Tosh began climbing at the age of 4 the small ski town of Nelson BC, at the (sadly closed) Gravity Climbing Centre. By age 11 he was on the highschool team, and by 13 he began to compete nationally and internationally. At 21, Tosh has found himself on the top spot of the podium in his youth career, in finals for both lead and bouldering Canadian Nationals, and at the selection camp for the Canadian National Team. He’s managed to drag himself up several 5.13d’s around the continent, and a couple V11+ boulders in the Pacific North West, and has recently begun his quest to siege Dreamcatcher (5.14d) in Squamish. He lives and climbs out of Victoria, BC, where he pursues his climbing goals, and a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria.
What do you show up to the gym in?
I feel like I have an eclectic mix of fashion. Some days the baggy pants and ripped up tee shirts do the trick, and other days I’m a little more thoughtful. Layers of sweaters, some blundstones and rolled up pants… all MEC of course… — Victoria style. I roll up to the gym with sushi on a consistent basis.
What are you known for?
Screaming in competitions. I’ve been featured on “Guess that power scream!”.
What’s your go-to post send action?
Haha! Well, basically every boulder I find myself on top of is the “best boulder I’ve ever done”. So maybe; “positive existentialism” would be my go-to move. And candy and chips and sushi… obviously.
What’s your proudest climbing moment?
Hard to choose! I’d say it was the open project at the crag that is literally 5km’s from my childhood home; Kootenay crag. Kootenay Crag mostly consists of short, burly 5.11 to 5.12+.
The crag itself has been a huge part of my progression and self evaluation as a climber. For many years during my youth career, after the season ended, I would come home and climb on rock for the summer. When I was 13 my first project was a climb called "Elegantly Wasted", a stout 5.11d with a fingery crux on a beautiful part of the wall. It took me a month of effort. When I was 15 and 16 I put two years of effort into "Nelson Ale" 5.12d, the local test piece and a savage boulder problem involving big throws and sloping crimps. Each project signified a progression in my ability, each project kept me psyched, and each project taught me what it meant to fight.
The open line on the most improbable and imposing face of the crag remained with two bolts in the center of it for 15 or more years. Two or so years ago Marcus Norman (a local developer, but Bow Valley resident) put up the rest of the bolts and recleaned the line; climbing the upper section then declaring it an open project. Last summer Marcus and I put a day or two on it, but neither of us were able to fully link the lower crux section.
The lower crux revolves around these broken flake crimps, a shallow dihedral for your foot/knee, and a ridiculous reach to a micro edge, and then an unbelievable comp style press out of this volume-like undercling. Honestly I feel like I need to go back and get a video. It's crazy 😂.
The go after my working burn this season I got lucky in the crux. The sun had gone down and the kneebar stuck better. I screamed my way through the V9/10 powerslab crux and got to the semi-rest. A climber on the climb next to me (JT Croston, local developer) whipped out his phone and took a couple shots as I went for the send. At the top I felt an overwhelming sense of something. Pride? Psych? Whatever. The line I looked at as a kid and said, "that's impossible" was the line I just climbed.
What’s a fun/weird fact about you?
I give a g**d*** s*** about racism, sexism, ableism, and etc (the list can and will go on) in climbing and will work my ass off to increase inclusivity in our sport.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Fujiya Sushi! (Please sponsor me)
If you did any other sport what would it be?
I actually do a lot of other sports; mountain biking, skiing, hiking, surfing, etc. But if there was one sport I would do full time if I didn’t climb, it would be surfing. I love the beach bum ethic, I love being in the water and feeling the power of it, I love the amount of work required for one effortless moment.
What’s an ironic part of your climbing?
I love pushing myself, and often that means looking at my performance. Sometimes it can be so easy to put pressure on yourself to do something because you know you want “to be better”. But nearly every time I send something I’m proud of, it’s when I’m thinking about how lucky I am to be out in some beautiful boulders, with beautiful friends, and I’m doing the sport that I love the most.
FB: Tosh Sherkat Climbing
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVM12ti-aMY to watch some of the boulder’s Tosh put up in the West Kootenay region in Summer 2020.