routes, climb heights, camping spots, and information about taking the Algoma Central Railway from Sault Ste. Marie. contains all new routes as of December 2005, including the newly developed areas of Little Agawa and Only 17 Wall.
Size: Two Sheets - 11x17" two-sided.
Cost: $25.00 CDN
North of Superior Nipigon Ice Fest X Commemorative Poster
Only 50 in print, 20 remaining.
Each poster is numbered and initialed.
Cost: $20.00 CDN
Ranwick Rock and Keetes Bluff Rock Climbing Guide
This rock climbing site is located in Montreal River Harbout and offers all levels of trad and sport climbing.
Copies available at Chessler Books online.
Cost: $20.00 CDN
The 2nd Edition of the Ranwick Rock and Keetes Bluff Guidebook is now available.
$25.00 by mail order from us. Also available at Joes Sports and the Duke of Windsor in Sault Ste. Marie or at the Chippewa River Restaurant and Store on highway 17, near Mile 38 Road.
Also available through Chessler Books (ONLINE) and Adventure Guide in Kitchener,Ontario
The 1st Edition of Rock Climber's Guide to River Bend Rock, Mile 38 Road is now available.
Same price and location as above.
Shaun Parent is the Director/Instructor of NORTH OF SUPERIOR CLIMBING COMPANY, located at Batchawana Bay on Lake Superior. The Rock and Ice Climbing School offers spring and fall rock and winter ice climbing instruction and guiding at many sites along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
He is also the owner of SUPERIOR EXPLORATION, ADVENTURE & CLIMBING CO. LTD. This company provides mining companies with steep, glaciated, and dangerous terrain sampling, mapping, and prospecting. In the summer he offers guided treks, climbs and paragliding adventures in Peru, South America.
Shaun has been actively developing the Rock and Ice Climbing areas in the North of Superior region since 1980. Since that time he has authored many rock and ice climbing guidebooks to the region. He has been called the "Father and Pioneer of Rock and Ice Climbing in Northern Ontario." Likely his most well known guidebook is "The North of Superior Orient Bay Ice Climbers Guide", which was published by Granite Publishing of Madison Wisconsin in 1993.
He is the main contributor to the guidebook "Superior Ice," published in December 2201 by Granite Publishing. The guide covers all known ice climbing areas located around Lake Superior. In February 2006, he published the "Agawa Canyon Ice Climbers Map (2nd Edition)."
Shaun has been actively developing ice climbs along the North and East Shore since the early 80's.
His contributions include the development of the Ice Climbs of Orient Bay since 1981, now known as a world class climbing area. He's also contributed the development of Ice Climbs at Thunder Bay, Kama Bay, Ice Station Superior, Paradice, Agawa Canyon, Montreal River, Nipigon, Red Rock, and other areas between Pigeon River and Sault Ste. Marie. At present, he is continuing to explore the North and East Shores of Lake Superior for other high quality ice climbing areas. To date, since 2000, he has developed Ranwick Rock at Montreal River, Cerro De Hielo, Mile 38 Road, Summerian Slabs, River Bend Rock, and Alien Wall in Batchawana.
Since 2000 he has discovered over 100 new climbs in teh Batchawana Bay / Montreal River / Agawa areas. Of these is the highest ice climb in the Midwest. "StratosFear" is 260 meters in height. He is the founder of the "Orient Bay Icefest" which in 2006 celebrated its 15th year. The festival has been passed over to climbers that frequent the area and is now called the "Nipigon Ice Fest." It attracts climbers from around the Midwest to a weekend of ice climbing activities and socials. He has founded both the Agawa Canyon and Montreal River / Batchawana Ice Climbing Festivals.
His accomplishments in Rock Climbing include:
Introducing rock climbing to the Thunder Bay area in 1980. Most notably, his early developments in rock climbing include some of the now most frequently visited cliffs in the area; the Scenic Bluffs of Thunder Bay, Climbers Cliffs, Pass Lake, Silver Harbor, Squaw Bay, Mt. Helen, Kama Bay, and the unique "Dorion Tower," a free standing pinnacle. He had publised several rock climbing guides to the Thunder Bay area before relocating to the Montreal River Harbour area in early 2000. Many of his early rock climbs are now considered "classic" climbs in the Thunder Bay area. They are mentioned in Dave Smart's "Ontario's Finest Rock Climbs" published in 1998. Shaun's early guidebooks and climbing routes are now incorporated into the "Thunder Bay Rock Climbing guide" which was published in 2003, 2005, and 2006 (3rd Edition), by Alex joseph and Randy Reed.
In the Montreal River Harbour area he is responsible for the development of the "Ranwick Rock / Keetes Bluff climbing sites." His guidebook "Rock Climbers Guide to Ranwick Rock and Keetes Bluff" was published in 2004.
His mountaineering experience ranges form North America to Nepal, India, Peru, and Oman. he has been on several first attempts and first ascents of peaks in Nepal and India in the early 80's. He has also climbed many peaks in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. The most significant of these is his "Peruvian-Canadian Route" on the steep southwest face of Alpamayo (5947 meters). He is presently writing a collection of short stories about some of his most exciting adventures throughout the world over the past 25 years.
His adventures are not limited to climbing. Shaun is a Mineral Explorationist and has a Diploma in Geology from Sir Sanford Fleming College, and a degree from the University of Toronto. He has worked across North America, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and Oman searching for mineral deposits, and utilizes his climbing skills in this geological profession.
He is also an active Paraglider Pilot, having flown extensively in the mountains and along sea cliffs in Peru.
He has been the focus of several television and film documentaries on ice climbing, both national and international: TV Ontario, CBC's Panorama, On the Road Again, CBC's Let it Snow, TSN's Pumped, a documentary from Minneapolis entitled "Icefest at Orient Bay", a Confederation College documentary entitled "Tempest, Travel Canada, German "Sport Aktiv", and MTV Sports. he has been on talk shows including "The Dini Petty Show" and on Canada AM with Valerie Pringle.
Major North American Newspapers and Magazines have featured many of his adventures: The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Windsor Star, Ottawa Citizen, Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Buffalo Free Press, Outdoor Canada, Explore Magazine, Readers Digest Traveler, Canadian Alpine Journal, Canadian Geographic Dec 93, Rock & Ice Nov/Dec 96, Canada Journal, Eco Traveler, Thunder Bay Magazine 80, 84, and Lake Superior Magazine Mar.96, & Jan. 2000, Vertical Jones 2000,Windy City Sports, Seasons, Northern Impressions, Blue,magazine, National Geographic Explorer Sourcebook 2000, Explore Magazine Jan.2001,Michigan Sports & Fitness Jan.2001, Outdoor Explorer Magazine Feb/Mar.2001, Chill Magazine, Spirit of the North Magazine, National Geographic Explorer Magazine. During the 2004 to 2006 season he has been highlighted in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, New York Times. In the 2007 Ontario Tourism Winter Destinations Magazine is a story of his teaching a family with 2 young daughters. In the January 2007 CANADA WESTJET Airlines inflight magazine there is a story on his 25th anniversary ascent and climb in Orient Bay, Ontario.In the winter 2008 issue of canadas "EXPLORE" magazine, the "first Ascent private guiding is listed as one of the top 25 winter destinations. On Saturday december 20th, he was on "air" live with Karen, the host of CBC Radio's saturdy morning program FRESH-AIR talking about "his ice climbing exploits.
His Rock and Ice Climbing School was rated one of the best places to learn by both National Geographic Explorer Sourcebook and Outdoor Explorer Magazine in 2000 and 2001.
North Of Superior Climbing Company received the Sault Ste. Marie Company of the Year award in 2009 for toursim in the region.
Some of his most dramatic and serious adventures include: Falling from a moving bus in India in 1984, and surviving 26 hours until finally making it to a hospital, with serious injuries. Being ambushed and attacked by the Sendero Luminosa while on a climbing expedition in Peru in 1988. Surviving a punctured lung while climbing at 5500 meters in northern India then recovering without medical attention.
Shaun is considered the pioneer of ice climbing in the Lake Superior Region and a modern day "Indiana Jones" type character.
Our office is located in Batchawana Bay on the Chippewa River. Located 35 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie, off Highway 17. Our office and "BIVI" lounge overlook Lake Superior. We offer a full or partial "GEAR RENTAL" program - boots, crampons, ice tools, helmets, etc. We now carry climbing gear such as biners, webbing, ice screws. We have a wide range of "Climbing and Mountaineering" journals, magazines, and videos. We sell Guidebooks to "Lake Superior" ice and have a wide assortment of maps, and Climbing-BETA! You can relax in our "BIVI" lounge, drink coffee and converse with other climbers. The Batchawana Area is the center of Ice on the East Shore of Lake Superior. The surrounding area is excellent for snow shoeing and skiing, so consider bringing them with you. In the summer bring your mountain bike and canoe or kayak. From our location we have easy access to over 200 climbs in the Montreal River, Batchawana and Agawa Canyon areas.
Superior Exploration Adventure & Climbing Co. Ltd.
P.O. Box 85
Batchawana Bay, Ontario
Our Bed & Breakfast
We offer a nice Bed & Breakfast on our property next to the Chippewa River. It has a double futon as well as a loft.
International Endorsements of our Climbing School
2000 National Geographic Adventure Sourcebook (International):
Rated us as one of the top 6 Ice climbing schools in the world. The only climbing school in Canada to be recognized by them.
2001 Outdoor Adventure Magazine (International):
Rated us as one of the top 6 schools in North America where to learn Ice Climbing.
2001 Explore Magazine (Canada):
Stated that ice climbing with us was number 12 of 50 things to do in Winter.
2004 Chill Magazine (Canada):
Called North of Superior Climbing Company the best school to learn in Canada.
2007 Via Rail (Canada) Destinations Magazine:
Mentions North of Superior Climbing as one of 3 Schools in Canada to learn ice
climbing. Others mentioned were located in Quebec and in Alberta.
2008 Canadian tourism Commission Website:
States that the North of Superior Climbing Company offers the unique Agawa Canyon Expeditions.
2009 Explore Magazine (Canada):
Rates our first ascent private guiding as one of Canada's top 25 Unique adventures.
2009 Tourism Sault Ste. Marie:
North of Superior Climbing Company receives the Business of the Year Award in Toursim.
2011 Explore Magazine (Canada):
Rates our guided ascent of Stratosfear as one of Canada's top winter Adventures.
Past Guidebooks by Shaun Parent
2006 - Main contributor - Thunder Bay Rock Climbing Guide (Second Edition)
2006 - Agawa Canyon Ice Climbing Map (Second Edition)
2004 - Rock Climbers Guide to Ranwick Rock/Keetes Bluff (First Edition)
2003 - Mile 38 Road Ice Climbing Guide (First Edition)
2003 - Main contributor - Thunder Bay Rock Climbing Guide (First edition)
2001 - Cerro De Hielo Ice Climbing Guide (First Edition)
2001 - Montreal River Harbor Ice Climbing Guide (First Edition)
2000 - Main contributor - Superior Ice (First Edition)
1999 - Agawa Canyon Ice Climbing Map (First Edition)
1993 - North of Superior, Orient Bay, Ice Climbers Guide (First Edition)
1990 - Preliminary Ice Guide to Agawa Canyon, Montreal River
1990 - North of Superior Climbing Route Cards: Mt. Helen, Pearl 1, Dorion Tower
1990 - Beginners Manual to Basic Rock Climbing (Second Edition)
1990 - A Guide to Rock Climbing Routes at the Scenic Bluffs of Thunder Bay (First Edition)
1987 - Climbers Guide to The Ice of Orient Bay Route Supplement
1986 - Climbers Guide to The Ice of Orient Bay (First Edition)
1984 - Climbing Guide to The Thunder Bay Area (Second Edition)
1983 - Climbing Guide to The Thunder Bay Area (First Edition)
1982 - Beginners Manual to Basic Rock Climbing (First Edition)
Rock Climbing Guide to Alien Wall
(AVAILABLE MID-SEPTEMBER )
Mile 38 Road
First Edition –September 2012
The Routes at Alien Wall
- Hadley’s Hope 45 m, 5.9
- Auriga 20m, 5.6
- Nostromo 85m 5.7
- Sulaco 40m, 5.9
- N-933-A 40 m 5.8
- Newt- 25 m, 5.6
- Fiorina 161 50m, 5.7
- Bishop-1 30 m 5.8 variation of Fiorina 161
- Ripley 50 m 5.6
- Dallas 30 m, 5.8
- Jonesy 30 m 5.8
- The Betty 20 m, 5.5
- LV 426 40 m, 5.9
- Parker 20 m, 5.7
Rock Climbing Guide to River Bend Rock
(AVAILABLE MID SEPTEMBER)
Mile 38 Road
Batchawana Bay, ON
First Edition –September 2012
The Routes at River Bend Rock
- Solomaniac: 25m / 5.6
- Right Lane: 20m / 5.7
- Front and Centre: 20m / 5.9
- Que Pasa Pero: 20m / 5.6
- Sara’s Climb: 20m / 5.3
- Jan’s Climb: 20m / 5.4
- Tom’s Climb: 20m / 5.6
- Sloped Crack: 20m / 5.6
- Tree Hugger: 20m / 5.9
- Beezwiz: 15m / 5.5
- Okay Then: 15m / 5.7
- Pine Needle Nemesis: 15m / 5.6
- Chimney Route: 30m / 5.8
- Ants Awaiting: 30m / 5.7
- Zero Degrees of Separation: 50m / 5.7
- Mal Pal: 50m / 5.8
- O’Neil’s Route: 50m /5.7
- Mean Beaver: 30m / 5.9
- Marten: 15m / 5.7
- Otter: 20m / 5.9
- OtterTail: 35m / 5.4
- Chipmunk: 45m / 5.8
- Mole’s Move: 30m / 5.9
- Vole Crack: 30m / 5.8
- Mouse Crack: 30m / 5.8
- Rat Crack: 30m / 5.7
- The Mink: 40m / 5.5
- Sandbar: 20m / 5.8
- Inner Current: 30m / 5.8
- Outer Current: 30m / 5.9
- Channelway: 30m / 5.8
- Passageway: 30m / 5.7
- Swiftwater: 30m / 5.8