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…

News – The Weather Turns Bringing Successful Burns

After the warmest summer on record (nothing to do with the climate emergency of course, let’s give the Libs another term!), the sending temps have finally arrived. And just like that, rock climbers all over the joint are sending projects like their postcards – maybe all that moaning and complaining that we do about ‘conditions’ needing to be right is bang on the money after all… She wasn’t the first cab off the rank, but perhaps the biggest send of…

Free Solo / (s)he solo

In ‘Free Solo//(s)He Solo’, Emily Rudling tracks the differences between her surfing and climbing experience and examines gender in the film Free Solo ‘I love the twinkling sound of a trad rack.’ ‘Same,’ replies Sinead. ‘It’s soothing.’ We’re at a local crag and Sinead’s teaching me how to lead sport climbs. It’s raining, and no one else is about, and we’re talking about all the things we love about the sport we met through. We look up at the route…

Getting Organised: a Sport Climbing Victoria proposal

Getting Organised: a Sport Climbing Victoria proposal – an open letter from Philip Goebel, president of Sport Climbing Victoria. With access issues in the Grampians front in mind within the Victorian climbing community, important questions have arisen about the governance of our sport and the community organisations with claims to represent climbers in Victoria. In fact, the access issues have highlighted our weakness in Victoria to get organised and present a coherent and unified voice to Grampians National Park stakeholders, in…

Review – Moonarie Guidebook

Moonarie is a special place, offering excellent climbing in a dramatic and lonely setting. Gerry Narkowicz spent Easter there leafing through the newly released guide to the Moon and ticking off classics Moonarie is a world class crag situated 450km north of Adelaide in the Flinders Ranges, Miles From Nowhere* to most people, but a place that every Australian climber should aim to visit at least once in their lifetime. Climbs such as Outside Chance (16), Pine Crack (19), Downwind…

Video – Desert Crack

Love climbing? Get your subscription to Vertical Life here. Natimuk local Mark Gould has established one of the best cracks in the Grampians. In late 2018 he freed an old aid line, originally teetered up by Neil Monteith some time in the distant past. Located in the Northern Grampians, Desert Crack goes at about 27 or 28, leans from right to left, is overhanging and constricts to thin fingers at the crux – what more could you want?

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