Archives - October, 2010

29 Oct 10

by Randy Pierce

Standing at the podium during our Peak Potential charity dinner, I was asked, “What next?” in regards to after we achieve the 48 mountain summits of New Hampshire.

I’m happy to report that I’m rather distracted by the immediate present for too much thought beyond those climbs. For me, the immediate focus is upon the intent behind our 2020 Vision Quest – and that has not stopped with the arrival of snow on mountains. This is a prime opportunity for me to present our core message at schools and elsewhere as we seek to educate, inspire, and challenge. In addition, we strive to support belief in possibility, goal setting, achievement through adversity, problem solving, teamwork, and the appreciation of the process.

We have raised awareness and built up our community but now we must expand these efforts through the tools we’ve established on the web. Yes, we have done some quality fund raising for the charities we believe have need of our efforts, and our outreach is in process, but we have only begun. I hope you will find many improvements and enhancements on our website and approach as we begin the next phase of our vision.

The first season of climbing was tremendous, and I’m eager to share aspects of that for some time to come. The next season of our 2020 Vision Quest is starting to come into focus, and I have to set my efforts on ensuring a clarity of vision to build the foundation for more than just climbing mountains! I hope that our work gains your interest and support as we continue forward!


18 Oct 10

One of the most inspiring things about working for 2020 Vision Quest is realizing just how many people are eager to help. While we love cash donations we can pass along to our charities, in today’s economy, not everyone has the means to contribute so directly. Instead, they find other fabulous ways to support us.

For some, it’s being a cheering section for the team – following us on our climbs, responding to posts on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter, keeping our morale high. For others, it’s spreading the word and telling us about people and companies we can contact for contributions. For the Peak Potential dinner and auction, we’re getting help in the form of donations, and it turns out our supporters have some amazing skills!

Check out the following examples:

  • How about an hour-long in-home Swedish massage from licensed masseur Doal Bartlett of Knotworks Massage Therapy? Perhaps you’re a hiker yourself – it’s great for a post-hike relaxation.
  • Kick it up a notch by bidding on the Spa gift certificate from Inner Beauty Concepts.
  • There’s an intricate custom fitted bodice from Linda Hodge. Crafted in a fabric of the buyer’s choosing, if the donation is large enough, Linda will even throw in detailing with one-of-a-kind handmade silk flowers.
  • How about curtains for your living room, a sofa re-covering, or that perfect Halloween costume for next year? Bid on ten hours of professional-grade seamstress work from Lydia Fithian of Lydushka’s Completely Custom Creations.
  • To stave off the chill of autumn, there’s a handmade afghan from Catelyn Cash.
  • Erin Torrey of Alle’s Corner of the World has created a freshwater pearl and sterling plated necklace inspired by Randy’s climbs.

…and these are just a few of the items available via silent auction.

In addition, there are a few special live auction packages inspired by our mission statement, geared to Inspire, Educate, and Challenge:

  • Our own Jim Caron inspires with his artistic talent – if you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint, he’ll teach you. At next year’s auction, maybe one of your paintings can raise funds for NHAB and Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
  • Pats fans may have heard of Randy’s famous Bruschi Brew, made at IncrediBREW. They’ve generously donated a brewing session, with how-to training included. Why not design a Vision Quest inspired beer and get friends to contribute to the cause in exchange for a bottle or two?
  • Perhaps you’ve been reading about Randy’s climbs and think, “I want to climb!” Our friends at EMS are providing a one-day climbing class at the renowned Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School. Next year, you can climb for a cause, too.
  • One item comes from Tokyo Joe’s, the karate studio where Randy trains. If Randy’s board breaking video doesn’t inspire you, perhaps sparring with him in class will get you going.

If any of these amazing items appeal to you but you can’t make it to our dinner on the 23rd, don’t worry, you can still bid up until October 22ndst at midnight, by sending in an email bid. We’ll act as your proxy at the event – the highest pre-auction bid starts the bidding off on our silent auction items, and we’ll have someone bidding for you during the live auction items. For a full list of items you can pre-bid on, keep an eye on our Peak Potential page. If you offer more than the retail value of the item, the difference is a tax-deductible donation to charity and helps us with our matching grant, so make those bids count! If you have questions about how it works or about any of our items, get in touch.


6 Oct 10

by Randy Pierce

Randy navigates a tough stretch on his namesake mountain.

The wind chill was 10 degrees, I struggled to put boots onto Quinn’s front paws for a descent over some sharp edged rocks, and I wondered if I could hear enough over the howling, biting-cold wind. This may not sound ideal but it was only about a ten-minute walk from the summit to the tree line, which brought immediate comfort and relief. It was an excellent reminder of the challenge and potent reality these mountains can represent.

We began our ascent early in the morning, eager and enthused to share our journey with four folk who had never hiked with us. Everyone had the right gear for any conditions the day might present, so we headed up to the Crawford Path; the oldest continuously maintained trail in the United States. I certainly was not looking forward to the end of the ‘official’ 2020 hiking season, but I was energized by how amazing a season it has been.

The trail was better than anticipated, albeit very wet, as trees routinely dropped prior-day rainfall upon us. It was cool but comfortable – ideal hiking weather, and we made great time past Gibbs Falls and up to the Mizpah Hut. I had the chance to display Quinn’s work with the new folk and he showcased why others and I marvel at his talents. It wasn’t his best day but it was more than good enough for this trail.

We arrived at the hut without incident, to feast and don our wind gear – for the temperatures had dropped notably and the forecast for the summit was colder still. The trail to the summit from the hut was far more challenging but we welcomed the opportunity and the resulting reward. False summits teased us, and a host of bog bridges and two ladders added to the difficulty. However, our summit success came and we were a deservedly proud group of companions.

Atop the summit, we met some folks who had heard of our project and were delighted to meet us. Quinn got his summit play and we all stocked up a bit on food. Finally, we prepared for the wind rumored to be gusty just over the bald summit and headed down.

Most readers know by now that going down is simply much harder for me, and sacrificing my hearing to a windbreak and warmth added to that – but Quinn rose to the challenge and performed his best descent work of the season. I was all too aware of how much Quinn and I had learned to understand each other over the season, to speak the language of harness and hand, body dynamics, hesitations, and occasionally, vocalizations. The trail had a few extra large steps down, so we made steady, slow progress down the peak. It was a long descent, and it has been a long season – so I was not surprised to find my mental reserves begin to slip a bit. What astounded me was how sharp a focus Quinn sustained through it all.

We finished our hike with incredible speed on the easier lower trails and as we regrouped at the trailhead for reflections, I had more thoughts than this post can contain. I will say that teamwork, challenge, achievement, and camaraderie are absolutely at the core of my feelings from these hikes. On a grander scale, I’m well aware we are doing all this as part of our charity, the 2020 Vision Quest, because we believe in human potential and want to ensure that the boost I received to my stride in life is never lost for those dealing with similar challenges. We have a lot more to accomplish with the project, and as I often say, I hope to reach a lot more people in our hiking future. I hope those of you reading now will help us share our message and achieve our goals as we go forward from this initial successful season!


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