Saturday, April 21, 2018
The Bow Building
500 Centre St SE, Calgary, AB

2016 Climb & Run Results

Written on April 26, 2016, by

We know you’ve been anxiously the results of yesterday’s Climb and Run for Wilderness. We’ll be putting together an official recap of the event but for now the results and photos from the event can be found at the page below.

Climb for Wilderness 2016 Results

Run for Wilderness

Written on April 18, 2016, by

The Towerrunning World Association (TWA) holds tower climbing races throughout the world. This year, one of the races is being hosted in Calgary by Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) and the Calgary Tower as part of AWA’s annual Earth Day celebration. This is the only Canadian stop on the world circuit for elite athletes competing in TWA races around the world and is part of the 25th annual Climb and Run for Wilderness.

Towerrunning TWA logo

Towerrunning TWA logo

Five elite international athletes, (U.S., Slovakia and Mexico) have been invited by TWA to challenge local racers as they run one kilometer around the base of the tower, then sprint up 802 steps to the top where they will cool down and enjoy a well-earned 360 degree view of Alberta’s magnificent landscapes and help celebrate Earth Day. The international athletes will join local competitors challenging themselves for the best time and some outstanding cash prizes. The race begins at 8:00am.
At the event, others will participate in a test of endurance to see how many times they can scale the stairs in three hours on April 23, 2016. The endurance climb runs from 9:00 am to noon.
The TWA race, supported by Gord’s Running Store is a great racing season warm-up for a great cause, our wilderness and wildlife. Registration is open and all runners are invited to challenge themselves with these elite athletes.

20150418_c4w_power_hour_kmihalcheon (23) (Medium)
The Run for Wilderness at the Calgary Tower is part of the 25th Annual Climb & Run for Wilderness, Calgary’s biggest Earth Day event, hosted by the AWA , Saturday, April 23, 2016.
What: Run for Wilderness;
Register: online now
Where: Calgary Tower
When: April 23, 2016, 0800
Who: Racers of all ages and abilities challenging invited international elite athletes
Andrea Johancsik, AWA, 403 283-2025
Gord Hobbins, Gord’s Running Store 403 270-8606
For more information:

Celebrate Wild Alberta for Earth Day

Written on April 18, 2016, by

If you haven’t registered yet, why not celebrate Earth Day on April 23, 2016 with great folks of all ages and abilities.  There will be celebrities, clowns, mascots, towerrunning athletes from around the world and local dignitaries.

You will have fun and honest, you really can do it!  3 year olds and 100 year olds will be there making the climb one step at a time!

The climb is an easy walk if you pace yourself and take time to admire all the murals on each landing.  It doesn’t have to be a race, but it certainly can be, if that is more to your liking!

AWA’s staff and board are proud to present this 25th Climb and Run for Wilderness in celebration of our work here in Alberta.

Please register today to participate, or just come on Climb day to support us and take part in all the free activities on the main mall level of the Calgary Tower.

We hope to see you on the stairs!

A Few Highlights

  • All registered climbers are being entered into a draw on Thursday April 21 at 8pm for a chance to win 1 of 3 great prizes, for brunch, beer or dinner.
  • Fun Climbers can start at any time between 9 am and noon; the doors are closed at noon when our awards ceremony begins.
  • Run for Wilderness  starts with the sound of the horn at 0800 and is a real spring season favourite. This is not your usual race; there is a 1km sprint and then a dash up the 802 stairs to the finish line. This year, to add to the fun and challenge, the Towerrunning World Association is making this the only Canadian stop on their world circuit. TWA has 5 invited international towerrunning athletes who will find themselves challenged by all of you. Winners (male and female) in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will each take home cash prizes.
  • Endurance athletes will begin a 3 hour competition at 0900 to see who can climb 802 stairs, the most times, up and down!
  • More than 25 booths and exhibitors will make the Wild Alberta Expo one of the most interesting ever. There are some great new booths, some sampling, crafts for children and a chance to meet great folks working in Alberta caring for wilderness and wildlife. There is live entertainment on the main level as well as the top of the tower throughout the event.
  • Be sure to stop by the AWA booth to create your own wildlife flag. Completed Expo Passports will lead you to our display about Monarch Butterflies and a free native Alberta milkweed seedling to grow in your garden and help our Monarch Butterflies.
  • Our faithful clowns Doc and Pyro will delight children of all ages on the observation deck as they create balloon animals for everyone. There’s free live entertainment; plenty of interesting folks (including 100 year old Richard Guy). Dignitaries, mascots and great fun for everyone are hallmarks of this annual event.
  •  The tallest gallery in the west (the stairwell within the Calgary Tower) has more than 170 murals painted by artists from all walks of life and telling a story about wilderness in Alberta. As well, winners of the Louise Guy Poetry contest are framed and mounted on one of the landings for your reading pleasure on the way up.

Register here and check out for more details. Just so you know, folks can sponsor you online and with their support you won’t pay registration fees.

Please follow and engage with us on social media for a chance to win great prizes!

Facebook        Twitter        Instagram

Come on out and meet new people and support the work AWA does all year round! We are looking forward to seeing you on April 23 for the 25th annual Climb and Run and the best Earth Day Event in the West!


Musical Lineup!

Written on April 14, 2016, by

We’re excited to announce our wonderful musical lineup for this year’s Climb.


Mural Gallery: See it April 23

Written on April 4, 2016, by

The walls inside the Calgary Tower are covered with over 170 original murals, six of which were added on April 2nd. The judges for the mural competition said the pieces this year were “imaginative, beautifully designed and beautifully painted.” The artwork was added to whats known as the tallest gallery in the west.

30160402_c4w_mural_kmihalcheonThe stairwells inside the Calgary Tower are lined with murals depicting Alberta wilderness and wildlife. To support the Alberta Wilderness Association and protect vital habitat and creatures we love, join us for our 25th annual Climb and Run for Wilderness. The Climb is an Earth Day celebration to be held on April 23, 2016 at the Calgary Tower. For the past fourteen years, people from age five to eighty-five created murals that will delight you, surprise you, and encourage you to climb all 802 stairs to the very last painting.

25th Annual Climb and Run for Wilderness: Registrations are Now Open!

Written on January 15, 2016, by

Please join us at the Calgary Tower on Saturday April 23, 2016 for solidarity, exercise, environmental protection and fun! as we look back on the Climb for Wilderness’ amazing 25 year legacy helping raise awareness and money for the defence of Alberta’s wilderness.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you there!

What a year it was!

The world was full of optimism; communism had just fallen in the Soviet Union along with apartheid in South Africa. In solidarity with 176 other countries at the Rio Summit in Brazil, Canada signed the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, intended to guide the world in future sustainable development.

Microsoft was about to release its brand-new operating system, Windows 3.1, and AT&T was selling something called a “video telephone” for only $1,500. The first McDonalds had just opened in China, neon windbreakers were everywhere, and The Bodyguard was one of the top-grossing movies in theatres around the world, along with its inescapable soundtrack featuring Whitney Houston, flying off the shelves at A&B Sound.

And back home in Alberta, a bunch of people from the Alberta Wilderness Association got the idea in their head to raise funds for the defence of Alberta’s Wilderness areas by holding a fundraiser and climbing the Calgary Tower.

Calgary Tower 1992

Calgary Tower 1992

That was 1992, and we’re still going strong with our 25th annual Climb for Wilderness this year. Who would have thought?

Ralph Klein in 1992 at the first Climb.

Ralph Klein in 1992 at the first Climb.

What an amazing journey it’s been to make it to this point.

We’d like to invite everyone to come and share in the celebration!

Registrations are now open for the following events:

25th Annual Climb for Wilderness The heart and soul of this day!

  • Fun Climb (single); for families and everyone just looking for a fun Saturday $40 per person
  • or Fun Climb (multiple); for those looking for a bit more of a challenge   $125 per person, sign up as many as you like for your team
  • or Endurance Climb; for the athletes out there looking to test their mettle  $150 per person / $600 teams of four
  • Register here

14th Annual Race for Wilderness Quickly becoming a signature part of the day, and one of the most unique climbing events in the world

Towerrunning TWA logo

Towerrunning TWA logo

14th Annual Mural Painting Competition Contribute your mural to the Tallest Gallery in the West and help decorate the inside of the Calgary Tower! The tower gallery is starting to fill up so this may be your last chance to contribute a mural!   free   Sign up here

6th Annual Louise Guy Poetry Contest In honour of Louise Guy, a truly remarkable woman who at 92 was a role model to young and old alike. The contest is open to all ages and each year we have the winning poem transcribed and displayed on the walls of the Calgary Tower stairwells.       $20 per submission Register here

25th Annual Wild Alberta Expo An integral part of the day’s events, the Expo features entertainment, musical acts, childrens’ games and events, and displays from dozens of exhibitors and environmentally-themed organizations.       free Register a display here

We’re also hoping to have some really special events to help commemorate our 25th year. If you have any mementos, videos, stories or photos from the last 25 years that you would like to share, please let us know – we would be thrilled to hear from you!

Also, be sure to keep tabs on us via social media!

Facebook       Twitter       Instagram        Youtube

Mural Competition 2016

Written on January 3, 2016, by

On April 2nd, the Calgary Tower will open its doors to the stairwell for artists to paint the walls. Add your wild art to the murals in the tower.

Register here!

2015 Climb for Wilderness Results Are In!

Written on April 18, 2015, by

Below you will find the results for the 2015 Climb for Wilderness. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the event and helped make it so successful.

2015 Climb for Wilderness Power Hour Results – Official (PDF)

2015 Climb for Wilderness Race Results – Official (PDF)

2015 Climb for Wilderness Endurance Climb Results – Official (PDF)

2015 Climb for Wilderness Prize Winners – Official (PDF)

View the 2015 Results page for photos!

24th annual event draws climbers from elite athletes to toddlers to raise funds and awareness for Wild Alberta

Written on April 18, 2015, by

April 18 2015 (Calgary, AB) – A trumpet fanfare by local musician Chris Morrison and a few words from City of Calgary Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra and Liberal Candidate for Calgary-Mountain View, Dr. David Swann, kicked off the 24th annual Climb and Run for Wilderness bright and early this morning on a crisp spring day. The more than 1,200 participants included ten elite athletes from across the world competing in the Towerrunning World Cup, babies in backpacks, Calgarians from all walks of life taking part in a fun Saturday family event, as well as dignitaries including Vice-Consul Lee Wilbur from the U.S. Consulate General and long-time climb supporter Richard Guy, who turned 98 this year.

“The 24th climb and run for Wilderness has been without a doubt the most exciting and rewarding Earth Day Celebration we have had the honour to present. Our newest element, the power hour, was an outstanding success and we continue to spread this event’s reach around the world,” says AWA Executive Director Christyann Olson. “We could not realize this success without the Calgary Tower’s amazing staff and the more than 100 volunteers that bring a vibrancy that is Calgary.”

For the past 24 years the Climb and Run for Wilderness has been celebrating Alberta’s wild water, wild lands and wildlife. This year 1,000 people ascended the 802 stairs of the tower, raising awareness and money – $100,000 and counting – for the conservation of Alberta’s wildlife, wild lands, and wild waters. Event supporters West Direct Courier and The Carbon Farmer have teamed up to plant a thousand trees in northern Alberta, one for every person who reached the top!

This year the AWA and The Calgary Tower were proud to celebrate the addition of an exciting new component to the event – the power hour! This elite event challenged competitors to see how many circuits of the tower (up the stairs and back down) they could complete in one hour. The Climb and Run for Wilderness power hour is the only event in Canada to be recognized as a Premium Event qualifying for the Towerrunning World Cup, the worldwide acknowledged ranking for stair racers. The power hour attracted participants from across Canada, the United States and even Germany. Winners Görge Heimann (the #8 ranked tower runner worldwide) and Veronica Stocker each took home a first prize of $US 500.

This elite component added an appealing new dimension to an event that is already long-established in Calgary, with the first Climb for Wilderness having been held on Earth Day in 1992. Since then the day has grown from a simple ascent of the tower to incorporate 5 athletic events including a 1km road race, a family-friendly “fun climb”, a four-hour endurance climb, a team challenge, and now the power hour. Teams in the team challenge ranged from corporate teams including teams from Suncor, Tetra Tech EBA, and four teams from Cenovus Energy, to family fun-climb teams such as “The Winded Whiners” and “The Young and the Breathless.”

There was also an eco-fair – the Wild Alberta Expo – plenty of music, games and entertainment, and cultural aspects such as a poetry competition and a mural painting competition that have turned the stairway of the Calgary Tower into the “tallest art gallery in the west” with nature themed murals all the way up the tower’s 802 stairs.

There were also more than more than 30 booths transforming the base of the tower into the wild and imaginative experience that is the Wild Alberta Expo, where everyone young and old was able learn about all the groups working hard to protect Alberta’s wild spaces and wildlife.

For more information contact:
Brittany Verbeek, AWA Conservation Specialist  (403) 200-4622
Christyann Olson, AWA Executive Director  (403) 863-2412
Fast facts about the 2015 Climb and Run for Wilderness:
•    $100,000 (and counting) raised for wilderness protection in Alberta
•    Nearly 1,500 ascents of the stairs over the course of the day
•    Over 1,500 people came out to support Wild Alberta, including climbers, racers, volunteers, entertainers, participants in the Wild Alberta Expo, friends, family and other spectators.
•    1,000 volunteer hours
•    20 teams, including corporate teams from Suncor, Tetra Tech EBA, and Cenovus Energy.

•    Fastest racers: Melissa Currie (10 min 15 sec) and Garry Beer (9 min 27 sec)
•    Endurance climb winners: Mevlut Kont (17 ascents) and Joanne Schmidt (15 ascents)
•    Team challenge winner: Team Happy Feet (50 ascents total)
•    Power hour winners: Görge Heimann (from Germany, 5 ascents) and Veronica Stocker (from USA, 4 ascents)
•    Oldest climber: Elek Szabo, 96
•    Oldest racer: Nessie Hollicky, 83

Stair-climbing “Power Hour” Challenges Athletes from Around the World

Written on April 14, 2015, by

On Saturday morning elite athletes will race up and down the 525 vertical feet of the Calgary Tower, vying to become champions of the only Premium race event in Canada recognized by the Towerrunning World Association.

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) and The Calgary Tower have invited international top athletes to participate in a “Power Hour.” This Power Hour adds a new dimension to the 24th annual Climb and Run for Wilderness, one of Calgary’s premiere Earth Day events.  During the Power Hour, 13 of the world’s best stair-climbing athletes from Canada, the U.S. and Germany will be competing to see how many circuits of the tower’s 802 steps they can complete in one hour.

These athletes are ranked according to the Towerrunning World Cup. Established in 2009, the World Cup is the worldwide recognized ranking for competitive stair climbers. Events take place from Dubai to Beijing to Vienna. AWA and the Calgary Tower are proud to host one of the premiere World Cup qualifying events, and the only one in Canada.

Participants include Calgary favourite Jonathan Heinz, who last year won the endurance climb event with an astonishing 28 ascents of the tower and went on to compete at the World Cup Final event in Austria. Shannon Magee, another Calgary favourite, will be back this year challenged by 3 other women in the competition for top female competitor.  The event features categories for both men and women, each with a chance to win $500, sponsored by AWA.

A reception for the athletes is being held at the AWA offices (455 – 12th ST NW) from 5pm – 7pm on Friday the 17th of April.

Media are invited to attend both the Friday April 17th reception and the Saturday April 18 event.

About the Climb and Run for Wilderness

The Climb and Run for Wilderness is a premiere community event celebrating Earth Day. It is suited to folks of any athletic ability and of any age from babies in backpacks to 98 year olds. It regularly attracts participants from across North America. We expect more than 1,000 registered participants and in addition many more accompanying parents and supporters to attend. The Climb and Run for Wilderness is a family oriented athletic event which includes major additional components of education about the environment and the creation of public art. A family “fun” climbing event, a corporate team challenge, a 4-hour endurance event, and a serious opportunity to test one’s personal best in the Power Hour are all combined in this Earth Day event. This is the 24th annual climb.


Registration Open Dec 18, 2017

Registration Closed Apr 21, 2018

Event Day Apr 21, 2018


Registration Desk 8:00am

Climb 8:30am - 11:30am

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