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Annual General Meeting – April 6 – 6:30pm-8:30pm

This is your invitation to come and see what we’ve been up to over the last year and what we have planned for the upcoming year at our Annual General Meeting.

The AGM will be held in the BMO Community Room on the second floor of the Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road from 6:30-8:30pm on Thursday, April 6 2017.

CNS is currently accepting nominations for all executive positions for elections at the annual general meeting, and for the non-executive position of Boulderfest Boss. CNS has a special need for a volunteer to take the lead on organizing and running Boulderfest, so if you want to be in charge of the most awesome climbing festival weekend on the planet, email us about it! With support from the CNS executive, the role will look something like this:

  • Boulderfest Boss – Plan and execute all marketing, logistics, and staffing requirements for Boulderfest 2017. This includes securing sponsors, designing t-shirts and posters, directing procurement and transport of all food and consumables for the event, set up and tear down of equipment on Dover Island, supervising volunteers, and ensuring the safety and enjoyment of participants.
Boulderfest Boss (*artist's rendition)

Boulderfest Boss
(*artist’s rendition)

CNS has always depended on the community to make Boulderfest happen. Given how much work it requires and the other commitments of exec members, the board is really looking for someone specific to tackle this assignment. Without a Boulderfest Boss there is a chance that the community will lose Boulderfest all together due to lack of organizational capacity. Much of the planning and to-do lists are already created, but we need a Boulderfest Boss to actually execute the event. Are you up to it??? Email us at climbnovascotia@gmail.com with “BOULDERFEST BOSS” in the subject line.

If you are considering a place on the ballot, you must be nominated (or nominate yourself) by emailing climbnovascotia@gmail.com with “CNS EXEC NOMINATION” in the subject line.  Nominations will be accepted until March 31 2016 at 11:59pm.

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 March 31, 2017 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 Director – 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 Champion – 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.

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.

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.

Hope to see you there!

Request for Proposals: Beginner Rope Skills Course Instructor


Climb Nova Scotia wants to make sure our new climbers are as safe as possible when they head out to the crags. To help, we want to hire a qualified, experienced instructor to provide a beginner rope skills course in late spring/early summer of 2017.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, please read the attached document for more details on how you can apply. Direct all your questions to climbnovascotia@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Rope Skills Course 2017.’

Rope Skills Course RFP

IceFest 2017 recap

We could not have asked for better conditions for Climb Nova Scotia’s Ice Fest 2017 event.

Two weeks of sub zero temps delivered nice fat ice flows all along the Fundy shore. CNS volunteers arrived early and rigged topropes on five lines, providing plenty of pump for participants.


Hannes Kutza from Twoseconds Photography was on site to capture some fantastic still and drone shots! Check it out!

Multicultural Climbing Club

IceFest – Feb 18 2017 – Event full



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.

Fall New Hard Route Review

Now that the season for rope climbing seems to have officially closed, we thought we would highlight a couple of the ‘sweet new rigs’ that have gone up over the last two months or so. Big thanks to our route developers for putting in all the hard work and giving everyone else a new high water mark to shoot for. If I’ve left you off the list, it wasn’t intentional. Just send us a message on Facebook and we’ll add your new route(s) in.

Without further adieu:

Battle Slam 5.13a (Castle Crag), 4 bolts – FA Sean Therien. ‘The route formerly known as the “doorknob” project went down today after 2 months of resistance and pain.’

The Trickle Down 5.14a/b (Main Face), lots of bolts – FA Ben Smith. This is an old project bolted by Nick Sagar back in 2000. Might be the hardest route east of Ontario or Quebec* and is probably worth of some sweet sponsorship or at least a Gripped feature if someone would teach Ben how to spray on Instagram.


*note: I have no idea, just guessing


Orange is the New Black – Hunting Season is Now In Effect


Here is regionally renowned hunting season safety expert and proven V1 boulderer, Rob Grandy, sporting his fashionable hunter orange toque.

It’s time to break out your hunter orange. Hunting is now open in one form or another, starting Oct. 14 with a ‘special Youth hunt’ until March 31 for specific specifies of furbearers.

Moral of the story is: wear bright colors when out in the woods.

Besides, bright orange, pink and red make for much, much better Instagram posts. Do it for the likes and don’t forget to include #climbnovascotia.

Here are the specific details:


Stay safe.



Reel Rock 11 Online Tickets

Reel Rock 11

Climbing is scary. So is Halloween. This year we decided to go for the on-fright and host Reel Rock 11 on the night before Halloween!

When: Sunday, October 30. Doors open at 6:00, shows starts at 6:30

Where: Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Reagan Hall

Price: $15 at the door or purchase above right now through PayPal for $12

Word on the street is there may be intermission prizes for best Halloween costume, so put your costume design skills to the test.

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Crow’s Nest Clean and Climb – October 29 2016

Come scrub Crow’s Nest on Saturday, October 29! It’s the best cliff in Nova Scotia and you’ve never been there. But CNS volunteers have been busy this season equipping this hard-to-reach gem with titanium anchors that will withstand the harsh marine climate in the 21st century and beyond!Crow Nest Topo

There are 15 established routes at Crow’s Nest, with another 10 obvious lines just waiting to be cleaned, equipped, and climbed. CNS is making arrangements with local fishers for a boat departing the Government Wharf in Terence Bay on Saturday morning at 9:30am, returning to the mainland at 6:30pm. A second boat will return on Sunday afternoon at 2pm for folks who would like to stay overnight. Parking is available in a lot right next to the wharf.

The event is free for CNS members, and you can become a member or renew your membership for just $20 for two years by clicking here. RSVP to climbnovascotia@gmail.com if you plan on attending.

CNS will provide:

  • Anchor material and static lines
  • Brushes
  • Goggles
  • Dust masks
  • Work gloves
  • Grigris (on request)
  • Ascenders (on request)
  • Helmets (on request)
  • Coffee, tea, & snacks

You must bring:

  • Common sense
  • Harness
  • Climbing shoes
  • Chalk
  • Water
  • Warm jacket
  • Warm hat

If you have the following, you should bring those with you:

  • Work gloves
  • Helmet
  • Grigri
  • Ascender
  • Climbing rope

It’s going to be awesome!

New Website Route Search

Not sure what route you want to send next? Use our new search page to filter all routes in Nova Scotia to find what you’re looking for.

Want to see all sport climbs between 5.9 and 5.10c that are rated three stars and aren’t higher than 20 metres? We’ve got you covered. You can also click on a column header to sort the information as well!