Hike for Avi

Johnny Sudekum, Writer

The entire Long Trail was hiked by over 40 separate student organizations in the first annual Catamount Classic.

Hosted by the UVM Outing Club, this event happened on the weekend of Sept. 29-30. While the weather was cloudy and rainy in some parts of Vermont, groups joined in to support the cause.

The Catamount Classic was created by seniors Joe Kasay, Sara Stanton and Kathryn Martin with the intent to bring UVM organizations together in the wilderness of Vermont.

We are attempting to start a UVM tradition to bring UVM groups together and unify clubs in the outdoors, Kasay said.

Each of the 43 groups involved in the hike was assigned a single section of the trail as either a day hike or an entire weekend trip. The hikes ranged anywhere from four to 15 miles.

Another important purpose behind the Catamount Classic was to remember and celebrate the life of student Outing Club leader and DREAM mentor Avi Kurganoff.

Everybody was involved to honor our friend who had a philosophy of adventure til the day you die, Kasay said.

While not every participant knew Avi, students expressed a sense of being a part of something that he would have been proud of.

In years when not many people at UVM will have known Avi, they will [still] know what kind of person he was because of this annual event, Stanton said.

Between donations and the participation fee, the Catamount Classic raised over $3,000 enough money to send two teens from the DREAM program on either an Outward Bound or NOLS course.

People who dont usually hike got out there and that is exactly what Avi would want, junior Emily Leighton said.

Since the Outing Club plans to make this an annual event, creators of the Catamount Classic hope that it becomes a UVM staple.

I think that this is a really amazing thing that we could do as a university, sophomore Blaise Sullivan said. This could be the new naked bike ride.