First at the Grade

  Like truly parochial, heart-on-sleeve Aussies, we’ve decided to celebrate the first 35 climbed by Aussie with a look back (and forward) to the first routes climbed at every grade between 17 and 35 WORDS: Ross Taylor, IMAGES: as credited // banner image Adidas/Rich Crowder To celebrate Tom O’Halloran’s first Australian ascent of the dizzying and mythical grade of 35 (9a for Europhiles) with his establishment of Baker’s Dozen, we look back at the first routes at the grade in…

Video – Baker’s Dozen

Download the latest issue of Vertical Life here. Maybe in the past when you got a baker’s dozen you only got 13 but not anymore. Tom O’Halloran just upped the ante to 35 – yep 35. If you get any less than 35 with your baker’s dozen you’re being ripped off, mate. The reformed Queenslander now calls the Blue Mountains home and being surrounded by vast amounts of stone has obviously been great for him. When he sent his new route…

The War on Sleep

Editor’s note to issue seventeen of Vertical Life. Download the Vertical Life App from iTunes or the Kindle Fire App Store here. I used to be a wonderful sleeper. At uni I would skip early classes in a blissful semi-conscious–semi-guilty haze of late-morning dream states. But times have changed. I now have two children – an eight-month-old who’s teething and a five-year-old who shouts out in the middle of the night and then orders me (like an angry midget Napoleon) to shift his doona ten centimetres or pass…

The Empyrean Granite of Bohuslän

Rory Smith on the world’s premier single-pitch trad climbing area (sorry Arapiles) WORDS: Rory Smith, IMAGES: As credited Early in the spring, summer and autumn mornings, when a woollen mist sits low amongst the pines and cloaks the granite heaps that bulge up from the surrounding farmland, and everyone is tucked away in some backcountry realm of their dormant mind, you can almost reach out and touch the purity of this area. This is Bohuslän, inhabited since the Stone Age, flecked…

News – The Big Cheese, an interview with Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher has just climbed a long-standing project at Cheesedale in Nowra to produce the Big Cheese (34), which is, along with White Ladder, now Nowra’s equal hardest route. According to our sources, Tony Barton was the first climber to check out the line, beginning bolting the line from the top down, a process finished by Al Pryce, who managed to do all the moves. Matt Adams also had a crack at doing the route, managing to do all the…

Column – Losing It

Andrea Hah on dummy spits at the crag WORDS: Andrea Hah, IMAGE: Lee Cossey I can’t control it. And I can’t explain why climbing sometimes elicits an uncontrollable surge of anger, fury and utter helplessness unlike any other aspect of my life. I would like to think I am a pretty level-headed person. Most of the time life is pretty easy. I don’t feel chronically stressed and I rarely have conflicts despite having been to a girls’ school or that…

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