News – Ben Cossey on the Red Project

Ben Cossey 🐕😍 just climbed The RED Project (35) at Diamond Falls, becoming the second Aussie to climb that grade. We had a little chat with him to find out more. Last weekend you climbed The Red Project, how did it go down? Hmmm, well, like any route, I tied in at the bottom and hoped to get to the top, it just so happened that the time I did it I didn’t fall off, which was nice. I had…

Getting Organised in NSW

We chat to Vanessa Wills, one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Australian Climbing Association New South Wales Why does NSW need a climbing access association? The closures currently affecting the Grampians should be enough to convince climbers that a strategic presence and a credible voice in access is vitally important. Each state has different regulations concerning access to public lands. Therefore although the Australian Climbing Association Queensland (ACAQ) and the Australian Climbing Association Victoria (ACAV) share…


The fallout from the climbing bans in the Grampians/Gariwerd feels like it has progressed much like the fabled five stages of grief following a trauma: denial, anger, bargaining and depression; we don’t yet think we’re at acceptance. Mostly it feels like everything has spiralled out of control and broken apart into an ugly mess. Maybe it didn’t need to be this way; maybe it was always going to be this way. Here at VL, it’s fair to say that we…

Editorial – Blinded

Editor’s note to issue 29 of Vertical Life. Subscribe to the issue here. Climbing can be such a liberating, simple thing. I had my eyes lasered in the hope I would be able to throw away my glasses. I was as blind as a mole, contacts didn’t work for my prescription. I had wanted to do it for a long time and then when I finally had the operation it was not a success – a ‘sub-optimal result’ was the doctor’s assessment. The…

Vertical Life no 29 – the 8a Issue is now out!

Our second print issue is now out, and it’s a cracker. From Simon Bischoff’s stunning cover shot of Charlotte Garden climbing through the golden smoke haze on After Midnight (24) on Mt Wellington’s Organ Pipes, to Brecon Littleford’s Precious Object at the end of the mag, it’s packed to the gunnels with goodness. What will you find inside? VL Editor, Simon Madden, reflects on being blinded (literally by eye surgery) and metaphorically by the Grampians/Garidwerd climbing bans. Ryan Siacci looks…

Interview – Lucy Stirling

Filmmaker, Matt Raimondo, interviews and films Queensland climber Lucy Stirling talking climbing and competing. When did you discover climbing? The first time I went climbing was probably a tree when I was two years old. As soon as I could walk I could climb pretty much anything. My parents wouldn’t know where I was at any one given time. But when I first actually climbed on a climbing wall was probably at high school when I was about 13, and…

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