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Meet WWF’s #ClimbersOfToronto

WWF’s first ever CN Tower Climb for Nature took place 28 years ago, in 1991. Since then, more than 110,000 people have ascended the landmark’s 1,776 steps. From a 10-year-old veteran climber to a first-time climber at age 81, these are their stories.

Feeling inspired? There’s still time to register for the CN Tower Climb for Nature on April 7 or 8.

Sophi, who is climbing for the 13th time, and daughter Nyla. (c) Antonella Lombardi

“I’m an animal lover and I love the work that WWF does for conserving wildlife and habitats. Another motivation for climbing is to ensure that my daughter Nyla will also be able to see some of the beautiful creatures that I have witnessed. I’ve been striving for a zero-waste lifestyle since 2016. So I liked that you can donate back your fundraising gifts.”

— Sophi, on why she has been climbing for 13 years. Show your support for Sophi by donating.

Dr. Rama Munikoti, a physicist who is climbing the CN Tower for the first time at 81 years old. (c) Antonella Lombardi

“We have four adorable grandkids. Three girls and a boy. I want to stay healthy and active as long as possible to see them bloom and enter their adult lives. After a lot of study, about seven months ago I added stair climbing to my regular gym routine to help me reach my goals of health and independence. The WWF climb came up as an ‘annual exam’ that would help me to establish my strength and endurance levels. We live in a condo tower of 30 floors. I started stair climbing 30-60 floors a week initially. With the advent of the WWF climb in April, I gradually ramped up my continuous climb to 150 floors over 4 months.”

— Dr. Rama Munikoti, a physicist who is climbing the CN Tower for the first time at 81 years old. Show your support for Rama.

 “My brother climbed and liked it, so I wanted to try it too. It felt good to be climbing and having people cheering for me and congratulating me afterwards. Plus, I liked the charity part of it. Knowing I’m helping wildlife keeps me coming back. I’m also working on my time.”

— 10-year-old Jonathan, a top fundraiser who has been climbing since he was five. His climb times so far are: 26:19 (2003), 21:20 (2014), 18:57 (2015), 17:22 (2016). Donate to Jonathan’s climb.

Doug, who has climbed with WWF 27 out of 28 years. (c) Antonella Lombardi

“I’ve had it since I was a kid. I like wearing it on the climb because a lot of people get a little bit tired and I see a little bit of a smile on their face when they actually look up and see the headband. It doesn’t really help me, they don’t flap so I don’t get any extra speed so I’m not cheating, it’s just for fun.”

“This is number 27 this year. I’ve been a big believer in the work WWF does. When I found out about the fundraising event, I realized it was for me. It was a way for me to show my support for a wonderful cause and achieve my bucket list item of going up the tower. Government isn’t leading the way, so it has to come down to the individual. So, the more we can instill in the upcoming generations, the better off the planet will be. There might actually be a home for my grandchildren to see and grow up in, because if we don’t take serious steps now, it’s not going to be pleasant.”

— Doug, who is climbing for the 27th time in April. To date, Doug has raised nearly $50,000 for conservation. He is also the winner of this year’s early bird contest. Show your support for Doug and wildlife by making a donation.

Charlene, a wildlife photographer climbing the CN Tower before taking on Mount Kilamanjaro.

“Last year being my first time climbing the CN Tower I just wanted to be able to finish, get to the top. I was so proud of myself when I did it and was surprised to see I did it in 30 minutes and 8 seconds. This year I would like to cut that time down to 20 minutes. In doing this I have found the motivation to up my goals. I have always wanted to go to Africa on safari. I thought of seeing and photographing the big five gets would be a dream come true. While researching for the trip, I found Mount Kilimanjaro – and my first thought was I could never do this, but now I’m going to make it happen. My motivation for climbing is my love for all wildlife and wanting to see them protected. We need these animals and they need us.”

— Charlene, a wildlife photographer who is climbing the CN Tower for the second time before taking on Mount Kilimanjaro to celebrate her 60th birthday. To raise funds, she’s holding a draw to win canvas prints of her work – support her climb and you could win.

Jake Bestecki arriving in Cape Spear, Nfld. after rollerblading for WWF-Canada

“I usually volunteer, helping to set up and take down after the CN Tower Climb. It’s always a friendly environment with everyone looking to help out anyway they can. I’m a big animal lover and wanted to get more involved. Last summer I rollerbladed across Canada to raise funds for WWF. Now I’m climbing Canada’s tallest tower with my dragon boat team. I made a bet with a co-worker that I would be able to do it within a certain amount of time, so I’m driven to make that pace and give him a piece of humble pie.”

– Jake, a long time CN Tower volunteer who recently completed a cross-country trip on rolleblades for WWF. Help Jake reach his fundraising goal.

Join the #ClimbersOfToronto

Funds raised for the CN Tower Climb will help us continue our conservation work. Register today to climb on April 7 or 8.

Follow us on Instagram @wwfcanada for more #ClimbersofToronto stories.