Interview – Paige Claassen on Groove Train

US climber, Paige Claassen, recently came Downunder intent on climbing one of Taipan Wall’s most iconic lines, the Groove Train (33). Her trip was a success (despite climbing bans in the Grampians being in effect, Taipan Wall is one of the few world-class areas that remains open), and she managed to snag the first female ascent of what most repeaters think is one of the best routes in the world. Paige has climbed as hard as 35, with her ascent of Algorithm (5.14d) last year, so…

Interview – Tom O’Halloran Dangle Pigging

Love climbing? Get your subscription to Vertical Life here. In ‘Dance of the Dangle Pig’ we catch up with Tom O’Halloran who riffs about sending Schweinebaumeln – aka Dangle Pig, Oz’s other 35s, his diet and how to be a strong daddy Images: Kamil Sustiak 📸 ⭐️ You recently repeated Alex Megos’ Schweinebaumeln at Elphinstone, the second grade 35 to be established in Oz and until now unrepeated. Can you tell us about the route and the process of climbing it? The…

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…

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