Vertical Life

Winter 2021

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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in this issue

5 min
of family & friends

Lately I’ve been dreaming of old friends. They’ve been haunting my nights largely because of this edition of VL, which is built around the idea of family. It’s gotten me ruminating on how my relationships with family and friends have changed with time, and how the boundaries between the two can be slippery. Back in my 20s, my friends felt like family. We lived together. We worked together. We spent most of our spare time together climbing or training or hanging out (usually playing endless – and ruthless – games of Shithead). We had our own little quirks and traditions, nicknames, greetings. But times change. These days those friends have dispersed to the four winds. Ironically it was when we started our own families that our family of friends began to change. Many…

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 P: 1300 421 585 E: info@climbinganchors.com FB: @ClimbingAnchors Insta: @climbing_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: @ TheClimbingCentre I…

4 min
read listen watch think

Watch THE NEW KID: W/SAVANNAH CUMMINS, ANA PFAFF, CONRAD ANKER, JIMMY CHIN, CEDAR WRIGHT AND ALEX HONNOLD The North Face gang go to Antarctica and have adventures. This short film is another one that blurs the line between doers and documenters, between what is the scene and what is behind the scenes. Expeditions have long had the pressure of being recorded in order to justify their existence, and so we might ask that if a peak is climbed in the middle of the ice forest and no one is around does it make any sound? ‘Document or die’ could be the climbing version of academia’s ‘publish or perish’, even more so as we shift from a ‘pro climber’ media landscape to a ‘climbing influencer’ one. So often now the process of documenting an…

7 min
dylan soin

HOW DID YOU GET INTO CLIMBING? From the age of around five I was always in climbing gyms and around the Australian competition scene because of my sister, Nanki. She started climbing in 2011 after we moved from England, and was soon competing at a national level, which took us all over the country, as we travelled to support her. Nanki inspired me to start, but I soon fell in love with the sport and the incredible mental and physical challenges it brought. To be honest, I was hooked before I ever even got on a wall – despite my age I was always made to feel welcome and had so much fun being around the amazing, vibrant people who make up the climbing community. Plus, I always loved clambering up…

12 min
first & last things

Ngapalaru Yarta. At Moonarie we climb on the unceded lands of the Adnyamathanha, acknowledge their unbroken connection and pay respects to their elders past and present. APRIL 1986. My father bundles us up – three kids, a two-person tent, definitely no sleeping mats, inadequate sleeping bags, and a hatchet. We’re off to the Flinders Ranges to gaze into space. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to glimpse Halley’s Comet. It’s going to blaze across the clear desert skies. Our eyes the envy of all junior astronomers. After dark. Seems the middle of nowhere. We turn off the main road onto a graded one. Then off that onto a dirt track. Through a dry creek bed into a shadowy copse, single fire burning in the middle. Headlights break between the callitris pines. A small band of people huddled…

5 min
wonder years

Our daughter has taken after her name. Wild, untamed, she can bring an adult to their knees: Lhotse. At two-and-a-half years old, she can pretty much already out-run, out-ride and out-climb me. Her love for life, and her fascination with the smallest details, draw me in as though the world she’s experiencing is completely different to my own. Put a child in a park and you can see that the nature-loving spark is naturally there. But how do we, their parents, ensure this spark catches and becomes an inferno of passion that drives their love of nature and fuels their desire to be outdoors? I certainly can’t say I have the answer, but I have my experiences, errors and all. As any expecting parents do, my partner Cairo and I had many a…