Italy - adventure on I/TO-304 & errors & omissions in the SOTA Italy summits list

Thanks to all chasers and activators for the contacts made yesterday from I/TO-314. I failed to reach the summit of Mont Calvi I/TO-304 as I chose an unfavorable route through a quarry, where explosives were being used… Pics attached, taken before the two friendly Italian workers turned me back off the site by giving me a lift in their vehicle. We had to converse using signing due to the language barrier…

They had CB in the Freelander and I guessed the guy driving the Tonka Truck tipped them off and so they came down the hill to interdict me and get me off the site. I was covered in the finest dust I have even seen, finer than talcum powder even.

I gave up on that summit then and concentrated on getting to I/TO-314 where I made 70 QSOs. I tipped off Roy G4SSH by phone as to what I was doing and I am grateful for him spotting this on SOTAWatch. I hope that next week I will return to TO-304 Monte Calvi and by approaching the hill from the other side, will have a successful activation. She has been activated three times before so I guess there will be a clear route that way - DL4MHA, OE5PEN, OE9HRV - any ideas please to my address in QRZ.COM.

What is apparent is that there are several errors and looking at the terrain and on OSM, many omissions from the summits list for Tuscany, which lists just 21 summits.

From where I can staying I can see il Telegrafo on Monte Argentario 33 Km away line of sight. She is 615m ASL and sits on an island connected to the mainland coast by two causeways. No doubt whatsoever about her prominence. This is just one example, and I am sure there are many more summits in Tuscany that meet the 150m prominence criteria but which are not listed. Quality check needed I suggest - the Italian association was accepted into SOTA in March 2011, so I am surprised no one (as far as I know) has found these discrepancies before.

I will e-mail the Italy Association Manager with my findings and ask if this summit can be added to the I/TO list. Doubtful this will happen in the next week, shame, as if it was included I could activate it whilst I am here. The Italian Association Manual covers this situation well by stating " The summit database is unlikely to be complete. If you find a summit, which you would like to add to SOTA I, or if you find a mistake in this ARM, please contact the Association Manager. Activators are asked to submit details of proposed additional summits to the Association Manager. Summits cannot be counted for points until the Association Manager has allocated a reference number.".

So I will ask for il Telegrafo on Monte Argentario to be added to the list ASAP, and we will see if I get a reply from either IW1ARE or IK1RAC in time using the addresses in their association manual.

I should be back SOTA Chasing tomorrow when I set up my chaser station again. Activators please listen out for I/G4OBK/P and note that I will not be on a summit, at least until well into next week. I hope to work my G friends on Saturday when they activate G/NP-002 Mickle Fell, a summit which is owned by the military and where (strictly speaking) permission by permit is needed to access the place due to the risk of live firing taking place most of the time.

73 Phil


The MT are aware of the situation. IIRC, the Italian Association started with a partial list of summits on the understanding that in due course the work would be completed. Even the partial list has a number of errors. The MT hope that the work will be completed, Italy is too important and popular a country to be short of summits!


Thanks for the info Brian, I will ask the Italian SOTA Managers for that one summit to be included and hope for the best…

We should all be aware of the work involved by the volunteers who give their time freely in assuring summit lists are complete, accurate and that they meet the necessary criteria, full respect for what must be the many 100s of hours of time doing it.

73 Phil

A spreadsheet listing the Italian Association errors, as reviewed by @YO6PIB, a member of the SOTA summits team, has been sent to the Italy AM but so far no corrections are pending. The sad thing is that based on SRTM DEM analysis there are at least 1000 possibly 2000 Italy summits that could be added,

There are a significant number of errors in SOTA summits data, mainly in Europe, that were developed in the earlier days of SOTA as we did not have the tools that we have today. Some of these include associations that requested P100 which when reviewed with current data should be P150. The team cannot address all these issues at one time as the task is too great, so progressively associations will be reviewed and adjusted. Some as you may be aware from dialogue in this reflector are already under way. Others are pending.

Thanks for the info Jim. As you are aware I have made an application for a summit to be added to the I/TO list which meets the necessary criteria. If a reference is given for this summit by the italian Association Manager I will activate it on Wednesday afternoon on my way back to Manciano where we are staying. .

I will re-attempt the activation of I/TO-304 Monte Calvi on Wednesday morning as I believe I have found an accessible route from the opposite, more greener side of the mountain. The start point is almost a 2 hour drive from my holiday QTH so I must leave at 0400z and be climbing by 0600z due to the temperature, which reached 40c in Sienna where I was yesterday. The weather forecast is for it to be hotter than that today, Tuesday and to peak higher still on Wednesday. I’m sure it will be a little cooler on the hill than in the city.

I will alert my activity for TO-304 tomorrow then and hope that a decision is made on Il Telegrapho (615m ASL) by Wednesday.

Meanwhile its back to chasing today, and grandad swimming with my two very young grandaughters in the pool.

HB9BQU and HB9BCB logged a short time ago on 20m CW. Thanks Hans and Heinz.

73 Phil

Thank you for designing your holidays around Sotas thanks to you and your good other half I clocked a couple more Italian summits.

Hope your both enjoying your hols also


I thought everyone designed their holidays around bagging a few summits. I know I do! :wink:

No not all, but you guys do and we enjoy it very much being a chaser :smile:

Unfortunately Karl and Andy I didn’t organise this holiday around SOTA which is why I am spending more time as a Chaser rather than as an activator! The listed summits are too few and too far away. There are many qualifying unlisted ones quite close by though which are not listed as Jim G0CQK has pointed out,

If I had organised this holiday for the family myself and had full licence I would have gone for Austria, Switzerland, Germany or even Czechia before time runs out and summits which don’t meet the necessary criteria are deleted.

This holiday was devised by my stepdaughter Ruth who lives in Bristol for 8 of us. Age range is 85 down to 2 years! None of them like me bawling into the microphone when I call activators, XYL is used to it, the others are getting used to it hihi

Hope to work you on Wednesday Karl while Andy is slaving away at his saltmine.

73 Phil

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Welcome to Italy.
I’m very sorry of the situation, there could be a thousand more summits but something is going wrong with the update. We all hope that someone could find a solution to the problem.
At the beginning, the chosen summits were the most important: higher or far from urban sites. Surely now there’s the need to add every single summit, even those “small” hills from 300 to 800 mts above the sea.
I live on the west coast, I have 5 summits no more than 1-2 hours on feet from home, ready to be activated after an easy walk, but sadly only those at 1-2 hours by car are referenced.
Maybe an online-automatic update system could solve. I maen: no managers, but with everyone control.