On popular summits, I try to operate away from the trig point/cairn/other summit marker if practical unless there’s no protection from adverse weather elsewhere in the AZ.
In any case, I have found people friendly - including a farmer who raced up on his all-terrain vehicle initially to complain about my 10m pole and quad-band dipole on his land - once they understand what I’m doing there.
The exception was last week on G/LD-022 Seat Sandal early morning, alone on the summit. Suddenly a woman appeared. I was already sitting in a drystone windbreak out of the 3C icy wind and had a lot of my gear unpacked. She said she was local and an amateur photographer and wanted to take photos of the (lovely) views including where I was sitting (strange). I willingly volunteered to step away for a bit for her photos but she wanted all my stuff removed too. At this point, I politely declined saying I was already cold (true) and didn’t want to repack everything and move away from the summit.
She then said people who sit too long [duration undefined] at summits are called ‘summit hoggers’ - a term new to me. I hadn’t unpacked my radio gear yet. I asked for clarification in case I had misheard [it was very windy]. Did ‘summit hoggers’ refer to people who sit at the summit (“Yes of course!”) or someone who expects everyone else to vacate the summit so they can have it to themselves, e.g. for photos (“Oh no! Certainly not.”).
I activated the summit pretty quickly on 2m but abandoned my plans to do HF as she said she would return shortly. I asked her, didn’t everyone have an equal right to be at the summit, to sit, enjoy the view, eat lunch, warm up again, take photos? Isn’t “summit hogger” a derogatory term?
I guess the point of my [long] story is that – although she may be the one exception – I get the impression some summit visitors resent not having the place to themselves. Maybe it’s only a problem in tourist area like G/LD. A good reason to be as low profile as possible.
Depends on whether it’s a popular summit. When I expect people on the summit, other than myself or my companions, I avoid using any marker on the summit because people usually want to take pictures there. Sometimes I do use the cross or a different summit marker when I know there’s not going to be anyone else on the summit.
The trig point question is less relevant in Bavaria as it is usually a stone of about 4 inches cube buried in the undergrowth and cannot be used to support a mast. I’m not sure if this is only in Bavaria or generally in Germany. I haven’t seen any Trig point structures similar to what I know of from Australia and the UK in Germany as yet. But if I did find such a structure, I would not be too worried about using it as a mast support as it is an industrial construction used for surveying rather than a religious structure.
On the meadow next to FL/VO-002 , I was aggressively attacked. An angry man said: it would be private property and he put his hands on my antenna to break it. No matter if he was right. I packed up quickly…I was glad that I had 4 qso. - Today I would choose the maximum distance … if I ever go again.
OK - My French is not that good. I would not have moved so fast in Germany…
It’s simple… if I think there’s a possibility other people will be on the summit then I keep clear of the trig and often the cairn/shelter. So that means most Munros and the popular summits. Similarly, I keep wires from antennas clear from paths etc. Sometimes that isn’t possible and I’m very conscious of this, if I see people approaching, I point out the wires and offer to move if it bugs them. So far nobody has asked me to do so, Also I now have a couple of bright orange plastic streamers at the mid-point of the barely visible antenna wire, just so people are aware there is “something” in the air.
The few times I used a trig point on unlikely to be visited summits it’s been a pain to setup compared with my usual way of rigging the pole/antenna. It’s not worth the effort in my view.
Thanks to the topic starter for a very important and difficult topic!
Climbing for activation to frequently visited peaks, we, as educated and intelligent people, respect the interests of other climbers. To most people, antennas, radios are completely alien and incomprehensible, unfortunately. Although everyone, including a religious person, also uses the radio - a mobile phone …
If the situation allows, I always try patiently and in simple words to explain to people the essence of our hobby and the importance of radio for every person in general.
To my joy, people who climbed to the top with smiles on their faces and with kindness in their hearts usually understand me.
And those who go to the mountains only for a beautiful photo or for sporting achievement will leave the summit and will soon forget both the antennas and the beauty around and the mountain itself. This is their choice.
For all my activations in the Southern Urals, only two times were Сrosses at summits. Both times, something stopped me from trying to use Сrosses to fix the antenna. Perhaps, in my soul the “old” and convinced radioman has not only wires and radio components))
I spent a large part of my life in the midst of mountains and nature, and began to consider all nature around me divine and sacred. I think that to go up to the summit, put on it a beautiful antenna, talk on radio waves with friends with a hobby is also a thing pleasing to God. It is important, it seems to me, not to leave behind any traces …
Of course, I do not at all consider my opinion to be right or true.
Most people are reasonable and on occasion I have been asked to share the incoming audio with people on a summit. On Great Gable G/LD-005 a guy came and sat by me in the mist and I took my headphones off and turned the audio up. It was great to share the experience. He left knowing a lot more about amateur radio and SOTA.
On the other hand, I have met a couple of people on the hills who were positively negative towards my activity. On Y Garn GW/NW-004 a fell runner came over to me and complained about me having erected a 6el 70cm yagi on the summit - “technology in the wilderness” - he got shouted down by other people on the summit. On Binsey G/LD-041 a woman mumbled something and then asked, “you’re not going to leave that here are you?” Thankfully in almost 600 activations (SOTA and HEMA) these are the only two negative encounters.
Now that you mention that, I remember having been asked by someone if I was going to leave my mast permanently fitted there. My answer was obviously negative and then no more worries were expressed. I’ve never found any criticism about my SOTA activity, just the contrary, all the people I meet and explain about our SOTA activity, express their surprise because they didn’t even suspect about such a cool activity and many really enjoy and like it when they hear the traffic on the bands through my spare “guests or visitors” earbuds.
I can understand when landowners get worried and angry because I guess they must have had to face and fight so many people trying to abuse… Perhaps, they have even have to deal with illegal installations of mobile phone repeaters or emergency repeaters or any sort of radio repeater for professional use by construction work companies or sport events and stuff like that.
A white flag attitude along with a smile and a friendly, nice explanation of what we are doing will usually guarantee others respect and our success.
When I activated the summit last year, I noticed a sign in French at the entrance of the parking lot saying Forbidden for amateur radios" and some other activities I don’t remember. I then walked across the meadow to the far end to the fence, where the restaurant was not visible any more.