Yesterday HB9DST introduced me to the joys of SOTA activation. We did a fairly easy one, HB/BE-138 and this simple activity definitely got me hooked to the SOTA program. The plan was to do a more challenging summit, HB/BE-134 today. Probably I made a beginners mistake by not carrying the rules with me: The operation was within 25 vertical meters vertical distance of the top of the summit, but when we returned to our hotel (and internet) I discovered there is another rule telling that the terrain between the operating position and the actual summit must not fall below the permitted vertical distance. So my conclusion is that my activation of HB/BE-134 is not a valid SOTA expedition. I apologize to the 29 stations that I worked and who most likely thought they worked a new one.
Anyway, we had a great hike up to the summit, the weather was gorgeous and I was able to identify some improvements to my station. Be assured that I will be back soon with other (valid) SOTA expeditions.

Hans PB2T

In reply to PB2T:
Don’t worry Hans, it’s a genuine mistake and we’ve all made them. I remember going to great lengths to activate a summit that had been removed from SOTA when I was a beginner because I didn’t read the list properly.

More important that you enjoyed it and were hooked! It looks like we just gained a good SOTA op and thanks to that fact, those 29 stations will cash in many fold in the future.

Best regards & welcome to SOTA activating,
John G4YSS.

In reply to PB2T:

Hans, don’t worry!
This summit requires some alpine climbing and is therefore seldom visited by tourists (indicated also by 1 SOTA activation only).

73 es gl,
Heinz HB9BCB

In reply to PB2T:

Welcome to SOTA activating Hans and Paul

It was a pleasure to meet you both on the air and say Hello

Points are only an extra bonus.

I look fowarded to another QSO with you from another SOTA soon


Hello all,

I would likewise like to let those stations with whom I had a 40m contact that we were invalid (Hans was on 30m). We weren’t sure of the rules, but since we were up there anyway, we decided to set up and operate just in case. As Hans said, it was a perfect Indian Summer day and we had a nice workout (hiking a vertical distance of 500+ meters). So, ops, we’ll see you on the next SOTA, which I hope won’t be long.


In reply to PB2T:

Hans, in my opinion this rule needs clarification. If it was possible to move from your operating position to the summit without having to descend more than 25 metres below the summit height then the activation was valid. If there was an intervening col forcing you to drop more than 25 metres below the summit then the activation was not valid.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to PB2T:
Hi Hans!
Welcome on board!
This rule might be a bit tricky. Just draw the 2075 m level line around the summit (height minus 25 m). If your position is within this line - operation is valid. Else, go closer.
Don’t worry. The summit will be there next time, and the chasers eager to have contact with any activator from any summit.
János, HA4FY

The peak is 2100m (on the Swisstopo hiking map), our position was 2076m (as marked on the hiking trail sign). The only way to get to the summit was to go across maybe 200m, in doing so drop at least another 15 or 20 meters, and then go straight up (literally! no trail whatsoever) to the 2100m summit.