Interview – Eli Mercado

Can you give us the Eli Mercado 101? Hello! I’m Eli(jah) Mercado, just turned 19. Part-time engineering student, part-time hold washer and all-of-the-time boulderer. I’m 168cm with an ape of +14cm. How did you get into the funny business of climbing rocks? Hahaha. So I used to be really into computer games, mainly one that involved tapping the keyboard to beats of music. My forearms kept getting pumped though, so I thought to myself ‘Hey, I need to train my…

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…

Interview – Amy Dunlop is in the cloud

Amy Dunlop on abandoning gymnastics, overcoming a hip replacement, getting better at rock climbing, worse at competing, and climbing In the Cloud (V12). Can you give us the Amy Dunlop 101? I am a Sydney based climber/nurse. I have been hanging around the climbing community for close to 15 years, initially as a competition climbing teen in Canberra, then weekend warrior, now a rather obsessed Sydney cave dweller. How did you get into climbing? I had been forced to give…

Interview – Sam Healy

A couple of weeks ago Sydney denizen, Sam Healy, fought his way up one of Oz’s hardest and most iconic routes, Groove Train (33) on Taipan Wall in the Grampians. We have to admit we were a little surprised as we’ve always thought of Sam and his twin brother Liam as boulderers, but it turns out climbing routes is not that hard if you’re really, really ridiculously strong and all the moves feel easy. We spoke to Sam to find…

Tom Oh’s new hard route at Elphinstone

Tom O’Halloran has just clipped the chains on his project at Elphinstone and in the process finished off The Milkbar (34), what sounds like an outrageous route. We thought we’d speak to him about the history of the line and the how it finally went down. Enjoy, we reckon he is insightful, hilarious and gets your salivary glands shooting out climbing froth right in time for Easter. Images by Kamil Sustiak Congratulations on climbing The Milkbar P2, can you tell us about the route? When…

Interview – Lee Cujes & the La Sportiva Easter Tick Contest

The Australian born and bred climbing database,, has launched an Australia-wide climbing competition sponsored by La Sportiva. Kicking off on 16 March and running for a month until 16 April, the competition is based on climbing the most number of (unique) pitches/boulders, with the top three winners in the two categories of bouldering and sport & trad climbing receiving a pair of La Sportiva Traverse X shoes. There is also a bonus pair of La Sportivas to be won…

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