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.