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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Falling for Quinn: An Insider’s Scoop!
15 Sep
By 2020
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By Randy Pierce

Quinn in a coy moment.

Autumn is sneaking into the air and the fall season brought some big news to the 2020 VQ team of Quinn lovers. The trainer who taught Quinn at Guiding Eyes will be joining us for the Peak Potential Charity Event and sharing her part of the experience of this incredible career. She took Quinn in from his puppy-raising and helped guide him to the skills which eventually led to our team pairing in 2006, just before his second birthday–a birthday he happens to share with her.

His trainer has tremendous insight into his development as well as the progress Quinn and I made to earn our way to graduation. Those attending our Peak Potential event will have quite a treat and so will the Mighty Quinn as he has the opportunity to greet his trainer after six years.

Puppy Quinn sits on stairs with the caption "Stairs... I want to climb mountains."

Ambitious, even as a puppy!

In appreciation of this news, I thought I’d share a couple of Quinn stories worthy of telling. Not long after Tracy and I had begun climbing mountains together, she found the journal created by Quinn’s puppy raiser. On the back cover was a treasure made all the more powerful by the fact that we had already begun climbing without knowing it existed. It was a picture of Quinn sitting next to a flight of stairs with the handwritten caption, “Stairs… I want to climb mountains!”

Keeping with the stairs theme, Quinn and I were at the University of New Hampshire discussing with Brent Bell the possibility of me starting to join the Outdoor Education programs hikes in the White Mountains. Stepping off of what I distractedly thought was the curb Quinn had shown me, I was soon in a scramble down a flight of stairs!

The University had built an addition to a location I thought I knew well and this long cement staircase could have led to a severe injury and early end to hiking. While I flailed and stumbled down the steps, Quinn reacted quickly and kept pace enough to ensure I had just enough harness pressure to keep to my feet. Gasping for breath in heart-pounding panic, I miraculously stood on my feet at the bottom, barely aware of how I had not taken a severe injury inducing fall. Quinn meanwhile wagged mightily and gave his little hop of excitement to reassure me that he was there to keep me safe!

While I didn’t fall for Quinn then, I had indeed “fallen” mightily for him back in Yorktown Heights when we had been matched as a team! Through the years, he’s managed to reach a lot of people with his attitude and accomplishments. Perhaps you’ll share a story or two of your experience with Quinn directly, or even from just following his legendary life!

What a friendly fella!

One response to “Falling for Quinn: An Insider’s Scoop!”

  1. Margaret Hughes says:

    This is great! I am really looking forward to hearing her speak.

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