Climb Nova Scotia would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Viewpoint.ca for their support of our ongoing access initiatives.
Viewpoint.ca is a very handy website that provides real estate information for Nova Scotia properties via a handy map interface. Through Viewpoint, CNS is able to monitor the status of important climbing destinations around the province.
If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell real estate in Nova Scotia, Viewpoint.ca is a great resource that also offers mortgage and insurance services. Thank you Viewpoint for your help!
NOVA SCOTIA ACCESS TO CLIMBING NOTICES
As the climbing community grows, we must manage our impact and presence at other crags/trails on privately owned land. At the rest of our crags, please respect parking, road access, trail access, and of course, maintain strict Leave No Trace principles. Carpool when possible to reduce traffic at parking, and if a crag seems full, please climb somewhere else. Our use of outdoor crags is fully dependent on the climbing community maintaining excellent relationships with all stakeholders, including property owners, government and the general public. Please do your part.
The property owner for the road accessing, and land surrounding, Neverland in Musquodoboit, has contacted us to communicate that ALL public access on that property, including for climbing, is closed immediately.
We ask that you respect the landowner's wishes and not return to Neverland. We realize this is disappointing for some of you but we need to respect the landowner and not return. Please tell anyone who you think might be interested in Neverland as this closure is effective immediately.
Access to the Following locations closed indefinitely
Terrance Bay Woods Bouldering Area
A new trial was found and flagged recently to provide access to Grover in Terrence Bay. This work was done in response to the loss of access via the old route (mentioned in the Halifax Bouldering guidebook) which crossed private land. Please note, climbers are NOT PERMITTED to use the old access path by the rusty milk truck as it now has a house built on the middle of it.
The new trail is completely on Crown land and is actually shorter by about 300m than the old way. Access the new trail by parking in the usual Grover pullout, then walking north for about 50 m back toward Lower Prospect Road where you just came from. The trailhead is intentionally subtle and begins with what looks like an old ATV trail. The first 10m of the trail is swampy and uncleared on purpose. Follow this new trail for 460m until you gain the granite ATV trail system on the other side of the lake and continue along the old route until you get to the river crossing at Quarry Lake as usual.
Although this is Crown land climbers should remember that climbing at Grover is a privilege, not a right and we should keep a low profile.
Climb Nova Scotia has been contacted by the owners of First Face crag. Apparently someone on Paces Lake Drive has complained to them that several times dozens of people have been seen trespassing on a neighbor’s property, camping out and making fires, and leaving litter and garbage behind. We have also been advised that neither the dockside nor the pullout parking spots are public, and in fact, the entire road is private all the way to the highway.
The owners have requested that climbers do not park on Paces Lake Drive – park only on the side of the 357HWY and walk-in, being careful to stay on the path along the water’s edge and away from the houses on Paces Lake Drive. The landowners expressed their satisfaction with their relationship with Climb Nova Scotia and do not have plans to revoke climbing privileges provided we respect their wishes.
I’m confident that the climbing community is not responsible for this disrespectful and boorish behavior, but that is beside the point. Likewise, I know you will all continue to show respect for the people who are kind enough to allow us access to their land to enjoy climbing.
Stick to clear and designated trails and strive to Leave No Trace that you were there. Always pack out your own trash and any other rubbish you might find and note that there are no camping or fires permitted at First Face. Remember that climbing on private land is a privilege not a right. Please do not park on Paces Lake Drive when climbing at First Face.
***There has been a new trail cut that accesses the First Face Crag from the top.***
Please note that bouldering is not permitted at the Terrence Bay Woods area (ie. Bloodflame, Half Dozen Donuts, Redbull, etc). You may still climb at the Inbangyang area just off Nice View Drive at the head of the ATV trail.
Effective March 1, 2011, Norm Stone no longer operates the boat service to Dover Island. Climbers interested in visiting Dover should now contact Laurence “Rod” Morash at 902-488-4545 at OceanSpray B&B. Please be respectful of Rod’s time and effort. Give him proper notice of your planned trip and call him at least 3 days ahead of time. Leave a message if he does not answer. He will call you back.
Parking is usually available at OceanSpray B&B, but you may want to confirm as parking priority is for B&B guests. Consider staying with Rod if you are coming from out of town – you won’t find friendlier or more convenient accommodation anywhere!
The cost is $20.00 per person, with a minimum boat charge of $80.00. That is, if you only have 3 people, the boat shall be $27.00 a head. If you have 4 people or more, the rate is $20.00 a head. Note that dogs are not permitted on the boat.
Rod, Gizzell, and Norm have provided an unprecedented level of support to the climbing community for more than a decade. Be courteous and follow the above guidelines.
This information was NOT written by a lawyer and is NOT legal advice.
The legal rights and liabilities of those who own climbing areas are covered (at least in part) under the Occupier’s Liability Act of Nova Scotia which was created in 1996. The entire statute is available online here. One of the primary reasons landowners restrict access to climbing areas is the worry that they would be somehow liable if a climber got hurt while on their property, but thankfully the Occupiers’ Liability Act S.N.S. seems to specifically preclude this possibility under section 5(1) Willing Assumption of Risk and section 6(1) Deemed willing assumption of risk subsections b and c.
Liability under Canadian law revolves around the concept of Duty of Care, which (very roughly) means that every person is obligated to try to avoid causing harm to other people. The degree of effort they must expend on ensuring that others do not come into harm depends on the particular connection between any two parties as well as what can be reasonably expected under a given set of circumstances. The duty of care owed between two strangers passing one another on the street is low, while the duty of care that a climbing guide owes her paying client is significantly higher. In Nova Scotia, however, the duty of care owed by a landowner to a climber seems to be almost nonexistent.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act S.N.S section 5(1) Willing Assumption of Riskstates that:
The duty of care created by subsection 4(1) does not apply in respect of risks willingly assumed by the person who enters on the premises but, in that case, the occupier owes a duty to the person not to create a danger with the deliberate intent of doing harm or damage to the person or property of that person and not to act with reckless disregard of the presence of the person or property of that person.*
Further, the Occupiers’ Liability Act S.N.S section 6(1) Deemed Willing Assumption of Risk states that:
6 (1) This section applies to
(b) vacant or undeveloped rural land;
(c) forested or wilderness land;
(2) Subject to subsection (3), a person who enters premises described in subsection (1) is deemed to have willingly assumed all the risks and the duty created by subsection 5(1) applies.*
When we as climbers go on someone else’s property free of charge for the purpose of climbing, we are effectively assuming full liability for our own safety. As long as the landowner does not intentionally tamper with existing climbing anchors or trundle rocks down onto climbers, any injury that a climber might suffer on someone else’s land is completely the climber’s responsibility. The landowner holds no liability nor any special duty of care to the climbers.
That said, the Occupiers’ Liability Act does not give climbers permission to trespass, nor does it give us the “right to climb” on someone else’s property. Be careful, be respectful, clean up after yourself, pack out any garbage you find, and leave no trace you were there. Accidents happen and people can get hurt or killed because climbing is dangerous. When you climb, remember that you alone assume all responsibility.