Measuring Up

Denby Weller nearly finds out the hard way that all is sometimes not what it seems in the first of a new series of columns for VL on the pitfalls of being a beginner climber Lesson Number One: How long is a piece of string is not a rhetorical question I sat in the shadows beneath the iconic route To Bolt or Not To Be (5.14a/32), as bald eagles wheeled overhead, and tried to decide between laughing maniacally and bawling….

Dirtbag vs Douchebag

Crazy John Fischer examines the critical-yet-subtle differences between climbing’s dirtbags and imitation Louis Vuitton handbags In an attempt to keep the climbing trip going forever, climbers are notoriously frugal, often to a fault. Most of us put up with each other’s scrounging and even encourage it. Good ol’ climbing dirtbags living out of their cars and drinking goon around the campfire are cliché. But we dirtbags are always walking a thin brown line. This article explores when you cross that line…


Australian Editor’s note to issue eleven of Vertical Life. Download the Vertical Life App from iTunes or the Kindle Fire App Store here. Of all the seasons I find Summer the most evocative. Perhaps it’s because it is the smelliest. Summer is all about the olfactory senses; the thick fug of sweat, sunscreen and musty camping gear on the drive home from the crag; the sweet, ephemeral scent after rain has swept over the dry Wimmera plain (it’s called petrichor, I think); the low-level chemical tang of chlorine overlaid by…

Protein, Power & Pulling

The world of nutrition advice is filled with many old wives’ tales, while social media allows anyone with an opinion to provide inaccurate information. In the first of a new series of articles for VL, Amanda Cossey dispels some commonly accepted food myths Myth One: The more protein I eat the quicker I will recover and the stronger my muscles will be! Myth Two: The harder I climb the more I need a protein supplements. For many climbers and sportspeople…

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…

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