This is an interview conducted by the Bouldering Babes from New York, US, with the Phnom Climb Co-Owner Mary.
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Every so often, we’ll interview extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this isGirl Crush. This week, we’re thrilled to feature Cambodia-based climbing entrepreneur Mary Lüthy, whose passion project is Phnom Climb, Phnom Penh’s first rock climbing gym.
Mary is super stoked about rock climbing because it builds community, a safe and supportive environment, trust, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance amongst locals and expats climbers.
BB: How did your love affair with climbing begin? Was it love at first sight?.
ML: In my first year of teaching in NYC, my friend invited me to travel with her to Chiang Mai, Thailand over my summer break. She had some work meeting, so I looked for things to do and found that I could get out of town and go rock climbing with a guide. Besides the fact that my guide was super hot, I fell in love with climbing right away. It felt so natural getting to the top and I loved the views! Whenever I get to the top of a climb, I always take a few seconds to take in the view. One of my favorite places to climb is The Gunks during autumn.
BB: How has rock climbing changed and shaped your life?
ML: I’ve always been quite skinny and felt awkward for my small wrists and long arms. It wasn’t until I climbed that I felt strong and appreciated my body. I love the excitement of finishing a hard climb after working at it and I feel so accomplished! It’s made me more of a risk taker and to take life more lightly.