A few years ago Tosh Sherkat broke his finger while indoor rock climbing, and had to sit out part of the season. Rather than remain idle, he decided to spend his time coaching his younger sister Tula. And now, as he puts it, she’s developed into a climbing “crusher.”
“She climbs hard and wins a lot of competition,” said the 16-year-old Nelsonite, currently living and training in Victoria. And he’s an expert on the subject, since he’s tied for third in provincial rankings and recently finished 14th at nationals.
Tosh’s ultimate aspiration is to make the national team, and he’s training for a competition in May where he’ll have to place in the top four to make it. And along the way, he’ll have Tula at his side.
“We motivate each other, we like climbing together, and we have a really good bond,” Tosh said.
Tula, 10, has now been bouldering for six years and has traveled extensively around BC and Alberta to compete.
Though she pursues other athletic endeavours, climbing is her favourite and she’s often scrambling along the indoor rock face at the Cube Climbing Centre. Currently she’s being coached by Miranda Lavelee, who also worked with Tosh.
Tula said she aspires to climb like Tosh, who is capable of doing a Dyno — a jump where you let go of a hold with both hands and jump for a new one.
“He’s pretty strong and usually I look up to him,” she said.
Recently Tula traveled to Vancouver for a competition, where she made it to finals and came fourth in the 11-and-under category. But perhaps her greatest accomplishment thus far is being named first overall in provincial rankings.
Currently Tosh is training six times a week using weights and cardio. He’s part of a climbing academy at his school. He said the key to being a good climber is staying calm.
“It takes a lot of mental training, especially when you’re doing lead. Another thing is not to focus too much on focusing,” he said.
Tula recommended that anyone interested in bouldering or climbing should start at the first level, V-0. She said people should start by learning rope climbing, then work their way up to bouldering.
“When you get up there it’s so much fun,” she said.
For more information on the Cube Climbing Centre, visit cubeclimbing.com.