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Tosh Sherkat Opens New 5.13d Near B.C.’s Nelson

Kootenay Crag has routes from 5.10 to 5.13+ and is a popular crag for locals

B.C. climber Tosh Sherkat recently sent a project at Kootenay Crag near Nelson that he’s called Vanilla Sky 5.13d. “The go after my working burn this season I got lucky in the crux,” he said on Instagram.

“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 whipped out his phone and took a couple shots as I went for the send…”

Sherkat started climbing at a young age thanks to his parents. “Since then, there hasn’t been really much doubt that climbing is what I love, a part of me, and something that I want to grow with, develop and excel at,” he said in an interview with the gym Climb Base 5 here. Watch Sherkat on The Big Break V10 first ascent below.

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"Vanilla Sky" (5.13d FA). . While I to figure out how to share some bouldering vids (HOW COULD IT BE THIS HARD) I thought I'd share a story from a recent send. The open project at Kootenay Crag, a local Nelson crag that is 5km up the lake from my house, and 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 unbelieveable comp style press out of this volumous undercling. Honestly I feel like I need to go back and get a video for you guys. 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 whipped out his phone and took a couple shots as I went for the send (thanks JT!). 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.

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The Big Break V10