Lydia is the founder of lydiascapes.com. If you are not aware of what lydiascapes.com is, that means you haven’t been searching the internet for Singapore climbing-related topics. Lydia is a rock climber and travel blogger. She frequently posts climbing and traveling articles on her website providing readers with information on amazing climbing and travel destinations.
I had never met Lydia in person nor do I know her. But Lydia was the first and only person who left a comment on 5cclimbers.com first ever article (written by yours truly). I was surprised that people actually read the shit I wrote and even left a comment. So in a way, Lydia’s comment was an impetus to what 5c Climbers is today. From that first article written back on 29th of Jan 2018, we now have close to 100 articles with 7 contributors (FOC) writing for 5c.
So I guess it’s only fitting that I do a Q&A article with Lydia to get to know more about her without having to know her in person.
5c – What got you into climbing?
Lydia – I started climbing back in 2014. I was looking for a workout that is both fun and intense, and I found it in climbing. Since then, I couldn’t get enough of it. As I am a full-time digital nomad and travel blogger, I also share about my climbing trips, tips and destinations in my blog Lydiascapes Travel
5c – Who is the climber you most like to meet in person?
Lydia – I would love to meet Jain Kim the leading professional climber from Korea in person. Am not sure if we can even have a full conversation together, but she was one of my 1st inspiration since the beginning.
5c – Bouldering, sport, or multi-pitch climbing?
Lydia – It has got to be sport climbing. I have recently started doing more multi-pitch climbing, but it will probably not be as frequent as sport climbing!
5c – Go on a climbing trip with friends or climb with strangers you meet on the climbing trip?
Lydia – I would always prefer to climb with friends if I can get them to come along for the trips. However, during our time checking out different outdoor crags, we’ll occasionally meet other incredible climbers who we end up climbing together. Hence, if you are a bold and outgoing person, its always possible to meet random people at the crags to climb with.
5c – Men with soft toy chalk bag yea or nay?
Lydia – Haha, it’s, unfortunately, a nay. But just to be fair, it applies to both men and women, not just men. I have occasionally seen some soft toy chalk bags that I find relatively cute. But in general, I prefer the good old chalk bag designs that look rugged and outdoorsy.
5c – Any climbing scars? Where and how did you get it or them?
Lydia – Yes! My biggest scar was from a rope burn I got from falling at an indoor gym while lead climbing. I was just clipping in at the 3rd clip and my foot unfortunately slipped. Given my belayer wasn’t expecting it, I got a bad rope burn under my armpit from falling onto the rope. I was really upset with my friend for a long time, but it was an accident and we’ll just need to be more careful in the future.
5c – Where is the best crag in southeast Asia?
Lydia – It has to be Thakhek in Laos. Although, I really love the views at Krabi Railey and Cat Ba Vietnam. But Thakhek has really incredible long and fun routes that I just cannot get enough of.
5c – Do you have a climbing grade that you want to achieve? If yes what grade is it?
Lydia – I have actually got to the point where I am no longer trying to push climbing grades. I use to in my mid-twenties, but growing older and base on my current lifestyle makes it hard to train and climb regularly, so I just try my best to climb 1 to 2 times a week when I am at a destination that has climbing.
5c – What is the optimum number of climbing companions on a climbing trip? Why?
Lydia – This is a tough one. I would say it doesn’t matter so much, but even numbers are usually ideal if you don’t have enough time to climb and you would like to maximize having everyone either climbing or belaying at the same time.
5c – What is the best 1 liner to use when you want to climb with people you don’t know?
Lydia – I would ask, have you tried this XX route that I am eyeing to kickstart a conversation. Normally climbers are really friendly and would gladly pick up the conversation and share their knowledge or expertise.
5c – What gift will you give someone who is thinking of getting into climbing?
Lydia – A chalk bag? Haha. It’s always a great gift to get beginner climbers to get them to climb more regularly.
5c – Buying climbing gear. Online or retail shop?
Lydia – When it comes to climbing gear, I always prefer to try stuff in person and see the fit. However, things like draws, rope, and slings, if they are from a legitimate brand that I already trust and seen before, I usually am okay to buy it online.
5c – If you can go to any crag right now where would it be and why?
Lydia – I don’t have any specific crag I am dying to try at the moment, though if it’s within Southeast Asia I would love to be able to climb in Korea and Japan.
5c – Apart from the necessary climbing gear what else is a must have which you will bring to any climbing trip?
Lydia – Always good to have waterproof stuff ready, especially in countries where showers are frequent. I also make sure I have food supplies, a headlamp, insect repellent, and a trash bag to contain all my trash.
5c – Share with us how to take a great selfie when on the wall.
Lydia – Selfies isn’t really that difficult, just need a very stable hand and great control. After climbing to the top and you are all sweaty, it is important to take care when taking out your phone, GoPro, or camera. Always hold it slightly higher than eye level and capture the side view of your route with your slings and anchor too. The picture looks better when you don’t just show the view but show the route where you are anchored to.
Help grow our Asia climbing community
The sport of rock climbing is growing in Southeast Asia but it is still a long way from the success of Japan or Korea. Your support and participation will help to grow our sport and our community.