Jacky Godoffe setting workshop

Break the routine – A route setting masterclass with Jacky Godoffe WORDS: Garry Williams, IMAGES: Simon Madden A gym can have community, a gym can have yoga, it can have chill vibes and all the best coffee but if it hasn’t got good setting then it’s done for. The explosion of climbing gyms means route setting is becoming a serious business, Garry Williams – head setter at Northside Boulders and The Lactic Factory – went to French legend Jacky Godoffe’s recent Masterclass, looking…

Feature – Poseidon’s Wrath

Yi Chao Foong on the first ascent of the Cape Pillar Trident’s final prong, 44 years after Mendelt Tillema and his merry men climbed the first two prongs WORDS: Yi Chao Foong, IMAGES: As credited 10th December, 2016 I stare at my feet, ignoring the drizzling rain as I focus my centre of gravity over a shallow toe jam my trembling right foot is in. In my peripheral vision I spy my two RPs behind a flake that looks unlikely to…

Feature – A Rescue that Wasn’t

Matt Farrell gets into trouble in the mountains of Pakistan WORDS & IMAGES: Mat Farrell I wake up in a bed. I haven’t slept in one in a month… two months? My fingertips are swollen, split and stiff. My feet a mass of blisters. My lips burnt and tender, but I’m otherwise fine. Sergiu is more or less the same. I still woke with the sun at 5.30am. I can’t be in bad condition then, although I feel that I ought…

Birthdays & Barking Seals & Sun & Saunas & Stuck Ropes

Editor’s note to issue 21 of Vertical Life. Download the issue here. Climbing is full of things relative. Linking two moves on your project could be heralded as great success for you, whereas your mate falling off on the last move on the flash of the same problem could be an utter failure for her. Adventure is relative – a cakewalk for you is an epic for someone else, bigness is relative, easiness too. And so is the cock up. Getting your…

Precious Object – Ross Taylor

Precious Object Ross Taylor – Titan Piton Moss falls in my eyes. I slide my taped hands further up the crack. More moss crumbles and falls, swirling in the breeze. The east face of Geryon falls away beneath me for 200m. Thirty metres below my brother, moss-dusted face clad in sunglasses, is a blur staring up, feeding double ropes in and out, in and out. I spot the piton late, buried deep in the crack above my hands. I pull into…

Stop thief!

VL looks at a recent spike in climbing gear going missing One of the enduring myths about Japan is that there is no petty crime. (That and the perhaps apocryphal and definitely distasteful tales of buying soiled underwear from vending machines.) We’ve heard many versions of the ‘I left my wallet stuffed with yen on a train and got it all back’ story. The myth is explained by stating the Japanese mafia – the tatted-up and finger-amputated Yakuza – have enforced…

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