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West Kings Gets a Re-vamp

One of the oldest bouldering walls in the Nova Scotia school system, the facility at West Kings District High School was in need of some long overdue TLC. Resurrected from neglect in 2012 by combined efforts of teacher Adam Conner and our very own Diversity Liaison Phill Craik, the wall gets enough use these days that it’s starting to need more regular maintenance.

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The wall was originally constructed as an in-house work protect for the Options and Opportunities Programme. This excellent education stream allows youth who have an interest in a more trade-based future learn some hands on skills in that field during high-school.

Phill has been working in timber framing and rough carpentry for the last little while, and used this opportunity to give something back to the wall that kick-started climbing again in the Annapolis Valley. After beginning with a presentation to the kids about his climbing history and timber framing experience, they then set about making some sawdust!

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Phase one involved making a top-out bar to make finishing problems a little safer and more enjoyable. Under guidance from Phill, the kids made all the measurements, cut the 2×4, routered and sanded it smooth and drilled it into position. It was really inspiring to see these kids work as a team, challenge themselves and take some ownership of their own climbing facility for the betterment of the school.

The second step was finding, replacing or repairing damaged t-nuts and pinning them with small screws. As any good route-setter knows, hearing the ping of a popped t-nut is the stuff of nightmares. This was dusty, dirty and cramped work in behind the wall, but the kids seemed to relish the challenge of not only putting things right, but getting it done well.

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Lastly the wall was rough sanded, scraped and will be painted in a few weeks by some volunteers. A full re-set, complete with a huge new hold order will take place in mid-July. By the next school year the wall will look as good as the day it was built, and more than ready for another year of climbing.

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Big thanks O2 teacher, Pete Morse, Frasers Home Pro Centre, Adam Conner, and all the kids who grafted hard for two days whilst Phill drank cups of tea, took very regular breaks and looked on with a proud eye to what could potentially be the next batch of home-climbing wall builders in the making!

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CNS Annual General Meeting and Call for Nominations – May 19 2015

The Climb Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 19 2015 from 6:30pm-8:30pm in Room 201 at the new Halifax Central Public Library on Spring Garden Road in Program Room 201. Come on out and hear what we accomplished over the past year, enjoy a special guest presentation from Nova Scotia Rock guidebook author Sean P. Cassidy, and socialize with fellow climbers. Refreshments will be served.

CNS is currently accepting nominations for all executive positions for elections at the annual general meeting on Tuesday May 19 2015. If you are considering a place on the ballot, you must be nominated (or nominate yourself) by emailing climbnovascotia@gmail.com. Nominations will be accepted until April 30 2015 at 11:59pm.

A typical CNS executive meeting

A typical CNS executive meeting

Please include your name, the position you are interested in, and a short summary (300 word maximum) of your qualifications and why you want to sit on the board. Nominations will not be accepted after April 30 2015 at 11:59pm.

Positions and descriptions are as follows:

  • President – Ensure alignment of CNS activities with organizational goals and funding qualification criterion, draft meeting agendas, chair monthly meetings, delegate tasks, oversee financials, attend events, deal with government stakeholders, website posts, answer emails, other duties as assigned.
  • Treasurer – Manage financials, prepare budget, retain records, steer spending toward targets, attend monthly executive meetings, website posts, answer emails, other duties as assigned.
  • Membership Coordinator – Retain up-to-date membership list, mail correspondence and membership cards, attend monthly executive meetings, website posts, answer emails, other duties as assigned.
  • Communications Representative – Handle external matters, book event venues, postering, advertisement campaigns, approach sponsors, primary email responder, attend monthly executive meetings, website posts, other duties as assigned.
  • Access Chair – Monitor all climbing area access issues, uphold excellent relationships with landowners, organize clean and climbs, organize and execute trail maintenance, attend monthly executive meetings, website posts, answer emails, other duties as assigned.
  • Diversity Liaison – Social outreach, engagement of new climbers and underrepresented groups, organize and attend events, attend monthly executive meetings, website posts, answer emails, other duties as assigned.
  • Youth Representative – Interface with public school system, support youth climbing competitions and workshops, organize and attend events, attend monthly executive meetings, website posts, answer emails, other duties as assigned.
  • Secretary – Attend monthly executive meetings, record and distribute meeting minutes, website posts, answer emails, other duties as assigned.

Executive members (with the exception of President) all have a vote in major Climb Nova Scotia undertakings and are expected to exercise their right to vote when called upon. All executive positions are a 1 year term, except for President, which is 2 years in duration.

Executive members are not paid and typically spend up to 5 hours a week on CNS activities when there’s nothing happening, and more when we are busy. President tends to be busier.

If you want to help with CNS but aren’t interested in sitting on the board please let us know. There’s plenty to do and we can always use volunteers for specific projects!

Please note, you must be a member in good standing of Climb Nova Scotia to run for a position on the board, and to attend the annual general meeting. You can purchase a membership by clicking here or with cash at the meeting.

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Ground Zero Valentine’s Day Massacre Comp

Ground Zero is holding the 3rd annual Atlantic Canadian Climbing Championship on February 14th & 15th!

Come get some

Come get some

The gym has a whole whack of brand new beautiful grips that they’ve been itching to put up and the wait is finally over. This event is always a blast so come on out and show everyone what you’re made of. Whether you are into pebble wrestling or bolt clipping there’s something for everyone. It’s gonna be awesome!

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Nova Scotia Valley Youth Climbing Competition Recap

It was almost two years to the day since the first youth bouldering competition was hosted at West Kings District High School in Auburn, NS. In those two short years we have seen a new wall built (at NKEC in Canning), two extensions built to the existing wall at West Kings, new holds and volumes purchased, the creation of sustainable and successful after school climbing clubs, and immersion of climbing curriculum into the school physical education classes.

Megan contorts her way into a delecate face climb (Photo by Miles)

Megan contorts her way into a delicate face climb (Photo by Miles)

The scene at the wall on Sunday 11th January 2015 marked one of stark contrast from 2013. A veteran group of organizers, seasoned by many hours of running these competitions, now sat back in relative calm and with immense pride as the kids crushed their problems left right and center. Seeing this small community climbing club grow is proof that the youth really are the future, both literally and figuratively. Funded by Canning & Kings County Recreation, the after school climbing clubs are co-led by the young climbers who have come through the programs themselves. They are now coaching and inspiring their peers and, in one case, even getting a job at the local climbing gym.

Nick finds his height perfect for this compression problem (Photo by Miles)

Nick finds his height perfect for this compression problem (Photo by Miles)

Setting for the competitions always starts early the day before, and usually runs very (very, very, very….) late into the evening. This is not because the setters are slow; it is because, unlike setting for a commercial gym environment, they focus on creating problems that are going to be climbed for whole semesters and by a wide range of ability levels. Most importantly, they need to focus on problems that can inspire, challenge and maintain interest. Competition day is now fairly routine. By now the kids know the drill, they’re excited rather than nervous, and we now have to break the socializing in order to get started! Unlike most competitive sports, the youth all help one another to do the best they can, and anyone new to the sport is automatically spotted and given beta on problems by the more experienced kids. It really is a phenomenal atmosphere that never ceases to inspire us.

Head-Setter and part time Jedi, Chris Richardson using the force to will competitors to the top (Photo by Miles)

Head-Setter and part time Jedi, Chris Richardson using the force to will competitors to the top (Photo by Miles)

From the nine youth that competed in the first competition, the valley circuits now draw up to twenty-five youngsters from Halifax to Annapolis Royal. It has become an event that is almost as highly anticipated by the parents as it is the kids. Let’s not forget that without them it would be a heck of a walk from HRM! Its fair to say that climbing has gripped an ever-growing generation of truly inspiring, grounded and humble young athletes.

And that is whats known as a “try hard face”. Young guns cranking hard! (Photo by Miles)

And that is whats known as a “try hard face”. Young guns cranking hard! (Photo by Miles)

The next event is tentatively planned for April of this year, so keep an ear to the ground! Its still important to mention that these events would not be possible without the hard work and continued commitment from volunteers, sponsors, parents, and of course the kids!

Phill & Bekah from the CNS Exec handing out prizes from sponsors (Photo by Miles)

Phill & Bekah from the CNS Exec handing out prizes from sponsors (Photo by Miles)

Thanks to Climb Nova Scotia, The Trail Shop, Canning & Kings County Recreation, Annapolis Valley Climbing Club, Jedi Richardson, Heather B, Bekah Reagan, Adam Conner, Derrick Smith and guest setters Kyle & Mike.

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Seven Bays Bouldering opening soon

Please join Climb Nova Scotia in extending a warm welcome to Halifax’s newest climbing facility: Seven Bays Bouldering!

Hana and the wonderful folks at Seven Bays Bouldering are opening soon and we can barely contain our stoke!

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If you think you’ve got what it takes to make Seven Bays even better, you just might want to get in touch with them since they are hiring RIGHT THIS MOMENT so don’t just sit there; get that resume polished up, Champ.

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I don’t know about you, but my plan is to train hard while they finish construction, then swing by for a crimp and a coffee, pinches and pastries, or boulders and beer (in moderation of course).

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CNS Ice Fest – EVENT CANCELLED

This event is cancelled due to extreme wind conditions. Sorry for the late notice! 

Registration is now closed. Thank you for your interest but we cannot safely accommodate any more climbers at this year’s event.

CNS Ice Fest 2015 will be held SUNDAY FEB 1st from 10:30am-4:30pm at Halls Harbour West. Come on down and try out ice climbing for the first time or sharpen your tools and show the newbies how it’s done – everyone is welcome. You must register by emailing climbnovascotia@gmail.com by Friday January 30th. Space is limited so please RSVP early!  If you received a confirmation email, you are on the list. If not, we apologize for the disappointment and wish you better luck next year.

Let us know if you need a helmet/harness/ice tools/crampons/boots, or if you can share your own equipment. We will try to have spare stuff available, but you should try to bring your own crampon compatible boots if possible (ski boots will work, snowboarding boots won’t unless they have toe-bales).

Ines Papert getting it done on some steep ice somewhere (Photo from Climbing magazine)

Ines Papert getting it done on some steep ice somewhere (Photo from Climbing magazine)

If you need a drive or can offer one, a popular place to post is on the Nova Scotia Climbing Facebook group.

Registration is free for CNS members, $20 for everyone else (price includes a complimentary two year Climb Nova Scotia membership). Everyone must sign a waiver, and if you print one in advance and bring it with you that’s even better.

Although we cannot accommodate any more beginner climbers, please email climbnovascotia@gmail.com today if you are a grizzled veteran interesting in helping out – we can always use more volunteers.

Ice Fest frequently asked questions:

Q: What do I have to bring with me?

A: Things you must bring with you are:

  • A signed, completed CNS waiver. Click here to download the waiver.
  • $20 cash if you are not already a CNS member. This buys you a two-year membership to Climb Nova Scotia.
  • Warm clothing in layers (wool or synthetic is best; avoid cotton)
  • Waterproof breathable outer layer (jacket and pants, gaiters suggested)
  • Hat (must fit under a helmet i.e. no pompoms)
  • Gloves (at least two pairs)
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Water
  • Food

Q: What else should I bring?

A: Things you should bring with you are:

  • Helmet with a chin strap (Climbing specific, ski helmet, or bicycle helmet with minimal ventilation holes)
  • Climbing boots with toe and heel bale for step-in crampons
  • Rock climbing harness
  • Camera
  • Extra gloves
  • Extra socks
  • Belay device
  • Ice tools
  • Crampons
  • Thermos of something warm to drink (Soup, hot chocolate, coffee, tea)
  • Personal first aid kit

Q: Are minors under the age of 19 allowed at Ice Fest?

A: Minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian to attend Ice Fest. Both the youth and adult must be Climb Nova Scotia members. Family memberships are $50 for two years and cover up to five immediate family members. There is no set age cut-off for participation in Ice Fest, but it is not appropriate for all ages as it involves swinging ice axes around above one’s head. A certain amount of physical strength and decision-making ability is required that may not be possessed by younger children. Ice climbing may or may not be appropriate for your particular child, although s/he is certainly welcome to come out and watch. Minors in attendance are the responsibility of their guardians and we would ask that you be attentive to keep them safe during the event. Ice and loose rock will be dislodged by climbers and can pose a real hazard to anyone who wanders underneath.

Q: What are the risks of attending Ice Fest?

A: CLIMBING IS DANGEROUS. Some things that pose a risk to you at Ice Fest are:

  • Falling ice
  • Falling rocks
  • Dropped equipment
  • Equipment failure
  • Belayer error
  • Cold weather
  • The highest tides in the world
  • Other things not listed

Climb Nova Scotia is NOT a guiding service, this is NOT a guided event, and you are responsible for your own safety and any minors under your care. CNS and its volunteers are not holding themselves out as experts and will not be held liable for any loss or injury howsoever caused at Ice Fest 2015. We will do all we can to ensure the safety of everyone at the event, but CLIMBING IS DANGEROUS and you could be injured or killed at Ice Fest 2015. Read the CNS waiver before you sign it. If you do not understand any portion of the waiver, consult a lawyer before signing it because CLIMBING IS DANGEROUS. NO WAIVER NO ICE CLIMBING.

Q: I heard the event was full but I really want to come so is it okay if I just show up anyway?

A: We are happy that you are excited about trying ice climbing. However, there is only so much shared equipment to go around, only so many ice climbs, and only so much daylight at Ice Fest 2015. Please understand that we would have everyone to the event if we could, but in the interest of safety we have a cap on participant numbers.

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Reel Rock 9 – Nov 7th, Dalhousie Potter Auditorium

Climb Nova Scotia is bringing Reel Rock 9 – Valley Uprising to Halifax!

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Friday, November 7th at 7pm join us in the Dalhousie University Rowe Building’s Potter Auditorium for the wildest Reel Rock feature film yet. Valley Uprising traces more than 60 years of climbing in California’s Yosemite valley and follows the ebb and flow of some of the greatest names in the history of the sport. If you have a passion for the outdoors and adventure, you have to see this movie!

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Admission: $10 or $5 with non-perishable food donation for Feed Nova Scotia. Climb Nova Scotia uses the proceeds from our events to support youth climbing in the province.

Parental guidance suggested as this film contains saucy language and fond reflections on recreational drug use in the 1960s

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Ice Fest 2014 Recap

Remember when you thought the 2013-2014 Polar Vortex™ would never end? While most normal people were cursing six straight months of awful, wet, subzero conditions that kept them inside dusty climbing gyms and away from their bouldering projects, some folks were actually happy about the snow and ice.

Photo stolen from Miles McGehee. This pillar was brand new this year and still awaits a first free ascent.

Photo stolen from Miles McGehee. This pillar was brand new this year and still awaits a first free ascent.

Ice Fest 2014 was another huge success, with more than 30 participants out for a beautiful day on the Fundy Shore. Despite the best efforts of Matt and Derek to hurt themselves by taking massive whippers onto ice screws on lead, everyone finished the day safe and sound. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Photo stolen from Miles McGehee. This pillar was brand new this year and still awaits a first free ascent.

Photo stolen from Miles McGehee. This pillar was brand new this year and still awaits a first free ascent.

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Boulderfest 2014 tickets – SOLD OUT

Boulderfest tickets are SOLD OUT available now, while supplies last. $55 includes a 1-year membership to Climb Nova Scotia. If you already have a membership we will add a year to your account automatically.

Background photo by Ruby Photography, used without permission but with great gratitude.

Background photo by Ruby Photography, used without permission but with great gratitude.

Boulderfest 2014 tickets are SOLD OUT! Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket – it’s gonna be a blast. If you missed out, consider posting on the Climb Nova Scotia Facebook wall in case someone needs to sell their ticket. See you on the island!

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below before you email us.

Climb Nova Scotia will not respond to questions that are answered below.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can you hold a ticket for me?
A: No, sorry.

Q: When is Boulderfest?
A: August 2nd & 3rd 2014. If it rains, the event might be pushed back a day to Aug 3rd & Aug 4th (which is a holiday Monday)

Q: Where is Boulderfest?
A: Boulderfest is held on Dover Island, 1km offshore from West Dover, Nova Scotia, Canada, which is in North America, which is on Earth. Driving directions from Halifax, Nova Scotia are here.

Q: What do I get for my weekend pass ticket fee?
A: Transportation to and from Dover Island, parking on the mainland, dinner on Saturday night, coffee and breakfast on Sunday morning, an event t-shirt and goodie bag, the chance to win lots of awesome prizes, and the sickest bouldering you’ve ever seen

Q: Will you mail me a physical ticket before the event?
A: No. We will have a list of Boulderfest ticket holders on the day of the event and we will give you an event wristband before you get on the boat. The Trail Shop and Paypal will each issue you with a receipt at the point of purchase – keep this and consider bringing a copy with you to the event.

Q: Why do I need an event wristband?
A: All non-competitive prize draws will be based on your wristband number. Don’t lose your wristband – it gets you food and the number on it will be used to draw for fantastic door prizes!

Q: What is not included?
A: You must bring your own water, climbing equipment, camping gear, snacks, camera, and appropriate clothing. A full list of suggested supplies will be emailed to you before the event if you buy a ticket.

Q: How many tickets are available for the weekend?
A: Less than 100. Dover Island is a fragile ecosystem and too many people out there at one time can cause irreparable damage to the flora and fauna.

Q: Can I bring my dog and some glass bottles to Boulderfest?
A: No. Dogs are not permitted at Boulderfest. Please do not bring glass bottles to Boulderfest, you will be asked to leave them on the mainland.

Q: I am under the age of 18, can I still come to Boulderfest?
A: Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Each attending parent must also purchase a ticket in order to accompany their child. This requirement is for the safety and enjoyment of all participants and is not negotiable.

Q: What if I buy a ticket and then don’t want it anymore?
A: There will be NO REFUNDS on Boulderfest tickets UNLESS THE EVENT IS CANCELED. You may sell your ticket to someone else as long as you notify Climb Nova Scotia who you have sold it to so we can email them event details. The person you sell it to will get the t-shirt size you ordered.

Q: Where can I sell or buy an unwanted ticket?
A: CNS suggests using the climbeasterncanada.com forums to sell or buy unwanted tickets, or try posting on the Climb Nova Scotia Facebook wall. Please remember to let CNS know when tickets are bought or sold so that the ticket-holder’s name and email makes it onto our list.

Q: I don’t have a credit card, how can I buy a ticket?
A: Paypal can bill your bank account directly; a credit card is not required. If you don’t trust the banks and keep all of your money under your mattress, you will need to put on your tinfoil anti-mindcontrol hat and go to the Trail Shop in Halifax to pay with cash.

Q: Isn’t this climbing stuff dangerous?
A: Yes, it certainly can be. You are responsible for your own safety while on Dover. All participants will be required to sign a waiver on the day of the event before being allowed on the island. You can read the waiver ahead of time here.

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Boulderfest 2014 early bird tickets on sale Monday June 30 2014 at Trail Shop

Boulderfest 2014 early bird tickets on sale Monday June 30 2014 at Trail Shop in Halifax at 9am!

Background photo by Ruby Photography, used without permission but with great gratitude.

Background photo by Ruby Photography, used without permission but with great gratitude.

Online ticket sales begin Thursday, July 3rd at 9am Halifax time, right here at climbnovascotia.ca

 

Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled.