Newness

Editor’s note to issue 27 of Vertical Life. Download the issue here. Climbing has always been about newness. We have been obsessed with who climbed the hardest thing and who got to the top first, both of which are just shades of newness. When we look back, it is exploration that’s the main thread running through the lore of climbing, and exploration by definition is about charting newness. You can see that from the early science-driven ascents that sought to map the world…

Grampians Access: a Primer for the Confused and Concerned

For many climbers, the recent rumours of climbing being banned in the Grampians’ Victoria Range came as a huge shock. And the anger and confusion on social media is testament to this shock. The whole incident might have been poorly handled and communicated by Parks Victoria, but for those who have been following access issues in the Grampians the threat of this has been rumbling away for some time. Given that there is so much hearsay and a chaotic lack…

DMM Tour Down Under

DMM is coming across the globe from Wales with a bunch of its toys for all climbers to try or test out – at the crag or at the gym this November (see the event list below with links to each event’s Facebook page). Come along and join in the fun of who can place gear the fastest challenge, plus DMM will have a pull testing machine to break your old gear or stuff you have found at the crag (except at the…

Review – The North Face Route Rocket

It feels a lot like multipitch season. But to be honest, this is probably any time but winter as I am a big softy and don’t like being cold, especially not for long periods of time locked into going to the top and still looking at a few pitches to go all numb and sooky. There are some unique dilemmas that come with climbing multiple pitches and mostly this is about carrying stuff. No matter if that is what you need…

Blog – Stupidest Ever Question

Simon Madden finds out that just when you hubristically think you’ve heard all the stupid questions a message out of the blue can trump them all ‘How do you get the rope up there?’ ‘Why don’t you just walk around the back?’ ‘What are you carrying those mattresses for?’ ‘Do you wear gloves with hooks on them?’ I never tire of the stupid questions that non-climbers ask you when they find out you are a climber. They are also almost shockingly…

Me, Myself and I

Jed Parkes solos every route in Arapiles Selected Climbs graded 16 and under WORDS: Jed Parkes, IMAGES: Simon Madden It has been argued that the preponderance of really high-quality easy routes at Araps is responsible for infantilising generations of Victorian climbers. The reasoning goes that you can have so much fun bumbling around very moderate grade routes as the movement is fantastic, the rock exquisite, the spread of different route types akin to the biodiversity of the Amazon basin, the exposure…

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