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).


January 13th, 2015

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 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 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.

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