Climb and Run for Wilderness 2010 an outstanding success!

An estimated 1,500 climbers brought forth their wild side today in support of Alberta's wildlife and wilderness at the 19th annual Earth Day celebration held at the Calgary Tower. Participants came from as far as Tampa, Florida and Vancouver, B.C.

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) played host to the 19th Annual Climb & Run for Wilderness. "Truly the Best Earth Day Event in the West, and a celebration of Alberta's wildlife and wild spaces, this event attracted the largest crowds ever, and the widest range of people, corporations and supporters. The day was filled with the knowledge that we can truly make a difference," says AWA Executive Director Christyann Olson.

The Climb and Run for Wilderness saw participants climbing the 802 stairs to the top of the tower, raising $100,000 and counting. The funds are used to support AWA's work in creating an awareness of and defending wildlife, especially the Grizzly bear that is an icon for the health of Alberta's wilderness, other wildlife and wild water.

Run for Wilderness

With the sound of an air horn the day kick-started with the Run for Wilderness, racers ran 1 km at street level and then sprinted up the 160 m (525 feet) to the top of the Calgary Tower. This year Cuauhti Olguin age 15 years, led the 118 racers to the top in 9 minutes 32 seconds. The oldest racer, Nessie Hollicky (78 Years) completed the course in 16 minutes 44 seconds. Syl Corbet, Canadian Snowshoe Champion, added to the luminaries in the race and completed the course in 9 minute 52 seconds.

Team Challenge

Alderman Druh Farrell cut the ribbon on the start gate at 0815 for the team challenge, with a record breaking 19 corporate teams competing for who could climb the stairs the greatest number of times. Shell Canada, the event's platinum sponsor had 5 teams in the running. The prize for most climbs went to Team Quic, which collectively climbed the tower 91 times.

Climb for Wilderness

This year's oldest male climber was Richard Guy (93 years) who managed to climb the stairs once. Joining him as oldest female climber was his wife Louise who walked up an amazing 2 times at 91 years-old. David Swann,MLA, opened the gate for the public climb with words encouraging everyone to keep up the fight for wilderness and protected areas.

Youthful contenders in two age categories saw Gareth Hadfield climbing an amazing 23 times as the top climber in the 15 - 18 age category, in the 14 and younger category Andrew Gillis topped the stairs with 16 climbs.

Entertainment throughout the day featured local performers and included everything from martial arts demonstrations to belly dancers to clowns, mascots and face-painters.

The outstanding display at the Wild Alberta Expo placed highest in a tight race between the 20 groups displaying the work and efforts they make for wildlife and wilderness and a green earth. Weaselhead Preservation Society won the coveted Barbara Sherrington Memorial prize for the best overall exhibit.

Special guest, 94-year-old Phyllis Hart, along with Sylvie Tran of Shell Canada, the event's Platinum Sponsor, made presentations and awards to the winners of the events.

AWA would like to thank all our sponsors, the 160 volunteers, and the hundreds of Calgarians who made this event such a success.

For more information on the Climb visit

Contact: Christyann Olson 403 283-2025

More information on Alberta Wilderness Association can be found on the web at