Fire & Ice in Muskoka
Distance from Toronto
About this Trip
Take two days to discover the wilder side of Muskoka! We’ll start by exploring the unique Canadian shield landscape on a hike through Torrance Barrens, the world’s first dark sky preserve. As the sun sets and the night sky begins to light up, we’ll enjoy a freshly cooked outdoor meal and enjoy the show - if we’re lucky we may even spot the northern lights! Day two is an ice climbing adventure - we’ll strap on crampons and ice axes and learn what it takes to scale frozen waterfalls. If you’re looking for a less vertical adventure, we can explore Muskoka’s beautiful winter lakes and forests on cross country skis or snowshoes!
+ Stargazing in the world’s first dark sky reserve
+ Fresh cooked winter dinner in Torrance Barrens
+ Unique Canadian Shield landscapes
+ Ice climbing on Muskoka’s frozen waterfalls
Day 1: You’ll meet your private guide at the hotel for a hot drink and to drop off your luggage before grabbing your day pack and making the short drive out to Torrance Barrens, the world’s first dark sky reserve! You’ll enjoy a dusk hike or snowshoe through the beautiful Torrance Barrens, which, in addition to world-class night-sky viewing, features unique Canadian Shield wetlands habitat. After the hike, we’ll find a quiet spot, away from the other visitors, where your guide will prepare a hot dinner while you settle in and watch the night sky light up!
Day 2: After a delicious breakfast at the lodge, we’ll head out to one of Muskoka’s many frozen waterfalls. Our ice-climbing guides will meet us there and we'll kick off the day with an ice-climbing movement workshop, learning the technique and body control that goes into scaling frozen falls. After practising the technique, we’ll suit up in our crampons, helmets, harnesses and ice-axes and get ready to scale the ice. With snacks, hot drinks and lunch brought to the base of the falls, we’ll be able to spend the day enjoying the beautiful surroundings and trying our hand at a variety of ice routes, each with its own challenges and excitement. We’ll cap off the day with some fresh hot cider before heading home.
* Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are also available as alternative day 2 activities.
Winter (February - April)
Dates available upon request.
2 Days & 1 Night
Muskoka Bay Resort - This beautiful, brand-new, cliff-top resort just outside Gravenhurst features spectacular design and luxurious overnight accommodations.
What's Included | What to Bring
+ Dinner on day 1, breakfast and lunch on day 2
+ Snacks and drinks
+ Private guide for all excursions
+ Equipment rentals
+ Expert ice climbing guides
What to Bring
+ A packing list will be provided upon booking.
About Torrance Barrens – Torrance Barrens is a spectacular conservation area just outside the town of Gravenhurst and a two hour drive from the city of Toronto. Torrance Barrens is filled with low ridges of bedrock, separated by wetlands, ponds and peat-hollows. The combination of low vegetation, flat topography and lack of light pollution make Torrance Barrens a perfect place for viewing the night skies. In 1999 the Ontario government officially designated the area as a “Dark-Sky Preserve.” On a clear night you can see the Andromeda Galaxy, the rings of Saturn and even, if you’re really lucky, the Northern Lights! Torrance Barrens has grown in popularity over recent years and for the best experience we recommend booking a trip during shoulder season or on weekdays.
All guides leading the Fire & Ice trip have substantial winter guiding experience and appropriate first aid certifications. Ice-climbing components are led by professional ice climbing guides.