Australian Climbing Festival

Australian Editor’s note to issue ten of Vertical Life. Download the Vertical Life App from iTunes or the Kindle Fire App Store here. IMAGE: Neil Monteith In 1997 I went to the third Australian climbing festival. Back then it was loftily called Escalade and organised by the irrepressible Lucas Trihey. I don’t really remember who I saw speak – I was pretty broke at the time, so I couldn’t afford to see many shows – but I do recall a few random fragments from 17 years past: a Simon…

An Antidote to Modernity

Tom Hoyle looks to an Algerian and the ancients to find the will to throw himself at the rock once more WORDS & IMAGES: Tom Hoyle Climbing in undeniably attractive; it is daring, it is challenging, it is vigorously gymnastic, it has a tactile aesthetic, it offers vistas and camaraderie. But you know this already, that’s why you’re here. So this won’t be one of those ‘why do I do it?’ pieces about climbing. If you are reading this, then…

On Death

Australian Editor’s note to issue nine of Vertical Life. Download the Vertical Life App from iTunes or the Kindle Fire App Store here. It is trite to say death is the spectre that haunts us all and yet it is true, even though we have a bastard, manic relationship with it. A failed relationship. Most of the time our eyes are closed to death and it is nothing but a foreboding echo out of the waiting future. But that is not always the case and during those times when…

Elphinstone: the Bluey’s new hotspot of hard

The Lords of Elphinstone are here to tell you if you want hard in the Mountains then the crimps of Diamond Falls are dead, Elphinstone is where the cool kids are at. VL speaks to some of the key developers of the new home of hard. WORDS: As credited IMAGES: Nick Fletcher and as credited Rowan Druce: Discoverer and Developer What secret wonders the Blue Mountains hold. Hanging gardens of rich soil and wild flowers. Secret gardens guarded by staunch bush…

A Letter to My Younger Self

In the current issue of Vertical Life we asked some of Australia’s best-known climbers to write a letter to their younger selves. This what they wrote. Andy Lindblade: Climber, mountaineer & writer The moments you will experience in the high places as the world drops away beneath your feet will always be hard-fought. There will be times deep in that fight when exhaustion will take over, when sleep will keep calling you, and when it seems like there is no…

Reinvigoration, Repetition, Legacy, Sharma

The giant forms of our heroes provide grand canvases for rendering the classic myths, those themes that are the swirling undercurrents in the stories humans have always told. Of superhuman feats and unshakable intent; of the young bull’s tenacity and the old bull’s wisdom; of the confusion of mentor and usurper and nemesis; of the immutable momentum of History’s cyclical return and of the process of reinvention; of competition and cooperation; and of the legacy left by legends. When Chris…

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