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How to correct wrong summit position in the database?


there are some cases in the SOTA database where the geo-position of the summit in the SOTA database does not match the actual terrain:

Example: On DL/AL-151, the position indicated is not the actual summit, but a lower signpost, which is detached from the actual summit by several lower saddles. This is only partially visible in the maps, because the resolution of 20m for the contour lines is not sufficient. But I am pretty sure that the position shown is not even in the activation zone.

See Google Maps and OSM

What is the best procedure to report such issues?

Second, there are summits for which the winter and summer summits differ, well, the realistic ones.

For instance, OE/TI-104 Pirchkogel correctly shows the actually highest point of the terrain as the position of the summit.

See this link in Google Maps. However, this point is (realistically) possible only in winter on skis, because the ridge is from loose rock. Also, the summit cross, and the position on summer maps, is 120 m north of this point but separated by a significant ridge and lower.

I think the database is actually correct in this case (and there is no problem for winter activators), but I think we should consider a general rule or clarification for those cases - which could be to simply be tolerant and say that both the position with the summit name on official maps and the position shown in the SOTA database were valid.

73 de Martin, DK3IT

By the way, as for OE/TI-104, the following picture shows the terrain. The actual summit (also matching the position in the database) is where the people in the background stand.

Listing of a summit has nothing to do with whether it is accessible or not throughout the entire year.

such things are best notified to the region manager, Martin.

73 Andrew VK1DA/vk2uh

Yes, I understand that the SOTA summit definition is solely based on topographic prominence. I just wanted to raise the point that at least in the European Alps, there is an established concept of summer vs. winter summit positions in the mountaineering field, and that we might want to think about evolving the SOTA rules to accommodate for that. It does not make sense to motivate SOTA operators to try to reach points in the landscape that no normal (even very experienced) mountaineer would head to in the “wrong” season.

73 de Martin, DK3IT

Thanks - Just notified @DL4CW by email.

73 de Martin, DK3IT

The whole DL association needs reviewing but it is not scheduled yet. It predates good availablity of maps and DEM data. Many European associations have been re-evaluated including I, F, DM, PA, HB, OE, SP. All European associations need to be brought to the same standard as more recent associations.

It’s one of those things that needs doing but takes a lot of time.


To me the beauty of the SOTA summit definition based on prominence is that given an accurate enough model of the topography, all the summits and the extents of their activation zones can be conclusively identified by an algorithm, irrespective of man-made things like map labels or accessibility considerations.

Therefore, I consider it perfectly fine if there are some summits in the database whose activation zone cannot reasonably be reached in the “wrong” season, or at all.

Unfortunately, some associations already have additional rules that make things needlessly complicated. For example, according to the ARM for the HB association, a summit must have a name on an official online map of a certain scale. While that sounds like a simple thing, it is enough to lead to ambiguity: in the case of HB, the online map does not always have the same level of detail, but differs depending on which side of the zoom slider you approach the required scale, and there is also the issue of how close a summit name label needs to be to the actual summit on the map, or what to do if the highest point of a well-known massif does not have a specific name, etc.

Let’s keep it simple and leave it to the activator to determine whether (s)he can safely and legally reach the activation zone. I see your point that this can leave some otherwise very nice summits impossible to activate at certain times of the year, but it’s not like we have a shortage of summits to keep us busy in the Alps :wink:

73, Manuel HB9DQM


I really don’t understand this concept of seperate summer and winter summits in the Alps. A summit is simply the highest point. You are either capable of reaching the activation zone, or you are not capable, in which case you retreat in an orderly fashion and try again on another occasion. If you have only reached a subsidiary summit outside the activation zone then you have not reached the summit, end of story. If a summit can’t be reached in a certain season, then you don’t try to reach it in that season, you don’t ascend to a lower summit and settle for a “cop-out”!

In the past we have had requests to exclude summits which are technically “too difficult”, we have had requests to exclude summits which have no legal access, and we have had requests to exclude summits which are unnamed - the ones listed in ARMs by their spot height. We “stuck to our guns”, and rightly so. After all, if we accept a compromise then we have got to define that compromise and when it is acceptable. In this particular case we would have to find some way of identifying and listing all the “cop-out” summits, and then change the format of the summit tables in the database and ARMs giving summit change-over dates. There is enough work to do already with updating current associations and the all-important work of bringing new associations on line, we don’t need more!