As we wrap up another successful Climb and Run for Wilderness, we want to close out the same way we kicked everything off all those months ago… with a giant

Thank You!

Thank you to the sponsors, to the climbers and the runners; thank you to the entertainers and volunteers; thank you to the spectators and the media;thank you to the friends and family and other valued supporters; and thank you to you!

Every one of you was a vital part of the success of the 2014 Climb and Run for Wilderness. There were about 1500 folks involved on the day of the event, not counting the hundreds and thousands of online sponsors and other supporters… and everyone came together to help make this, once again, the Best Earth Day Event in the West!


What a great event!

Here are a couple of highlights and firsts from this year that deserve a special shout-out:

  • Our new partnership with the Carbon Farmer was a great opportunity for climbers to have a tree planted in their name in the AWA forest, gain a little carbon credit, and lend a personal helping hand to maintaining the health of our boreal forest. If you made it to the top of the tower this year but didn’t get the chance to stop in at the Carbon Farmer booth, drop them a line to let them know and you can have a tree planted in your name too!
  • Our Zero Waste initiative was a pretty big challenge for this event and we almost did it! The single bag of refuse was the extent of our garbage; all other waste was composted or recycled! This meant that our diversion rate was 89%, which is pretty close to zero waste; our continuing challenge will be making it to 100% in 2015.Congratulations everyone for participating in our Zero Waste initiative and thanks to Green Calgary for auditing the waste and helping us meet the challenge.
  • Together with our partner the Calgary Tower, a member of the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT), we participated as one segment of the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge 2014. An amazing 5 hours of endurance racing and 28 repeated climbs of the 802 stairs saw Jonathan Heinz take the Calgary Tower’s prize of a return airfare to Vienna, Austria, to compete in the final race of the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge, up the steps of the Danube Tower.

The day was also filled with the inspiration of many folks including:

  • Dr. Richard Guy, 97 years young, who climbed the stairs twice
  • The Fricke Family, who were awarded the Margaret and Jerry Hall Outstanding Family Award for their years of participation and involvement in the event and with AWA
  • 4 year old Abigail Hadden, who raised more than $2000 from family and friends and many trips to the bottle depot
  • Sue Verbeek, who was awarded the Will Farrington Memorial Awardas our Outstanding Volunteer
  • Erin Beattie and the Calgary Tower staff and Security Services, who provided invaluable help throughout the day and in the weeks leading up to the event
  • Shannon Magee, who completed a gruelling 22 climbs in 5 hours
  • The Overend Family (Bill, Patti, Sam and Alex), who raised more than $10,000
  • Zivadin Zivkovic, who travelled from San Diego just to participate
  • Megan Bankes, in the youth 15-18 category, who completed an amazing 19 climbs
  • The Pink Panthers youth team (Jasdeep Sandhu, Balijot Parmar, Harmeen Mander and Harsimran Sandhu), who completed a combined 20 climbs and took home the Youth Team Spirit Award
  • The Markit Lynx Team (Mike Cullingham, Chuck Herr, Ian Graham and Matthew Moore), who completed a combined 49 climbs
  • The Cenovus Energy Team A (Kirsten Pugh, Monica Ludwig, Erin Madro and Cindy Bakala), who raised $2,180 and won the Team Fundraising Award
  • Matrix Solutions Inc., who put together an awesome 7 full teams of 4
  • And so many more wonderful folks!

The prize inventory for this year was supported by more merchants than ever before. The prizes were outstanding and we hope all who were awarded prizes will take time to let our prize donors and corporate supporters know how much they are appreciated.


Entertainment at the Top of the Tower

While we are still waiting for a few more matching funds to come in, we have raised more than $110,000 at this time. More than 1,600 receipts have been issued to sponsors! These are important funds that will help us this year as we work to help others learn about wilderness and wildlife in Alberta and how to help make a difference in our environmental health and wealth in years to come.

We hope you might do one more thing to help us wrap up this year’s event. We have a short survey (it will only take 2 minutes to complete) that we hope will help us find and reach out to more people who would be interested in climbing the Calgary Tower. We want to give you a chance to let us know what was good and what you would like us to make better for the 2015 event.

Please take this link to complete the survey:https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/m0BWof. All responses are anonymous; we do not record your name or any other personal info.


Jonathan Heinz and this year’s Elite Climbers.

This and the rest of AWA’s websites have many more details about the event and about our work throughout the year as well as opportunties to become involved.  You can sign up for regular news emails that will keep you posted about events and wilderness conservation concerns at the main Alberta Wilderness Association website: the sign-up form is at the bottom of the right-hand column.


“You made it!!”
Little Smoky the Bear greets climbers at the top.

From all of us at Alberta Wilderness Association, we wish you a wonderful summer and hope you will have plenty of chances to get outdoors and be active.

See you on the stairs next year!