Gila Challenge II


Gila Wha…!?   What is the Gila Challenge?

The Gila (pronounced “HEE-luh“) Challenge is a vehicle (preferably Land Rover but open to all makes) and team based obstacle/scavenger competition designed to be family-friendly with the focus on fun, organized by the Arizona Land Rover Owners  (AZLRO.ORG). AZLRO decided to change the format of their annual Arizona Land Rover Rally to trying something new:

The Gila Challenge

What to expect:

Ladies and Gentlemen, please open your sealed envelopes…
Early on the Saturday morning, after a short debriefing, each team will be given a sealed envelope containing instructions and information. The instructions detail a series of points-earning challenges. Challenges will range in type, moderate physicality, problem solving, mental puzzles, and difficulty, and can be performed in any order (or omitted) at each teams’ discretion. Each objective will be worth points upon completion, and the number of points will depend on the difficulty, type, and other factors. Challenges differ from tasks like photographing team members with their team medallions at checkpoints to being the first to collect a waypoint marker successfully returned to Challenge headquarters, and other point scoring opportunities in-between.

Travel will be both on and off-road. Some challenges will be shrouded in mystery and will require sharp wits to achieve maximum points. Others might seem simple at first glance. Each team will have to find the right balance between time, distance, difficulty, and point value to try to maximize their opportunities to emerge as the victors of the Gila Challenge.

A GPS enabled smart-phone with camera, or a GPS unit and a digital camera, is considered essential equipment for a team. Photo/GPS data will be used by organizers to verify points-paying challenge rewards.

Are you up to the Challenge?

Gila Monster Facts

Gila Monster, ArizonaAt a length of up to two feet (0.6 meters) and a maximum weight exceeding five pounds (2.3 kilograms), the venomous Gila monster is the largest lizard native to the United States.

Easily identified by their black bodies marked with dramatic patterns of pink, orange, or yellow, Gilas are found in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. They take their name from Arizona’s Gila River basin, where they were first discovered.

The Gila monster is one of only a handful of venomous lizards in the world. Others include the similar-looking Mexican beaded lizards, as well as iguanas and monitor lizards. Its venom is a fairly mild neurotoxin. And though a Gila bite is extremely painful, none has resulted in a reported human death. Unlike snakes, which inject venom, Gilas latch onto victims and chew to allow neurotoxins to move through grooves in their teeth and into the open wound.

Gilas are lethargic creatures that feed primarily on eggs raided from nests and newborn mammals. They may spend more than 95 percent of their lives in underground burrows, emerging only to feed and occasionally to bask in the desert sun. They can store fat in their oversized tails and are able to go months between meals.