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Vertical Life

Vertical Life

Summer 2020/21

Vertical Life is a climbing magazine in Australasia, available in both digital and print options. Here at Vertical Life we love climbing, be it beanied bouldering, clip-up sportclimbing, old-school daddy-tradding, big-wall suffering, alpine extremism, spandex-clad competition climbing, desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures buildering, the lot – if it involves monkey business we will cover it.

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4 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
lockdown blues

Gariwerd has been my lodestar since I was five. In 1980 my parents bought a hundred acres of land they dubbed ‘Wartook Rise’, a small crest of bush and worthless farm land that sits in Wartook Valley below Gar (Mt Difficult) and the Asses Ears. On an exposed ridgeline of buckshot gravel they built a small tin shed, where we used to stay on weekends. Some of my earliest memories are of the redback spiders that nested in its cobwebbed corners. At night we’d fall asleep to the low murmur of my parents' voices as they sat around the campfire outside. Eventually the shed blew over in a storm, sheets of steel strewn across the hillside like litter. In 1982, in the midst of a terrible drought, we moved from Melbourne to…

2 min.
preferred stockists

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY BLOC HAUS blochaus.com.au Fyshwick ACT P: 02 6280 8830 E: boulder@blochaus.com.au F: @blochauscanberra Insta: @blochauscbr CANBERRA INDOOR ROCK CLIMBING canberrarockclimbing.com.au Mitchell ACT P: 02 6260 1101 E: canrock@grapevine.com.au FB: canberraclimbing Insta: canberraindoorrockclimbing NEW SOUTH WALES BLUE MOUNTAINS CLIMBING SCHOOL climbingschool.com.au Blue Mountains, NSW P: 0491 223 133 E: climb@climbingschool.com.au FB: BlueMountainsClimbingSchool Insta: Blue_Mountains_Climbing_School CLIMBING ANCHORS climbinganchors.com.au Alexandria NSW P: 02 9051 2425 E: info@climbinanchors.com.au FB: @ClimbingAnchors Insta: @climbins_Anchors CLIMB FIT climbfit.com.au St Leonards & Kirrawee NSW P: 02 9436 4600 (St Leonards) 02 9545 3407 (Kirawee) E: info@climbfit.com.au FB: @climbfitsydney @climbfit_kirrawee Insta: climbfit_sydney HANGDOG CLIMBING GYM hangdog.com.au Wollongong NSW P: 02 4225 8369 E: info@hangdog.com.au FB: hangdogclimbinggym Insta: hangdogclimbinggym MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT mountainequipment.com Sydney City & Chatswood, NSW P: (02) 9264 5888 & (02) 9419 6955 E: web@mountainequipment.com FB: mountainequipmentaustralia Insta: mountain_equipment_aus PULSE CLIMBING pulseclimbing.com.au Warners Bay, Adamstown, West Gosford NSW E: info@pulseclimbing.com.au FB: pulseclimbing Insta: pulseclimbing SYDNEY INDOOR CLIMBING GYM ST PETERS indoorclimbing.com.au St Peters NSW P: 02 9519 3325 E: sicg2@hotmail.com FB: @Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym St Peters Insta: @sydneyindoorclimbingstpeters THE EDGE ROCK CLIMBING CENTRE edgerockclimbing.com.au Castle Hill NSW P: 02 9899 8228 E: info@edgerockclimbing.com.au FB: @theedgerockclimbing Insta: @edgerockclimbing THE CLIMBING CENTRE climbingcentre.com.au Penrith, NSW 2750 P (02) 4731 1130 E: info@climbingcentre.com.au FB: @…

2 min.
rope news from far & wide

While nearly everyone in Victoria has been in hard lockdown, elsewhere in Oz people have been getting amongst it. In the Blue Mountains, Leah Dempsey (no doubt) gracefully danced up Search and Destroy (32) at Centennial Glen, her second at the grade and, we’re fairly sure, the first female ascent. Making her one of only three Australian women to have climbed this hard. Massive! The always-busy Tom O’Halloran put up a pair of new lines at the mega-crag Elphinstone, Baby Wombat’s Week and In Real, both 31. Check his Instagram for a great account of his In Real ascent, which sounded like quite the experience. The Yoof were also out getting at it. Bodhi Miller, son of Garth and this issue’s cover boy, climbed Tiger Cat (33) at Elphinstone just a week before…

1 min.
bouldering news

When restricted to only your local areas, it turns out that, as a boulderer, it’s arguably much better to be stuck in Sydney than just about anywhere else in the country. A slew of big sends have come out of NSW in the last wee while. Roman Hofmann has been busy at Wedderburn Cave, putting up a series of mega-lines that may be more like routes than boulders. Highlights include Perseverance (V14) and Necessary Evolution (V13/14); check out Roman's Instagram – which you should already be following – for some nice short videos of him climbing the lines. On a less endurance-based front, Eli Mercardo did the FA of Motorhead (V13) at the Frontyard, while also repeating Tom Farrell’s Substance of Everything (V13) at Frontline. Motorhead was repeated by Sam Healy, who…

5 min.
sacred sites at thompson’s point

Controversy about climbing has arisen at Thompson’s Point, following the discovery of two art sites close to routes. In early 2019, the Australian Climbing Association NSW (ACANSW) was starting to get organised due to events unfolding in Gariwerd/Grampians. To get things moving in the Shoalhaven some local climbers organised a clean-up at the Grotto with the established Bushcare group and reached out to the Shoalhaven Council to introduce the ACANSW as a group. In order to plan a future Bushcare event at Thompson’s Point (which recently occurred in September 2020 after a COVID-19-induced delay), myself and a friend walked through Thompson's Point with two representatives from the Council who told us about the discovery of ancient art sites: one on Mini Wall (below Cowboy Junkies) and one at Pocketed Wall. The…

3 min.
dyurrite/mt arapiles crag closures

On 22 October, Parks Victoria (PV) announced the discovery of a significant Aboriginal quarrying area between the base of the Plaque climbing area and Tiger Wall at Dyurrite/Mt Arapiles. According to PV, ‘The production site, which extends for around 200 metres around the base of a rock face, is where Traditional Owners – the Jadawadjali, part of the Wotjobaluk Nations – manufactured a variety of tools from stone sourced all over Dyurrite (Mount Arapiles). These included sharp-edged knives and spear-heads for cutting and hunting, and flat stones for grinding foods or crushing materials, such as to make pigments for painting.’ Other cultural heritage sites were discovered at Mr Chicken Boulder and Castle Crag, as well as at Lil Lil (better known to climbers as Black Ians Rocks in the Black…