Duplicate Summits

Please do not!

Even speaking myself as an activator who never activated both references of a border summit! In my eyes this will be the absolute worst solution.

73 Stephan, DM1LE

A slight problem of principle with this approach is that the parameters which define the AZ are specific to the association.

This has already been enacted for summits shared by more than one Association within a DXCC entity.

I would be interested to hear why you think it would be the absolute worst solution, Stephan, we have received a number of complaints about shared summits!

Martin, we thought of that and would define the AZ on harmonised parameters.


Echoing Stephan’s concern - I don’t think it would be a fair-to-all solution, as there are associations, where majority of summits are on the border (mountains usually are natural borderlines), so from a perspective of one association it can be questionable - why do we “lose” a given summit, if it belongs to our country and meets the criteria? Some countries will shrink in summits even more (e.g. SP, where we have more stringent rules compared to OK, thus a lot less opportunities for activators, although we do our best to promote the program).

At first glance, my opinion would incline to solution in the database server software = linking the common summits the way, so that activator can activate even both but score for one. That would eliminate the “problem”, and no-one would accuse such an activator of just score-collecting. That would also perhaps be more effort-efficient database reconfiguration versus geographical analysis of a number of associations, not to mention potential conflicts between associations in unclear cases…

Just a thought, perhaps much to discuss… I trust we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater… :slight_smile:

Surely it benefits an association to “lose” a summit to a neighbour. It means that their residents can activate a “foreign” summit without leaving their own country, which is potentially advantageous for the Mountain Explorer award. It would be a particular advantage for activators who do not have licences which permit operation from outside their own country.

Martyn M1MAJ

I was wondering which which associations not covered by CEPT would be affected if the change is really implemented

There are many places with such limits, these spring to mind…

In the UK we have 3 licence levels, 2 levels only allows operation with the UK and are not valid for CEPT with 1 that is CEPT standard. In the US, I think only Extra Class is CEPT and the other 3 levels are not CEPT. Australia has a Foundation licence that is Australia only. There are more.

We thought about have some database magic that would mean a summit could have say 2 refs (G/AA-001 & GW/BB-001) as it was on a border but internally be the same summit. You could activate it twice but only score once. It becomes difficult explaining to people why they only got points once. It becomes boring explaining several times a month why people only got points once. It also is a messy fix to a simple problem.

There is one summit now matter how many names the different countries give it. There is one summit no matter where you start climbing from.

One summit = one reference = problem solved.

Connecting the first paragraph to the last conclusion - I think:
One problem solved BUT at least one new created…

I feel sure that a software solution will prove more satisfactory than a geographical one. I can not see country associations voluntary ceding a summit on their territory to a neighbouring country. There may well be political implications to this if the adjacent countries have an uneasy relationship.


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…and, presumably, you can activate the summit provided you can get into the activation area and operate legally. A licence holder who is only permitted to operate in one country would have to find an operating position both within that country and inside the activation area.

There will, inevitably, be queries like “How come EI/IN-006 was activated by that MI6* call?” and “Shouldn’t that call have been EI/MI6*?”…

73, Rick M0LEP

We feel we have this situation wrong in allowing a summit to have multiple references. It was a mistake to allow this. We don’t allow summits bordering W6 & W7 to have 2 names and 2 refs and count as 2 uniques. The same should apply to countries elsewhere. There will be pain in rectifying the situation. There will be complaints. The end result is an equal situation for all.

That can happen already, since that summit doesn’t have a reference in GI but it can be activated from GI.

Not sure if this reads well to me:

  1. We got complaints that people activated 1 summit with 2 references.
  2. We will deprive one association of their summit based on some parameters
    3, We will receive complaints, but they are inevitable.

So, stimulated by some complaints we provide solution which will produce more complaints… Hm… :smile:

Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone, including MT, to:

  1. link the summits in DB so the server scoring would allow just 1 score?
  2. allow just one activation of 1 reference per day (if someone climbs the summit next day again, the other ref can be scored)

To me solution #1 should be easier and less vulnerable to failure, at first glance. And we would avoid potential tensions between associations, countries, licence holders, etc.
Secondly, behind geographical unity criteria there must be some reasonable effort, while DB works are centralized (not sure how much effort it is, as I am a humanist radio amateur…
Thirdly, if an association is bordering with a non-associated-yet country puts an analytic effort and develops a list of summits, then the neighbour joining the SOTA will take over their work, as they have a few more square meters AZ, this would create tensions even in future.

Finally, let’s step back and try to understand what the program is about? Is it about racing/score-collecting? Or about promoting mountaineering and ham-radio spirit? I think more peaks available to even a basic licence holder, more opportunity to kick people out of their armchairs and make them go to meet the nature. On the contrary, more limits = less opportunities / more problems, IMHO.

First sentence of the program says:
The purpose of SOTA (the Programme) is to encourage Amateur Radio based activity from
the summits of hills and mountains in countries around the world

I personally believe “encouraging” is key word and limiting is in contradiction to the action desired.

Andy - I know how hard it is to lead an organization, especially when one does it just in their free time, I have been through this myself, and not just once - and you never satisfy everyone. I just believe a good cost-benefit analysis would be needed. Not sure, if there has been any collection of feedback from at least Association Managers prior to the solution choices?

“We feel we have this situation wrong in allowing a summit to have multiple references. It was a mistake to allow this. We don’t allow summits bordering W6 & W7 to have 2 names and 2 refs and count as 2 uniques.”

In NA there were many summits on geographic borders between States and consequently Associations. With the same name but two Ref numbers for each Association. It was easy and accomplished amicably to cede to one Association or the other.

There were just too many Summits in each Association to quibble about a few border summits.


And you are all in one country so all have access to all the summits in question.
And there is no potential political aspect.


[quote=“M0JLA, post:53, topic:9662”]And there is no potential political aspect.[/quote]But amateur radio generally tries not to be political as far as is practically possible.

[quote=“SQ6GIT, post:51, topic:9662”]And we would avoid potential tensions between associations, countries, licence holders, etc.[/quote]If a summit on a border happens to be in the other association is that really going to discourage folk from activating it? The summit’s still there, and, provided the activation zone’s accessible it can be activated, whatever name you give it.

[quote=“SQ6GIT, post:51, topic:9662”]we provide solution which will produce more complaints… Hm… :slight_smile: [/quote]At present, I guess, complaints come in just about every time there’s a multiple activation. I figure that wouldn’t change much if there was a “one summit, multiple references” solution, but with a “one summit, one reference” solution the adjustments will generate some complaints for a short while, and they’ll then be forgotten. So, in the end there will be fewer complaints…

73, Rick M0LEP (who grew up with Kilimanjaro on the horizon…)

Yes, I think Andy explained it in post #43, first paragraph, saying “In the UK we have 3 licence levels, 2 levels only allows operation with the UK and are not valid for CEPT with 1 that is CEPT standard. In the US, I think only Extra Class is CEPT and the other 3 levels are not CEPT.”

Rick, definitely fewer complaints on multiple-reference activations, that goes without saying. I obviously meant opening other problems by resolving this one.
What makes you think that the complaints on new problems will be “for a short while” and “they’ll be forgotten”?

EDIT: Rick, please note that the alternative, and less intrusive (as they seem to be) solutions have been presented above, and they also remove the potential complaints about multiple-reference activations, plus they don’t create more divisions at all.

I changed my thinking on multi-region summits when I realized that a SOTA summit is an area, not a point.

A point can be on a border and in two regions simultaneously. A SOTA summit is really the activation zone (AZ). When the AZ is across two regions, I can think of three options.

  1. Split it along the region boundary into two separate AZs, and add multi-AZ rules like are used for grid squares in the Fred Fish Memorial Award.

  2. Make the whole AZ simultaneously in two regions. This only works if the regions have exactly the same AZ rules. I’m sure there are cases where that is not true.

  3. Make the AZ in one region. This requires no new rules and no map-making. It does require manually going through the border summits and making database changes.


I have just checked on my atlas, and there is only one Mont Blanc.


After this change, activators will still be able to activate border summits from within their own country, or country of choosing, with their home call or appropriate prefix of choice, provided that said country extends into the AZ as defined by the modal vertical 25m AZ rule.

So suppose there is a summit on the border between association XX and association YY. Suppose it currently has two SOTA references - XX/AA-001 and YY/BB-001. After the change it might just have one valid reference, say XX/AA-001. But activators would still be able to activate it from the BB side of the border with their BB prefix. There simply is not a problem.

The good thing is that we would get rid of silly ideas like ONE mountain having TWO or more SOTA references, and activators moving themselves a few centimetres to do a “new” activation for double (or triple) points.

I may have been one of the first to activate from one SOTA association while using the callsign prefix of another, when I activated Black Mountain G/WB-001 (as it was then) from the Welsh side of the border using MW1EYP/P many years ago. Of course that summit was deleted from the English association and became GW/SW-041, but it would still be possible to activate it either as M1EYP/P or MW1EYP/P depending on where I set up.

Nobody loses anything, or the opportunity to do anything with this change, it just makes the programme a whole lot simpler and clearer. We’ve discussed this ad infinitum on the MT over the years, and had border summit rules (many versions of) and the current free-for-all. None were/are satisfactory, and the obvious solution is, well, obvious. And yes, the concept of programming the Database so that a summit can only exist once, but could have two or more valid references, has been thoroughly examined, but it just has too much that could go wrong with it, and too much confusion it will cause for years to come, to be worth the hassle.

Apart from the fact that the MT allowed this situation to happen in the first place and the proposed change will cause an upset to some.

I like this idea - surely a KISS principle if ever there was one.!

Gerald G4OIG