"By car to the top" problems

In reply to OK1TGI:
I think common sense is needed. Clearly operating right next to the car is against the spirit of the rules. When I activated G/TW-005 I parked down the road, walked 200 yards to my chosen activation point and set up station on the verge - with a summit like that, ie flat and boring, nothing is to be gained by doing any ‘mountaineering’. Last week at G/CE-005 I parked in the Ridgeway entrance, could have operated right there within the rules, but set up station a few hundred yards along in the woods. I then decided to have a 5 mile walk around afterwards… Wendover of course has a huge activation zone, and even two trig points to choose from, so do whatever you want. Clearly summits only accessible after a few miles climb are a different thing.

73 Dave G3YMC

In reply to G8ADD:

Tin, is it Gerald? I thought it was copper as there is malachite in
the gossan. I’ll have to go back one day and activate it, and I can
then look more closely at the workings. I found it a lovely walk.

You are entirely correct Brian. Obviously I’ve been spending too much time in Cornwall recently. I agree it is a lovely walk. For those interested in industrial archaeology, then try the route up to Trum y Ddysgl GW/NW-024 from the end of the Cwm Pennant valley - be warned that time spent looking and photographing can seriously affect your itinerary!

BTW - back on topic - I notice that Cairnpapple Hill GM/SS-254 is the only Scottish “easy” summit listed by Steve M0KPO on the Burton ARC website: burtonarc.co.uk - Informationen zum Thema burtonarc. . Of course that doesn’t stop you walking up the hill!

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to G8ADD:

I wonder if the rule about being in the vicinity of your car makes all that much sense. If you are not using the car for power, not sitting in it, not using it to support an antenna, not using it at all, who cares if you are 5 feet away from it, or at the opposite side of the parking lot, if you have walked down the required elevation with your gear and back up again. I don’t agree that summits that you can drive up should be reserved for disabled persons. There are so many variables in how accessible a summit is. Some are absurdly hard; some are absurdly easy. The 17 pages of rules and the supplements provided by the local associations are complex enough as it is. I agree that the spirit of the program should be followed. But violating the rule about operating in the vicinity (whatever that means) of your car would not violate the “spirit” of SOTA under the circumstances above. Don’t equate “rules of SOTA” and “spirit of SOTA.”

Here in New England it’s easy to find summits that have not been activated. (For the time being.) If I hike/climb up a summit with HF gear and antennas, and work dx with cw, do I feel superior than someone who activates a summit with a handheld on VHF? Sure, but that’s the game I am choosing to play. But don’t expect me to avoid a summit because it is easy. There aren’t that many ones you can drive up anyway!



I agree with Jaakko, OH6FQI, from my point of view I want to have walk and enjoy the fresh air and scenery so I always try to make sure I have a walk to the summit, I have on may occasion parked further away from the summit despite the fact I have had the possibility of parking just a few hundred meters away, I always say to myself that I want to have at least a 2km walk, but you can set your own standards.

Igor OK1TGI, I’ll give you example, last year I activated Hvezda LI-012, it was a weekend and a beautiful day, there are 2 car parks one is located about 700meters from the summit (you have to pay to park here) then you walk up the dirt track to the summit the second is a free car park by the main road which is about 1.8km further away from the paid car park, I chose to park at the free car park a walk the extra (uphill) distance this was despite I was tired and had already activated Zamky LI-011 earlier in the morning which is over an hour of strenuous up hill, so I think you can use whichever car park you want both are acceptable but the choice is yours. If had been cold and raining I would probably have parked at the paid car park myself.

In reply to OK1TGI:
Hi, in my view, the activation points should correspond to peak physical difficulty. I think it is wrong, for example, to get 10 points for the activation OK/LI-010 if I reach the summit by chair lift and get 4 points for OK/US-064, where the elevation from the nearest road is 280 m. Would be possible to change the scoring system? The points would be not derived from the ASL of the hill, but will depend on the elevation from the nearest parking place. Then it would be uniform system scoring throughout the all SOTA associations. We would not need to exclude the hills of associations like the Czech Republic, which are compared to Switzerland or Austria is much lower mountain, but still very attractive. I think that scoring system is fairer to our Hams in F, OE and HB9.
Jirka OK1DDQ

In reply to OK1DDQ:

This idea is not without its problems, Jirka. Firstly we have to find out where all the parking places are, they are not necessarily shown on maps, and if a new parking place is built we have to change the score. Then we have to decide whether there should be a different score for the same mountain for a parking place at a different altitude on the other side of it, which might be a long drive away and perhaps even in another country. This idea doesn’t solve the problem of chair lifts/gondolas/railways, and if you score from the terminus of these aids then you have to be forever revising because they are being built all the time - and if they are closed for certain seasons should the score change in those seasons?

The present system of scoring may not please everyone, but it is simple and easy to understand, and will rarely need revision.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Hello Brian and the others,

It is ridiculous to make a dicussion how steps I must go from the car (parking on top of the summit)to make the Sota QSO, when in the other hand in Tirol in order of the “BIG ENGLISH MANAGEMENT” deleted over 100 Summits, the most of them I can reach only with 1,2,3 h walk and go up many hundred meters. (Also when I go from the nearest parking area or the nearest cableway.) The best way: Delet all Summits, with roads (practicable for all) and parking places, with cablecar stations, lifts etc on the summit. The regional managers know, where are build new roads or cablewcars. Also in Tyrol are 10 or 15 Summits with cablecars, ok, delet this, but reintroduce the other, with long walking!


In reply to OE7HPI:

You must be aware, Holger, that no VALID summits were deleted? I take it from your angry shout of “BIG ENGLISH MANAGEMENT” (a misnomer since some of us are Scots!) that you were perfectly happy to have large numbers of invalid summits which would not be allowed in any other Association? You wish to continue with an unfair advantage and you are annoyed that it has been removed?

It doesn’t matter how many summits there are in an Association, or how many of them have cableways, roads, rails etc. The figures rule, either a summit has a valid prominence or it hasn’t. If it hasn’t, its out. If it has, its in. Geography rules, man-made facilities come and go.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:


since you choose to reply: could you kindly respond to Holger’s point: Why is there refusal in the MT to include minimum ascent by foot for a valid activation?

This seems to encourage “drive-by” activations while you qualify in your post non-P150 summits that require many hours of walking as “unfair advantage”?



In reply to DF9TS:

See for instance: Post by G8ADD on 29th April 2011 at 15:16

73 Karel

In reply to DF9TS:

are we referring to “drive-by” activations like that one?


73 Bernhard DL4CW

In reply to DF9TS:

The post by Karel points to an answer to your question, and it has been answered before in previous re-incarnations of this perennial topic.

I re-iterate that only invalid summits were removed. If a summit is invalid it doesn’t matter if it takes three minutes or three hours to reach it, it is still invalid. The “unfair advantage” lies in the fact that once you abandon the specified prominance and permit a significantly lesser prominence the summits are closer together and require significantly less effort to link together in multi-summit activations.

The retention of easy summits for the benefit of less able activators may permit “drive-by” activations by more fit activators, but there is only a limited supply of easy summits. Furthermore, this is a justification of the “once a year” rule since once the activator who is in a hurry to build up a score runs out of easy summits, he/she must then start on the harder summits or wait until next year. If the rule is changed to permit multiple activations in any year the more point-hungry and unscrupulous activators may never need to set foot on a harder summit!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian and others, thank you for your reply. I am aware that changing the points system is a very difficult job. Today, the SOTA involved 52 national associations, and hard to find a system that is simple and fair to all. The proposal, as I presented is not directly applicable. It must work out to be simple and clear. If a basis of the scoring system would be elevation from the starting point, the starting point would be the place where the road is closest to the peak or final station of the lift and so on. The starting point would determine minimal performance only. Maximum can everybody choose by own condition. I think it is not important to look for a possible parking places. As you can see from the subsequent discussion, the current system is not perfect also and gets to do us to exclude summits from the SOTA which requires several hours of the climbing and reach few hundred meters in elevation and on the other hand, does not specify a minimum elevation or distance. Many associations have 10-point summits that are reachable by car or cable car.
Jirka OK1DDQ

its a bit like G/WB-021 Ruardean Hill

You can actually drive right up to the trigpoint (it is right on the edge of the road in a small area covered in weeds) but when doing this one i tend to walk across from the car park (which is also in activation zone)

also G/CE-001 Cleeve Hill the car park is actually in the activation zone but i always walk up from the car park across the common to the trig point

some hill tops its just not possible to park outside the activation zone because if you were outside the activation zone on some summits you would be right at the bottom of the hill or in some cases miles away from it

In reply to DL4CW:

Hi Bernhard

Tnx fr nice picture
I have been there, 50 meters below the top in in Apil 96 or 97, but I havn_t seen any car there. It must be a 4x4, mustn_t it ? hi


Hello all
Thanks for all posts.

At first I must apologize that I do not answer for some question by G guys.
I am sorry, my English not so good in order to I am understand all.

Back to the topic
It is very hard to me to imagine situations in other countries.
For example car park as unique place which an activator cans use.
In our country it is no normal.

The OH6FQI (2nd May 2011 at 06:38) post I really like. It shows that everyone is able to keep the spirit if he wants, even a situation is dificult or strange.
Czechs say: When it doesn_t want, it worse than when it isn_t able.

I believe that exercise and fresh air are the one of basics of SOTA…
Therefore I will be very happy and satisfied when every activators behave according the Guidelines for Activators where it is writing “…final access to the Summit must be “person powered”, e.g. hiking, mountain biking”.
I mean the hiking in the true sense of the word - trail, rucksack, shoes and so on.

Special tnx for G8ADD post from 3rd May 2011 at 14:21
I agree with it.
We are having little batle around P150 v. P100. And it is very interesting that somebody says that it neccesary to have drive-in summits and also many non P150 summits somewhere even non P100 summits for higer SOTA trafic.

Igor OK1TGI (and Google Translator)

That is all very well when one is fit and well. I was made disabled for life after a madman took me out by hitting me off of my motorbike. There must be an exception for person power for the last part for the Disabled Operator. Win Green hill in the south has a large car park in the activation area. I intend to activate this hill in the summer. I will park in the car park and then I have “no option” but use my Mobility Scooter to get to the trig point. I will be operating in the spirit of SOTA. SOTA has really brightened up my days by chasing stations; surly you would not deny my ambition to operate at least one summit. Your comments would be appreciated.

Colin G4SXR

In reply to G4SXR:

Colin, the MT discussed this point some time ago and decided that on application a bona fide disabled person would be issued with a permission to activate using mobility scooters. You go ahead and activate all the summits that your scooter can reach - there are more than you might think - you may never reach MG but there is certainly enough available for you to get the first hundred in a reasonable time and we will all cheer you on!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

I forgot the existence of this very useful list of easy-access summits:


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Many thanks for the very interesting link. See you on the air sometime.