Day 2 back to Tsunami V9 at Chebucto Head, Nova Scotia. My goal this trip was modest; get to the knee-bar rest without falling. It didn’t quite go down as I had hoped but I did make some great progress.
This isn’t my first time projecting Tsunami but I can’t really remember how all the moves were done. I had thought about looking back at the video i shot for Eastern Tide. All the beta is there, I could watch it forward, backward, in slow motion and freeze the exact moments I need to see. But I wondered if I went into it with a preconceived notion of how it’s done would I be robbing myself of a fresh start?
Would I miss some potential new sequence that would save energy ensuring my success?
The best part of working a project with others is the free exchange of ideas and the different styles everyone bring to a climb.
The first day on revealed some excellent beta to make the drop down move significantly easier. The first crux was essentially removed. This session some crucial beta was discovered for the transition into the kneebar rest.
The weather in Nova Scotia has been terrible this spring and the bugs just as bad so with inland rope climbing out of the picture I’ve started bouldering again and have my eyes on one of Nova Scotia’s most unique boulder problems. Tsunami! Originally sent by Sean Cassidy in 1999 it was graded V8. It was a real call to arms at the time and all the local hardmen were lining up to get on it. After a few hard fought repeats the grade was raised to V10. This was now THE problem to climb. After a bit more time and a few more sends the grade was debated and adjusted finally settling out at V9. At the time i had been filming others as they worked it and occasionally working it myself and after a bit of time i had all the moves dialed and was ready to add my name to the shortlist. But shit happens and i walked away having never completed the hardest boulder problem i’ve ever attempted.
For some insane reason, i’ve decided this is a project i don’t want to leave undone. So this last week I’ve returned to Chebucto Head to re-project Tsunami.
Day one is all about getting familiar with the drop down crimp, the drop knee gaston, the knee bar rest and the fat chest height undercling sections.
The long journey begins…
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).
I received this article from Shawn White earlier this year but with such nice weather through Summer and Fall it just didn”t seem appropriate. Now with snow everywhere…
Seal Cove consists of a cluster of outcrops on an elevated bog located just outside Stephenville, Newfoundland. Whiles it’s only about 3km from the popular bouldering area of Gull Pond, it remained concealed, bordered in thick brush and hills. It wasn’t until late fall 2008 when Mike hiked a newly completed portion of the International Appalachian Trail that it was discovered. In February 2009 Mike returned to hike the trail with Shawn to show what he had come across – big, overhanging, highly featured quality granite.
In late march the weather began to cooperate and the pair returned bearing pads and brushes. The area maquinas de slots has seen roughly twenty problems go up with many more problems and projects still to go. The only downside to the area, the boys joke, is the twenty five minute hike into it. Most climbing areas in Western Newfoundland are accessed in five minutes from the car. But as the weather keeps improving, so should the hike, so stay tuned for future developments!
For more information on this area or others around Newfoundland, feel free and email Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Chebucto Head is short drive from Halifax, NS and a popular destination for locals in search of a great view. Many people come to watch ships of all kinds as they exit the Halifax harbor and roll by close to shore. This site has been home to several lighthouse keepers until it’s automation in the late 1980’s. Until recently there was a lighthouse keeper’s residence on site, but due to arsonists only the foundations exist now.
The parking remains open to the general public but be warned the road is suffering from neglect and the gate at the entrance closes at dusk. From the main parking area it’s a just a short walk to some excellent coastal bouldering.
Spring has recently began to bless us with here in Nova Scotia with some warm(ish) weather and we were able to get outside for an afternoon.
Rockmaster climbing below the Rose Blanche Lighthouse
Well it’s happening, www.bouldering.ca is up and I’m excited to see where it is going to go. A couple months ago I went on a climbing trip to Newfoundland with Todd Foster and he tossed an idea out, asking if I wanted to be a contributor to bouldering.ca. I laughed at the idea for a couple of reasons. English is definitely not my strong point… Do I have something to say that the climbing community in Nova Scotia and across the country would want to read and/or enjoy? Do I even have a writing style; serious, comedic, informative, who knows, I’ve never done anything like this before. But I do know that I have a true passion for climbing and I hope in time as bouldering.ca grows I will be able to convey that through my contributions.
I’ve been climbing for almost ten years, over roulette online this time I have done a bit of traveling; Hueco Tanks Texas, Bishop California, and Acadia National Park Maine, to name a few.I’ve been through the classic ups and downs of climbing. The time off because of injuries or when life is just too crazy hectic. But I keep coming back. And I sometimes ask myself why… Am I a glutton for pain and punishment?? Possibly… Are my feet so ugly that I feel the need to punish them by squeezing into shoes that are two sizes too small?? Not likely… Maybe it’s knowing that if you fail it is your fault. Not your team mate who didn’t make that pass, or score that goal. Or is it the satisfaction derived from knowing YOU just accomplished something, something that challenged you in a way that nothing in your “normal” routine of life every will. Maybe it’s the camaraderie found in our weird and twisted social group we call the climbing community. For what ever reason I find over time if I don’t get some sort of climbing at the gym or out side I act like a heroine addict looking for a fix. Irritable, nervous ticks, waking up in a cold sweat wishing I was on the last move of some problem.
I headed out to the LOC on Monday with my girlfriend and her brothers who were in town for the holidays. We carried some more lumber into the wet approach of Nouveau Riche & Great Cheesecake and plopped down a few rudimentary bridges but more work is definitely needed.
It was a beautiful sunny day with great friction and I’d never climbed there before so I was super psyched. Sent some fun lines but didn’t get on any of the harder stuff – can’t wait to try Dynamitus, it looks awesome!