December 10, 2022

Mike VE7KPZ was joined by Jane VE7WWJ and nephew Tristan and YL Sam to provide radio support for the Big White Winter Rally.

This year the main action (high-speed rally stages) were squeezed in one really long day, so the Unimog was left at home and the crew drove out in their AWD cars instead.

We rose at 3 AM, left home in Vernon just before 5 AM and drove to the Big White area to be at our first blocker position by 7 AM, ready for the first cars around 8:30 AM.

It was a lovely position (B06) near the middle of the Bullet stage.

Parking the cars behind the safety line was no problem, but getting them back out later likely would be. In anticipation of a quick move to our afternoon location, we dug out our side road to the ground. Shovelling is a great way to keep warm in the middle of winter - LOL!

Once the stage opened, we were treated to some great rally action:

Here Jason Bailey showed us how to utilize snow banks to aid in steering the car:

This was a great spot with great views. It was also great for getting into the repeater. We could communicate with rally net control using a Standard Horizon HX370S HT running 2 watts of RF output power.

After the three Bullet stages completed we packed up and exited the location with ease, thanks to our early morning shovelling efforts.

We stopped by the Westridge warming hut to check in and grab a radio sign, and then proceeded to our next position waaaay in the back corner of the Gem Falcon stage (K01). This stage would require 20 watts and a roof-mounted collinear antenna to make the repeater cleanly so Mike switched to a cross-band repeat setup with his Kenwood TM-D710GA and a Yaesu FT-70D HT.

Doug KE7GKS Heredos ended up joining us at position K01 after his planned blocker location was deemed "too full of snow". Doug has organized the Oregon Trail Rally in previous years and also participates as a driver in many rally events. It was nice to have him join us for the evening and so he was awarded the prize of a fire-cooked steak.

The night rally action was a good show from this blocker position as well. Here's Nick Wood and BWWR organizer Jennifer Daly ripping by:

The event completed somewhere around 8 PM so everyone made their way up to the Happy Valley day lodge for Parc Ferme and the awards. However, there was a lot of "discussion" about scoring and the clock pushed to 10 PM. At this time our crew of four called it and drove back home to Vernon for a midnight bedtime. It was an impressive albeit exhausting 21 hour day for us.

We would like to thank the rally entrants for the great show and of course the other volunteers for helping put the event on. Without volunteers these types of events would not be possible.

We can't wait to see the video covering the event on TSN or YouTube in a couple of months. This article will be updated with a link to that video when it becomes available for viewing. However, in the meantime you can check out the highlights video.

Avid rally enthusiast and volunteer radio operator

Ps: if you are interested in volunteering for an event like this in the future, putting your tactical HAM radio skills to good practice, shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can chat about what all is involved.