Australian Editor’s note to issue fourteen of Vertical Life. Download the Vertical Life App from iTunes or the Kindle Fire App Store here. A new bouldering gym has opened in Melbourne – Northside Boulders – and one also in Sydney – 9 degrees. It is striking the similarities in aesthetic shared by the two gyms. The spaces are generous and well illuminated. The walls are white, the volumes are black and the holds are big and vibrant. Indeed it’s obvious that both are representative of what’s in vogue for new gyms….

WA’s Last Great Export: Logan Barber

Download the latest issue of Vertical Life magazine here. The boom is over. China’s thirst for Australian raw minerals is slaked, but on a recent trip to the People’s Republic, Simon Madden finds out that there is one final iron-hard export from the diggings of Western Australia to China The valley is in complete darkness as we start the steep, hour-long walk up from LiMing. The house dog yaps at Logan Barber’s heels. It’s cold and still. Manky old tape…

The Perfect Project

Download the latest issue of Vertical Life magazine here. John Palmer recounts a project that stretches over many torturous years and comes together in a few glorious seconds 1999 Visited the upper Mangakara Gorge during a weekend of climbing at Whanganui Bay, then the North Island’s premier and most frequented crag. I went searching for the legendary finger crack route: Götterdämmerung (25), which was first freed by UK climbing great John Allen in 1981. That rarely repeated line, hidden from…

Feature – Stacks Bluff winter mixed climbing

A new mixed route is added to the speckled history of winter climbing at Stacks Bluff, and not without a shitload of drama As a kid living in Kuna, Idaho, I played in the snow a lot. After a big dump, my cousins and I would hold onto the rear bumper of my stepdad’s truck and he would tow us – skiing in our cowboy boots until we couldn’t hold on any longer. We called it hooky-bobbing. Kuna was the…

Old School Air Time

Ollie Kerr shows you that the process of learning to fall on trad – if you manage to survive – may be long and hard, but it is incredibly rewarding and absolutely worthwhile You know it’s a long fall when you can swear twice on the way down. Fuck fuck fuck. ‘How are you doing up there Bert?’ Shit. I listen to the waves crashing below me. I glance down at Carl, his blue beanie blending with the white-grey rock….

Get Lucky

Australian Editor’s note to issue thirteen of Vertical Life. Download the Vertical Life App from iTunes or the Kindle Fire App Store here. Luck is a strange slippery thing. In climbing the difference between being lucky and unlucky is often miniscule; the fraction of a second you lose attention, the footer that snaps, the leg behind the rope. I have been lucky myself; I’ve fallen off the final jug of a route only to run back onto the ledge next to my belayer; pulled off a two-tonne block bouldering but…

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