The Olympics & the Battle for Climbing – Part II

This is part II of this article, you can find the first part here. The piece originally appeared in VL #18, download the entire magazine here. Supranational sporting bodies are corrupt and the IOC is no exception. ‘The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.’ The lofty aspirational ideals of the Olympic Charter are compromised by the corruption…

The Olympics & the Battle for Climbing – Part I

This piece originally appeared in VL #18, download the entire magazine here. Like a Chinese ring trick, Simon Madden tries to disentangle the Olympic rings and find out if they will entrap the soul of climbing WORDS: Simon Madden, IMAGES: As credited Everyone knows what The Olympic Dream is. It is a tale of practice and discipline, sacrifice and service, a dream implanted in a young child, nurtured and fired over years to be realised in a glorious culmination of individual brilliance…

Finding the Sweet Spot

  In the galaxy of food, is sugar on the side of darkness or light? Amanda Cossey takes her Lightsabre of Science to the subject. ‘Sugar is toxic.’ It has a sexy ring to it, doesn’t it? Much more appealing than ‘eat more veggies or less junk food.’ Sugar is the most recent component of our diet under fire – fat is back and sugar is out. The anti-sugar push is driven by the belief that obesity and the many…

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…

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…

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