3 climbers with wildly different reasons to Climb
Whether conquering the CN Tower’s 1,776 steps for the first, second or tenth time, climbers participating in this year’s CN Tower Climb for Nature are set to reach new goals while supporting wildlife and our planet.
Meet three outstanding climbers who will be tackling Canada’s tallest tower. Feeling inspired? Join us on Saturday, April 13 or Sunday, April 14.
Nine years ago, Aaron’s live was forever changed when he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. While being transported between hospitals in an ambulance, Aaron spotted the CN Tower in the distance and promised himself that, if he survived, he would climb the tower.
“I decided to officially participate in January 2019 after mapping out a training program that I knew would allow me to successfully climb,” Aaron says. To train, he has been scaling the stairs in his condo four times per week to slowly build up to the total amount of steps in the CN Tower.
Although Aaron’s treatment journey has been difficult, photography has offered him a source of healing, especially animal photography. “That’s why this climb is so special to me,” he says. “Although I still try and overcome the obstacles this journey has placed in front of me, it has also presented me with the amazing opportunity to fulfill a promise I made to myself in my darkest hour and raise money to help preserve the wildlife I have grown to love so much.”
Now in her third year of climbing, Shelly is back once again to reach new heights as a team captain for the CN Tower Climb for Nature. She was eager to find a way to challenge herself while also supporting her love for the outdoors and wildlife – two things she holds near and dear.
“As a child, I loved big cats,” she says. “My bedroom was adorned with photographs of lions and tigers and my parents and I even spent a weekend hand-painting leopard spots on my bedroom wall. When my mom asked me why I wanted to be a big cat so badly, my answer was ‘because no one can hurt them.’ As I grew older, I began to realize this wasn’t true.”
As Shelly can’t go out and save every big cat on her own (despite wishing she could!), she volunteers her time once a year to raise money for WWF-Canada through the Climb. “The one thing I always look forward to during the Climb is making it to the top. We always climb first thing in the morning; it’s cold and I’m sleepy, my body doesn’t feel ready – but I just keep counting steps and floors and push myself to the top. It’s not easy by any means, but it’s so worth it just for the sunrise at the top of the CN Tower. It’s unreal!”
By supporting WWF-Canada, Shelly is confident that she can make a difference in the lives of wildlife and humans, here at home and across the globe.
Returning for his sixth year in a row, Reece David is once again stepping up to conquer the CN Tower in support of WWF-Canada.
“My mom and grandfather were working out at a gym, and a group of them would take on the CN Tower Climb for Nature. I signed up for my first time the following year to challenge myself and support WWF-Canada,” says Reece, who also used the Climb as a way to focus on his health. “I love supporting WWF-Canada, helping wildlife, battling climate change and challenging myself,” he says.
Reece loves the energy and enthusiasm that drive the event, and relishes that amazing feeling you get when you reach the final step. “Take on one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and support a wonderful cause in the process!”