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Making the Most of the Winter Bonus

The seasonal bonus was incorporated from the inception of the SOTA programme in order to encourage activity levels all year round. It delivers that aim spectacularly well, with the added (and probably unanticipated) benefit that it, perhaps counter-intuitively, encourages activators to “maximise their returns”. This has been seen over the years to direct winter activators towards the lower, safer and more easily accessible summits. I take no credit for this; this was all devised well-before my time on SOTA MT.

A combination of circumstances gave me the opportunity to make this latest winter bonus season (finishing in the G/GW tomorrow, Tuesday 15th March) my best yet. January to March 2021 was almost entirely wiped out by Covid-19 strict lockdown. This meant that come December, all the summits I would normally have already activated were still there for the taking. My working at sea from July to November also contributed to this situation!

I would then, of course, have the opportunity to do them all again once the calendar year changed to 2022. My gig work saw me travelling around the country leading up to Christmas and New Year, while my following of Macclesfield FC in the New Year resulted in further opportunities to “get around”. And then there was the newly “discovered” Marilyn of Rhinog Fach GW/NW-078 that would add a further bonus-bagging trip before Christmas.

All-in-all, I did manage to record my best ever winter bonus season for SOTA. The table below is an analysis of each of the 20 bonus seasons so far - 1st December to 15th March - and the number of activations per activation points score collected.