20 Issues: On Looking Back & Contributing

We’ve just hit the 20th issue of VL, a fact that has made us pause on the hamster wheel and take stock. When we look back at the last five years of pumping out VL, the thing we see most is the love and passion (and elbow grease) of our contributors, most of whom provide their words and photos gratis – VL would not exist without them. It makes us think that there must be something in helping to create…

Lead and Speed Nationals 2017

The 2017 Australian Open Lead and Speed Championships were held at Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym Villawood on 31 March and 1 April, Katariina Rahikainen reports. The big change this year was running the Championships as an adult-only competition, with Open A, Open B and Masters. The National Youth Championships in Boulder, Lead and Speed will be held in Victoria in May. Friday evening saw the fastest climbers in the country take on the World Cup standard Speed wall, the holds…

Big Wall Gear – an interview with John Middendorf

In the third of our series of interviews with Australian designers and manufacturers of climbing gear, we speak to John Middendorf of the brand-new company, Big Wall Gear, a Tasmanian-based company that has just begun production of the new D4 Portaledge. Can you tell us a little about yourself for Australian climbers who may not be familiar with your background? I started climbing when I was 14, living on the East Coast of the USA where crags were few and far…

Interview – Kim Ladiges & Cerro Torre

  In late February, Tasmanian Kim Ladiges became one of the few Australian climbers to have climbed a route on Cerro Torre in Patagonia – and the first (as far as we know) to have actually climbed the final ice mushroom that guards the true summit. He climbed the peak, which Reinhold Messner described as ‘a shriek turned to stone’, by the Ragni Route, a line that involves mostly snow and ice climbing on the West Face of Cerro Torre….

Video – Nalle Hukkataival, The World is not Flat

Nalle Hukkataival making the first ascent of The World is Not Flat (V14) at Buandik in the Grampians, and The Golden Rule (V12), a recent neo-classic that’s located not too far from Buandik. Interestingly, The World is Not Flat is yet to be repeated, despite some good boulderers attempting it, with some suggesting it may be a grade harder. Big thanks to Oliver Miller for the edit and Yannick Godfrin for the footage. You can download the latest edition of the…

Perfecto Bloc Cage Match

  Cherry Picking or On the Beach – which is the Grampians’ best V13? We asked our panel of bouldering experts, David Mason, Adam Watson and Niky Ceria, all of whom have done both, to give us their reasoned opinion. WORDS & IMAGES: As credited We humans are weighers and assessors. We see contrast and difference and our minds are calibrated to compare. This with that, one with the other, Granny Smith vs Pink Lady, Aliens or C3s, was Stalin…

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