Climb Nova Scotia (CNS) is a non-profit, volunteer based group dedicated to promoting and facilitating climbing throughout Nova Scotia. Our goal is to support all climbing interests including trad climbing, sport climbing, ice climbing, indoor climbing, bouldering, and to serve beginners and experienced climbers alike.

IceFest – Feb 18 2017 – Event full

ICE FEST 2017 – EVENT IS FULL AS OF FEB 1 2017 BUT YOU MAY REQUEST TO BE ADDED TO THE WAIT LIST. ALSO SEEKING EXPERIENCED ICE CLIMBERS TO ASSIST WITH THE EVENT.

icefest2017

CNS Ice Fest 2017 will be held Saturday February 18th from 10:30am-4:30pm at Halls Harbour West on the Bay of Fundy or Colby-Irving Falls and Black Hole Falls, in Canning, NS! Final location to be determined based on conditions. 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. Some of you may recall that IceFest 2016 was unfortunately cancelled due to lack of ice so let’s keep our fingers crossed that winter sticks around for a while this year.

You must register by emailing climbnovascotia@gmail.com by Saturday February 4th. Space is limited so please RSVP early! The event is full! However, if you are an experienced ice climber who would like to help rig and assist folks at the event, please do get in touch.

In your email please let us know the following:

  • Your name and the names of anyone coming with you.
  • Your climbing experience level (never, indoors only, rock only, some ice, experienced alpinist, etc).
  • Equipment you are NOT bringing and will need from the below “Things you should bring” list.
  • If you need boots, tell us what size.

Here is a map to the Halls Harbour parking area from Halifax:

And here is a link to the Black Hole parking area from Halifax, but don’t go here because the 2017 event is at Hall’s Harbour:

After you email us you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours indicating that you are on the list. If you don’t hear from us, check this page to see if the event is full. If so, 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).

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, but you must be a member to attend. Memberships are just $20 for a two year Climb Nova Scotia membership. Click here to buy yours! Everyone must sign the CNS digital waiver at least 48 hours prior to the event.

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:

  • The knowledge that you have already read, agreed to, and signed the CNS waiver. Click here to digitally sign 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
  • Cold water
  • 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 2017. 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 2017. 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: Why would IceFest be moved from Hall’s Harbour to Black Hole/Colby Irving Falls?

A: Halls Harbour is a beautiful and exciting location on the Bay of Fundy, with tall and impressive ice climbs. We hope to be able to hold Ice Fest 2017 at Halls Harbour. However, it is also exposed to the highest tides in the world and unpredictable weather. In 2015 CNS arrived at Halls Harbour for ice fest, but conditions were too windy for climbing so we relocated everyone to Colby Irving in an attempt to save the event.

It turned out to be a great venue, and its shorter ice meant that more people were able to climb. New climbers enjoyed Colby Irving Falls for its easy approach and sheltered setting. As well, Black Hole Falls is just a 10 minute walk away and serves as a great overflow area. Note that Black Hole requires a rappel approach and then vertical ice climbing to get back out, making it substantially more committing for the first-timer (but plenty of fun for those with a little experience).

Q: You have announced that the event is 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 2017. 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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