Based on an observation of the growth of SOTA in North America on the NASOTA Yahoo reflector, I compiled the following “history” that might be of interest to the SOTA worldwide community:
Actually it was Andrew/K1YMI (originally GM1YMI, then KC2EUS, then K1YMI) who introduced SOTA into NA with W2 in Mar 2007! It was Andrew’s experience in Scotland/Britain with SOTA that when he relocated to NA, he saw the huge potential here. Early on Tom/K2YTF worked with Andrew to add additional peaks in NY and then NJ before bringing on W1 in June 2009. It was a long 2 yrs before Stu/KI6J “seeded” AZ, UT, and Colorado with a starter set of 200 SOTA-qualified peaks that really provided visibility to the SOTA program in NA.
And we shouldn’t forget the VE2 efforts of JP/VA2SG that brought on VE2 in Sep 2009. JP’s early enthusiasm catalyzed a number of new Associations in NA!
However, behind the scenes were folks like John Kirk of ListsofJohn.com that provided 99.9% accurate Peak listings that catapulted the W2, W1, W7, W5, W4, W0, and recently the W6 Associations. Likewise, Les Allwood/G3VQO on the SOTA MT team was a real champion in “facilitating” the introduction of a number of ARM docs into the SOTA system.
Out of curiosity, I tallied the number of NA peaks currently qualified. This is astonishing!
W2 - 716 peaks
W1 - 1,103 peaks
W6 - 3,717 peaks
VE2 - 1,389 peaks
W3 - 223 peaks
W0 - 1,791 peaks
VE1 - 28 peaks
W5 - 1,692 peaks
W7 - 13,780 peaks
VE7 - 237 peaks
W4 - 1,361 peaks
Total: 26,031 peaks in NA in the SOTA system. WOW!
When UT and AZ are updated to include all the potential SOTA-qualified Peaks (UT = 1,576 peaks and AZ = 2,551 peaks) brings the current NA potential to 29,750+ peaks!! And when W8 comes on line, the NA peak total would be over 30,000 peaks, a significant portion of the SOTA worldwide peak total.
So the SOTA foundation in NA has been largely built and as Brian/G8ADD has observed, given the large ham population in NA, SOTA activities are just beginning to takeoff. When Activator numbers hit “critical mass” the SOTA spot/alert activity will “explode”! So SOTA is only going to get better and we are beginning the steep growth of the curve. It will be fun!