Our Team

Karen McGilvray

Owner

Karen loved climbing from the moment she started in 1988. At that time there were no climbing gyms and no sport climbing – traditional climbing was what climbing was! Karen’s favorite type of climbing is still multi-pitch traditional routes especially in Yosemite, Red Rocks and Bon Echo. She also loves indoor climbing and has climbed in 200 gyms around the world.

After finishing a BMath and an MBA, Karen found the perfect career that combined her education and her love of climbing. She sold her first gym, Toronto Climbing Academy, after the first year. She now owns and is active in operating The Rock Oasis, Ajax Rock Oasis and Oasis Rigging.

Karen is certified by the Ontario Rock Climbing Association (ORCA Level 2) and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 3). She enjoyed teaching climbing to beginners and advanced climbers for many years. Now she focuses on managing the businesses which have a total of almost 50 employees. She still climbs regularly and also enjoys scuba diving, cycling and yoga.

Cort McElroy

General Manager of The Rock Oasis and Director of Oasis Rigging

Cort started climbing as a teenager in 1989. He has enjoyed all types of climbing including traditional climbing, sport climbing, aid climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering.

He has been working in the climbing industry since 1992. He started as a part time route-setter and instructor to finance his climbing trips. He was a worldwide climbing guide for 15 years and been part of numerous Himalayan expeditions. He has pioneered new routes in Canada, Mexico and Nepal.

Currently, Cort divides his time between his position as General Manager at The Rock Oasis and managing Oasis Rigging. Cort operates the Canadian sales and service center for Perfect Descent Autobelays, builds and maintains climbing walls around Ontario and provides rigging and high angle services for charity events and the film industry.

Cort’s certifications include Ontario Rock Climbing Assocation (ORCA Level 2), Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 3).

Cort’s teenaged twin boys keep him busy but he is hoping to get back to climbing more regularly and work his way back to climbing 5.13 again.

Andrew "Dru" Merringer

Operations Manager

Dru was introduced to climbing at a summer camp as a child. He has been climbing regularly since 1998. Dru is most passionate about outdoor route climbing but loves all climbing. He has pioneered new outdoor routes at local climbing areas and has visited dozens of climbing areas around the world.

After obtaining a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising, Dru worked for the government for 15 years. In 2014 he changed careers to an industry he enjoys! He loves working at The Rock Oasis with others who share his passion for climbing. Dru’s responsibilities at the gym include staffing, equipment inspection and maintenance, social media, teaching advanced courses and route-setting. Dru divides his time between his position as Operations Manager at The Rock Oasis and Oasis Rigging.

Dru's certifications include The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 1), CWA Work at Height Certification for Qualified Persons and the Personal Protective Equipment Training Certification he obtained at the 2016 CWA Certification Summit at the Petzl Technical Institute. His climbing goals are climb 5.13 consistently and to dedicate time to his young family.

Tracey Graham

Programming Coordinator and Marketing Manager

Tracey got into climbing when her daughter discovered climbing in 2005. Tracey became a ‘climbing mom’ but soon found that she loved climbing too. She was active in the competitive climbing scene and a founding member of the Ontario Climbing Federation. As a result of being the main supporter of her daughter’s competitive climbing, she has extensive experience with youth rock climbing programing and the development of young climbers.

Tracey has a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) and a diploma from the Academy of Design. She spent 10 years home with her children and slowly started getting more and more involved in the climbing industry. She taught introductory lessons part time and then in 2014 she started working full time putting to good use her design skills and her climbing experience.

Tracey is certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 1). She enjoys working in the gym’s dynamic environment and being actively involved in a sport that she loves. Tracey’s goals are to do more traveling and more outdoor climbing.

Jamie Fike

Night Manager

Jamie started climbing at Joshua Tree, California in 1997 and he has climbed extensively around North America. When he moved to Toronto in 1999 he started climbing at The Rock Oasis and started working at the gym shortly after. He is certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 2).

Jamie runs the gym weeknights so he knows most of the regulars. He also instructs the Advanced Climbing Technique courses. Until recently, Jamie spent three months every summer on climbing road trips experiencing the dirtbag climbing lifestyle, and as one of our routesetters, he likes to recreate those experiences on the wall for you to enjoy.

Geoff Kolomayz

Weekend Manager

Geoff started climbing at The Rock Oasis in 1998 and started working here in 2009. He loves outdoor climbing and his favorite destinations are the Red River Gorge in Kentucky and Smith Rock in Oregon. He is certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 1).

Geoff has a degree in Drama and Theatre (Honours) from the University of Waterloo and has acted in theatre, film and commercials. He continues to follow his passion, acting in numerous productions every year.

Geoff’s training and passion for outstanding customer service makes him perfect for managing the gym on busy weekends.

Evan Walsh

Assistant Manager, Youth Coach and Routesetter

Evan started climbing at Wallnuts, the gym in his hometown of St John’s, Newfoundland, in 2009. He completed an outdoor climbing safety course and has climbed at many indoor gyms and outdoor cliffs in Canada.

Evan has a degree in Political Science and Philosophy. He has been involved in local education development projects in Ghana and Abu Dhabi. Evan is currently pursuing a career as an actor.

Evan is certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 1). Evan teaches adults, coaches our youth teams, trains new staff and manages the desk.

Hans Schiemann

Assistant Manager, Youth Coach and Routesetter

Hans’ first climbing experience was an introductory lesson at The Rock Oasis just a few years ago. He has progressed quickly in his short climbing career on both routes and boulders. He says his favorite type of climbing is the ‘fun’ kind!

Hans is working on a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He looks forward to finishing his degree and travelling to climbing destinations around the world.

Hans entered the 2016 Master Setter Championship, a routesetting competition, in which he walked away with top honours. He won People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice among a strong field of setters. He also attended a youth coaching conference in Banff. Hans’ humour, infectious enthusiasm, and love for climbing motivates the people around him and feeds the positive environment here at The Rock Oasis.

Kirby Schiemann

Assistant Manager, Youth Coach and Routesetter

Kirby started climbing when his brother Hans convinced him to come to The Rock Oasis to try it out. Now he enjoys all types of climbing and wants to learn all he can about climbing and climb more outdoors.

Kirby is certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 1). In addition to instructing new climbers and coaching youth classes, Kirby trains new staff and sets routes. Kirby’s interest in climbing, kindness, humour and professionalism has made him an important member of The Rock Oasis staff.

Alexander Bradford

Belayer

Alex started climbing in the 2014 Climb for Cancer at The Rock Oasis. He started working at The Rock Oasis in 2016.

Alex is currently in High School.

Ashlynn Bui

Instructor and Youth Coach

Ashlynn’s uncle introduced her to climbing in 2013 in Las Vegas. They continued to climb together in the gym when they returned to Toronto. Since that time, she has become an avid climber and boulderer.

Ashlynn is currently completing high school and plans to study social science at University.

Charle Prosser

Instructor and Youth Coach

Charle has been an avid climber since her parents introduced her to rock climbing in 2010. She joined a youth climbing team and in 2012 represented Canada at the World Youth Climbing Championships. She still competes at a national level in both bouldering and difficulty disciplines.

Charle’s long term climbing goals include competing at the national level in the adult competitive circuit and climbing all over the world. Her kindness, care and extensive experience in youth competitive climbing make her an amazing youth coach.

Chris Kasibowski

Belayer

Chris started climbing in 2000 at The Rock Oasis’ Bathurst location. He started working at the gym in 2011. He climbs indoors and outdoors and loves sharing climbing with others.

Daisy Vidovich

Belayer

Daisy started climbing at a friend’s birthday party at The Rock Oasis in 2012. She joined our youth program shortly after that and started working at The Rock Oasis in 2016.

Daisy is attending High School.

GÉRALDINE BERNARD

Route setter

Géraldine started climbing in 1992 when she arrived in Canada from France. At that time she did only traditional climbing outdoors. She started climbing indoors in 1997 and became a route setter in 2010. She started setting at The Rock Oasis in 2016.

Grace Kim

Instructor

Grace started climbing in 2003 and started working at The Rock Oasis in 2005. What started as something to check off her “Bucket List” has turned into a life-long addiction filled with incredible people and amazing destinations. She loves to climb in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky and in Rumney, New Hampshire.

She works full time supporting enterprise applications within Operations and IT and always looks forward to her weekend shifts at the gym.

Jenn Wingfield

Instructor and Youth Coach

Jenn started climbing with her father when she was 6 years old and has climbed ever since. Her climbing was occasional during her childhood but increased steadily as she got older. She started working at The Rock Oasis in 2016.

Jenn is studying design at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Lucas Williams

Belayer

Lucas started climbing with his family as a young child. At age 3, he was the youngest person to climb the Birthday Ridge route at Bon Echo. He started working at The Rock Oasis in 2015.

Lucas is currently in High School.

Nancy Soo

Instructor

Nancy started climbing in 1998 at The Rock Oasis’ Bathurst location. She started working at the gym in 2007.

Nancy is an elementary school teacher specializing in Math and Science.

Olivia Durot

Instructor and Youth Coach

Olivia started climbing on our youth team in 2013 after being introduced to climbing by a relative in France. She started working at The Rock Oasis the following year. Prior to climbing she was a recreational figure skater for 10 years.

Olivia is currently completing high school at Collège Français and plans to continue her studies at University.

Pia Graham

Youth Coach

Pia started climbing at The Rock Oasis when she was 8 years old. Shortly after, she started to compete in climbing and bouldering competitions. She has represented Canada at the World Youth Climbing Championships of 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015. She is currently a member of the Canadian National Bouldering Team and competed at the World Cup in Vail, Colorado in 2016.

Pia is studying advertising at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Robin Sheikh

Instructor

Robin started climbing at The Rock Oasis in 2004 and then started working in 2005. His passion for climbing began and grew here which led to outdoor climbing and a great respect for the outdoors. He loves doing his weekend night shifts at the gym.

Ross Bushnell

Instructor, Youth Coach, Routesetter

Ross started climbing in 2011 when he noticed a climbing gym under construction in his Montreal neighbourhood. He climbed and worked at Shakti Rock Gym for 5 years while studying at Concordia University.

Ross has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Ecology and a minor in Environmental Science. He is currently volunteering with Ontario Nature on the Amphibian and Reptile Citizen Census Project.

Sabrine Saleh

Instructor

Sabrine started climbing with her family as a young child. She started working at The Rock Oasis in 2012.

Sabrine is currently studying Psychology at the University of Guelph.

Tasha Cadence

Instructor and Youth Coach

Tasha started climbing with her father when she was a young child. They have continued to climb together since 2001. Tasha gained lots of experience with children through lifeguarding, Au Pairing and coaching sports.

Tasha is working towards a degree in Graphic Design at George Brown College.

Willow Rigsby

Instructor, Youth Coach, Routesetter

Willow started climbing in Calgary when she was 12 years old. After high school she worked at The Calgary Climbing Center for 6 years. She started working at The Rock Oasis when she moved to Toronto in 2016.

Willow is certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG CGI 1) and is a trained Emergency Medical Responder.

More profiles coming soon...