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Crow’s Nest Clean and Climb – October 29 2016

Come scrub Crow’s Nest on Saturday, October 29! It’s the best cliff in Nova Scotia and you’ve never been there. But CNS volunteers have been busy this season equipping this hard-to-reach gem with titanium anchors that will withstand the harsh marine climate in the 21st century and beyond!Crow Nest Topo

There are 15 established routes at Crow’s Nest, with another 10 obvious lines just waiting to be cleaned, equipped, and climbed. CNS is making arrangements with local fishers for a boat departing the Government Wharf in Terence Bay on Saturday morning at 9:30am, returning to the mainland at 6:30pm. A second boat will return on Sunday afternoon at 2pm for folks who would like to stay overnight. Parking is available in a lot right next to the wharf.

The event is free for CNS members, and you can become a member or renew your membership for just $20 for two years by clicking here. RSVP to climbnovascotia@gmail.com if you plan on attending.

CNS will provide:

  • Anchor material and static lines
  • Brushes
  • Goggles
  • Dust masks
  • Work gloves
  • Grigris (on request)
  • Ascenders (on request)
  • Helmets (on request)
  • Coffee, tea, & snacks

You must bring:

  • Common sense
  • Harness
  • Climbing shoes
  • Chalk
  • Water
  • Warm jacket
  • Warm hat

If you have the following, you should bring those with you:

  • Work gloves
  • Helmet
  • Grigri
  • Ascender
  • Climbing rope

It’s going to be awesome!

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Erosion prevention in the LOC

Climb Nova Scotia volunteers recently installed erosion prevention measures to protect ecologically sensitive marshland in the popular Land of Confusion bouldering area. Two hundred feet of raised boardwalk now span the sphagnum bog on the approach to Memorial boulder.

New boardwalk to Memorial et al.

New boardwalk to Memorial et al.

This infrastructure prevents erosion and protects flora such as the beautiful pitcher plant from damage caused by foot traffic.

Sarracenia purpurea, the "Soldier's Drinking Cup", is a delicate carnivorous plant found throughout the LOC

Sarracenia purpurea, the “Soldier’s Drinking Cup”, is a delicate carnivorous plant found throughout the LOC

As an added bonus, the new boardwalk will keep your feet dry. Note that this trail is used to access not only the Memorial boulder, but also Skillz Inventory, Eggs, River Styx, Trailside, and Godzilla boulders, as well as the Bug City sport climbing crag!

If you have never tried the five star classic lines of Godzilla (V0), 111 (V3), Persephone (v4), Loose Shoes (v5), and Check Out My Blog (5.11c), there’s never been a better time to go check em out!


Conflicts of interest and what we do about it

Climb Nova Scotia relies on volunteer efforts of individuals within our tight-knit community of climbers. It is not uncommon that one or more members of the CNS Board may have a personal interest, or know someone who has a personal interest, in the outcome of decisions made on behalf of the organization. Since board members have a duty to always act in the best interests of Climb Nova Scotia and not for personal benefit, it is important to CNS that any actual or perceived conflict between a board member’s personal goals and those of Climb Nova Scotia be addressed fully and transparently.

CNS has been aware of the potential for conflicts of interest for some time and we have informally addressed them on a case-by-case basis. The Board is committed to serving members and the climbing community as a whole fairly and impartially. In the interest of improving governance and accountability, the Board has recently voted to implement the following written Conflict of Interest Policy:


As always, Climb Nova Scotia invites comments from members relating to this and any other policies.



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Earth Bones Climbing Kickstarter

Nova Scotia climber and entrepreneur David MacMillan has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter to generate revenue and hype for his business, Earth Bones Climbing. Earth Bones makes custom bouldering pads right here in Nova Scotia.

Climb Nova Scotia is very appreciative of Earth Bones’ support at Boulderfest 2015 where they made demo pads available all weekend and donated products including the grand prize: a one-of-a-kind CNS bouldering pad!

Earth Bones CEO David MacMillan hands off the Boulderfest 2015 grand prize to lucky winner Jack Bennet

Earth Bones CEO David MacMillan hands off the Boulderfest 2015 grand prize to lucky winner Jack Bennet

If you are in the market for a new bouldering pad, chalk bag, interested in getting your existing pad restuffed, or just want to support an enthusiastic and innovative local business, please head over to the Earth Bones Climbing Kickstarter page and make a pledge. The campaign wraps up on September 3rd so you would get your new pad right in time for fall sending temps!

Come on out to the CNS Thursday Night Bouldering Series any time this season if you want a hands-on demo of Earth Bones top quality products!

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Mount Traber Workshop

Better late than never right?

IMG_1669Last June (2014) Heather and Chris spent an afternoon with the Mount Traber Bible Camp Summer Staff.  Staff members were excited to receive a great selection of new and colorful holds, belay bags, gri gris, locking biners and wrenches.

IMG_6378MTBC staff were given a lesson on wall maintenance including how to move and put up new holds, what to do if a bolt gets stripped, how to inspect and safely put harnesses on children and how to belay using a Gri Gri and belay bag.

IMG_6380Staff also had an opportunity to practice each of these skills.  It was a fun afternoon for all, please enjoy the pictures of some campers enjoying the new holds and safe climbing!


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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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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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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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Bolts on bolts

Climb Nova Scotia made a major purchase of hardware this year. Thanks to amazing one-time prices offered by MEC and Grand Wall Equipment via the Trail Shop we’ve got a nice supply of bolts and hangers for the next few seasons. We anticipate continuing to support a core group of long-time developers as they selflessly bring us more rad new routes year after year.

Vintage angle-iron bolt at Main Face Photo by Todd Foster

Vintage angle-iron bolt at Main Face
Photo by Todd Foster

As well, CNS is refitting classic routes with modern, safe hardware and continuing our efforts to standardize anchors across the province by installing rappel rings to replace many tree anchors. This ethic is standard around the world at many popular climbing destinations and is endorsed by Climb Nova Scotia as the best way to minimize long-term impacts of successive generations of climbers.

Three sets of stainless steel rappel ring anchors were installed at First Face in May 2014. They are located at the top of Black Diamond on the far right of the cliff, above the ledge for Mea Culpa/LA/Slave to Fashion in the center, and at the top of Anniversary Waltz on the far left. These new anchors allow safe and convenient rappels with easy pulls.

New development continues at the GSpot sport crag and an update to the now-outdated 2010 topo is forthcoming this season. Get out there and try the new lines!

In tandem with these projects, trail maintenance remains a priority for us as a method to reduce erosion and confine our impacts to a smaller area around the crags. If you want to help with any of these initiatives feel free to contact us at climbnovascotia@gmail.com

Disclaimer: CLIMBING IS DANGEROUS. Fixed hardware is to be used at your own risk. Climb Nova Scotia and its volunteers accept no responsibility and make no assurances about the quality or reliability of any anchors or fixed gear. Please do not toprope through fixed anchors. If you aren’t sure how to rig a safe anchor, don’t do it. Don’t let someone rig anchors for you if there is any question of their competence. Read John Long’s “Climbing Anchors 2nd Edition”, practice at home, ask questions, and understand the limitations of your equipment. CLIMBING IS DANGEROUS. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN AND YOU COULD DIE OR KILL SOMEONE ELSE. GRAVITY IS UNFORGIVING.