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Big New Moderate Ice in Nova Scotia Caps 2017

There have been countless new ice, rock and alpine routes established in Canada in 2017.

From long and technical mixed climbs in the Rockies to technical 5.13d slabs in Squamish to 5.8 six-pitch adventure routes in Ontario to V13s in Val David to new ice climbs on the East Coast.

Over the past few days, Max Fisher and Greg Hughes have climbed a handful of new moderate ice lines in Nova Scotia to cap off the year.

Cape Chignecto is home to a concentration of multi-pitch ice lines in the Maritimes. It’s on par with Quebec’s Gaspiese in many ways.

“The few differences are managing the Bay of Fundy tides and it is fairly remote for maritime standards,” said Fisher.

New routing on the East Coast Photo Max Fisher

“Greg Hughes and I headed out to Chignecto for for days. Our first day we pushed farther along the coast than we had been before and found a number of beautiful 150 to 175-metre lines some formed and others forming up.

“We continued to explore and then decided to end the day climbing a beauty 150-metre WI3+, Hughes called Boxing Day Bash.”

The next day, they continued to explore farther up the coast and came across more climbs from 150-metre WI2s to rad and long WI5s.

“After putting in some time exploring, we climbed three more routes: Shore Thing WI2 120 metres, Cozy Warm WI3 150 metres and the 155-metre Chignecto Unchained M4 WI4,” said Fisher.

New routing on the East Coast Photo Greg Hughes

“Chignecto Unchained has a direct ice line that would go at WI4+, but it was soaking wet so we opted for the mixed start.”

On their last day, they climbed a thin new ice line. “It was probably my favourite route of the trip,” said Fisher.

“With the fog/rime/wind keeping us on our toes (windchill being -35C) we scrambled up third-class terrain to our belay and climbed loose/thin 35-metre mixed pitch to ice that was thick enough to take small screws.

New routing on the East Coast Photo Max Fisher

“Then we climbed the next 35 metres of fairly steep, brittle ice to the top. We called the 70-metre route The Key M3R WI4.”

After topping out The Key, they decided to head back to the car. As the tides were perfect for an exit, they walked the beach back in 1.5 hours.

“Timing the tides to have this exit is tricky,” said Fisher. “The maritime long range forecast is cold temps.”