Ice Climbing in the Annapolis Valley
Organization Sponsor: Belay of Fundy Waterfall Ice-Climbing
Organization Partner: Outdoor Nova Scotia
Ice climbing (though a relatively new sport to Nova Scotia) is the next challenge, the next "peak" for all mountain climbing enthusiasts. A capable body and a spirit of adventure are all you need to go on an ice climbing tour with Luke Marshall of Belay* Fundy Waterfall Ice-Climbing, Hantsport.
The knowledge and expertise of your tour guide coupled with the advances in mountaineering equipment combine to ensure a thrilling yet safe outdoor mountain adventure.
Luke would love to help you pick your way (securely) up any one of many cliff locations along the coastline of the Bay of Fundy. Hurry to his site, he only has room for a limited number of climbing enthusiasts and the days on the ice are quickly dwindling.
Belaying is the use of a rope to stop a climber's fall. An old sailing term, it means to secure.
free and can borrow equipment.
Climbing events are supported by NS Health Promotions.
Belaying is a method in which you are tied into a rope and harness system and your mate works the rope while the climber makes the ascent. If you should slip and fall, which you will do, then the rope will save you. You scramble back to gain your footing, then start to climb again. In essence the rope is a safety net that turns climbing into something fun and safe, as opposed to a dangerous and foolhardy activity. Anyone doing any type of climbing without a rope should simply be avoided.
This is becoming very popular and ice climbing events fill up fast. There has been an explosion in climbing activity from the Valley and at Acadia University in recent months which has evolved into the NS Ice Festival
Climb Nova Scotia monitors the growth and development of this sport with feedback from members.
According to Luke there are a number of spots to ice climb along the Fundy shore, including places at Margaretsville and Halls Harbour. There's a 120-foot climb at Halls Harbour he has recently discovered and is hoping to do this winter. There are also some good spots at Cape Split, but the two-hour-hike out and back restricts the use of this site
I must warm readers that this is a slightly nerve racking sport: you have to be quick to avoid dodging ice chunks that fly off your axe strikes, and you shouldn't have a fear of heights. (Anyone who tells you that you can get over a fear of heights by climbing doesn't understand the fear.)
If you're keen on trying this sport, remember Nova Scotia winters have been fairly mild the past few years; it's best to plan a trip early in the season. By mid-March, most of the ice is starting to melt.