Am I Too Old For SOTA Activations

I was just coming up to 68 when I reached MG. Now on 2699.

Started activating at almost 49. I’m now 53 with a few hundred activations in my log, but still just slightly over half MG. As others wrote, it’s not a question of age, but of health and fitness.



BTW, Kurt is now approaching the 7th MG - in time for his 78th.
Keep it up, Kurt!

73 cu, Heinz


M1EYP: Started at 32, MG at 37, still activating lots at 47.

M0HGY: Started at 13 (once licensed, though had been going on SOTA expeditions since the age of 9), MG at 19, still activating at the ripe old age of 25.

Looks like we’ve both got a long, long way to go judging by the impressive numbers in this thread.


66 years old, 536 activations, 303 points. No real interest in making MG. There are loads of other personal milestones to achieve, which are just as tough and in many cases tougher…

Have fun…


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Hi John,
Glyn, G4CFS, conducted a survey on the age of SOTA activators a year ago: How Old is the Average SOTA Operator?. The results are worrisome for the future of our hobby, but the determination that we read in the replies to your question keeps us hopeful…
Zoran / E70AA

Oh god such a spring chicken in compare to you all.

Age bugger all to do with it, more depends on state of mind and health and the willingness to do it



Hi All,
I will be 75 in June this year ! I have been playing SOTA for many years I must admit I do take a little bit longer to get where I am going now and sometimes even longer to find my way back!! but still enjoy
SOTA as much as ever.
Just keep on moving onwards and upwards

Tony G7OEM


MG really is the “gold standard” in SOTA, but it could be argued that 250 Activator Uniques is tougher.

I wonder what your tougher personal target is Mike?

Started when I was 70, reached 133 summits, 319 points at 71. Still going slowly up to the summits! My goal for 2018 is to get my totals up to 200 summits and 500 points activating and to attain Shack Sloth while chasing. Glad to have the youngsters (40’s, 50’s and 60’s) leading the way!


Hi John,

I started SOTA in 2006 when I was 54. Achieved MG in 2010 at 58, now 66 and looking forward to quite a number of years to come, God willing. It is all down to personal goals, so the pressure only comes from within, subject to good health and fitness.

SOTA helped me to overcome the doldrums in terms of my radio experience which had become run of the mill and nondescript. With a preference for VHF over HF, it was either splash the cash on EME or on travelling to the summits to gain a new experience. I certainly made the right choice!

73, Gerald G4OIG
522 Unique summits, 70,000 miles travelled, 57,500 miles personally driven
Current target - to attain Double MG


Hello John,
Short answer: NO!
Started SOTA at age 75, and about to join the group of octogenarian OM / YL activator teams in 2 months. Just go at your own pace, but go. I regard SOTA activating as the best thing ever as far as maintaining health, especially bushwhacking, which requires more balance.
Best, Ken and Kay Ke7BGM.


I sure hope not. Just started chasing and activating last spring at age 66. Had I not gone back to work last summer, I’m sure that I’d have lots more activations under my belt. Now just a weekend chaser and activator.


Hi John

Achieved Mountain Goat when I was 63 (took me a ‘tad’ over 3 years). I’m glad I ‘found’ SOTA…it has kept me fit, I’ve made loads of new friends… both Chasers and Activators and now that Val (XYL) joins me on the hills/mountains we can enjoy mini breaks together in various parts of the country.

My goals for the future are hopefully to reach double MG in the next few years, visit new summits and Associations (uniques), tick off Ben Nevis for SOTA in June with Barry M0IML and complete the summits in my own Country (Wales). You set your own targets in SOTA but most of all …enjoy.

My blog tells the story

73 de Allan GW4VPX


Never too old if you can hike up a summit your good to go! I’m 69 this year. MG and 250 uniques are my goals. 297 to go for MG. 161 for uniques. The latter may take a while and cost a fair bit in travel and fuel costs.

Have to fit in with the XYL demands which limits activations. Contemplated divorce but that’s too expensive.

Neil de G0WPO



As others have said, it’s not about age - it’s about fitness. I agree with Ken K6HPX that SOTA can be a key tool for maintaining health. It’s a regenerative thing - fitness tends to improve the more you go out. Frequent challenges do more good than infrequent extreme trials.

When I was younger, I never imagined I’d be climbing peaks off-trail, through deadfall and bushes on snowshoes at 69, but that’s the reality. What’s incredible is that most of these trips are a lot of fun! Climbing several thousand vertical feet to activate peaks above 4000 M requires more fitness than most people ever experience, but many activators over 60 are doing this.

We are the exceptions to the general decline in health that most people experience as they get older. To some extent, this is a choice we have made. Take care - be warned - what some of us do for SOTA may be inappropriate for many others, regardless of age. Climbing high peaks and going into the back country can be very dangerous.

The older we get, the more experience we accumulate. We get more careful about weather and other threats because of what we’ve learned. Most of the old SOTA activators are doing what they do because of what happened to them when they were younger, and what they took away from that!




I was 73 whenever I started doing my SOTA activations a couple of years ago. The Summits in PA, MD, WV, & VA do not have the same elevation challenges as those in the Rockies present. But, there is still a bit of uphill to contend with, some cross country walking, and there is usually a lot of bushwacking involved with lots of fallen timber to deal with. Good exercise. But I do not attempt to do 3-4 Summits in a day.
Jody - K3JZD

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Lot’s of great responses here! I don’t know your history of hiking and climbing mountains…but you were a Marine so you must be a tough guy! My advice is to start out with easier peaks and build from there based on your experience. The main thing is to have fun doing activations. If you don’t have fun…don’t do it!

I’m a young 61 year old guy – hoping to keep up with the older guys ;-). We have lots of 60 plus people activating peaks throughout the world.

73, Brad

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I’ve just turned 73 and have completed my second activation; I’ll see how I go.
Dermy - VK1FDHA

Was 83 and Merle was 81 when we made Goat on 1 Oct 2017. Just turned 84 and Merle will be 82 in April. We’ll be back at it in a few weeks. Maybe shoveling snow in NH is good for us!