Wyoming and southern Montana hams belonging to the north Yellowstone Amateur Radio Club and Park County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) took to the wilderness in late January during heavy snow to take part in an emergency preparedness exercise. The groups have about 15 members in all; many more bison and elk roam the roads than do hams.
The critical winter duty for North Yellowstone radio amateurs is deployment to remote locations of winter emergencies. To train for these responses, the members devised the VHF Radio Relay, a radio scavenger hunt designed to get members out to remote road locations where winter emergencies may require radio communications support. The group uses the Eagle’s Nest repeater located at 8,000 feet on Electric Peak southwest of Gardiner, Montana — the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The repeater covers the northern one-third of the vast park and southern half of Park County, Montana.
Participants rigorously observed COVID-19 precautions. Participating hams received two pages of instructions. The first contained directions for completing their call-out assignment and listed 15 locations that required hams to deploy to the far reaches of the radio coverage area. The second page consisted of a map. Only three roads are in the area, and conditions on one dirt road are typically difficult. Each route had five locations along the way to the terminal checkpoint. The 15 widely spaced locations guaranteed that no operator could visit all of them.
Read more – via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources http://www.arrl.org/news/view/wildlife-outnumber-participants-in-winter-yellowstone-vhf-radio-rally