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Colorado Club Supports Make-A-Wish Foundation Trailblaze Challenge


The Park County Radio Club (PCRC) in Colorado (AB0PC) provided communication assistance for the first Colorado Make-A-Wish Trailblaze Challenge fundraiser hike on August 11.

The hike took place on Segments 2 and 3 of the Colorado Trail, totaling 23.7 miles. The elevation at the start of the Challenge hike was 6,112 feet, reaching 8,290 feet at the highest point for a total elevation gain of 2,178 feet from start to finish. The average grade along the trail is about 5%, but it exceeds 18% at some spots.

Due to the remote location, terrain, and forest cover, cellular coverage is almost nonexistent. Make-A-Wish staff and volunteers were equipped with FRS radios that only provided short-range local communications. PCRC members provided communication between the start, the five aid stations, and the finish.

The PCRC VHF repeater near Bailey, Colorado, provided coverage along the entire trail. A net control station was established to monitor all trail communications and, if necessary, to contact local emergency services. Fortunately, the only medical needs throughout the entire day were caring for a few blisters.