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.

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 Diziet Sma   [ 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 Diziet Sma   [ 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.
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 Diziet Sma ]

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 Diziet Sma

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 Diziet Sma   [ 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.
Video of Paul on the second ascent of Hydropower


posted Sep 18, 2018, 6:15 AM by Mick Levin   [ updated Oct 10, 2018, 9:44 AM ]

Shout out to the NS female climbers who have been on the come up this year! Mira crushed the second female ascent of Tsunami (v9) this winter, followed by sends of White Trash (v8), Hoofmaker (v7) and Momma Bear (v7) to name a few. Birthday girl Sarah G's slow pullups have been paying off of late with quick sends of Behave (v7), Bulldog (v6), Black Market (v6), Bop Gun (v5), Black Beast (v5), Heffalump (v5), and Captain Hook (v5). As usual, low-key crusher Jen W continues to quietly destroy hard climbs including Community Service (v9) without fanfare. Plenty of other ladies getting after it outside every Thursday night with CNS too!

On ropes as well, the women are slaying it, and we aren't just talking about Canadian climbing media sensation Anne G with her non-stop pillage of every hard rope climb in the province that has included Enervator (5.12b), Transformer (5.12c), Mea Culpa (5.12d), Splitting Coins (5.13a), and For The Moment (5.13a). 

Sendtember temps are finally dropping and Mobeta is expecting big things from all those female crushers this Rocktober. We know there's a tonne of other ladies killing it out there this season - You know who you are and Mobeta wants your send videos (especially the rare ones)!

Get Ready For Grovember

posted Sep 9, 2018, 8:46 AM by Diziet Sma   [ updated Sep 10, 2018, 3:40 AM ]

No-try July has finally ended and the 2018 climbing season is officially started. Grover is easily Nova Scotia's most spectacular mainland climbing destination but has traditionally been difficult to access. It has received a major overhaul this summer with dramatically improved trails and clean boulders. Home to the most concentrated bouldering on mainland Nova Scotia. 

With beautiful morning temps and crispy 40% humidity, we climbed one of the newly cleaned lines Out From Out Where V7, which features a very unique mantle that is reminiscent of The Wave V4 on Dover Island. Much more to come as the season kicks off in earnest!
Lucy spotting Mick on the crux mantle of Out From Out Where V7

Excuses And Accusations

posted Sep 1, 2018, 1:39 PM by Diziet Sma   [ updated Sep 1, 2018, 1:40 PM ]

There are many reasons some boulder problems become popular, while others are overlooked. Some reasons are legitimate... others less so. The wrong grade can have a devastating impact on the popularity of a boulder problem. Soft, safe, and workable - instant classic! A sufficient sandbag can relegate a fantastic problem to complete obscurity. The story we tell ourselves is a product of the introspection illusion. 

Typical excuses for not climbing the very excellent Sean's Problem V6 SDS at Chebucto head include: turd, sharp, amorphous, scary, contrived, temp dependant. In reality, it's very excellent, but hard. Tough Sailors is much easier and earns you a whole extra V-point! Or does it?

“So convenient a thing to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Ben Smith on the unique crux sequence of Sean's Problem @ Chebucto Head

It's My Party And I'll Sing If I Want To

posted Aug 25, 2018, 3:55 PM by Diziet Sma   [ updated Aug 25, 2018, 3:56 PM ]

Some boulder problems are aesthetic, pure, with sublime movement. The problems we spend our whole life chasing. 

Bearhave is none of these things. It's much closer to outdoor route setting, and might actually benefit from a roll of brightly colored gym tape to mark the holds.

Sebastian Pacey-Smith did everyone a solid by getting this line on video. Now we can watch the video and then promptly forget ever hearing of this monstrosity. Seb did the high dyno link. If this offends your sensibilities, please call the boulder police to report a crime against terrible link-ups.

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