Ice Climbing Plan for Casket Quarry in Early Stages

City Presents Plan to Broaden Outdoor Recreation

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The city of Duluth has a vision for the St. Louis River Corridor to become a destination for outdoor recreation.

One idea is to turn the ice formations at Casket Quarry into an ice climbing wall for locals and tourists.

Right now, this idea is just a concept in its very beginning stages.

Ice picks, crampons, anchors, a harness – just a few of the things necessary to go ice climbing.

“When you’re out there climbing, you’re just really enjoying yourself, you’re kind of in the moment, just focusing on what you’re doing,” said Zach Chase, an avid climber.

And, of course, ice formations.

“Unbeknownst to a lot of people, there is ice climbing already happening at the old Casket Quarry,” said Duluth City Official Daniel Fanning.

It’s an outdoor attraction that could be coming to West Duluth in the near future.

“Because there is this kind of naturally-built amenity that a lot of people really love and take advantage of,” explained Fanning.

And the city sees an opportunity to capitalize on nature’s beauty.

“The hard part is already there,” said Fanning. “The formation’s already there. It’s just kind of a matter of cleaning it up.”

It’s a project that is only one in a grander plan to continue making Duluth a playground for outdoor lovers.

“And that’s really the mayor’s vision and our goal for this whole area, is to make this sort of an outdoor destination, recreation destination, adventure park,” stated Fanning. “Not only residents would use it, but people would actually come to the city of Duluth to do things like this.”

The project has local climbers excited.

“People would realize what an awesome area it is, and it wouldn’t have to be such an underground thing anymore,” Chase said.

Climbers understand just how much ice climbing could benefit Duluth in the city’s goal to become a center for outdoor recreation.

“Once you have the area, then you can start having things like festivals, and those festivals bring tons of people,” explained Chase. 

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