Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The

posted Nov 28, 2018, 7:14 AM by Site Admin   [ updated Nov 28, 2018, 7:24 AM ]

TL;DR - Video of Seb crushing 2 hard lines in the rain at the bottom.

The lake boulders in Grover were the first area developed by Ghislain et al. early in the golden ear of Nova Scotia Bouldering. The original trail walked around the north shore of Quarry Lake and then bushwhacked dense brush down a 50-meter cliff.  It's amazing how the order of development is seemingly bizarre now that we have GPS, and manicured trails. They walked 5 km through harsh bush past all the boulders in Grover to these very obscure remote boulders. I assume the early explorers saw these massive boulders from Terrence Bay Road across the water and set out overland to find them.

To truly appreciate how impressive these early developers were, I recommend you hike out to the lake boulders using only the original "map" provided in the Terrence bay bouldering guide (photoshopped onto the corresponding satellite image):  

Can you spot the lake boulders on this satellite image?
The first line developed was Vice Grip V8 (FA Ghislain Losier 2001). Like all Losier single move V8's, unless you have Zig's exact skill set, you'll want to be flashing V10 before trying this rig. This line is an impressive feat of strength. The usual beta: grip as hard as you can, close your eyes, and think of England.  

Supposedly a photo of Dave Kirby on the start holds of Alien Workshop. Smartphones weren't a thing.

Another year would go by before young Ben Blakney would put down the hardest and best line Alien Workshop V9 (FA Ben Blakney 2002). Truly an impressive bloc. Tonnes of intricate beta, comfortable large holds, and powerful back and shoulder climbing. Aka Ben Blakney's wheelshouse. 

17 years later it's a different world.  Drones, Satellites, GPS, and online guidebooks have replaced hand-drawn trail maps. Clean boulders, manicured trails, and giant pads make access easy. If you're feeling up to it, head out to the Lake Boulders and test yourself against Nova Scotia bouldering history. The Boulders await in silent anticipation of a new lover's arrival.

https://youtu.be/IcKZwY4fStQ
Sebastien Pacey-Smith sending Vice Grip V8

https://youtu.be/SIpZuUklPmA
Sebastien Pacey-Smith on the crux of Alien Workshop V9

Determinist

posted Nov 24, 2018, 3:28 PM by Site Admin   [ updated Nov 24, 2018, 4:47 PM ]

In a deterministic universe, the outcome of bouldering problems would be beyond influence. Maybe that's the ultimate question: 

"The motivation towards this problem changed with time into various forms.

When I was facing the problem, many feelings intertwined but in the end, I was saved by pure curiosity to seek and answer to the riddle - if I am able to climb the problem or not."

Dai Koyamada 2012

Ben has been working tirelessly on The Bully Wall Project. Without a doubt the most stunning piece of granite in Nova Scotia. Deterministic or not, I'm excited to see how Ben's story ends.

https://youtu.be/V2SqOFDC4JE
Video of Ben Smith working Bully Wall

Dramatic Exit

posted Nov 15, 2018, 9:13 AM by Site Admin   [ updated Nov 15, 2018, 2:52 PM ]

Jacky Godoffe established the first V11 boulder in Fontainebleau in 1984. 17 years later Nick Sagar established the first V11 in Nova Scotia High Maintenance. Almost as an homage to Godoffe's rig, High Maintenance is pure old school style: sandbagged impossibly blank high-ball slab with a bad landing. This is real slab climbing - not that goofy parkour shit popular at the world cup. No plastic princes are going to mess with this OG rig.

It took another 17 years for High Maintainance to see another ascent. Sebastian Pacey-Smith made an impressive single session send!

https://youtu.be/-5H_lwZP5Y4
Video of Seb on a rare ascent of High Maintenance V11 at the Pleasure Dome in LOC

You'll Thank Me Later

posted Oct 25, 2018, 7:45 AM by Mick Levin

I have been climbing for more than a decade, and from time to time I work harder at getting better. I will climb more, eat healthy, and do some exercises. Sometimes those changes result in improvement, but usually not. At some point I generally lose interest and/or get injured. Like many climbers, I have been plateaued for a long time and I thought that some problems and grades were just unattainable for me.

I used to throw myself at boulder projects if I could almost do even a single move on them. I would grind away and slowly put it all together over months or years. I managed to do a lot of the classics in Nova Scotia this way, but some still seemed impossible. One of those impossible lines was Man Overboard.

https://youtu.be/489kmGpQtgg

A year ago I started a new program that has changed the way I think about training and what is possible for me. The last time I tried Man Overboard was probably 5 years ago, and I could do only one of the moves; the short pop from a jug to the lip. This season I did Man Overboard on my first attempt... and it felt easy.

Thank you to my past-self for putting in all that time and effort. Present-self promises to keep working hard to see what future-self is capable of.

Someone Else's Problem

posted Oct 20, 2018, 7:30 AM by Mick Levin

Mortician (V5) is probably a new line at the Tombstone area. From a scrunchy sit start, a balancy and unusual sequence takes you up the face and arete just behind Buried Alive. It's really fun and protects well.
https://youtu.be/tGQEh4B6oNA

Luke Buxton's Undertaker (V6-R) goes up this face too, but apparently from a stand start, and I guess you aren't supposed to use the arete until you reach the bad part of it and make a crux throw, risking a paralysis-inducing backwards fall onto the Tombstone boulder. Not my cup of tea, but it does look cool.

For what it's worth, there's probably room for another route on this face that just uses the right arete and involves a risk of serious injury not just at the top, but at every single move! Diversity is the spice of life.

Helpless In The Face Of Your Beauty

posted Oct 17, 2018, 2:07 PM by Site Admin   [ updated Oct 17, 2018, 4:55 PM ]

Imagine pulling up in your Range Rover, you hop out dressed head-to-toe in LL bean's Fall 2018, you are enjoying a picturesque stroll down the coast for a sunset yoga session when this grizzled creature appears under your feet...


Or this grizzled creature...


Or perhaps this grizzled creature...


Scratch that. The last one is beautiful.

After 20 years of bouldering history, the community progression is well established. First you do The Wave, then you do Au Bouleau followed by Resurrection and then 5 more years pass and you either quit climbing or manage a real V10.

After going through this progression, I wasn't expecting to discover one of my top 10 favorite classics sitting overlooked in a popular area.




Iron Hide V7 is one of the best climbs in Nova Scotia. No hyperbole. It's fantastic. Comfortable holds, large flowing moves, intimidating scale and committing but secure topout. This thing is magnificent. 

Like past relationships, I cringe at all the terrible mismathes I've suffered though before finding this beauty. Iron hide is the V7 I've been waiting for.

Outstanding Contribution To The Historical Process

posted Oct 14, 2018, 1:46 PM by Site Admin   [ updated Oct 17, 2018, 2:11 PM ]

Some lines are hard. Some lines are cryptic. Some lines are obscure. Ghislain Losier's Ziad V9 (FA 2004) is all of these things. Super hard, totally cryptic, virtually unknown, and unrepeated.

Youtube doesn't need another video of Esperanza V14. I'm not impressed. Don't be fooled by the numbers - Ben Smith's second ascent of Ziad this weekend is a rarified accomplishment. If you know, you know. 

Sending this line on video is an invaluable contribution to Nova Scotia bouldering. Mad props to Ghislain for his incredible vision and to Ben for unlocking it's secrets for the rest of us.

https://youtu.be/yeZ1u8v2gHc
Video of Ben Smith on the Second Ascent of Ziad V9

Sweet and Full of Grace

posted Oct 10, 2018, 9:42 AM by Mick Levin   [ updated Oct 10, 2018, 12:25 PM by Site Admin ]

Terence Bay Woods has amazing bouldering. A densely packed cluster of excellent blocs ranging from V3-V13, it's just 20 minutes from Halifax with a sub-three-minute approach. The caveat is that, much like most of the bouldering in North America, almost all the boulders at the Woods are privately owned, and the access is at the end of a private road. Two years ago, a house was built right in the middle of one sector of the Woods, effectively terminating access to over a dozen problems.

NS climbers are incredibly spoiled by areas like the Land of Confusion, which have been protected forever by provincial Crown land conservation designations. It's easy to forget that traipsing about in the wilderness any day, at any time, isn't always a right, but a privilege to be savored and sacrificed for.


This Thanksgiving weekend, the landowners graciously agreed to open up the Woods to a small group of Climb Nova Scotia members for one delightful autumn day. Thank you Mark and Karen; In spite of all the delicious pie I ate at family dinner, bouldering at the Woods was by far the sweetest thing I tasted all weekend. 


Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints

posted Oct 1, 2018, 2:09 PM by Site Admin

The Department of Natural Resources sent a helicopter to assess the damage to Chebucto Head which turned out to be more extensive than previously realized. The ultra-classic Tsunami V8 suffered substantial vandalism as visualized in this areal photo.

The Precise Nature Of The Catastrophe

posted Sep 24, 2018, 3:00 PM by Site Admin   [ updated Sep 24, 2018, 4:44 PM ]

Hurricane Juan slammed into Halifax September 2003 and left a wake of destruction. While everyone cried over losing a few shitty trees in Point Pleasant Park - the real tragedy was a much lesser tropical storm 7 years later. 

In 2010, Duck Head was devastated as a million pounds of granite was washed into the ocean. Those weeds in point pleasant will be back in a hundred years or so. The age of granite is measured on cosmic timescales. Nick Sagar's beautiful The Grind V12 is gone forever. Unrepeated. For eternity.

Nick Sagar on The Grind V12 (photo credit Ghislain Losier)

A year later, Ben Blakney finished grieving and ventured out to see what could be salvaged from the disaster. The result is a stunning FA in its own right - Hydropower V10. 

Fortunately, this beauty won't suffer the same fate as The Grind. Taking advantage of crispy fall weather, Paul Denzler snagged the second ascent of Hydropower

At least 2 people have been able to share in this echo of Duck Head's former glory. Hopefully, there will be others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS0bybCPuhM
Video of Paul on the second ascent of Hydropower



1-10 of 185