This past summer brought a lot of interesting people to Nova Scotia and Boulderfest especially. I was back filming Boulderfest again so I didn’t have much time to socialize, but the people i did manage to meet were all great people passionate about climbing. While there i met David, Editor and owner of Climberism magazine. Climberism is an online magazine focusing on the Northeast. Although there is a lot to say about this new online magazine i will simply say it has great photos, and good stories from people and places you rarely hear about in other publication.
The most recent issue features an article about Atlantic storms and their devastating effect on Nova Scotia bouldering areas and a review of “Eastern Tide“.
Check it out, book mark it, follow it on twitter, Facebook, and coming soon brain stem implant.
It’s that time of year again folks! Time to get psyched up for Climb Nova Scotia’s Annual Boulderfest! That’s right -Climb Nova Scotia has been hard at work planning this years Boulderfest to be bigger and badder than ever!
Boulderfest will be held Saturday July 31st (~8:00am) and stretch to Sunday August 1st (~3:00pm). Rain date will be Aug 1st – 2nd (Monday Aug 2nd is a Holiday). Get your ticket NOW! Tickets have been going like crazy. Get yours at MEC, Trailshop, Rock Court, Ground Zero or online at www.climbnovascotia.ca
Hands down the best bouldering in NS, wicked coastline atmosphere, great people and awesome sponsors!!
Come Get Some!
What CNS will provide:
Schwag Bag for all those participating for the full event
Supper for Saturday PM – Menu to be confirmed
Breakfast for Sunday AM – Menu to be confirmed
Snacks, Door prizes, Fireworks, Slackline and more!
What you will Need:
Water (4L per day), proper clothing, tent, sleeping bag, extra food (lunch, snacks etc), proper footwear, headlamp, etc.
Last night a big crew of approx 30 people met at the Armdale Rotary in Halifax to kick off CNS’s Monday Night Bouldering. We headed off to Prospect Bay to keep the tradition alive and introduce outdoor climbing to some of those who are still in the early stages. The weather was warm and barely any bugs! I feel everyone had a great time and I am super stoked to see even more people out next Monday at Chebucto Head.
For those of you who are familiar with Prospect Bay you may be surprised to realize you are not that familiar afterall! The pile of boulders that once sat under Sang de Dragon are now dispersed! It has totally opened up!
A couple of boulders directly behind Debbie Does Dyno’s have opened up as well, creating a couple new problems that are decently hard!
Chris Richardson did a left variation of Sang de Dragon that runs up the series of tiny sharp crimpers on the left face (same sit start). Pretty Cool.
Valentines Day in Halifax, NS has been traditionally marked with the Valentines Day Massacre climbing competition at Ground Zero Climbing Gym. This year things were a bit different. The Massacre was married with the local Tour De Bloc event, and what an event! The pool of strong climbers was larger this year with the return of Ben Blakney and Krissy Lunney to Halifax after an extended leave from the Nova Scotia scene. Locals Ben and Nate Smith and Chris Richardson have also improved dramatically over the past year and a contingent of climbers from New Brunswick upped the anti on this year comp. With the amazing features from Bolo Climbing Holds and the excellent route setting by the Ground Zero crew and Ghislain Losier, this year proved to be the best comp yet.
Coming out of the qualifying round the top Eight climbers in the Men’s Open division were:
Going into the finals it looked like it could be anyone’s game. Ben smith went into the finals strong but was recovering from an illness (probably ate a bad squirrel) and didn’t have enough in the reserve tank to reclaim the WBF (World Bouldering Federation) belt this year and for a while it looked like younger brother Nathan would outshine him. Chris Richardson and Ben Blakney also had an excellent showings in the finals but Chris flashed the second problem bumping him into first place running.
The big surprise was outsider Eric Sethna. It’s rumored this young gun has been crushing at comps all through the east and Halifax was no exception. Eric was able to pull through a tiny crimper on the third problem to get the finishing hold and was the only climber to get all four finals problems solidifying his first place win.
Men’s Final Results
1. Eric Sethna
2. Chris Richardson
3. Ben Blakney
Special thanks to Scott Richardson and Trevor Schellinck for assisiting the Pull Down Production team in producing the Tour De Bloc videos.
I remember scrambling down around this impressive sea wall. Standing in its daunting shadow I had flashbacks of the high school bully peering down at me, taunting me to make the first move and just like back then I slowly backed off.
The Bully Wall is arguably the biggest, steepest and most intimidating seaside wall found here in Nova Scotia. It’s actually quite surprising that it went undiscovered or at least unreported for so long. Even after a small crew of us found the wall we were tempted to keep it secret, and we managed for a while, but as usual our excitement got the best of us and the word got out. Before the other local big time pullers got to the wall we managed to get in a few first ascents.
Located somewhere along the coast of the Aspotogan Peninsula, the Bully wall consists of three seaside granite outcrops. So for there are less than a dozen established problems ranging from V0 to V4. The biggest wall is littered with solid holds through the bottom half offering multiple quality variations on the starts of potential problems. On the upper section, the wall steepens and the holds thin out, so the bulk of the best lines are still undone.
On one of the early trips to the bully wall Ben Smith put up the boulder problem called “Lost Ones” and gave it a V4 rating. To the best of my knowledge it is still unrepeated so the grade made change (It’ll probably go up).
2009 marks the 9th annual Boulderfest held by Climb Nova Scotia. The event this year takes place during the long weekend in August (1st & 2nd). The cost of the weekend event is $40 for Climb Nova Scotia members and $50 for non-members.
On top of the guaranteed good time, the price of the ticket includes boat ride to the island, dinner and breakfast, event T-Shirt, welcome package and much more.
There are a limited number of seats available so sign up soon.
Get your tickets here: http://www.climbnovascotia.ca/Boulderfest2009.html
And to get you psyched, watch the Dover Island section from Eastern Tide: One Season in Nova Scotia.
Many aspiring climbers seem to start in gyms these days, and it can be a bit of a rude awakening for them when they get out on real rock. It often takes more ingenuity than brawn to unlock the right sequence and send your project. Boulderers can spend many days over many seasons working a seemingly impossible move until one day it just comes together. The crazy part is that, afterwards, the same move sometimes feels effortless – as if we’ve forgotten how difficult it was for us before. Armed with our new knowledge we tackle harder problems, repeating the process and gathering momentum toward bigger grades that seem to fall by faster and faster.
When I cracked V1 for the first time, it felt like all those “sandbagged V0s” that I’d worked so hard on had been relegated to warmup status and I set my sights on the tastiest V2s in the guidebook, expanding the limits of what I believed I was capable of. It happened again and again with every new grade, each falling faster than the last.
There was a time when I thought V10 was an unattainable goal. Today I know that perserverance and hard work will get me there, and maybe sooner than I expect.
The author contemplates Behave V7, the latest problem to fall victim to his mighty gunshow
I can’t even remember exactly when we found the Land of Confusion (AKA the LOC), the first major bouldering area in Nova Scotia. Was it 10, 11 or 12 years ago? No matter, at the time it seemed like such a big deal and after a few winters of exploring and climbing we wondered if we had tapped out the area. It seemed at the time that this would be a rare discovery. This was not to be the case. Every year since that first exploratory mission into the barrens surrounding Peggy’s Cove has revealed at least one new area.
Last year, during a quick recon around the Musquodoboit area we found another new spot. Unfortunately the area is way back in a logging area and the roads are a bit dicey even for my 4×4 Jeep. In some places the “road” resembles quicksand. In early March a window of opportunity opened up where the road wasn’t completely impassable and we were able to get relatively close. The search is on for easier access and I’m sure with the proper motivation a new approach will be found. Until then here is a some video i shot that day of Mick Levin, President of Climb Nova Scotia.
Boulderers are a fickle bunch. We often think of ourselves as stewards of the environment when we ride our bicycles to work and school, pick up trash we find at boulders and on trails, and scrub off tick marks when we fold up our pads to head home. We subscribe to the leave-no-trace policy, eat locally grown organic foods, and vote for politicians and policies that respect the planet and preserve wild places. These are important and worthwhile efforts, and everyone can understand their benefits.
But sometimes other actions are needed, ones that may seem counter-intuitive at first. Take trail maintenance for example. Granted, firing up a brush saw, covering a swamp with lumber, or hacking through the forest with a machete are not the sort of thing everyone should be doing every time they go climbing. But where would we be without trail work? We’d be lost and bushwhacking, sinking deeper and deeper into the muddy, eroding path, or gradually widening the trails until ATVs decide to ruin them.
Did you think that your favorite boulder always had a clear and flat 2m perimeter around it on which to place pads and spotters? Ever wonder why lichen seems to only grow on the side of the boulder without any good problems? How come this “game trail” leads right from the parking to the boulders?
Now now Captain Planet, don’t give up climbing to play hacky sack full time. The fact of the matter is that climbing is still one of the lowest-impact recreational activities. We change nature just by venturing into it, but we can still be responsible in the way we use it and take steps to protect its use for those who come after us.
CNS trail work volunteer brandishes the tools of the trade