Feature – Suffering

Love climbing? Get your subscription to Vertical Life here. In ‘The Pain The Pain!’ Ben Buckland asks why climbers seek out and embrace suffering and maybe finds it consuming a humble can of Orangina A few years ago I got really lost on a route in Chamonix. It wasn’t meant to be an especially big day out, just ten or so moderate pitches (with a long traverse section in the middle, just enough to make retreating a bitch) on a summer afternoon. Somewhere high…

Angie Scarth-Johnson new routing in Tonga

Angie Scarth-Johnson goes way back home and, under the watchful eye of maestro Lee Cossey, bolts her first ever route WORDS: Angie Scarth-Johnson & Lee Cossey IMAGES: Lee Cossey Developing new routes is hard yakka. Developing new routes when you have never bolted anything before, on a tropic island, thousands of miles away, under time pressure and the glaring lights of the movie cameras even more so. Late last year Angie and Lee headed to Tonga, the country of Angie’s…

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…

Flinders Island

‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ Simon Bischoff trips the light fantastic on Flinders Island, where dreams come true and everybody lives The ferry to Flinders Island is about as sophisticated as vomiting on your own pants. It’s a cargo vessel, transporting everything from cattle to cantankerous fisherman. It’s not set up for regular tourists and when it finally docks on Flinders you feel pleasantly far from home. This trip – my third to the island – I travelled with photographer Olivia…

Australia’s Best Highballs

The Highest and Mightiest of all the Land – we tap into local knowledge to unearth the contenders for the best big blocs in Oz Here they are, ten of the most tremendous highballs from around Australia, one from each state and (nearly every) territory (except the Northern Territory because it’s a land of mystery and should remain so). This list is not like other lists, which are completely subjective, instead this one is filled with FACTS. Because, as people…

Zeitgeist Climbs

In ‘The bridges everyone else is jumping off’ Simon Madden gets drawn into the zeitgeist My brain is a big, whirring association machine. In 2017 every time I wasted precious lifeforce scrolling through Instagram, caught snatches of gym conversations or heard people plotting at the crag, I started singing the theme to Rocky under my breath. Like a dog salivating over a pavlova. That was because invariably I was either looking at or hearing someone talking about Eye of the Tiger…

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