Alex Mougenot, North Face of Leaning Peak

Alex Mougenot on the North Face of Leaning Peak.

Spring, 2017

We’re in for a scorcher this year, folks. No doubt about it.

The Bureau of Meteorology have begun using a model that correlates mean daytime temperatures with the amount of fucking complaining I do about the heat. Using this reliable dataset, they’ve confirmed that this “winter” was Queensland’s hottest on record. Nice work, team!

Apart from the impending and seemingly inevitable destruction of the planet, we’ve had a pretty good run over here at Zen and the Art of Climbing. Therefore, if I may quote Monty Python, let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who… this is supposed to be a happy occasion!

In case you missed them, here are our recent big ticket announcements:


  • Three new contributors have joined the fray! Please give a polite golf clap for Morag Stewart, Marisa Stewart (no relation) and Alex Mougenot, pictured above on the less epic of two major Mt Barney ascents this season… the other is quite a tale!
  • We launched our new column, La Carretera Alta. The 2018 South American Climbing Road Trip Fiesta is officially happening… in 6 months.
  • We partnered with Josh Worley over at Vertical Year. We’ll be sharing some of his dispatches and, as part of our trip next year, we’ll be meeting with Josh in Peru to tackle some objectives in the Cordillera Blanca. Take a look at his sensational tick list, and please throw a few clams his way to help support ReachOut and the Climate Council.
  • We became “Friends of Passchendaele”, officially partnering with Pinnacle Sports for the P’daele V2 Bouldering Festival. I’ll be kicking around the festival itself and you’ll be able to catch some of the dispatches at Vertical Life (like this one). Tickets are still available but they’re flying out the door! If you’re a pebble wrestler in SEQ, get on it quick sticks.
  • We officially became brand ambassadors for Pinnacle Sports, who will be sharing our journey in 2018! So rad.
  • I broke my leg. Derp.

And there are still more to come. Watch this space.

We’d like to give a big shout-out to every reader, old and new. Since the relaunch of Zen in late April, the new website has outstripped all expectations. In just over 4 months, the traffic has already doubled the entire previous year!We really appreciate all the support… but could I ask one more favour? If you haven’t already, giving our FB page a like would be swell. We’ll let you join for free (limited offer, one per customer) and will also consider throwing in a set of steak knives.

Happy Sendtember! Get out there and make the most of it. If the BOM is right, there’s no time to lose!

Ryan Siacci, Esq