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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Surprise! Cannons Thunder and 2020 Rolls with It!
11 Aug
By 2020
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Cannon Mountain, then and now.

by Randy Pierce

Part of my thus-far successful philosophy of life is predicated upon making the most out of opportunities. Where some might find obstacles, I try to see opportunity. This isn’t always easy or successful, but it is most often rewarding. As such, when I received a phone call from Powderhouse Productions inquiring about filming a pilot for a major cable network about Quinn’s amazing work and the 2020 Vision Quest project, I was eager to explore further. We’ve been working out the filming details for just over a week, with the plan of including Quinn leading me in some local guiding work, a presentation for the Boy Scouts at Hidden Valley Campground, and Quinn and I climbing a smaller mountain with decent views and reasonable Quinn challenges.

The filming was to occur Wednesday and Thursday of this week. When a Tuesday morning meeting brought about the suggestion of making the hike a full 4000+ foot mountain, I knew that the change would add a lot of work and challenge. However, I believed it was a fantastic opportunity – so I began to explore ways to make the change safe and feasible, even with only two days to plan.

As I discussed the potential change with other members of Team 2020, the first responses I got were of concern for how much I’d be pushing myself. The team’s second response echoed my own thoughts – what would the impact be on Quinn? Dogs are amazing, and Quinn is astounding, though I admit to a bit of a bias. One day of recovery is more than enough for Quinn to recharge; I just wish it were that simple for me! It will be a hard challenge for me and I understand that this change may affect the weekend summit attempts. However, I have begun preparations and precautions to ensure minimal risk and to give every opportunity for success.

Now the plan is to showcase Quinn’s conventional talents locally on Wednesday, then head up to the Scout camp to share with them the education and inspiration that is so essential to the project. Finally, with a full film crew for the potential pilot, we will launch into Quinn’s unconventional and astounding guide work with a Thursday-morning summit attempt of Cannon Mountain. It will certainly be a solid warm up for this weekend’s backcountry camping, double-summit attempt of Mt. Tom and Mt. Field!

I’ve generally found that the harder something is to achieve, the more value is gained from the achievement. If you follow us on Spot on Thursday – and then again on Saturday and Sunday! – you’ll find out along with me how hard this particular challenge will be. If all goes well, we will soon have some great stories and achievements (and maybe some very exciting news about a pilot TV show!), whether we summit all we attempt or not. Either way, we have one amazing adventure ahead of us yet again!

3 responses to “Surprise! Cannons Thunder and 2020 Rolls with It!”

  1. Have a great trip and I l know you’ll attack this challenge FTFT! What an exciting week!

  2. John Swenson says:

    The Cannon hike is a good choice. It is accessible, reasonably challenging yet not overwhelmingly so. I have done the Hi-Cannon trail many times and have combined with a loop down to Lonesome Lake from the back side of the mountain. I would suggest Hi-Cannon both ways. Good luck Randy! You guys will do fine.

  3. Randy says:

    Hey John,

    I’m told there’s a very tough ladder on the High Cannon trai. FOlks suggest I’ll manage the climb with hands on the rocks but that Quinn and his paws might not be able to manage it or perhaps not with enough safety. Any thought on that? I got your suggestin by cell call just before the hike but with the concern I’d heard previously we stayed with our Lonesome Lake Trail plan. I will be climbing Cannon again and want to fully consider and understand other options. I know the one trail and enjoyed it for it’s challenge, I wonder at the High Cannon or the North approach on Kinsman Ridge.


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