Association Updates 1st October 2023

This month’s updates are as follows:

I/SI new summits

Two island summits were newly identified. These are I/SI-287 and I/SI-288.


Several summit names have been changed. W6/SC-074 is being replaced with W6/SC-461 (old and new summits both named " Chiquito Peak". The AZs are different, so please be sure to use the new position.).


Just a few new names here, also with an elevation tweak to W0C/SP-042.

DL – Major Update

Col information had not been provided for DL. I have examined (mostly) the Bayern Atlas mapping to determine prominence values and better to locate summit positions. This has resulted in adjustments to many summits.

Currently a minimum topographic prominence (Schartenhöhe) of 100m is applied to the DL summits list, but 27 of the active summits were determined not to qualify. These are being retired with this update. The summits are:

  • DL/AL-011
  • DL/AL-056
  • DL/AL-069
  • DL/AL-149
  • DL/AL-166
  • DL/AL-197
  • DL/AL-229
  • DL/AM-025
  • DL/AM-027
  • DL/AM-160
  • DL/BE-013
  • DL/BE-015
  • DL/BG-004
  • DL/BG-079
  • DL/CG-051
  • DL/CG-105
  • DL/EW-010
  • DL/EW-013
  • DL/KW-024
  • DL/MF-050
  • DL/MF-068
  • DL/MF-075
  • DL/MF-090
  • DL/MF-110
  • DL/WS-012
  • DL/WS-016
  • DL/WS-096

Some missing summits were found and are being added with this update:

  • DL/AL-284
  • DL/AL-285
  • DL/AL-286
  • DL/AL-287
  • DL/AL-288
  • DL/BG-093
  • DL/BG-094

Several of these are higher summits replacing retiring near neighbours outside of their activation zones.

The prominence analysis shows that the density of P150 summits is far in excess of the limit for derogation to P100 specified for application of general rule 3.5.1. It was therefore decided to bring DL into conformity with other SOTA associations and restrict the list to summits with at least 150m of prominence. We have agreed to suspend application of this change until the close of year 2024. Consequently a further 136 summits will no longer be valid for SOTA as of 2025-01-01.

DD1LD has stepped down as AM for DL, leaving the role currently vacant.


Some scoring changes were made to EA3.


F/AM-634 summit location has been refined.


Dear Simon, dear MT,

At first my sincere thanks for creating and maintaining SOTA, enabling hikers to enjoy the combination of amateur radio and mountaineering together, often with a pile-up. Equivalent for chasers.

But today is a sad and frustrating day – you want to turn the DL-Association to P150. It looks there is no agreement by the Association Manager and the Region Managers ?

Why is this necessary ? There are other P100 Associations existing. Why changing now ?

We agreed 2008 that DL is a P100 Association. Later you created the Summit Density Argument, tuned the threshold to support your decisions which area is P150 and which not. A lot was written about this on the reflector already in 2015:

DL Association is already a difficult Association in terms of points vs. effort. Have never ever seen reports like “Easy 100 points within a few days” or similar in the DL Association. Why is it necessary to make it even more difficult ?

How does this change make the world a better place ? Less summits mean less activations, less QSOs, less chaser points, overall reduced activity.
HAM Radio in Germany is shrinking, average age of the Hams increases almost one year per year, only very few youngsters. Does such action improve the attractiveness of Amateur Radio and SOTA ?

You may personally feel good about “We proudly pushed the P150 Purity to DL too”.

But shouldn’t we perform only such actions which increase attractiveness of SOTA and Amateur Radio and create additional activity instead of reducing it ?

How about older activators, some with health issues. The easier summits are the only possibility for them to participate in SOTA as activator. Deleting these summits excludes them in future. (I know there is not a 1o1 mapping of hiking difficulty with prominence, but often it is…)

Based on all the previous discussions I expect an answer like “SOTA is not a democracy and you have to live with the MT decisions otherwise stop participating and create your own program.” Well… This is the world we live in… Still I wanted to express my thoughts above…

Want to activate these 136 summits which you set for deletion. How is this possible in 15 Months ? Can you extend the transition period until 2029 ?

Thanks and BR

73 andy DL2DVE - RM of DL/MF

(PS: will take a look at the summits you deleted per Oct 1st later)


All very interesting, but tell us why you think DL should be treated differently to other Alpine Associations. Are the DL mountains so much more difficult than neighbouring mountains in OE, HB, I or F/AM? P


Hello Andy.

The rationale for P100 derogation is to allow activator participation in associations with less mountainous terrain, which would otherwise have very short or non-existent summits lists. Yes, in mountainous terrain it likely adds some summits easier, in general, than would be listed for P150. That makes it inequitable to apply this arbitrarily to one association and not its neighbours with similar terrain.

I think many would be surprised to learn that Alpine DL has enjoyed the same derogation as e.g. Saskatchewan or the Netherlands.

SOTA has grown into a global programme. Are we also to apply P100 to difficult terrain such as in the Andes? Using the same criteria globally allows for simple selection of summits on purely topographic grounds without needing endlessly to debate human factors such as difficulty, popularity, or access restrictions. We limit the P100 derogation to areas where it makes a large difference. “Tuning” the density parameter to include DL would make P100 not much of an exception at all. The DL P150 summit density is quite similar to your neighbours in Tyrol, for example.

(I don’t much like map-checking P100 associations. It’s usually harder than P150 as in rolling terrain it often throws up similar-height neighbouring hills and it can be very hard to judge which is the parent. It’s do-able in jurisdictions with very good maps or LIDAR data but I’d be very worried about the scale of the task if we tried to apply P100 more widely.)

No need to bring my feeling into it thanks!

The date set is the one proposed by the former AM.

We are concerned that because the AM has stepped down sooner than he previously indicated communication between us may be broken. I hope DL RMs (or participants) can nominate a replacement soon.


Maybe I’m not making myself popular now…
…but I don’t understand it anyway!

  • why not P150 for everyone?
  • why are there different points for the same height in different countries?
  • why are there different amounts for the winter bonus?
  • why does winter in Gran Canaria last until March 31st and in Sweden only until March 15th?

Questions upon questions…

I think it should be standardized!

73 Armin


In order the answers are

  • summit density
  • because you need to consider the spread of summits in each association on a per-association basis. Otherwise due to the heights of the summits in Argentina, all German summits would be worth 1pt. Maybe there would be a few 2pt summits.
  • winter bonus is 3pts everywhere
  • the AM decides how long (s)he wants the winter (summer) bonus to be from a maximum of 4 months and based on WX issues.



The AM do what they want… untill the MT has other ideas :innocent:

73 Armin


It would be nice to be able to parameterize the the seasonal bonus decision, but in contrast to P100 decisions this is not so easy to do. If we were asked for P100 status in mountainous terrain it would take literally about 5 minutes to find that summit density precludes this. In contrast we don’t have so many resources to quantify what actually are seasonal conditions at summits; so we rely much more on local knowledge of the AM to justify the bonus request. Of course knowledge within the team, comparison with neighbouring associations and general Web resources will often lead us to discuss the requested parameters, but we’ll arrive at agreed values. It is far from perfect though. But then it’s another opportunity to “game” the scoring when you know better!


In general, I am already aware of the problem!

I just have a problem understanding it…

In HB9 I get 2 points for a summit with 1460m, in OE I get 6 points.
In DL I have a winter bonus for 900m in HB9 from up to 1500m…

The countries in the Alps are pretty comparable… weren’t there any guidelines? I would have liked more stringency.

Of course I enjoy the density of summits in the Vosges… but sometimes I also feel guilty when I get points so easily… and I wonder if it has to be that way.
OK - if you joined SOTA much earlier, it was even easier… It’s difficult to compare individual successes. There would be a need for a table in which the points of the summits that have become invalid are deducted… and that is too much effort… especially since they were activated!

Despite these “weaknesses”, I enjoy living with SOTA and am generally happy about the excellent organization.

73 Armin


I’m just very thankful that there are people like Simon and the MT who are prepared to give up so much of their spare time to run SOTA for our benefit.

I can’t begin to image how difficult it must be to get hundreds of radio amateurs to agree on something! :grinning: So whilst sometimes the response from the MT may seem a bit dictatorial, realistically thats probably the only way to keep this thing together.

Many thanks,


And in DM, you can get 10 points for each of MANY (44 out of a total of 93 in DM/BW!) drive-up, or easy stroll summits. PM me if you want to know what I think about that.


Having struggled up a remote and boggy GM two pointer and having driven up two different W0 10 pointers, I would say I enjoyed the unique challenges they all presented.

You can’t compare apples with pears. You can’t compare Belgium with Scotland with France with Argentina.

Just crack on and have fun on the hills! (Oh and I’m all for P150, with the few exceptions.)


We have developed several rules of thumb over time and apply them pretty consistently nowadays. It’s impossible to avoid discontinuities at association borders and a simple elevation-based scoring system can never account for true difficulty levels. This has been gone over many times in the past. We have occasionally been persuaded to alter banding. I might be wrong, but I don’t remember any AMs requested reducing summit scores on a running association?


Hi Fraser,

Yes you can’t compare that :wink:

But look here…
F/CR summits, the poor of the system… :unamused: No one are going here but you can engrave your call here forever, there are good wines and fine gastronomy but few points to gain, I stopped at the highest summit of FL/VO (P100) 1424m no activation really :woozy_face:

Here you find the MG points tank :rofl: :+1: :crazy_face:

look at the huge number of activations, it’s incredible!
Ideally located on the borders of Europe (ON, LX, DL, HB, F, PA and the courageous G and others who take the plane), the FL/VO benefit from a P100 which could not be changed. We can understand the enthusiasm :clown_face:

Fraser once again mass is said, come see us here in F/CR (we still have 34°C at the moment and no rain for a long time), others do so timidly.

73, Éric


F/CR is on the edge of where my sister lives in France. It’s a wonderful place, the countryside, the food, the wine and beer. Sure there are not so many points as in FL/VO but the summits are uniques for me so worth doing. And what is better is the people always seem pleased when an English guy tries to speak French.


Exactly - I love that… and there are still some areas in “F” that offer that!
The year is far too short! :sweat_smile:

73 Armin


We have a simmilar situation in YU.

9 years ago, when the association was formed, I was not informed about any guidelines regarding the banding (point distribution) and winter bonus. My naive attempt to compare these parameter with neighbouring associations was cut short without debate. Being an inexperienced AM, I accepted the proposed banding and winter bonus, without ever knowing that criteria for these do exist. As a result, now we have a laughable winter bonus height, and very unfavorable banding of 417 summts in YU association.


Hello Rob,

I live in the DM area and activate a lot of DM areas. Yes, in many cases it is easier to activate a DM than a DL. But I wouldn’t see it as a walk. There are many peaks where you have to climb really well. Related to the DL/AL, here too there is e.g. some easy peaks…

Greetings Michael


This is what many would call climbing really well:

In DM, you have to walk - 150 meters from the car, or 15 kilometers - it’s a walk, and it’s as simple as that. YMMV, as always…

Cheers, Rob