Ben Blakney



Birthday: March 30th
Current Location: Nova Scotia
Personal Blog:

About Me

“I am Ben, I am 28 years old and I like to climb rocks of all shapes and sizes.”

I have been devoting the last 10 years or so of my life to climbing as much as I can in as many places as I can. Basically everything I do seems to revolve around climbing.

I started climbing with my father when I was very young. Too young to even remember the first time I went climbing. I believe the first I climbed was on Whitehorse Slabs in North Conway, NH on a family camping trip. I didn't really become addicted to climbing until I was finished high school – then climbing took over.

My future plans for my own climbing are to compete in the Nationals and then head to Europe and South Africa for the summer months, before returning to school in the fall of 2009. My girlfriend, whom I met through climbing, will also be traveling with me. I am very excited for this opportunity which will allow us to see many new places and meet lots of climbers from around the world.

In the fall of 2009 I will be returning to my university studies. I am planning to move to Halifax, NS to continue studying and finally finish my Mechanical Engineering degree. The move to Halifax will hopefully allow for much more time to be spent bouldering outside at all the great areas around Nova Scotia.

Posts by Ben:

Our little road trip in photos

Just a little photo essay of the highlights of our climbing trip thus far. The photos span from January 2012 until July 2012

The Scream V10/11 in Hueco Tanks


Left Martini V10, Hueco Tanks

New Religion V7, Hueco Tanks

"Home" in Hueco Tanks

Ghetto Simulator V2, Hueco Tanks

Dark Age V11, Hueco Tanks

Stary Eyed Man, Hueco Tanks

Full Service V10, Hueco Tanks

The Maiden V0, Hueco Tanks

Blood Line V7/8, Hueco Tanks

Rumble in the Jungle V12, Hueco Tanks

The Egg V8, Hueco Tanks

The Feather V11, Hueco Tanks

Alma Blanca V13, Hueco Tanks

Bishop, CA

Toxic Avenger V9, Bishop

Xavier's Roof V11, Bishop

Haroun and the Sea of Stories V12, Bishop

Kill On Sight V12, Bishop

Campground Arete V10, Rock Creek - Bishop

Worm Turns V11, Joe's Valley

Worst Case Scenario V9, Joe's Valley

Working Masterpiece V13, Joe's Valley

Beyond Life Sit V12, Joe's Valley

T-Rex 5.14b, Maple Canyon (33 bolt epic)

Millenium 5.14a, Maple Canyon

Simply Read 5.13d, Rifle

Required Rifle Gear

No Troublems V10, Squamish

The Hood 5.13b, Acephale AB photo: Josh Muller

Alberta limestone - our current home for another two Josh Muller

Planning a climbing trip

First of all, Happy New Year! It’s been while since we’ve (Krissy and I) have had time to sit down and write about our 8 month climbing trip.

Before Xmas, I was busy finishing up my 2nd to last school terms, subletting, packing and cleaning our apartment. Krissy worked her butt off trying to pay bills and save a little money for the trip. We moved out of Halifax December 26th and then off to New Brunswick to spend mini Christmas’s with each of our families. Of course those days were also spent fixing up the car, re-packing and organized for our trip.

So how do you plan for 8 months of climbing and living out of a tent/car? You just do it. We are always looking for the opportunity to travel. The biggest part is committing to it. We were lucky because the timing was perfect for us, Krissy just graduated with her Masters in Occupational Therapy this past June and I just happened to have 8 months to spare between school terms before graduating with an Engineering degree. We will be starting our professional careers when we return from this trip…that’s the plan anyway.

Money: We saved a bit up and liquidated some stocks…tough one to swallow, but worth it.

Gear: over the last few years we’ve pretty much accumulated everything we could possible need to camp comfortably. Solar shower-check, 3 season tent and sleeping bags that zip together- check; coffee press, mocha pot and aeropress- check; multi-fuel stoves-check.
The only major expenses so far have been Gas for the car, travel insurance (!!!) and food.

It’s day 7 of our trip and after a quick stop to visit our friend in Connecticut, we have made it to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas. The bouldering here is great! So great that we’ve actually decided to buy the guidebook and stay a bit longer.

Ben’s goal is to send at least one classic double digit per day, something he’s successfully done so far. Krissy’s goal is to get in shape…all work and little to no climbing prior to the trip has put her a little behind where she wants to be. So right now, we are both trying to climb as much as possible and have a blast doing such. Can’t lie, we are loving the full-time climber lifestyle!

Next stop- Hueco Tanks.

Hydro-Power First Ascent

“Ben Blakney snags the first ascent on a picturesque line created from the ruins of Duck Head, NS. Formerly one of the best climbing areas in the province, Duck Head was devastated by winter storms destroying nearly all the classic problems. Hydro Power reclaims some of the former splendor with a tall, powerful, steeply overhanging line situated on one of the most spectacular locations Nova Scotia has to offer. Truly a beautiful line.” – Dave Quinn

Ben on the FA of Hydro-Power (v10)

See Video by D. Quinn: Hydro-Power (v10) FA


Spring Update From the East Coast – in Photos

Venus on a Halfshell 5.12c - Rumney, NH

Venus on a Halfshell 5.12c - Rumney, NH

Parallel Universe 5.14a - three split tips in one go??? ie no send this time - Rumney, NH


Chunk O' Blitz V12 - Rumney, NH

Eyeless in Gaza 5.12a/b - Sundown Ledges, NH

End of April....

Dodge the Lemons 5.13d - second go...psyched!

Dodge the Lemons 5.13d

Ddoge the Lemons 5.13d

Dodge the Lemons 5.13d

Camaro Crash Helmet V8/9ish FA - Halifax, NS

THE new project - Halifax, NS

THE new Project again...

Updates from the East Coast

It has been a long time since my last post (school is killing me!). Better late than never I guess… So here is a quick re-cap of the last few months:
December: Krissy and I traveled to Alabama to go climbing in HP 40. The climbing there is so -good. I thought the rock quality was some of the best I have climbed on in the USA for sure. What the area lacks in quantity it more than makes up in quality.

Skywalker (v8)

Slider (v9)

After we came home from HP40 I was lucky enough to catch a good weather window in Halifax and made a relatively quick repeat of Nick Sagar’s Gun Control (v13). This was the problem’s one and only repeat so far…

Gun Control (v13)

Then, in late January and Febuary I was the head route setter for the Atlantic rounds of the Tour de Bloc. I felt the comps went well and was happy with all the problems.

Tour de Bloc

Tour de Bloc

Most recently I have been working on some projects around Halifax. This past week I was able to make the first ascent of Super Bad (V11/12), a project I probably put about 6 or 7 serious days into trying to climb over the last few months. I’m not sure what the final grade of the rig will be, but I feel it is quite hard…Hopefully there will be some repeats soon from some of the strong Halifax locals.

Super Bad FA (v11/12)

After Super Bad, we walked over to Fear of Flying (v9). This problem is a seldom repeated (three ascents total) highball. After a couple goes trying to feel out the crux, I decided to go for it and topped out just before dark.

Looking over the edge of Fear of Flying (v9)

That is it from the East, now on to new projects…

p.s. my blog has a low quality video of Fear of Flying, also I recently did a little interview:

New Problems and Happenings in Nova Scotia

Ben on the new project - Dover Island, NS

This problem was created by the last hurricane to hit Halifax. Overall, Dover Island escaped major damage from the storm. There were a couple of new problems created, and a couple lost…

Ben on the LAST ascent of Z-Haul (v9)

Z-Haul and the entire Duck Head area of Nova Scotia was destroyed in the last storm. Huge walls and boulders were toppled and swallowed up by the ocean. The force created to do this is amazing. In all, about 12 quality problems were lost, including a multi-year project of mine…

Ben on The Turtle Project (v??)

The “Turtle” is my new project and main obession right now. It is so, so close to happening. I’m guessing it will be in the V13 range. Steep, high, and very powerful.

The Reel Rock Film Tour hosted by the Dal Climbing Club and Climb Nova Scotia

We had about 175 people out to the first Reel Rock Film Tour in Halifax. We offered the show free for anyone interested in seeing it. Very fun night.

Ben competing at UNB's Annual Halloween Comp

We traveled up to New Brunswick to compete at UNB’s annual Halloween competition. There was an individual format as well as a team format. The team format was new and involved university clubs competing against each other. Dal (my university) will be looking for revenge at the next team comp.

Ben climbing Predator in Rumney, NH (5.13b) - so, so fun.

My Local Area…

Dover Island...

Stone Slinger - V10

The crew

Kinder Surprise - FA - V8/9ish

Nate's hand after saving my back...

Dover Island – Halifax, Nova Scotia


A small crew from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick made it out to Dover Island on Easter weekend. We had absolutely incredible weather for this time of year. I think it was close to 20 C – crazy! Here a few photos from the day…Come check this place out if you have never been!

Ben on Exciter SDS (V10ish)

Exciter top out

Krissy trying for a rare female ascent of Exciter Stand (V7 - stiff!)

Horizontal Matter (V11ish???)

Horizontal Matter - after turning the lip the holds are SMALL


Birthday Wishes Do Come True…Sometimes

I guess birthday wishes do come true once in a while, even if you do tell someone what they are. I was out bouldering with some friends on Saturday as the temps where perfect for working some projects in Halifax. I was trying a problem Nick Sagar put up a couple of years ago called Grizzly – probably in the V12/13 range. The problem requires cool temperatures in order to be able to grab the nothing slopers and barely there crimps. I manged a few good goes, falling at the mantle more times than I care to remember. After my skin was trashed, and body wrecked, there was still no send – home we went. We checked the forecast for this week and things looked very warm and/or wet – except for Monday evening. So, after school on Monday we packed up and headed out to race for the send before the rain and spring warmth arrived. After hiking to the boulders which involved my partner slipping on mud and wet roots and nearly going head first into some sort of animal poo, the battle was on…After falling at the mantle AGAIN, I finally managed to stand on top. The rain came shortly after…A nice birthday present to myself. Now another year older..ugh!



Topping - out Grizzly

The two Bens

Halifax Super Projects

Well, I finally got a chance to check out Bully Wall. It definitely lived up to its name. This is one of the most impressive walls I have ever seen in Nova Scotia, or anywhere for that matter. It is really big, really steep, and really hard. It looks like there are going to be a couple of lines on it that are possible. They will definitely be some of the best lines around when they do go. I’m not sure if the photos actually do this wall justice – it is crazy!

Ben pooping his pants...

Direct Start - the first few moves alone are double digit...