A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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A Fine Finish? – You Better Believe it!
04 Mar
By 2020
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By Randy Pierce

Just as many thought we were flying to the finish, our winter quest seemed stalled at 41 of 48 peaks. Wind and weather held us at our homes. The winds boosted to a steady 75 mph and higher on the lofty summits of those daunting Northern Presidential peaks. We hoped and watched for favorable forecasts, but they continually evaded us.

Finally, we now have the minimally acceptable forecast we require to make our next attempt. We’ve set the plan and goal. You can find it on our home page. If successful, we will have our 48th and final summit on Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Success in climbing all 48 peaks is a very worthwhile accomplishment. Accomplishing the 48 in winter is even moreso. The very few who have accomplished this in a single winter season demonstrate dedication, ability and perseverance with this epic accomplishment.

As I near the chance to join this elite group with Quinn, I realize the full significance may take a bit of time to fully settle over me. I certainly didn’t believe in this possibility when I first began to work with Quinn in the mountains. I had reasonable doubts when it was first proposed to me and at various times throughout the early hikes. I felt pretty confident when we narrowed it down to just three good hikes remaining, though the lack of cooperation from the weather certainly gave rise to a little concern.

As I write this, the confidence and finality feels within my reach. I know full well how many people were involved in making this possible. I’m both humbled and proud for the results already and I’m most hopeful that the full message of this accomplishment will be shared far and wide.

The message is far more than the personal sacrifices of people on this seemingly historic accomplishment. Yes, the accomplishment involves the incredible work of Quinn guiding me. It involves many human friends like Bob and Justin guiding me as well and working me around sometimes fairly complicated or even a bit dangerous sections of the trails. It involved my hands numbing to the point I couldn’t put on a glove on my own. It involved three pairs of microspikes falling to the forces on my feet. It cost me one pair of winter boots and gave me some fairly sore and tired nights as well.

What the message of this quest really involves is bigger than that: if there’s something in this world which is important enough to you, it’s likely that you can find a process to help you achieve it. Finding a goal that matters enough to be worth the sacrifices is the important part. Learning to problem-solve through the real challenges is essential and will lead to rewarding realities. Sure, there are setbacks and failures at times, though anything worth working diligently to achieve is worth learning how to stand up again after a fall. It’s worth all the time, effort, and evaluations you put into it.

But the real secret to this entire thing is that while the goal is a goal, the journey is the larger part of success. The choice to put yourself on the path is the real victory and every step forward just piles on the peaks of success.

So if you have the chance to join us on Cannon Mountain on March 10, I hope you’ll consider it. Whether you offer a good luck message online, a handshake at the trailhead, or a cup of hot chocolate atop the summit; whether you ride the tram up the mountain or join us at the Common Man in Lincoln at the conclusion; any and all will have great meaning to me personally.

If you think the message we’re trying to convey–for everyone to believe in possibility and to reach for their “Peak Potential”–has value, then I hope you’ll share our blog, webpage, social media, or simply our story to anyone and everyone who might appreciate it and spread the message further.

I undertook this winter quest to help draw attention to our overall goals at 2020 Vision Quest, and also because it gave me an opportunity to experience something I once thought out of my reach. The personal challenges and rewards have both been higher than I anticipated. I hope to share the story because I believe the impact of the real message should likewise exceed expectations.

Winter is coming to an end and with it my quest as well. I think it will be a very fine finish. Let’s all unite in helping to share this story and make this success as beneficial to all as it can possibly be!

View and share our press release here at Pitchengine.

14 responses to “A Fine Finish? – You Better Believe it!”

  1. MARJORIE A. JONES says:

    Thank you. Your message hits home with me . Something about reading this tonight givrs me something to focus on. I needed to hear this message.You and your Quinn are awesome!

  2. Lou-Ann Scelzi says:

    Way to go Randy & Quinn!!! Happy Hiking! Enjoy reading all the posts on the progress!

  3. Kelly Kaineg says:

    Randy – I’ve been following your hike all day today and saw that you just summitted Washington! Many many congrats 🙂 I’ve been trying to send warm thoughts your way!! You are truly an inspiration. My husband and I need some Presis to finish our winter list, but we weren’t brave enough to go up there today!!! Best wishes.

  4. Aunt Bet says:

    Randy, congratulations to you and Quinn, and all your team mates. You are an inspiritaion to me and many others. Keep safe and hope to see you soon…

  5. Congratulations Randy & Quinn!! We will keep our fingers crossed for a mild day on Saturday. Wish we could be there!

  6. Diana B says:

    I admire your drive and just plain gumption! I’m a little worried about your dog, though; shouldn’t he have a coat and some foot protection? An hour’s romp in the snow without that is fine, but a day of hiking – I’d think a short-coated dog would be pretty cold after a short while.

  7. Randy says:

    Thanks for the inquiry on Quinn. He’s a Labradour Retriever, a double coated dog which is very good while being active in these environs. We actually did a fair bit of investigation to be sure we have him at safe temps and conditions. We also do have a coat and two different styles of boots should he need them. He showed no signs of needing them though if we stopped anywhere for any time he would have been wrapped up too. Quinn is not just my guide or dog, he’s my friend and beloved as much as you could imagine. I would not put him at any unreasonable risks. When you hike with him or see him in the mountains you can tell by all aspects how much he loves the experience and how eager he is to head out each time. Thank you so much for also being concerned for him!

  8. Brenda says:

    Such an inspiration, good luck with your finish!!!!!

  9. Ginny Rogers says:

    I have just finished reading your story in the Mountainear, and it has touched me enough to come to your website to learn more about you. Everyone faces challenges in their lives, and yours has been an incredible one. I am in awe of what you have faced and what you have accomplished.

    I will be thinking of you tomorrow as the two of you finish the Cannon hike and your amazing goal of completing the 48 4000+ foot peaks!!!

    Now what will your next goal be??? I am sure something equally amazing and impressive!

    I wish you both the best of the best….

  10. Catherine Fletcher says:

    We will be cheering for you in Nebraska. Good luck and enjoy the journey 🙂

  11. Diane McManus says:

    So impressed with your accomplishments!! Just saw your success story on WMUR and had to say “way to go!!!”. Love your focus on ability vs. disability. I am a special ed teacher for kids with severe disabilities many of whom have vision impairments. Everyone needs to hear your message and change the way they think about those with differing abilities. Hope you have a wonderful party tonite and keep up the great work!! Your strength and determination are awesome!
    Thank you!

  12. Randy,
    Congratulations on the final climb of a long journey! Looking forward to hearing about all of this and the goals you’ve accomplished at our annual end of year visit for Memorial School with Quinn.
    Cheryl Mousseau

  13. Aunt Bet says:

    Hurray for Randy and Quinn, and we must remember, Tracy, too. I wished that I could have been at Cannon, today. I am sending the posts and videos to my friends. They all think that you are amazing….Hope to see you soon….Aunt Bet

  14. Chris De Nuzzio says:

    Randy and Quinn,
    As a lapsed winter hiker myself, who stopped several years ago because of health issues, I am truly inspired by your story. I thought about heading up Cannon today, but I have resigned myself to the fact that winter hiking will have to wait for next year for me. This summer, I plan to get in many hikes in the Whites and I hope I might just cross paths with you and Quinn. In the meantime, your journey gives me hope and inspiration. Blessings to both of you; I hope you are basking in your achievement and reaching for new heights that excite and interest you as soon as you are ready. Give that beautiful pup an extra soup bone or antler and tell him it’s because he’s such a special boy!

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