CNS hoodies on sale now!

November 28th, 2014

Back by popular demand, Climb Nova Scotia hoodies are in stores now, just in time for the cold weather holiday season! While supplies last you can pick yours up from The Trail Shop, Ground Zero Climbing Gym, and the Dalplex Rock Court.

Only $25!

Tax included, cash only please. Youth and adult sizes available.

Get yours while supplies last!

Get yours while supplies last at your favorite outdoor retailer The Trail Shop, or the finest climbing gyms around, Ground Zero and the Rock Court. Just $25 tax in, cash only.

These 14oz heavyweight preshrunk 50/50 cotton/polyester fleece hoodies will keep you toasty between redpoint attempts or make a great gift. Available in two styles featuring updated logos with your choice of CNS Rock Diva ™ on heathered blue or CNS Crusher Bro ™ on ash grey.

User Survey

November 20th, 2014

Hi everyone, CNS is doing its first ever membership survey to get some demographic-type information about climbers in Nova Scotia. Feel free to fill it out even if you’re not a member.

If you complete the survey you’ll have the option of entering yourself into a draw for one of two $25 gift certificates to The Trail Shop. The survey will be open until December 15, 2014 and the draw will be held on December 19, 2014.

The survey should take less than five minutes to complete. You can access it here:

We will be reporting all of the information back to the community sometime after Christmas. Thanks very much!

Tuesday Talks: John Porter

November 12th, 2014

‘It is better to live a single day as a tiger than a lifetime as a sheep’

This was one of many pearls of wisdom that John Porter dropped on the group of around 20 people that gathered at The Trail Shop to watch him speak about his mountaineering career on November 4, 2014.


MC Phill starting things off.


John regaling the crowd.


Told through the lens of his late friend and climbing partner Alex MacIntyre, Porter regaled the crowd with stories their many first ascents in the Greater Ranges, including some interesting logistical struggles, new gear prototypes and too many lost friends along the way. John’s story showed that a willingness to push past your comfort level and into the unknown trumps modern gear and good beta when it comes to putting up serious new routes in the mountains.

John was also nice enough to stick around and chat with everyone while he signed copies of his new book!


John Porter’s John Hancock

Happy Customers

A couple of happy customers.

Climb Nova Scotia would like to thank John Porter very much for visiting with us and congratulate him on winning the Grand Prize at this year’s Banff Mountain and Book Festival!

You can buy his new award winning book (the basis for his talk) called ‘One Day as a Tiger,’ at

IMG_3114             IMG_3116

Reel Rock 9 – Nov 7th, Dalhousie Potter Auditorium

October 8th, 2014

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


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!


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

Youth Skills Workshop

September 9th, 2014


With a total of 18 youth from five different climbing groups (including the Geckos, the After School Programs at West Kings and NKEC, the Rock Court, and the Rock Divas), six coaches, and 32 newly set routes, the launch of a prototype Youth Bouldering Skills and Technique Workshop on June 1st at the West Kings District High was extremely successful!


Unlike previous – nonetheless amazing – youth bouldering competitions, the main focus of the workshop was designed to build upon foundational climbing skills and create a sense of community between the different climbing groups.  This goal was achieved above expectation as kids from all gyms interacted throughout the workshop, helping each other unlock the beta for new problems.


It was fantastic to see kids who had been climbing less than a month pairing up to work on problems with more experienced climbers and vise versa, offering advice, challenging themselves, and together learning new techniques.  Coaches stepped up to demonstrate and teach different body movements which provided the key to completing (as they saw it) ‘impossibly difficult’ problems.   As the session came to a close, the feedback was in resounding agreement for more workshops – along with continued competitions – and more time to climb!


A gigantic shout out goes to Chris, Heather B., Heather R., Phill, Adam and Bekah, as well as all the coaches at the different gyms, who’ve put time and effort into engaging these youth in bouldering.  Also, a special thanks to the parents and young climbers for making it possible to continue doing what we love.  It is fantastic to see these programs flourishing with excited youth showing up to learn, pumped to crank hard!

Hunting season in Nova Scotia

September 9th, 2014

Hunting season this year began on September 8th and continues until March 31 2015, so remember:


Hunting is not officially allowed on Sundays, but we’ve definitely heard gunshots all week long this time of year in the past so play it safe.

Sometimes an orange helmet isn't enough

Sometimes an orange helmet isn’t enough

Your dog also needs orange (and lots of it) if she’s going to come climbing with you.

Nova Scotia 2014/15 Hunting & Trapping Season Summary

Deer: Sept 8, 2014 – December 13 (General firearm hunt from October 31 – December 6)

Bear: Sept 9 – Dec 6

Moose: Sept 29 – December 11 (Cape Breton only)

Furbearers: Nov 1 – March 31, 2015

Snowshoe hare: Nov 1 – Feb 28

Grouse: Oct 1 – Dec 31

Pheasant: Oct 1 – Dec 15

Source –

Boulderfest 2014 Recap

September 2nd, 2014

Dover Island saw another successful Boulderfest this year, completing the negative trifecta of a successful event: no rain, no accidents and no overflowing porta-potties (thanks Rob). Once again we had a mix of local and extra-provincial climbers and a LOT of first timers, including a handful of youngsters that showed all the crusty old folks how to get it done.

A big thanks goes out to our volunteers, especially Buck North, Miles and those two guys who carried the kegs from the boat to the kitchen. We’d like to send an electronic round of applause out to Rod and Giz for ferrying everyone back and forth all weekend. Finally, our sponsors killed it again with great prizes and support; Boulderfest wouldn’t be the great event it is without them so thanks again to:

  • The Trail Shop
  • Propeller
  • Ground Zero
  • Evolv

We also had the lovely and talented Katrina Pyne on hand to shoot some footage for a short film we’ll be showing everyone in the next few months. You can check out more of her work here:


Jeff Zwicker getting some air at the warmup wall

If you have any feedback or suggestions on how to make the event better (or stuff you really liked) you can reach us at Otherwise, see ya’ll next year!

Clean and Climb – Operation Mainface

July 16th, 2014

Climb Nova Scotia’s annual Clean and Climb took place at Mainface this year. Mainface, our largest and tallest crag, had fallen back to nature over the last few years as young whippersnapper crags like GSpot, Sorrows End and Columbus Wall started getting more attention. Like all fads, however, what’s old is new again and Mainface is what’s hot for 2014.

Our dedicated team of almost 20 volunteers led the charge with two days of scrubbing, shovelling, chain sawing and trundling. We were able to clear an accumulation of dead fall from the cliffside path and rescue at least ten separate lines from obscurity. A grizzled veteran of the the NS climbing scene even said it was ‘our most successful clean and climb ever.’ Here’s a list of the weekend’s activity:


  • Upper North Buttress
  • Attack of the Killer Hummingbird
  • Main Line (top two pitches)
  • Blind Man’s Bluff
  • Banjo Crack
  • Conan
  • The Lost Hurrah
  • Point of View
  • Skinny Dipping
  • Chimney


  • Chain anchors added to the Meat Grinder Rappel
  • Chain anchors added to the top of Up Over Down Under and Slipline
  • Second bolt and ring were added to the existing single ring on the Lunch Bucket Ledge
  • Anchors for Deep Throat were relocated to the top of the cliff and a suspicious bolt was removed from the previous top anchor
  • At least three new sport lines were bolted (more details to come in a separate post)

What this means for you is that a large number of moderate, enjoyable routes are now much more accessible so let’s everyone dust off our cams, nuts and draws and get on some of the fantastic climbing at Mainface!


Mark Maasy - getting dirty to get clean

Mark Maasy – getting dirty to get clean (photo: Todd Foster)


Many thanks to our volunteers for making this such a successful event and to our sponsors The Trail Shop and Highland Drive Storehouse for keeping us well-supplied and rolling in sausages throughout the weekend.


***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.


Ice Fest 2014 Recap

July 10th, 2014

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.

Boulderfest 2014 tickets – SOLD OUT

July 3rd, 2014

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 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.