My SOTA plans for 2024 (and yours....)

I have a few plans and goals for 2024.

  • Reach 400 points by Dec 31 2024
  • Reach the summit of more then 5 summits over
    3000m in the Rockies.
  • Hit 10 first activations
  • Activate in 2 new associations.

Im sure I have more but Can’t think of them right now.

Happy new year everyone, I can’t wait to hear you all on the air in the new year.

73 de VE6JTW, Jesse

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To our UK friends - you are inspiring. My YL & I decided that a trip to Orkney is on the bucket list…not sure if there are SOTA sites there but bet the propagation is amazing from places like operating from Skara Brae or Stones of Stenness . Any suggestion appreciated.
Happy New Year to all.
73 de K4RLC Bob

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Looking at my post of 2 days ago (No 55 in this thread) I am relieved to report that I have achieved goal No 6 on the first day of 2024! We (with M0JLA) went up Gwaunceste [GW/MW-010] by the usual route - park in the large layby, go through the farm famous for its barking dogs (only 1 this time - the other was strangely silent) and collection of abandoned vehicles (which seem to be larger than usual and with the addition of some more recent models) and through the gate which is now adorned with even more signs banning motor vehicles and emphasising that it is only a public bridleway. However, a new deterrent has been introduced in that each of the 3 essential gates is so badly hung (the bottom hinge had come out of the gatepost on one of them) that it took Rod a lot of effort to lift the gate high enough to open it and then emsure that it didn’t land on his foot - with the prospect of a great heave to lift it up again to latch it behind us.- and all with the knowledge that we were coming back the same way so would have the same fitness training on the way back. No sign of the snow and ice encountered on previous years just some larger puddles than usual and a bitingly cold wind SW witnd with no shelter on the flat top. I had hoped that I would get 4 summits to summits to qualify the hill but had to settle for 3 (thanks very much to GW0HMF, MW0XRT and 2W0FJF on GW/NW 043, 051 and MW-009 respectively) and the 4th came from an old friend MW0UPH Aled who was down the Leyn Peninsula ‘near Myndd Anelog’ (wish he’d been up it as I’d like a complete! It had never occurred to me that there was a chance of a s2s from a lowly hill in Mid-Wales…) So ‘job done’ in 13 minutes (phew!) but It took a further 30 mins to get 4 on 70cm by which time I was nearly frozen stiff and was glad to head swiftly off the hill, through the gates and back to the car before the promised rain started again. As an added bonus I captured 1 more activator (now 496) and 2 more chasers (3978) partly thanks to Jared with his new 2W0JFJ callsign. I also owe him an extra thank you for the immediate offer of a 70cm s2s (59/58) after the 2m contact.
Having ticked this box we can now contemplate adding some more Winter Bonus points in a more leisurely fashion but, as it has been pouring yet again today in Hereford we have to factor in ‘parking on hard standing’ in the list of essential facilities (especially as we got so stuck on a grass verge earlier this year that we still couldn’t move after 45 mins of strenuous effort and a passing JCB driver earned himself a few free drinks after he unhooked his tow chain and extracted us with a sharp tug!) Many and varied are the experiences offered to SOTA activators!!
Viki M6BWA

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Not quite as quickly as Vicky but I’ve also achived one modest target having reached 100 unique activations. The last few months have been less successful, for activating and I’m finding that retiring seems sometimes to translate to - you haven’t got a job so can you just…, this combined with what I think is post Covid coughs led to the second part of 2023 being very disappointing.

Anyway Roll on 2024, Middle daughter has just passed her driving test, meaning that I don’t have to do tours of “The Roadabouts of Darlington” and I am not needed so much for lifts. Today she informed me that she was taking the dogs out and meeting a friend for a walk - so with no dogs I set off for Cracoe Fell. I have researched Cracoe Fell and everything I read said “NO DOGS” so as dog sitter in chief an activation until now was difficult. Today, dogless I parked in Cracoe and followed the route up the hill. Whilst it was enjoyable it was also apparent that my fitness/fatness ratio had taken a turn for the worse. I set up on 10m and managed a couple of contacts, one being LOS…, and then did a spell on 40m then 2m. I should also say that as soon as I set up I was met by a Spaniel (off lead) and several other on lead dogs so with hindsight dogs on leads would not have been a problem…


(PS Weather was sunny intervals and almost no wind)

On the way back down it occurred to me that my other NP unactivated summits were nearby so the plan of getting some food changed and I set off to Sharp Haw. This one was rather wet underfoot, well at one point underknee but on the plus side it was great to have a large bench to operate from! This time I just did 2m as I didn’t fancy wading through the wet bits by headtorch on the way down.


(Sharp Haw)
So almost hit the next target with only Rombalds Moor remaining to complete the NP region.

Although physically I’m now a bit sore, mentally this was very beneficial. I was asked by my better half if I missed the dogs - and I do miss them when walking, but the activating bit is much easier without canine assistance…

I and I suppose I’ve made a start with the 10m challenge - just the 18 points behind Tom…

Thanks again to all the chasers. 73. Paul

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Went up Mt Franklin in 1978.
I recall a very, very long walk up loose scree. I spent the whole way up shitting myself about how unstable, dangerous and slow it was going to be coming back down. Then I discovered the unexpected joy of scree surfing, and it was over all too soon.

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I’m retiring from work in a few weeks. That will empty a whole lot of memory in my personal CPU. I hope I can clear it properly of old stuff and reuse it wisely for good stuff. SOTA, with its various benefits and side effects, will certainly be a good reuse.

73, Markus HB9DIZ

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Got the 15,000 plus another 564. Got the 10,000 plus another 560. Not any better in the rain. Maybe next year.

Who else reached their goals?

Elliott, K6EL

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Not me - I’ve just checked what I wrote earlier in this thread and of the 5 items listed, none have been achieved. :frowning:

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Not looking good here either!

  1. Not attempted
  2. Planned as part of a trip to the region, but did not attempt due to short wx windows
  3. Attempted as a traverse, but failed to reach the mountain due to wx and gear failures (but did activate 13 of the 16 summits planned on the trip). An Inland Kaikoura Traverse: 8 days, 16 unactivated summits on an untracked range?
  4. 1977 - nearly there!
  5. 60 / 72 activated (they’re adding new peaks as fast as I activate them!)
  6. Erm …

So looking like I might achieve 1 of 6! Maybe two if th snow melts early enough for an 001 activation before the new year.

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We still have almost half the year left.

  1. On 792 so should exceed 800 by the end of the year.
  2. On track for 1000.
  3. 10m QSOs were easy to get early in the year but have dried up over summer. Hopefully will get many more in the autumn.
  4. Working hard on this. The RX board is built and the TX board works on 20m so still need to add the other bands. Most of the work recently has been software.
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So far 109 Unique summits (The target was 100 but was very easily attained), A second complete region (G/NP) but only 91 out of my target 100 Completes. So 2 out of 3 isn’t bad for July… As predicted life seems to have got in the way of escaping to the Highlands in Scotland so far this year so there are still a lot of hills on the to-do list…

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As I only started SOTA in 2024, my goals are to explore the summits around me, and figure out what equipment works well for me.

Maybe nice to hit some round number by year end, like 100 points or 30 summits etc.

I also should keep a few notes of each summit so I can do better next year!

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Database does some of that work for you. Obviously not personal details of routes etc, but handy to track dates and points.

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I have a spreadsheet where I record every activation. On my activator log I tick the Show Analysis box and copy the line to the spreadsheet so that I can keep totals for each band etc. I record the equipment I used and then I fill in a box with notes on the activation - weather, route, equipment used, notes on DX or band conditions, how long it took to get up and down, 4G coverage etc. I didn’t do this at the start of my SOTA journey but now find it really useful for planning repeat visits.

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My YL & I decided that a trip to Orkney is on the bucket list

Hi Bob, just seen your post. I had a week on Orkney last May & really enjoyed it. We went for the archaeology eg Stenness & S B as mentioned. There are a few SOTA 1 pointers eg Wideford Hill GM/IS-189 near Kirkwall. It’s a drive up summit, I didn’t activate it, I just wanted to check it out for future use possibly. Radio masts on summit, don’t know if QRM likely. Fabulous views of the islands. (A bit hazy that day).





Do go, it’s lovely 73 John G0MHF

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That’s exactly (and much more) what I’m thinking I should do. Thanks for the details.

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Yeah, we’re pretty bad at uploading routes and pictures in GM/ES land. I was reprimanded by @M1HAX Richard the last time he was up this way!

@GM5ALX. No fear - I have a photographic memory of every GM/ES route, which surprises me because I don’t remember very much else on a day to day basis. :grinning:

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Got yer priorities straight.

My notes will just be all the route images saved from the WhatsApp chat :sweat_smile:

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