He's a bad-a$$ rock climber, an awesome slack-liner, and now a new dad — he's Chris Curry, the GM of Summit Dallas. He and his wife Raili both work with us here at Summit, and they just welcomed their baby girl Koa in January, so it's safe to say that Chris is a pretty busy guy. But he took the time to sit down with me, so the rest of you can better know the ultra-nice, curly-headed guy throwing you beta at Summit Dallas.
How long have you been a manager with Summit?
Since Summit took over at Dallas Rocks (the former name of Summit Dallas). I was with Dallas Rocks before Summit took over, for maybe 2 months. I was not a general manager before. I was, like, the newest staff. I was on the low end of the pole, but the gym fell in my lap.
How long have you been climbing?
I was really bored at work while I was working as a warehouse manager, and I was watching Youtube videos, and then going through the related videos. I saw a video of a rock climber and I was like, "Oh, that looks interesting," and then next thing you know, I’m two hours deep in the climbing videos and looking up the local climbing gym because it was time for me to leave. I went that day to Exposure (now Summit Carrollton!) and I got the bug and just didn’t stop. It was a visual awareness thing. I had watched Cliffhanger when I was a kid, but there was nothing, until then, that had brought rock climbing to my attention as something to do for fun.
Favorite climbing area?
I don't really have a favorite area ... but I love sandstone! If I could chose one type of rock to climb on for the rest of my life it would be sandstone for sure.
Probably Theater of the Absurd at Hueco Tanks.
Craziest Summit memory?
The day my brother stepped through a skylight. I was on my way here (to Summit Dallas), and he called me like, freaking out and fearing for his life. He was up there, though, on the roof and just sitting against the A/C unit. He was in vertigo, just recovering from shock, for sure. It’s really bright up there on the roof and he was changing the air filters on the A/C, and the unit had been frozen over. The roof is white, so you’re basically snow blind up there. And he was trying to yank out this filter, and it finally budged on him, and he lost his footing and stepped into the skylight. He couldn’t see it. He literally would have gone all the way through and flipped upside down, if his foot hadn't caught on a bar first.
Little known facts about Chris:
I used to be an aggressive inline skater. I used to travel a bit for that, too, in my teenage days. I was on flow teams, and had minor sponsorships. I'd do some street skating; we’d go downtown and just be a bunch of punks, just like f*&%ing sh*# up. Like skating handrails and ledges and gaps. I’m scared of it now. I would not do what I used to do. It took a couple times, just bouncing off the concrete to learn that. I stopped due to consistent injuries, because it’s very taxing on your body. So I quit that and that’s where rock climbing came in! I found such good interest in climbing because it's just a very intense sport, or it can be — you can make it that way if you choose to — so it filled in that gap where adventure came in for me. I was always into backpacking before I started rock climbing, so that was a good way for me to mix the vertical word with the trail world. So now it’s just a more full value experience when I get to go outside.
Nature is my place to be, that’s where I am centered, and I am zen. So just getting outside, if I can find any moment, where I get any time to myself, you’re probably gonna find me under a tree or in a hammock, or slack-lining, or rock climbing or doing something outside, even if it's mowing the lawn.
Another fun fact: just before he started his time here with us at Summit, Chris and Raili hit the roads for about a six-month period, climbing at Hueco Tanks and parts of Arizona and living out of Chris' Nissan Sentra, before they bought a converted '67 Dodge Caravan off of a German couple, and were finally dirt-baggin' it in style. They weathered dust storms and ice storms — but it took Raili breaking her foot bouldering to get them to return to Dallas, where they both soon after began working for us here at Summit!
So know you know! Next time you see Chris at the gym, make sure you congratulate him on his super cute new baby, and totally hit him up for any inline skating-related questions you may have. Come on. I know you have tons.