Nova Scotia Boulderfest

For the past few years, I’d enviously scrolled through Facebook photos of Boulderfest, but could never justify the cost of a flight ticket to actually go there myself. Finally, this year luck was on my side, and a visit to my cousin in PEI happened to coincide with the weekend of Boulderfest!

After pitching our tent on a hill overlooking the ocean and marveling in the view, we set off in search of boulders.

Photo Eric Sethna

Photo Eric Sethna

Rock on Dover Island is sharp, but sticky. It seems that most problems don’t really have footholds, but rather endless opportunities to smear anywhere! Because of this, I found that my height (4’11”) wasn’t as much of a limiting factor as usual and I managed to send some pretty sweet problems, including Community Service, V9.

Community Service, V9. Photo Eric Sethna.

Community Service, V9. Photo Eric Sethna.

As the afternoon rolled around, the sun made us lazy and desperate for shade, which could only be found by crawling under boulders and lounging like lizards. Looking around the island, it was pretty comical seeing groups of up to ten climbers, all stuffed under roofs no more than 2 feet high in effort to hide from the sun. Relief could also be found by jumping into the icy seawater, and after this I felt refreshed and ready to climb again.

A night session followed dinner, and some of the popular classic problems like The Bear (V4) and The Wave (V5) were equipped with bright lights by event organizers. The evening was capped off with a campfire and fireworks.

Breakfast on Dover Island

Breakfast on Dover Island

The next day was much slower paced. While a few climbed, most nursed their shredded tips and cooled off in the water. I returned to my hostel in Halifax that evening exhausted, dirty, a bit sunburnt, but extremely satisfied.

Boulderfest Trip beta:

  • If you’re buying a ticket for Boulderfest be sure to try and snag an early bird ticket, this year everything sold out in less than half a day!
  • Bring your own shade (umbrella/tarp) if you don’t want to squat under rocks during the afternoon heat!
  • Climbing on the island outside of Boulderfest, can be accessed by boat (80$). Some locals have been known to kayak there as well.
  • For more info see or visit Climb Nova Scotia on Facebook.

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Filed under The Great Outdoors!, Travel

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