The wind storm most of us experienced in the plains and mountain valleys was even more intense on the mountain tops and our Baldy site fell victim. As best we can tell from some picture we got, there must have been winds in excess of 140MPH. The site was shredded. Solar panels ripped off their bases and the main antenna blown off its mast. The building is still on its base, but snow is getting in. Repairs will need to wait until the end of mud season before we can get equipment and people to the site to repair it, so our link between the front range and mountains will be down for a while.
We have two different plans for how to fix things when we can get up there. Easiest/cheapest is to just re-build the repeater location—maybe a bit stronger, but that is just trying to stack the odds of surviving a similar event just a little bit better. 140MPH+ is pretty tough to survive. Our preferred plan is to start building some redundant digital links between the front range and mountains, so that even if one site goes offline for some reason, we’ll have a backup. While better, clearly costs more too, so budget and donations have as much an impact on what we do as technical ability. Yes, that is a plug for donations!