Review – Snakes in the Jungle (book)

Snakes in the Jungle, Special Operations in War & Business by Jim Truscott (Zeus Publications, Gold Coast, 2015) Jim Truscott’s Snakes in the Jungle is one of the most unusual climbing books you’ll ever read, and that’s because it is far more than a climbing book. There are no doubt very few people who have succeeded – much less even tried — to put together careers in mountaineering, the SAS (Special Air Service) branch of the Australian defence force, and big business….

Review – Bouldering Essentials

One of my first climbing trips was to Falcons Lookout, a slick patch of rock carved out of the hillside overlooking Werribee Gorge and Victoria’s Western Freeway. Here, one of the first routes I ever climbed (on top-rope) was Persecution, an old-school grade 12 – jamming 101 followed by, from memory, a bridgey sort of exit. Having wasted myself on the first half of the climb, I pulled into its chimney feature with my back pressing on one side and…

Review & Trip Report – Cape Woolamai Rock Climbing

You’re a Victorian climber and you can’t get to the Grampians? Sick of the heinous undercut starts of the Omega Block at Camels Hump? Scared of the ant colony bumblies of Werribee Gorge trying to kill you with torrents of clumsy-footed rock fall? Do you like your atmos-fear? Can’t decide if you want to surf or climb? Looking for adventure*? Then get your arse to Phillip Island and the mostly-forgotten and long-maligned Cape Woolamai – sea-cliff climbing within an hour-and-a-half…

Review – Climb Tasmania

Mainlanders heading south this summer will have the opportunity to grab themselves a copy of the new edition of Climb Tasmania by Gerry Narkowicz. The first edition came out eight years ago and since its release there has been a huge amount of development in Tasmania. The latest edition contains 300 more routes than the last, and a bunch of new cliffs, including Cluan Tiers, the West Coast crags, Mersey Cliffs and the Mount Brown main face. There is also…

Review – Arapiles, 444 of the best

The stone may be proudly Victorian but Vertical Life‘s man in South Australia, Steve Kelly, is a self-declared expert on the guidebooks of Mt Arapiles, he has cast his eye and spread his experience over Gordon Poultney’s Arapiles – 444 of the Best. I have always been a fan of Gordon Poultney’s little paperback Arapiles – 333 of the Best. Maybe it was because it was cheap. Climbers are after all cheapskates (well, the real ones are anyway). Maybe it was because…

Review – Patagonia Vertical guidebook

By Rolando Garibotti and Dörte Pietron, Sidarta, 2012, (patagoniavertical@outlook.com), RRP $69 Patagonia is one of the most beautiful and historic testing grounds for climbers on the planet, because of this it deserves a guidebook that reflects its importance. Patagonia Vertical, by local climber and Patagonia expert, Rolando Garibotti, and German alpinist, Dörte Pietron, is just such a guide. From the moment you pick it up this weighty tome it feels like a high-quality publication. It has superb images (given plenty…

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