Tosh Sherkat bouldering in Pass Creek. Photo: Liam Barnes

Tosh Sherkat bouldering in Pass Creek. Photo: Liam Barnes

Nelson climbers raise racism awareness with video

Tula and Tosh Sherkat and Rossland director Liam Barnes collaborated on the video

Submitted

Bouldering, a popular style of rock climbing, is trending in the West Kootenay like never before thanks to the release of the area’s first bouldering guidebook. Among those in the centre of the action are Rossland-born filmmaker Liam Barnes and Nelson rock climbers Tosh and Tula Sherkat, who are capturing the area’s biggest and hardest climbs on film.

Their new 10-minute video documents several historic first ascents, but they aren’t sharing it with just anybody. First, Barnes and Sherkat are directing attention to more urgent social issues related to climbing and current events.

In recent months, the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor by American police have brought ongoing protests such as those held by Black Lives Matter against racism and police brutality to the forefront of mainstream media.

Inclusive representation of Black, Indigenous and peoples of colour in the outdoors has also received a much-needed spotlight. Rock climbing, a sport dominated by white people, is seeing more engagement on this subject through established organizations such as Brown Girls Climb, Color the Crag, and Indigenous Womxn Climb.

“We are creating content about local climbing, but we don’t want to take the spotlight off of more important causes,” says Tosh Sherkat. “Viewers will receive our video after they take action on behalf of whatever anti-discrimination movement they choose.”

The process is simple and honour-based.

1. Select a cause against violence and discrimination. 2. Make a contribution (donation, petition, volunteer, etc.) 3. Email or text the name of the cause you have supported to boulderingaction@gmail.com (preferred) or 250-921-5513 and you will automatically receive a link to the video, which is hidden on YouTube, no questions asked.

One-time gestures are a step in the right direction, but, as Lanisha Lee Blount points out in her anti-racism resources article for Climbing Magazine, “Concern is that people believe a one-time donation will suffice. If this is where allyship begins and ends, diversity will only exist on our social media feeds.”

“Through this project, we hope to learn more about what people out there are supporting,” Barnes adds, “so that we can better understand our next steps as allies and climbers.”

racismrock climbing

Just Posted

File photo
Paramedic training returning to Castlegar

Emergency Medical Responder and Primary Care Paramedic training to take place in Castlegar

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

Portions of the Skattebo Reach Trail are being improved. Photo: Betsy Kline
Skattebo Reach Trail near Castlegar to become cycle friendly

Trail improvements geared towards cyclists being done in 2021

COVID-19 cases are once again dropping across the West Kootenay. Illustration: BC Centre for Disease Control
Ten new cases of COVID-19 in Nelson area

Numbers are steadily dropping across the West Kootenay

Katherine Shearer will be taking over as the SD20 superintendent. Photo: Submitted
SD20 superintendent Bill Ford to retire

Ford will be replaced by Katherine Shearer

From the left: Laura Greaves, Kyle Whyte and Steve Bigelow rescued a poisoned eagle Sunday, May 9. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
West Kootenay residents, Conservation Service Officer save poisoned eagle

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

The Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. The dam created the Koocanusa Reservoir, which straddles the B.C./Montana border. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Outflow at Libby Dam to be increased

Volume increase to aid migration and spawning conditions for endangered white sturgeon in the Kootenai River

Most Read