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Should I visit the Summit?


#1

After reading several postings and speaking to activators, for me it begs the question “Do I need to go to the summit or just the activation area?” For those of you who haven’t activated it may seem like a futile point but I can assure you on some tops it makes a significant difference in terms of distance. Kinder Scout, Fairsnape Fell, Shobdon Hill, Black Mountain, are just a few, there are many more where the activation area is huge.
Some may think my view is a bit ‘precious’ but I believe the activator should visit the summit before completing the activation. In fact the rules allude to this, in the ‘Care for the Environment’ there is a paragraph which says :

‘There is no need to operate from the exact summit itself (though you should perhaps have reached the summit before you start operating!). Our rules allow operation within 25 metres vertically of any summit so in most cases there is plenty of leeway to allow you to set up a station unobtrusively and out of the wind. In this respect, the use of tents on popular hills should be avoided where possible as they do tend to attract the (often unfavourable) attention of landowners.’

I appreciate it suggests perhaps that you should reach the summit but my opinion is you should, I believe the activation area is provided such that we minimise the impact on other hill and fell users, its not an excuse to NOT visit the summit.

I wonder what others think!


#2

In reply to G7KXV:

Hi Ian

I know that you are a purist and I respect that fact and always admire your opinion.
It’s a good question Ian and here are my thoughts/experiences from the 6 summits I have activated

I personally don’t always visit the trig and/or the summit proper, not forgetting that the two are two seperate entities, maily due to my back problem, but I always make sure 100% that I am well within the activation area, especially vertically.
The summits that I haven’t reached the summit proper on are Holyhead Mountain, damn near killed me, Raw head, found a nice grassy bank with suitable tree/fence post to support my pole very close to the trig and Mynydd Rhyd Ddu, the latter due to staying in the lee of the summit to gain some slight respite from the terrible wx and not because of the walk.
95% of my 34 activations of Hope Mountain are from the radio station area, this is 16 metres vertically short of the trig (measured with Garmin Etrex Venture cx)and approx 100 metres horizontally.

My own opinion is that on summits such as Hope Mountain where the trig is on private land and permission is required, surely it is better to activate from within the activation area away from the trig/true summit, than to have to abandon the activation. The same also for any summit with a safety issue to both the activator, and/or to the public, where wires are stretched out on public land, a good example of this is Great Orme, where it is only a 5 minute walk to the trig, but a 10 minute walk to a safer point in which to erect wire antennae away from the hoards of holiday makers/visitors.

I am of very limited experience and maybe not best qualified to comment, but it will be interesting to hear everyone’s opinions.

A lot of sota activators are radio ops first and walkers second, so may not share your view Ian, all the same, a very interesting topic.

I look forward to your next activation, wherever you decide to set up, hi.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#3

In reply to G7KXV:
I couldn’t agree more. There might occasionally be a good excuse for not reaching the actual summit, but I would say that normally a visit to the actual summit is essential. Never mind accusations of purism (which in this case I admit to proudly!) in many cases you can only be sure that you are in the activation area if you have positively identified the summit, and in thick clag that means going right up to it! There are many, many peaks with multiple summits, each of which has been adorned with a cairn, and where the true summit is masked by false summits as you approach. Anyway, who wants to say “I have NEARLY been to the summit of Snowdon!”

2p, no change required!

73

Brian G8ADD (still in the UK!)


#4

In reply to G8ADD:

Brian, if you quote me with “accusitions of purism”, then you are taking it the wrong way. I stated Ian as a purist as a genuine compliment to one of our finest activators in the UK and I’m sure that Ian knows what I meant.

73 Mike GW0DSP

P.S. do you own a private jet by any chance, hi?


#5

In reply to G7KXV:

In my last 10(ish) activations of Winter Hill I havent visited the summit. I have been, and have activated from there a couple of times, but there doesnt seem much point to me anyway in visiting a bog in the middle of a host of powerful transmitters when there is a very handy spot 1/2 a mile away, but probably only about 5m below the summit.

Having said that, other summits I have made a point of gaining the true summit before activating.

So that means I have different criteria for repeat activations. I personally dont see anything wrong with that, or with people just going into the activation zone and not visiting the summit.

It depends on what your thinking is. Just going into the activation zone and working 4 chasers qualifies you for saying I have activated summits x,y and z. You cannot however say that you have visited the summit of those hills. So it depends on how you look at it.

Regards
Ian
G7ADF


#6

In reply to GW0DSP:

In reply to G8ADD:

Brian, if you quote me with “accusitions of purism”, then
you are taking it the wrong way. I stated Ian as a purist as a genuine
compliment to one of our finest activators in the UK and I’m sure that
Ian knows what I meant.

73 Mike GW0DSP

P.S. do you own a private jet by any chance, hi?

Look at the times, Mike, I didn’t see your post until after I posted. No, I just anticipated that someone would say that this viewpoint is “purist”. Well, it is, and why not!

73

Brian G8ADD

PS no jet, but I wear my underpants on the outside!


#7

I always visit the summit at some point. It may be before I activate or after, that depends. Again depending on the summit, the activation may be physically near to the summit but more often than not it will be from the most convenient fence in the activation zone.

However, that’s me. As far as I’m concerned, as long as the activation is done within the spirit of SOTA, I don’t care what others do.

I do always try to work more than 4 chasers!

Andy
MM0FMF


#8

In reply to G8ADD:

Very good on the underpants Brian, oops never noticed the timing.

Mike


#9

In reply to MM0FMF:

My thoughts entirely Andy and for VHF operation the activator will try to get as high as practically possible. Reasons for not visiting the summit may include disturbance to livestock, excess grockles (fortunately not happened to me yet), double summits (at least try to get to one of them), excessive tree density and GOML territory. Better to stay on a footpath within the activation zone than be on the summit with half a 12 bore cartridge in one’s backside, Hi! Of course in GM there’s no excuse is there on the latter count?

73, Gerald

P.S. Perhaps a few of us need to go and hug a few trig points to get rid of the bad karma that’s going around!


#10

In reply to G4OIG:

I try to get as high as practically possible. There is no point in going up a mountain if your signal is blocked out by the very mountain you just climbed ;o)

…and you have just got to get the trig point number so you can log it on http://www.trigpointinguk.com/

Steve GW7AAV


#11

In reply to G4OIG:
G4OIG wrote: “Better to stay on a footpath within the activation zone than be on the summit with half a 12 bore cartridge in one’s backside, Hi! Of course in GM there’s no excuse is there on the latter count?”

We are better shots than that up here!!!

73

Barry GM4TOE


#12

In reply to GW7AAV:

Steve,

If you get down to Cornwall, try DC-004 Hensbarrow Beacon. You’ll find the clay pit spoil is higher than the summit… yuk! Operating VHF from the trig ensures obscurity!

73, Gerald


#13

In reply to GM4TOE:

Barry,

You haven’t seen me run! Reasonably fleet of foot despite my years with all this SOTA training.

73, Gerald

(Like the Cheetah I have an amazing burst of speed, but take an absolute age to ascend even an average SOTA summit…):slight_smile: