Since the whole horrible issue of P150 vs P100 for England has reared its ugly head again…I submit an idea for a compromise.
The main summits list remains at P150. A new list of ‘SOTA tops’ is created, as follows:
- Any peak with prominence less than that for the main list (P150) and greater than some value (perhaps P100, perhaps less; in any case greater than the vertical distance for the activation zone), and altitude greater than some value (to avoid including very minor hummocks), are eligible for inclusion in the tops list.
- The tops list is not expected to be ‘complete’ (to ease the workload on the AM; a complete list of, say, P50 would be immense)
- All tops are worth 1 point. Seasonal bonus of 1 extra point can be considered.
- SOTA top references should make it clear they are tops. One possibility appending a letter to the parent peak, for example Scafell would be LD-001A. That might cause problems with too many tops in places though. Another would just be adding a ‘T’ to the region code, so Scafell might be LDT-001
The idea is that tops will be activated on the same expedition as a parent summit, thus providing a ‘bonus’ point for that expedition. However, this is not required. Many of the well known hills that do not meet P150 could gain inclusion as a SOTA top, such as the Welsh 3000’s, Wainwrights, those Munroes with P<150, etc, thus countering complaints of their lack of inclusion in the scheme.
Because the tops are not worth full points, gaining points is not made significantly easier.
The creation of a tops scheme could actually be done independently of SOTA, if desired, and in a such a way as to complement, rather than compete with, the current SOTA program.