Yearlong effort has raised more than $17,000 to benefit Vermont kids
Randy Crossman, the 63-year-old director of facilities at Castleton University and seventh-generation Vermonter, completed his 365th summit of Pico Mountain in 362 days on Saturday, June 18 to raise awareness and funding for Building Bright Futures, where his daughter, Morgan Crossman, serves as executive director.
Crossman completed the final summit alongside his brother, Robin Crossman, his sister-in-law, Kim Levins, and family friend Suzanne Sperry. Crossman celebrated the accomplishment with over 60 friends, family members, colleagues, and the Rutland community at the base of Pico Mountain and the Pico Ski Club.
“On our 41st wedding anniversary, I did a double (summits 259 & 360) and almost didn’t make it to the top of the second hike. That really drove it home that I wasn’t done. I didn’t know if I could make it up the hill the next day. The only way to deal with it was to be positive and take care of myself the best I could after each hike. Friday (summit 364) was the first time I allowed myself to be excited and feel like I was going to finish this journey,” Crossman said.
Through PicoSummit365, Crossman has climbed 717,955 vertical feet, completed 1,277 miles, and spent 638.75 hours hiking in extreme daily weather conditions (including in weather that reached 20 degrees below zero with 50 mile-per-hour winds) during every season over the course of one year. The vertical footage is equivalent to 25 summits of Mount Everest.
At Saturday’s celebration Crossman remarked, “I’m so grateful for all the support; family, friends, people on the mountain. It’s been physically and mentally tough, but once I committed to it, people started making donations or sponsoring me; legislative representatives reached out to Morgan to ask which hike I was on; skinners would cross the mountain to give me a high-five; and friends and family sent texts and Facebook messages…that’s what kept me going.”
Crossman’s endeavor is also inspired by his 4-year-old granddaughter Amelie Lataille, the daughter of Morgan Crossman. Amelie was Randy’s biggest fan. “I love you so much, Bumpy. You’re the bestest hiker every day. Congratulations on your Pico Mountain hike. I’m so proud of you,” said Amelie.
Crossman’s ultimate goal was to raise awareness and funding for Building Bright Futures and PicoSummit365 was an amazing success on both fronts. BBF’s work was elevated within the Legislature and across the state with the general public and raised over $17,000 to support Vermont’s early childhood system. “It is important to me that people know about the work of Building Bright Futures, and this was one thing I could do to get the word out. We need to do a better job meeting the needs of kids, families, and communities. The best investment we can make is in our kids.”
Members of the public may still make donations to support Building Bright Futures through PicoSummit365 through the following link: buildingbrightfutures.org/picosummit365.