20 Issues: On Looking Back & Contributing

We’ve just hit the 20th issue of VL, a fact that has made us pause on the hamster wheel and take stock. When we look back at the last five years of pumping out VL, the thing we see most is the love and passion (and elbow grease) of our contributors, most of whom provide their words and photos gratis – VL would not exist without them. It makes us think that there must be something in helping to create…

Perfecto Bloc Cage Match

  Cherry Picking or On the Beach – which is the Grampians’ best V13? We asked our panel of bouldering experts, David Mason, Adam Watson and Niky Ceria, all of whom have done both, to give us their reasoned opinion. WORDS & IMAGES: As credited We humans are weighers and assessors. We see contrast and difference and our minds are calibrated to compare. This with that, one with the other, Granny Smith vs Pink Lady, Aliens or C3s, was Stalin…


Editor’s note to issue 20 of Vertical Life. Download the issue here. 0.0062% chance. That is what I gave myself. Not great odds. I was trying a route that I had been trying on and off for a few years. One shot here, one there six months later, one again a year after that. I hadn’t been climbing much. I hadn’t been to a gym in months. 0.0062% chance of ticking it. That’s about the same odds of hitting the jackpot on…


Amanda Cossey teaches you how to fuel for multipitching by remembering a time when she got it all wrong WORDS: Amanda Cossey, IMAGE: Tom O’Halloran I have always loved mulitpitch trad climbing. The scary bits, the suffering, planning the rack to take, food and drink rations, timing of pitches and the approach to the route are all awesome. Echo Crack (163m, four pitch, grade 25, trad classic in the Blue Mountains) had for a long time been high on my…

The Boom (and hopefully not the bust) of Climbing

Australian Editor’s note to issue fifteen of Vertical Life. Download the Vertical Life App from iTunes or the Kindle Fire App Store here. Climbing is experiencing a powerful surge of growth in Australia. It’s not the first time. Something similar happened in the mid-1990s when a lot of new climbing gyms were built. Back then I worked in one of the biggest and busiest, the now defunct Mill in Collingwood. Climbing got so mainstream the Mill even appeared on that nadir of Oz TV, Hey Hey it’s Saturday; as part…

Mind Control

Fear of falling is one of the most common afflictions you can find at any crag in Oz. VL’s regular columnist, Denby Weller, talks to the experts about overcoming it and comes away with some valuable lessons WORDS: Denby Weller IMAGES: As Credited I am in the grips of what I can only describe as a cascade of panic. I observe helplessly as my mind is swamped by it, this feeling that began as butterflies, progresses through dread and is…

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