• Richard Guy takes the stairs at Calgary Tower. (Photo: Daniel Olson)

He may be the oldest to take on the challenge, but he's making it look easy.

This Saturday, 97-year-old Richard Guy will be one of over 1,000 people climbing up 805 stairs at the Calgary Tower. The event is part of an annual fundraiser for the Alberta Wilderness Association.

Guy says this will be his 12th time up the tower and, like almost every year since he first tackled the climb at age 85, he’s aiming to beat his own record.

“I think I’ve had the record for oldest climber since I started,” Guy says. “I used to do it in 20-25 minutes, but now, it’s more like 45 minutes to an hour.”

Christyann Olson, executive director at the Alberta Wilderness Association, says Guy and other older climbers are an inspiration to all. But despite their age and the effort the climb takes, she says she’s not concerned for them. “They just pace themselves. It’s really something for us all to aspire to.”

Guy moved to Alberta in 1965 to teach math at the University of Calgary. Now a professor emeritus, he says he still helps graduate students and works on his own research.

Though the job at the university is what brought him to Alberta from the United Kingdom, the mountains were also an attraction for him and his late wife. They were what spurred him to fundraise for the Alberta Wilderness Association.

“My wife and I had always been keen on the mountains,” Guy says.

For those who are interested in becoming stair-masters well into their 90s, Guy has some simple advice: “Keep your mind and body active.“