New workshop, new format, new kids!

May 10th, 2015

NKEC Climbing Clinic

Almost three months in the planning, six routesetters, seven workshop leaders, one very strict timekeeper and a dedicated videographer who made it in the nick of time. That’s what it takes to pull off the biggest youth climbing workshop in the province.

Sunday 19th April saw 24 youth convene at Northeast Kings Education Centre to learn new skills, make new friends and get stoked for climbing! This year, however, it was not just the number of kids that was remarkable, but over half of them were completely new to climbing. Most notable was the small group from Landmark East School in Wolfville; a boarding school dedicated to students with language and learning difficulties. It was proof that climbing as a sport really has no barrier when it comes to participation, fun and accessibility.

For this years workshop we decided to take a more structured approach, with breakout sessions focussing on specific skill sets. From cross-training, balance, movement, spotting & route setting we tried to cover all aspects of climbing in order to show the kids there is more to just pulling hard in becoming an accomplished climber. It also helped them to engage with one another, ask questions, and work together to overcome barriers. The session on spotting was particularly popular, and saw the kids really have to learn to trust one another and work as a team.

Big shout out as always to the Annapolis Valley Climbing Club, and our volunteers. Some old, some new, and some on the way….!

Thursday Night Bouldering is back!

April 27th, 2015

Every Thursday, climbers will meet at the Armdale Rotary in the parking lot in front of St. James Church at 6pm sharp!  From there climbers will carpool to the climbing area scheduled for that evening.

Climbers of all skill levels are welcome! This is a great way to discover new bouldering spots and get to know other climbers.

Make sure you wear appropriate footwear as you will likely get your feet swamped at least once.  A flashlight or headlamp is always handy as we sometimes hike out after dark.  Dress in comfortable, weather appropriate clothing and bring climbing shoes, chalk and a crash pad if you have them.  Be prepared to chip in for gas if you’re catching a ride with someone – it’s always appreciated.

Date Area Location
May 7 LOC The Strip and Laundromat
May 14 LOC Gros Poisson and Jungle
May 21 LOC Lake Boulder
May 28 LOC Memorial Boulder and Wall
June 4 LOC Nouveau Riche
June 11 Polly’s Cove Joey Ramone Area
June 18 Chebucto Head Twin Sisters
June 25 Polly’s Cove Warm-up and Holiday Wall
July 2 Prospect Prospect
July 9 Crystal Crescent Beach Main Boulder
July 16 Polly’s Cove Proper
July 23 Chebucto Head Tsunami Area
July 30 Chebucto Head Chebucto Foot
August 6 LOC Moon and Soeil
August 13 West Pennant Porcupine Fortress
August 20 LOC Mega Boulder and Grand Finale
August 27 LOC Area 51 and Scrappy Boulders
September 3 Musquodoboit Jessie’s Diner
September 10 Musquodoboit Gibralter
September 17 Musquodoboit Myra Road
September 24 Musquodoboit Roadside Boulders
October 3 LOC Corn and Bung
October 10 LOC Dog House
October 17 LOC Eggs
October 24 West Pennant Thoughtful Spot

*** NOTE: We understand these areas may not cater to everyone. Therefore, if it is necessary, we may change the destination without notice. Please try to be at the rotary before departure at 6:00pm so you are in the loop! ***

CNS Halifax Public Libraries Donation

April 26th, 2015
books 2

The donation card that you’ll see inside of every boook

CNS is happy to announce its donation of a collection of climbing-related books, magazines and movies to the group of Halifax Public Libraries. CNS worked with staff at the downtown location to source and procure approximately 50 titles that will be housed both in the central location in downtown Halifax and on a rotating basis throughout the libraries’ other 13 locations throughout the HRM.

Our approach with this donation was to build a collection of instructional materials that climbers can use to increase their technical and safety knowledge. If this collection is well-received and used by the climbing community (we can collect stats on title usage) then we may branch out into other topic areas next year.

The books are available now. If you don’t have a library membership yet and would like one you can sign up in the branch.

Each book should have a insert card that says ‘Donated by Climb Nova Scotia’ so you’ll know when you have one of the books from this collection.

books 1

Quick look at some of the titles before they go out for circulation


The full list of titles is:

Better Bouldering John Sherman
Build Your Own Climbing Wall Steve Lage
Climbing Anchors John Long and Bob Gains
Climbing Anchors Field Guide John Long and Bob Gains
Complete Guide to Rope Techniques Nigel Shepherd
Conditioning for Climbers Eric Horst
Crack Climbing! Lisa Gnade and Steve Petro
Flakes, Jugs and Splitters Sarah Garlick
Girls on the Rocks Katie Brown
Glacier Mountaineering Mike Clelland
Glaciers! Michael Strong and Eckerhard Doerry
How to Climb: Advanced Rock Climbing John Long and Craig Luebben
How to Climb 5.12 Eric Horst
How to Climb: Big Walls John Long and John Middendorf
How to Climb: Building Your Own Indoor Climbing Wall Ramsay Thomas
How to Climb: Clip and Go! John Long and Duane Raleigh
How to Climb: How to Rappel! Craig Luebben
How to Rock Climb! John Long
How to Rock Climb: Gym Climb John Long
How to Rock Climb: Sport Climbing John Long
How to Slackline! Hayley Ashburn
Knots for Climbers Craig Luebben
Learning to Climb Indoors Eric Horst
Long on Adventure John Long
Maximum Climbing Eric Horst
Mixed Climbing Sean Isaac
Rapelling Bob Gaines
Rock Climbing: The AMGA Single Pitch Manual Bob Gaines and Jason Martin
Self-Rescue David Fasulo
Toproping Bob Gaines
Trad Climber’s Bible John Long and Peter Croft
Training for Climbing Eric Horst
Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete Steve House and Scott Johnston
Mountaineering Freedom of the Hills: 50th Anniversary 1960-2010, 8th Edition The Mountaineers Books
Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue, 2nd Edition Andy Selters
Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, High and Fast Mark Twight
The Rock Warrior’s Way Arno Ilger
Magazine Subscriptions
Rock and Ice
Accidents in North American Mountaineering

We’ve been told that some of the magazines are in electronic format, meaning you can check them out online using some internet magic that I don’t understand. There are also ~12 film titles from the folks who make the Reel Rock movies available for checkout at the downtown branch.

We hope everyone takes advantage of these books – just make sure that you double check that fancy new knot you learn with a real person who knows what they’re talking about before you try to aid climb your way up a 5.12.


Matt and Mick with Darlene Beck, Adult Services Regional Manager at the Central Library



Mount Traber Workshop

April 21st, 2015

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!


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

April 6th, 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 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.

Youth Climbing Workshop

March 21st, 2015

It’s time for the next Youth Climbing Event.  There is a new format with breakout sessions on movement, technique, setting, spotting and more!  These sessions are being offered by your usual setting crew as well as some guest appearances from some seasoned Nova Scotian Climbers!

REGISTER NOW! (click here)


DNR Public Consultation on Sunday Hunting

February 15th, 2015

Climbers know that many of our favorite climbing areas are frequented by hunters, and that hunting season overlaps with the best conditions for climbing. The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources is considering lifting the ban that prohibits Sunday hunting. Please click here and take 60 seconds to complete this survey to tell the province if you believe that hunting should continue to be prohibited one day a week.

Hunters and non-hunters alike may enjoy world renowned ice climber Will Gadd’s insightful article on hunting. As well a recent article in the Chronicle Herald discusses recent events is wildlife management within the province. The Department of Natural Resources wants to know how you feel about lifting the ban Sunday hunting so you should tell them. It is likely many hunters will speak up in favor of this change, so if you enjoy one day a week during the fall when you can go climbing without hunting allowed, you may want to chime in on this proposal.

Ground Zero Valentine’s Day Massacre Comp

February 7th, 2015

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!

Nova Scotia Valley Youth Climbing Competition Recap

January 27th, 2015

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.

Seven Bays Bouldering opening soon

January 18th, 2015

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!


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.


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).