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A possible way forward - two tier SOTA?


#1

The recent arguments about summit qualifying criteria have been most unfortunate, and it seems a great pity that some have seen fit to leave SOTA as a direct or indirect consequence. I have been thinking about the issues and wonder whether there might be a compromise position by introducing a “two tier SOTA”.

The core of my idea is to leave the basic SOTA programme exactly as it was meant to be, with strict objective criteria for identifying summits of significance. But alongside that, associations would be able (if they so wished) to register a second tier of summits, the rules for which could be determined purely by the local association. Such summits could be distinguished by having four digit reference numbers.

My proposal would be that these secondary summits would not count for the main SOTA awards; in effect they would be “zero-pointers”. However they could still be activated and chased for fun, and would encourage activity amongst those less able for one reason or another to reach the “real” summits. Moreover there would be nothing to stop associations from introducing their own local awards which could include the secondary summits without compromising the integrity of the main programme.

The completists amongst us could choose for themselves whether they wished to include the zero-pointers in their self-imposed challenges.

One of the great advantages of any *OTA scheme is the frame of reference it brings with it. If I go up my local hill (something like 70m ASL) and give its name, it doesn’t mean anything to anybody not local. If it were G/EA-1234 (in the new East Anglia region) that would be something that people could look up in a list and tick off. We have all the mechanisms in SOTA and it seems a pity not to use them to meet a demand that clearly exists.

In particular, since parts of the DM association seem to want to break away from SOTA and do their own thing, this proposal would give them a way of legitimately doing their own thing WITHIN the overall framework of SOTA.

Obviously this is just the bare skeleton of a proposal and there would be a lot of details to work out. However it seems to me a way forward that is worth exploring to avoid the break-up of SOTA.

Thoughts?


#2

In reply to M1MAJ:

My proposal would be that these secondary summits would not count for
the main SOTA awards; in effect they would be “zero-pointers”. However
they could still be activated and chased for fun, and would encourage
activity amongst those less able for one reason or another to reach
the “real” summits.

Thoughts?

My immediate thoughts are that people won’t chase for zero points, this was proved recently when Derek activated a now non-sota G/SB summit.

On top of that, I think that your quote above could possibly be read as very condescending to any one with a disability, to tell them to go and activate a hillock for zero points. We have to be careful with the laws concerning the rights of the disabled, and rightly so too, luckily, thanks to Steve 2E0KPO we have a list of Marilyns which offer possible access to the unfit or disabled.

All the same Martyn, worthy of debate.

73 Barry 2E0PXW


#3

Good suggestions, but as far as I am concerned the SOTA MT has had its chance and failed to consider many of the proposals that participants have suggested in any serious way and have always brushed off good suggestions.

SOTA to me is failing its participants badly… I will save my suggestions for The Summits Knowledgebase which is the way forward as I see it.
73
Steve


#4

In reply to 2E0PXW:

My immediate thoughts are that people won’t chase for zero points

As I said, there could be some DIFFERENT award, league table, what have you.

On top of that, I think that your quote above could possibly be read
as very condescending to any one with a disability, to tell them to go
and activate a hillock for zero points. We have to be careful…

That is precisely why I said “for one reason or another”. It MIGHT be for reasons of disability, but it might equally be because of where they live, or because they find fuel too expensive, or whatever.


#5

In reply to M1MAJ:
I was just pointing out that it could possibly be taken the wrong way.

73 Barry 2E0PXW


#6

In reply to M1MAJ:

This was thought of from the outset and is covered in the rules!

3.13.2 Association sponsored awards.

In addition to programme-wide certificates and trophies, Associations may specify their own award system, which is administered by the Association Manager. These award systems must be defined in the Association reference manual.

It helps to read the rules occasionally, I guess. All you have to do is get together, work out a detailed proposal, and get your Association manager on board. It will not be a matter for the MT. I would suggest that any scheme based on lesser prominences should include the SOTA summits so that a SOTA activation will count in both programs.

73

Brian G8ADD


#7

In reply to G8ADD:

This was thought of from the outset and is covered in the rules!

Indeed it is (and I was well aware of it). However there is no provision to assign reference numbers to summits that don’t meet the strict criteria. An association could invent its own scheme of course, but I think it would give the idea more credibility to incorporate the second tier within the general framework we already have.


#8

In reply to M1MAJ:

I guess a rule of this kind is always going to be open to a degree of interpretation, but to me it looks as if the rule permits a definition of a summit that would be tailored to the needs of a particular Association rather than a one size fits all. I would think immediately of a lesser prominence, say 25, 50 metres or whatever, but it could be something else entirely, such as hills adjacent to long distance footpaths and/or ancient trackways, or possibly a “backpacking award” where the distance that has to be covered on foot is factored into the score - for instance points per kilometre with each hill scoring for the minimum distance from the roadhead (to be determined in advance) plus a height score. In scotland this could give some terrific scores, it is about a 20 km walk-in to A’Mhaighdean for instance. Not that I am advocating any of these, just stretching my mind around some of the possibilities.

The point is that a group of enthusiasts could put together some such scheme and publish it here for comments and if it gets plenty of support (and isn’t going to overwhelm the Association Manager who has a primary responsibility to the main program - but there is no reason that I can see why he shouldn’t delegate) then it could be adopted as a valuable additional tier.

As I say, this sort of thing is implicit in the rules, all it takes is someone to pick it up and run with it.

73

Brian G8ADD


#9

Hi Martyn,

You make a good point and I am with you all the way.
I have been adding fells into the non-SOTA part of the Knowledgebase site in the area of the Lake District. I have split the areas of the Lakes, (like AW did ie an area for each of his 7 books) for example The Eastern Fells; The Northern Fells, The Southern Fells etc. For the non SOTA Summits, I have allocated a number such as G/LDS-007 (for Lingmell), the thinking is its in the Lakes (G/LD) and its in the Southern Fells so (G/LDS-…) and its the 7th highest Wainwright hence G/LDS-007. There are other Fells in the same area and I will add them later and just carry on with the numbering.

I have entered fells in three of the areas and will continue to complete and add the Outlying Fells. A similar system can be adopted elsewhere.

As for points, well it just doesnt matter, its about activating summits and working chasers.

Regards

Ian G7KXV