Climbers of all ages laced up their sneakers and tackled 1,204 steps in The Bow Tower.
The goal: raising money for the Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) in their work to protect places and species at risk.
“Caribou are incredibly endangered in Alberta and they need a plan and some protected areas and we’ve been working really hard over the past year to make sure that happens,” said AWA Conservation Specialist Joanna Skrajny.
She says the Climb for Wilderness, which is in its 27 year, raises a good amount of their core funds every year, but they also want to get people in Alberta and in Calgary excited about wilderness.
“We absolutely have a group of really intense core supporters which is really exciting,” one of which is 101-year-old Richard Guy, who has been attending the event for about 20 years, “and we also have lots of new people.”
Stephen Herrero, 78, was a professor at the University of Calgary and he is part of many groups that support the conservation of wildlife and nature. However, this was his first time attending the climb.
“I’ve done research on grizzly bears for 50 years,” said Herrero, who was there, not to take part in the climb, but to cheer on participants.
This was Lotfi Mellah’s first time climbing in The Bow Tower, but previously he hiked to the top of the Calgary Tower in seven minutes, a tower which has 400 less stairs.
Besides wanting to see how fast he could climb the bow, he said he also loves the outdoors and wanted to support the cause.
“I really love hiking, going exploring, new hikes, new countries, new landscapes and ya I think preservation of environment is pretty important for me,” he said.
Skrajny says they were inspired to start this event much like the university students who started Earth Day, just by speaking out for change.
Earth Day is April 22, for more information visit the Earth Day website.