Blog – Bert’s New Bolts: an ethical debate

Ryan Siacci brings the chisel of reason to a recent bolting controversy in Queensland An unusually polite debate erupted on the threads of the ACAQ’s Facebook page on 7 August 2016. Although there were echoes of the vitriolic retro-bolt wars that can be found deep within the dusty archives of many Qurank forums, this argument was uncharacteristically mild. Even so, it was a protracted debate that alluded to deep rifts within the ostensibly tight-knit climbing community and collars, which if…

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…

Path of the Manolin: Stuart Hollaway & Dale Thistlethwaite

In December 2015, Stuart Hollaway and Dale Thistlethwaite died climbing Mount Silberhorn in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. To celebrate their lives regular VL contributor, Chelsea Brunckhorst, has pulled their collected writings into a book, the Path of Manolin. The book brings together their finest pieces, originally written for Melbourne University Mountaineering Club’s magazine, The Mountaineer, and New Zealand Alpine Club’s magazine, The Climber. These 15 stories offer glimpses into their personalities, their philosophies and their raison d’êtres. The following piece is an…

The joys and not-so-joys of writing a bouldering guide

The joys and not-so-joys of writing a bouldering guide Wanna be the first to get the guide? Pre-order your copy of Grampians Bouldering now! Mostly I started working on the second edition of Grampians Bouldering with Simon Madden, my co-editor, because I thought it meant I would be able to go climbing more. After all, I could tell my wife that I was ‘researching’ boulder problems. But how often do our dreams founder on reality? Simon and I lugged our boulder…

Paul Pritchard & the Tote: a photo essay

A couple of weeks ago Paul Pritchard returned the Totem Pole, the scene of his horrific accident in 1998, and climbed the route with his good friend Steve Monks and a bunch of helpers. For those that don’t know the story, 18 years ago Paul was abseiling down the Totem Pole when his rope dislodged a loose block that struck him in the head, splitting open his skull. Luckily, Paul’s partner, Celia Bull, was there to save his life and raise…

Blog – Pride comes before a fall

You’d think a climbing story with that as a title would be a cautionary tale about some boob thinking he was the Duck’s Nuts show ponying after the crux of a route only to ping off, seemingly struck down due to arrogance, but you’d be wrong. A day climbing is more day than it is climbing. That is to say that usually – excluding those pushes up some enormous lonely cliff where you get benighted in the cold dark with…

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