What is it?

Well, it's the Telegraph Pass Challenge - a hiking challenge for Parkinson's research! Four years ago, on 11-11-11, I set out to hike Telegraph Pass 11 times in a row. After roughly 7 1/2 hours, I succeeded. I met many people along the mountain that day and the days following. Most people thought I was insane, but there were actually several people that said that they would have joined me if they had known about it ahead of time. So, I organized a small event on 12-12-12, where dozens of people joined me on my quest to hike Telegraph Pass 12 times in a row. And the following year, on 11-12-13, the event got even BIGGER, with over 50 participants. And last year, on 12-13-14, we had over 150 participants! But we're bigger than that! We're better than that! So this year, (even though it's still called the Telegraph Pass Hiking Challenge - we have to pay homage to the mountain that started it all) the event will be a VIRTUAL EVENT that will take place the ENTIRE MONTH OF DECEMBER! It's my personal goal to hike the largest mountain in my area (Telegraph Pass) with as many members of my family that I can find, and I'd like to raise some money for a good cause at the same time. So, here's the announcement to all healthy, able-bodied hikers in Yuma, Arizona and around the world: Please challenge yourself to hike a hill, mountain, or road in your area anytime in the month of December, and support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research with us! The best part is, you'll get your participation/finisher's medal within a week of registration, so you can WEAR IT WHILE YOU HIKE, to show your support of Parkinson's research and to prove to all of the people that see you that you're participating in an awesome event!

Everyone is welcome to come out and hike Telegraph Pass (or a mountain in your area) as many times as they feel comfortable, but I encourage everybody to try to hike it at least one more time than you think you can - or for a half-hour longer than you've ever hiked before - you get the idea. So, if you've never hiked a mountain before, come out and hike it once! If you've hiked it in the past, come out and hike it two times in a row! The event is about challenging yourself, and overcoming obstacles in your brain that might prevent you from doing something like this. It's about believing in yourself and doing something great to help others!

Sometimes it's easier to accomplish something hard if you attempt it in the name of a loved one or friend who is struggling with something – I will be completing this challenge again on behalf of my sweet and amazingly wonderful brother-in-law, Chuck. Chuck was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a few years ago, and he is doing everything he can to fight it. I will be hiking with Chuck and several other family members in support of research and awareness of this horrible condition, and I hope you will too.

How much does it cost?

The cost of participating is $35 per person, and includes the following:

  • Custom Finisher's Medal
  • A small snack or gift to keep you going on your challenge
  • The satisfaction in knowing that you accomplished something amazing, and all profits are going directly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

PLEASE NOTE: All proceeds from the registration sales will be used to buy any the medals, any signage, and pay for postage. ALL profits after those expenses have been paid will be mailed directly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research by me, personally. We are not a non-profit organization - I am just a girl who has a brother-in-law with Parkinson's and wants to help by trying to raise money to cure the disease. I will post documentation of the money transferred to the MJF Foundation after the funds have cleared the banks. And once again, we have set up a fundraising page! You can create your own fundraising team, and gather pledges for each trip up the mountain, or get donations from all of your friends and family in support of you conquering your goal (whatever it may be). All of the funds created from the fundraising pages will be transferred directly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research from the Active.com website.

When is it?

That's the great part - because it's a virtual event, you can complete this challenge any time in the month of December 2015! A lot of people will be hiking Telegraph Pass on the weekends (I, personally, will be hiking it with my family on one of the Saturdays in December) - but choose a day that works for you, and go out and challenge yourself!

How do I Register?

You can register by going to Active.com and signing up: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/telegraph-pass-challenge-a-hiking-challenge-for-parkinsons-research-tickets-19477827707

What if I can't make it to the event, can I still help donate?

Yes! And, by the way, you're awesome! Just go to the official fundraising page at https://fundraising.active.com/event/telegraphpasshikingevent and press Donate now! You can even set up a team and share your own fundraising page so that your friends and family can donate to your team. We can't wait to see which team raises the most money for this fantastic charity!
***UPDATE: Donations functionality coming soon, please stay tuned!

Where do I go if I want to hike Telegraph Pass?

The normal parking area for Telegraph Pass is located at the East end of North Frontage Road (map). From there, access to the mountain (which is 1.5 miles East) is relatively easy. There are a few options:

  • The "normal" way: You can park your car at the end of North Frontage Road, and hike the 1.5 miles to the base of the mountain and turn around, or continue up to the top - as many times as you like!
  • You can have a friend drop you off at the construction entrance to Telegraph Pass, which is located off of I-8 Westbound. Please note that if you are heading Eastbound to the event, it is unlawful to cross the highway median to get to the construction entrance. Instead, you would need to go East and take exit 21 towards Dome Valley, and turn around so that you are travelling West on I-8. You could then pull over at the construction entrance and drop off participants, but no parking is allowed in that area so you definitely don't want to leave your vehicle there.
Can I bring my kids/dogs?

Yes! Pets and kids can make challenges so much easier to bear, and I'm so excited that at least 2 of my little nieces and nephews will be joining our family to the top this year! Use your judgment though - if you're planning on hiking for several hours, leave your pets and children at home.

What should I bring?
  • Electrolyte enhanced drinks and/or water (just clearly label them so everyone knows they're yours)
  • Food - it's a good idea to at least bring a few power bars, some trail mix, or fruit to keep you going - it is a challenge, after all!
  • If you'll be hiking Telegraph Pass/your mountain more than once, bring a permanent marker (last year, I kept track of my trips up the mountain by writing hash marks on my sleeve – it worked out really well. Plus, you could have fellow hikers sign your t-shirt as you pass by.)
  • Anything that you think you will need for the day (sunscreen, ice, Kleenex, hiking sticks, a hat, etc.)
Can I volunteer?

Because of our new "Virtual Event" status, and the fact that people will be hiking on various days in December, no volunteers are really needed this year. If you want some ideas on how you can help - please email me at wendy@telegraphpass.com and let me know - I'm sure we can find SOMETHING for you to do to help!

Can I or my company help sponsor the event?

You bet! In past years, we've had countless item donations from various local and national clubs, businesses, and organizations, and it was wonderful! But this year, because there's no set day when we will all be in one place at one time, we could really use some help in advertising for the event, and of course, cash donations for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. If you or anyone you know would like to help us by donating some advertising dollars or direct donation dollars (checks made payable to the MJF Foundation), please email me at wendy@telegraphpass.com

Other stuff:
  • Please help your community keep your mountain clean, and pack everything out with you when you leave.
  • Please obey all traffic and parking signs, and give any construction vehicles the right of way on the mountain.
  • When you register with Active.com, you will be required to agree to a release waiver (as is customary for racing/challenge events). This is a "Hike at your own risk" event. Please don’t attempt this challenge if you have reservations about it – we don't want anyone getting hurt. If you don't think you're ready for an event like this, just adjust your challenge to something less scary - like a one-hour walk around your neighborhood.
  • This isn't a "race", so there's no need to push yourself beyond your physical limits. You are encouraged to take breaks, sit down, stretch, rub your feet – whatever you need to do to get through your challenge. And if you're hiking after dark, please make sure to bring a flashlight with you.
  • Again, if you don’t feel like being a crazy person and hiking Telegraph Pass 1-10 times in a row, or for health/other reasons, you can't physically complete a physical challenge, please consider donating directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
  • If you have any questions or need parking advice for Telegraph Pass, please feel free to email me at wendy@telegraphpass.com.

Hope to see some of you hiking Telegraph Pass and completing challenges with your medals on! And please don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook and post pictures of your successes! Official Telegraph Pass Facebook Page

Hugs and happy hiking,

Think you can do it?

Click here to register

The price of $35 includes:

  1. An awesome Finisher's Medal (wear it while you hike!)
  2. A free snack or gift
  3. A million high 5's with a smile
  4. The satisfaction in knowing that all profits are going to be sent directly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

***UPDATE: Donations functionality coming soon, please stay tuned!

Raise funds with the help of your friends and family!

Visit the fundraising page, create your own team, then share your personal fundraising page on Facebook and all over the place!

If a friend were to sponsor you with $10 per hour you hiked, and you hiked for 3 hours - you could raise up to an additional $30 for charity, and make all of your hard work pay off!