Case “ChaseDreams” Walker Is Obsessed With Secret Rock Climbing Locations
The Other Two star opens up about his love for bouldering and more.
Case Walker is in his Pete Davidson era. Or, more accurately, his character is.
On the cult favorite comedy series The Other Two, Walker plays Chase “ChaseDreams” Dubeck, a rising tween pop star. And in Season 3 (streaming now on Max), Chase turns 18 and transforms from the tween heartthrob who sang “Marry U at Recess” to a full-grown 18-year-old debuting his “dirty rat boy” look and getting engaged to Kiernan Shipka. In other words: Pete Davidson era.
“I've really enjoyed playing Chase, especially this season, as he’s getting a little older,” Walker, who is actually 20, tells Inverse.
But while ChaseDreams might be struggling to balance the pressures of pop stardom with his own desire for a normal life (it doesn’t help that his mom Pat, played by Molly Shannon, is outshining him as an Oprah-esque TV mogul), Walker has his own way to escape: rock climbing.
A quick look at Case Walker’s Instagram reveals a mix of The Other Two screenshots and rock climbing photos. So, for our latest Geeking Out interview, Inverse caught up with Walker to talk about his obsession with the sport, the climbing gear he can’t live without, and the difference between rock climbing and bouldering.
Geeking Out is an Inverse series in which celebrities tell us about their nerdy and niche interests, hobbies, or collections.
When did you start rock climbing?
I started rock climbing, oh, nine years ago, and then stopped for about five years and then got back into it in 2020.
What's your go-to place?
I train at a gym called Movement Englewood, and then most of the time I'm just outside on the rocks. That's where I love to be mostly.
How would you describe your style of rock climbing?
I do mostly bouldering. There's a place called Lincoln Lake, that's my favorite outdoor bouldering place. It's an alpine bouldering spot so it's like 11,000 feet up in the mountains. Bouldering is more intense; most people think of sport climbing with the rope, but bouldering's less moves. So, it's like track versus cross country, you could say. More intense. Ten really hard moves instead of 80 easier, flowy moves. You don't have a rope. You can just hop on and try moves isolated. It just involves a really heavy amount of focus, which I find is really enjoyable because you don't focus on anything but rock, as funny as that sounds. I mainly do bouldering and then a little bit of sport climbing, which is what people think of with the ropes and endurance.
“It's really obsessive, honestly.”
It sounds like a mental workout and a physical workout at once.
At a certain point, it totally becomes more mental than anything else and that's kind of where the beauty is. It's really emotional and mental at a certain point. In the climbing world, there's what we call projecting, which is a process. Recently I spent seven days working individual moves on a climb, separated. So I'd take a rest day and then I'd go back to this same boulder. But at some point, you're really emotionally attached to this thing and it's nerve-wracking sometimes. It's really obsessive, honestly.
What's the most ambitious climb that you've done?
I did this climb called Dark Waters, which is a V12. It's a classic boulder in the Colorado area and a classic long compression test piece, compression, and power. So, you start under a cave and you kind of come out of this cave and you're over a river, and it's quite the aesthetic line. So, that's probably my best climb I've done. I put about seven days of work into doing it.
What do you mean by V12?
Bouldering has a grading system. There's actually a French grading system and then a USA V grade system. It starts at V0 and goes all the way to about V16. It goes from V0 to V16, and basically the average climbing gym you'll go into will have V0 to maybe V10, V9, and then outside it gets where you can have these long-term projects that get really hard.
You describe starting off in a cave. I saw videos of you on your Insta doing this sort of thing and you're literally upside down. How does that work?
It's a lot of core strength. In the video, it's like, "Oh, he's just doing it." But I've worked on those moves for seven days. Some of those foot movements, just switching the feet into certain places, it's hard to comprehend, but some of those moves took me two days for my body to learn and adapt, especially on Dark Waters. It's all sequencing and beta and just getting your body used to those movement styles.
As you master a style, sometimes you can approach a climb and already have movements in your inventory ready to go, but a lot of the time climbs will take literally getting your body to memorize the movements. But obviously core strength, finger strength, power, those are all big, big factors in how successful you can get a climb done.
What gear do you use specifically?
I use shoes and a chalk bag most of the time. There's trad climbing, which is possibly the scariest form of protected climbing where you're placing gear in cracks and stuff that holds you so it's based on tension. That's a lot of gear. Trad racks are what we call them, they cost tons of money. But bouldering, you need your shoes, your chalk, and a bouldering pad if you want it. That's what I go with.
“There’s a boulder I have a project on right now that you could only get the pin from certain people who have the location.”
Those are the things you put down in case you fall?
Exactly. Carrying a bouldering pad out is hard to comprehend, but think of a backpack. It's basically a pad that's folded together and then you just unfold it. It's just two sides. They fold together and they connect, and then you just have a backpack strap on one side. They don't weigh too much either.
How do you find places to climb?
There's an app and a website called Mountain Project, which has a lot of popular crags, we call them, climbing spots, and they have climbs on there and descriptions. Then at a certain point, it's really about who you know and your connections and that is where it really becomes fun.
There's a boulder I have a project on right now that you could only get the pin from certain people who have the location, the longitude and latitude of the boulder. If you have the pin and the parking location, then you can go to it but if you don't and you don't know anyone who does, you can't get there. That's truly how it works sometimes, but for popular crags there's always information online.
What has your experience been in the climbing community?
It's an incredible community to plug into. Everyone encourages each other. At the end of the day, everyone's really on each other's team, and that's a really cool aspect. It's just a big community. Climbing's really interesting where you can just immediately click with someone else who climbs because it's kind of niche and so if you notice a climber in public, oftentimes we'll notice a climbing sticker or a certain bracelet or whatever, and you're like, "Oh dude, that dude's a climber."
“Oh dude, that dude's a climber.”
Have you seen Free Solo?
I have. Free Solo's amazing. The climbing community has mixed feelings about it because it paints climbing as such an absurd feat. I mean, don't get me wrong, that is climbing, but it's such an extreme form.
An analogy I use is that seeing that as good climbing is like seeing David Blaine holding his breath for seven minutes as good swimming, if that makes sense. David Blaine holding his breath for seven minutes is impressive, but it's just a totally different aspect of rock climbing, which is interesting to think about.
What advice do you have for people who are trying to get into climbing?
I would say go to a local gym, and once you have the basics down, my advice would be just to get outside if there are boulders nearby, if there's a climbing spot. I really fell in love with climbing when I started going outside. If you just climb in the gym, you just don't get the full value of the sport, and it becomes very much about getting the next grade, or when you climb outside, it's a lot more immersive. You challenge yourself more and you'll get stronger from climbing outside as well. So, that would be my advice. Go outside as soon as you can.
The Other Two is now streaming on Max.