Tripoli-Colorado generally launches on the 3rd Sunday of the month from April through October, starting at 9:00am, weather permitting. There are frequent exceptions, so be sure to check the Launch Schedule for complete launch schedule information.
All launches are operated under the Tripoli Unified Safety Code. Note that all NAR members are welcome to attend Tripoli launches and fly commercial motors (up to your certification level).
Our normal FAA waiver is 7,000 feet AGL, with a high altitude window of 14,200 feet AGL available upon request. If you plan to "fly high," please notify the Prefect at least a half-hour before your rocket is ready to go so that arrangements can be made with the FAA.
Two Day Launches!
In additon to our regular monthly launches on Sundays, Tripoli-Colorado hosts two two-day launches each year. "Spring Fling" is held on the third weekend of June, and "Fall Frenzy" is held on the third weekend of September. These two-day launches are held in conjunction with COSROCS, who bring out their low- and mid-power equipment. These launches are exceedingly popular, and are usually accompanied by great weather.
Generally speaking, spark-effect motors (Skidmark, Darkstar, etc) ARE permitted at Tripoli-Colorado launches. However, due to changing conditions, please check with the Prefect or another club officer on the day of the launch for permission to fly a sparky motor.
Please do not camp at the launch site. It is a private, working ranch and our gracious landowners have requested that we do not camp on the range. The Chaparral campground is just 2 miles East if you must be the first on the range in the morning. Round Mountain campground is located about 15 miles East of the launch site - just East of Wilkerson Pass. This campground is very popular among club members during our two-day launches.
At 8,800 feet MSL, our launch site offers some interesting opportunities and challenges to the HPR flyer. It can also be extremely tough on your body. Bring plenty of fluids and sunscreen - regardless of the ambient temperature. In wet years, you may also want bug spray. We provide limited, on-site sanitary facilities (think camp latrine). There are no other facilities or restaurants for 15 miles in any direction, though some snacks may be available at the Chaparral Store. Non-flying visitors are welcome as long as they agree to abide by our safety code, but keep in mind there are inherent risks in high power rocketry, and this is probably not the best place for young children or pets.
Speaking of pets, the natives (buffalo) are not. Nor are they shy or small, and they can ruin your whole day, so leave them alone.
Launches are open to non-members. Adult flyers may fly (up to their certified HPR level) for $5 a day as long as their national TRA or NAR membership is current. Be sure to bring your membership card to the launch for proof of certification and insurance! Children 18 and under are insured under Tripoli's policy and are welcome to fly at no charge.
Hybrid motors are welcome at our launches, but Tripoli Colorado no longer owns any of the required special equipment. If you want to fly a hybrid, plan to bring all needed ground support equipment yourself.
Please be sure to pack out your trash! Do not leave spent igniters or junk lying around for the Buffalo to get into. Our launch site is the envy of the entire country - there will be zero tolerance of behavior which imposes upon or irritates our gracious hosts.
Please do not begin the trek to Hartsel without first checking the mailing list or here for launch status! Colorado weather can change instantly, forcing the cancellation of a launch - particularly in the Spring and Fall months. Go / no-go launch status will always be posted to the mailing list by 9:00pm the evening before. Note no launch operations in Hartsel can proceed without a Club Officer on site. Do not try to "go solo."
Don't forget to bring your current TRA or NAR membership card to show proof of insurance. No card, no fly.