Local climbers and long-time Climb Base5 members Adam Chan and Cheryl Surya are heading to Las Vegas and they’re excited to share their first international outdoor rock climbing trip with our community. They’ll be taking over our Instagram account from this Saturday to Monday to document their trip to Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, a popular winter climbing destination with plenty of bouldering.
Or as they put it:
It’s perfect for a first climbing trip for non-dirtbags!
We had a chance to chat with the two lovebirds before their trip to find out a little more about them…
Tell us about yourselves, how you got into climbing and why you love it.
Cheryl: I’m a 25-year old registered nurse from Hong Kong who’s been climbing for two and a half years. I fell in love with climbing because of it challenges you with different body movements and it made me exercise without even realizing it. Being a nurse, I also found that climbing helps to strengthen my back, arms, and core, which are essential in my career. It’s a great way to socialize with friends, and a lovely activity to do with your significant other!
Adam: I’m 27 and was born and raised in Richmond, BC. I was introduced to climbing by Cheryl almost two and a half years ago. She had gone with a friend once before and thought I would enjoy it. She was right; she converted me. We started off climbing routes, but I soon gravitated towards the short, intense style of bouldering. It took a while, but I eventually made a boulderer of Cheryl too!
You’re both sport-climbers and boulderers. Where have you climbed?
Cheryl: I haven’t climbed anywhere else in the world other than Squamish, but fortunately it’s a world-class climbing location! But I’m looking forward to our trip to Red Rock this weekend. And I hope to visit other prime climbing destinations around the world such as Virgin Gorda!
Adam: I try to find a climbing gym in any city I travel to. I’ve been to gyms in Bellingham, Seattle, Palm Springs, and Hawaii. Unfortunately, I haven’t climbed on real rock anywhere but Squamish.
Since Squamish is your go-to spot, what’s on your tick list and how can you take your climbing to the next level?
Cheryl: I currently have a couple projects in Paradise Valley, such as Tai Fighter V4, and Crystal Method V5. I’m still working towards sending my first V7 indoors and V5 outdoors! I’m focusing on more conditioning and training and I’ve found that, through Climb Base5’s Adult Performance for Life course, training my core has helped me progress significantly in climbing. I’ve also recently started hangboard training that I hope will help me keep crushing even harder to go beyond my personal best (5.12c/V6)!
Adam: I actually keep track of my projects with a constantly updated tick list on this Google Doc. You can see what projects I’m gunning for next… my personal best is sending a 5.13a/V7. I’m attacking V8 this season and trying to get my first of the grade outside. I’d like to spend more time outside because my projects are outside. The only way to work on them is to get out there and spend lots of time falling off of problems. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been cooperating so far this fall, not to mention the weekend warrior lifestyle puts a stop to most spontaneous outdoor days! As an alternative, I’ve been doing lots of weighted hangs to get my fingers strong.
Is it too early for a #throwback ? Still feeling remnants of the hype that was #novembersessions this past weekend… and now I’m excited for #redrocks this weekend! Keep an eye out for @bat.hang.adam and my takeover of the @climbbase5gym instagram as we chronicle our adventure in #nevada! #cb5takeover #climbbase5 #cb5 #wanderlust #neverstopexploring #tbt #throwbackthursday #rockclimbing ?: @kylerurakphotography
Climbing seems to be a big part of your lives. How does it help you in your everyday life?
Cheryl: There’s a high risk for non-traumatic back injuries (among other injuries) at my work so climbing has helped to reduce the risk of getting hurt. I’m want to keep climbing and strengthening my muscles to protect myself because I’ve seen my coworkers hurt their backs, shoulders, and necks, and never recover fully. Also, the physical exertion from climbing helps me de-stress after a rough day (or week) at work!
In climbing, I’ve found that my height and strength serve as disadvantages most of the time, but I try to not let that stop me – I always try to find what I call “short-weak-person beta”, which usually translates into more creative or flexible movements. The way I approach challenges is to be aware my limits, to take a step back and take a break before I get too frustrated. I can then focus my energy onto something else, like training, which will be productive in the long run. I like to think I adapt the same approach in my daily life as well!
Adam: I can carry heavier things now and not worry about awkward edges digging into my fingers. The extra muscle also helps me fill out a suit. Aside from the physical benefits that climbing has given me, it’s also taught me to approach challenges in life with a smile. I love it when a boulder spits me off. As long as the movement is fun and feels good to do, I take a very chill approach to projecting. I try to find humour in failure – it only makes the moment of discovery and achievement that much better.
What don’t most members know about you?
Cheryl: When I’m not stuck at work or throwing myself at (or off) the wall, I enjoy eating good food, curling up with a good book, or sprawling on the couch with Netflix. I also love to have small gatherings and have board game nights – they make for some great times! I’m also the absolute, biggest nerd ever – If you’re going to bring up anything to do with the Harry Potter universe, be prepared to be bombarded with fun facts and in-depth discussions of anything and everything Harry Potter – Potterhead for life!!!
Adam: This may seem far removed from climbing and all things outdoorsy, but I practice and teach calligraphy in my spare time. I also watch a select few shows (Westworld. Watch it.) and climbing competitions, of course. Another thing, my hands don’t sweat. I just chalk up for the appearance.