Blog – Victoria, where are all the climbers?

On Saturday, Taipan Wall – the best crag in Australia – reopened after being closed for just under a year. Team VL decided to head there to share its fine orange sandstone with our northern compatriot and the King of Coolum cave, JJ O’Brien. We were a little worried that we might have to queue for routes, but we decided to risk it anyway because, as I told John and Simon, this is Victoria. Sure enough, we got to Taipan on…

Blog – Brunswick Bouldering Wall

Climbers are often written off as a selfish mob. Characterised as loners skulking through the bush in search of nothing more than satisfying their own desire. Whilst that may be true in some cases, it’s not always. And more often than not climbing is a social enterprise, one that is situated within communities rather than the preserve of Christopher McCandless–types. That’s no more visible than in a new project in Brunswick, Victoria. The Wilson Ave project has a lot of…

A Punter’s Guide to Australia’s Well ‘ard Climbers

Just who will be the first Australian climber to climb a route graded 35? It’s a question that keeps us lying awake at night here at VL Manor. It troubles us deeply that no Australian has managed to haul their arse up one. After all, plenty of Poms have climbed 9a, even a fried–Mars–bar–eating Scot. We know that B. Cossey has come very close to doing what was the world’s first, Action Directe, in the Frankenjura, but we say close…

NZ Editorial – Like a Red Flag to a Bull

Vertical Life’s New Zealand editor, Tom Hoyle, contemplates the idea of the first ascent and what value it has What value is there in a first ascent? Silly question, you might think. It’s clear that gaining the top of a significant peak or even a stunning natural crack line is an inspirational achievement. The successful climber proves they have what it takes to go where others have failed and challenges future climbers to attempt to follow. The names of Hillary…

Blog – A Question of Grades

One of the Grampians’ most prolific developers, Simon Weill, ponders the ever-controversial question of bouldering grades in his usual inimitable style It seems that there are a lot of things that create serious angst amongst us climbers. When am I going to get out next? Who am I going to climb with? Has my pulley healed sufficiently to bear down on that hold? Does my arse look big in this harness? (Yes.) And, most importantly, what grade is the boulder or…

Column – Pure Motivations

In her column for Issue 4 of Vertical Life, Andrea Hah writes about the importance of seizing your independence WORDS: Andrea Hah/IMAGES: Josh Grose I met my first boyfriend at my local climbing gym. I was a young 18-year-old, ex-gymnast, all-girls’-school attendee from a strict Chinese family. This boy was older. Not Chinese. Not studying. And pretty damn cool. He wore socks with his climbing shoes and Dunlop Volleys in between. He went trad climbing at Mt Arapiles, had a…

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