Inside the Bizarre and Creative World of Big-Wall Climber Robbie Phillips

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With both feet and hands jammed into a three-inch-wide crack, Robbie Phillips hangs like a spider on the underside of a bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland. Graffiti tags a nearby concrete wall. A canal flows below him, its surface peppered with smudges of ice. The green, brown water flows from the center of the capital.

To clear the crack, Robbie had removed layers of garbage and polystyrene, jammed up in the cavity above him. “This is the best thing I’ve ever found,” he says, releasing a toothy smile and looking over to his friend and cameraman Culann O Brien.

In the YouTube vlog, Culann replies, “So, as a professional climber who has gone to numerous mad locations putting up first ascents, and we’re under a bridge, this is the best thing you’ve ever found?”

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