Vision – Townsville town cragging

Simon Madden finds an absolute ball-tearer of an urban rock route in an unlikely location, way up in FARKNQ, in Townsville The curtain of pink granite glows weakly under the floodlights that shine up from the dirt slope below so that the big face can be seen by the city’s inhabitants even in the dark of night. Right in front of me, the weak glow is burnt by my headtorch, which focuses a searing cone of light. The rock’s surface looks incredibly…

Shoe review – Scarpa Drago

Dispelling the myth that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, Simon Madden and Denby Weller find out that they both live happy and comfortable on Planet Drago Simon Madden I like the Drago a lot. Light and soft, as sensitive as a 19th century English dandy. Not to big the shoe up too much but it has shown me that you can teach an old scarred insensate to feel again. Firstly, a little about me; I am a…

Contributor Swag – Vertical Life no 25

Every issue of VL we give away a bunch of great gear from our advertisers to people who contribute to the magazine. This issue the lucky winners are: Simon ‘Shim Sham’ Bischoff (who wrote a wonderful piece about climbing on Flinders Island) wins a pair of Butora Comet shoes (RRP $129.95) courtesy of Climbing Anchors. Madoc Sheehan (who contributed to our article on the best highballs from around Oz) wins a year’s supply of Black Diamond chalk courtesy of Black…

Interview – Tom Farrell

Vertical Life speaks to long-time boulderer, Tom Farrell For someone who’s not even 30 it feels like Tom Farrell has been on the Australian climbing scene for a long time – and he has. Having started as a six-year-old, Tom’s now been climbing for 26 years. For much of that time he’s been one of the leading lights of the Oz bouldering scene, whether it’s competing indoors or out on the rock. Tom probably first entered the Australian climbing consciousness…

Cash Prizes in Climbing Competitions

Western Australia is a pretty long way from the person-choked urban centres on the East Coast, but if you’re a comp climber you just got some added incentive to fly West. On 18 August, Portside Boulders is throwing a comp with cash on the line – for Open As there’s a grand for the winners, $750 for second place and $500 to round out the podium. Not to be sneezed at. The lure of money led us here at VL to…

Lifters & Leaners

Editor’s note to issue 25 of Vertical Life. Download the issue here. There are only two dreams I’ve had that have stayed with me. One features naked cannibals, the other is about my mother (of course). I only remember a fragment of this second dream. In it my mother leads an elephant around in circles on the front lawn of our house in the Grampians. The elephant is unsteady on its feet, perhaps sick, and leans heavily on my mum, who staggers around…

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