High Country Recharge

Local, regional and state agencies joined forces in a well coordinated emergency effort last weekend delivering 74 new storage batteries to the Mountain 71 communications site.
The fast-moving effort began last Thursday, with Commissioner Stan Whinnery meeting with local volunteers at the county road & bridge yard. A cavalcade to transport the batteries was quickly formed consisting of the county’s 2009 Pisten-Bully Sno-Cat, a four- track, 8-person Tucker Sno-Cat, loaned from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, and two lightweight Tucker Sno-Cats from Colorado Office of Information Technology.
The remarkable convoy of Sno-cats is pictured on Slumgullion Pass at the start of the rescue mission on Saturday morning; included in the planned high country delivery was return of the generator’s damaged radiator, which was temporarily repaired.
Overseeing installation of the new bank of batteries was Dale Myers, who oversees equipment maintenance at the 71 communications site. New batteries were loaded onto the Sno-cats, after which the convoy proceeded eight snowy miles, on snowmobile trails to the communications complex with towers, solar panels, and equipment building on top of 11,800’ 71 Mountain.
After arrival, the batteries were unloaded in brigade fashion, with transport driver Jeff Perkins and Joe Schultheis of Hinsdale Road & Bridge, and then interconnected in multiple tiers by Dale Myers.