Video: Refuge — How Climbing Brought Purpose and Identity to an Immigrant

Climbing can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some, it brings a sense of freedom and exhilaration, for others it is cerebral and physical challenge to overcome a difficult route. For Thai immigrant Piseth Sam, climbing has brought a sense of identity and purpose to her life, serving as an activity that allows her to set aside all of the other cares that come along with daily life and just be herself. In this video, we meet Piseth and learn about what it was like to come to the U.S. at an early age, discover that she was seen as somehow “different” from those around her, and then take up climbing, which was a revelation in her life. Lucky for her, she lives close to one of the climbing meccas of the Eastern U.S., a place where there are more climbing routes than residents. As you’ll see here, she makes the most of that opportunity.

Kraig Becker