New SOTA Award

In reply to OK2QA:
Not a bad idea Ruda, not that I ever collected awards. However I think chasing is 4.4 times as hard as activating and my figures prove it! MG took two years but after a further eight I am still struggling on toward shack sloth! Another three years might do it.

Good luck with getting your new award accepted. 73, John.

In reply to MM0FMF:

The database says for Tom:
2012 SP-013 140

…only because your query only looked for “M1EYP” (I suspect).

As ‘MO1EYP/P’, I made 224 QSOs from G/SP-013 on 8th August 2012.


In reply to M1EYP:

I wondered why I couldn’t see that score. It was a bit rushed, work was inconsiderate and got in the way!


I have been following this thread with interest.

It seems to me that any potential new award should address a real need, rather than being merely “more of the same”. Many of the suggestions, well-meaning as they are, have tended to be an individual’s concept of how to get more points by doing just what they already do, whether activating, chasing, visiting the same summit frequently, or staying on a summit for longer to amass more QSOs. I do not believe that SOTA needs another piece of paper or on-line table to display the same data in a different way.

SOTA basically needs two types of participant - activators and chasers. The two groups may overlap, but there are plenty of both, and the numbers will only increase as more Associations join the fun. In simple terms, neither activators nor chasers need an extra award for what they are doing already; the existing tables and awards amply reflect each participant’s efforts.

Surely, if SOTA needs a new award, and I’m not convinced that it does, it should be aimed at a different aspect of performance. Each of us, whether activator or chaser, has certain bands and modes that encompass over 95% of our SOTA life. Like all good statistics, I just made that up, but I think you will understand my thinking.

So, perhaps the MT should be considering how any new award could influence and reward changes in habits. For example, should dyed-in-the-wool CW activators be encouraged to shout from the hilltops instead (and, of course, vice versa), or should HF enthusiasts be rewarded for venturing onto frequencies that could cause nosebleeds to the uninitiated? Maybe we should actively encourage datamodes and TV/SSTV. Another area where encouragement could usefully be applied to change habits is to highlight QSOs outside one’s own continent - this would be of great value in establishing and nurturing faraway Associations who may, understandably, feel rather isolated.

Food for thought?

73 de Les, GO3VQO

In reply to G3VQO:
Hi Les!

Interesting response and your thoughts that SOTA does not need another award. You maybe right?, but I think the concept of SOTA COMPLETE (as mentioned by myself and others further up the Thread) is worthy of consideration. In my on case I have Chased and Actived many summits over the last 10 years, and as consequence I have self COMPLETED such summits – so to speak! And continue to do so. However it would be interesting to see how we Activators/Chasers are fairing in the greater scheme of things!? And as mentioned this could be as a new award which combines the scores for the ONE AND ONLY TIME that you have achieved the feat!

And consequently the new award would encourage those Activators that do not normally chase to start and vice versa, ie, that was what you were erring to in trying to encourage SOTA-eers to try something different.


Jack (;>J

Personally, I agree with Les. The proposed ‘Complete’ award only duplicates what is actually taking place already. The data indicates that approximately 60% of participants do both activating and chasing in the programme, which is a pretty significant majority. I doubt you could push that up much further by introducing a new award. Knowing a couple of SOTA “activating only” participants, I am convinced that such an award would not tempt them into active chasing! Anyway, there are three sections to the SOTA programme - activator, chaser and SWL - so surely any “Complete” award should demand a summit is activated, worked, and heard (separate to when worked of course!).

If you are logged into SOTAwatch, and bring up the region lists, you get a display of which summits you have activated or chased, or both. So for those that monitor this sort of thing and derive satisfaction from it, the data is there for you. But I don’t see any point in turning that into more honour rolls and awards myself.

Activating and chasing have different skill sets, and should be kept separate in my opinion. If you have a SS and a MG trophy, then you can be very satisfied with that of course. One exception where the two do coincide is with Summit-to-Summit contacts, and there is an excellent set of awards to recognise these over on

For me, I’ve ‘completed’ a summit after I’ve climbed it and got 4 contacts. The ensuing 30-40 QSOs, and whether I’ve chased it or not are a comparitive irrelevance!


In reply to M1EYP:

Activating and chasing have different skill sets, and should be kept
separate in my opinion.

As I see it, Tom, the very fact that activating and chasing use different skill sets is sufficient justification for an award that would recognise the use of a wider range of skills.


Brian G8ADD

What about a range of two awards, one to recognise each skill individually? :wink:

Seems daft. I’ve got a Shack Sloth trophy to show off what a superb chaser I am. I have a Mountain Goat trophy to boast about what a marvellous activator I am. Why would I need another one to specifically demonstrate that I am indeed wonderful in both disciplines?


In reply to M1EYP:
One exception where the

two do coincide is with Summit-to-Summit contacts, and there is an
excellent set of awards to recognise these over on

When I completed 1000 chaser points ‘all’ Summit to Summit and qualified for Shack Sloth (not claimed in my case) this was certainly not covered by Mike G4BLH awards. In my case, I wasn’t claiming unique summits, I was claiming chaser points all s2s for which there was no SOTA award either. Mikes awards are for unique s2s worked not for s2s points, therefore, something entirely different.

73 Mike

In reply to 2E0YYY:

The introduction of an award for S2S points has been proposed to the MT on several occasions in the past and has consistently been rejected, despite there being some support for such an award expressed in this forum. Unless the MT are prepared to reconsider the matter and stand precedent on it’s head, I don’t think things will change.

However, I do like the suggestion that an award should be made available for activators and chasers using different bands/modes. Having two calls (I use G6DTN for hf and M0DFA for vhf and above) I am in the fortunate position of being potentialy able to achieve both double slothdom and goathood. I wonder if holders of single calls would agree?

Regards, Dave, G6DTN

In reply to M0DFA:

However, I do like the suggestion that an award should be made
available for activators and chasers using different bands/modes.
Having two calls (I use G6DTN for hf and M0DFA for vhf and above) I am
in the fortunate position of being potentialy able to achieve both
double slothdom and goathood. I wonder if holders of single calls
would agree?

I think that you have raised an interesting issue Dave. To show chaser points on the database with a single call is easy - I split my VHF and HF chasing by putting the HF entries under G4OIG/HF. The separation of activation records can probably be achieved in a similar manner, but I have not bothered since all the summits that I have activated, with the exception of all but one of the Orkney summits and the five CT/AL summits that I activated recently, have been qualified on VHF or UHF which is the prime focus of my activating.

Now as to claiming awards against split records, perhaps the best option is to ask Barry prior to making a claim. When I claimed my Mountain Goat trophy, Barry kindly agreed to endorse the certificate to show that the achievement was for summits qualified on 2m or 70cms. The trophy also says “Unique Summits”.

I just wonder whether those looking for additional awards based on specific bands and / or modes actually already have the means at hand. As to what effect this might have on the database, well please don’t blame me Andy!

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I’m fairly sure Mike that someone suggested you claim the Shack Sloth award and have it endorsed “All S2S”. I’m sure I didn’t imagine that but I can’t find the thread just now.


In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I’m fairly sure Mike that someone suggested you claim the Shack Sloth
award and have it endorsed “All S2S”. I’m sure I didn’t imagine that
but I can’t find the thread just now.

Indeed they did, Andy. However IMHO, as not one single chaser point that I logged was from my shack, but soley as a result of s2s chases, the award of Shack Sloth was not really appropriate in this instance. Therefore, my reluctance to claim the Shack Sloth award. The award of Summit Sloth was suggested by me and was warmly welcomed by just about everyone, with one or two exceptions, who wanted it quietly shuffled off into the
niche/crackpot/‘we’ll pay it lip service’ category.

Brian, at the time suggested that the MT was busy with other association work and it was put on the back burner. Since then, the MT has asked for new ideas for awards. I would suggest there will be plenty of Activators who have completed the fairly difficult achievement of collecting 1000 s2s points and would submit a claim.

73 Mike

There certainly seem to be a fair selection of alternative endorsements for the trophies. I just checked the shop, and the list of endorsement options looked like this:

All CW
10k Unique
All S2S
50k All CW

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to 2E0YYY:

We (the MT) have been discussing awards Mike. It seems like we’ve been discussing them forever, since June ISTR. That’s a good thing because it means fine details will get thrashed out. The downside is nothing seems to happen.

The biggest problem we have with any kind of S2S award right now is verification. There’s no place in the current database schema to record S2S details. Sure they can be added to a comment but there’s nothing enforcing the format. This makes it very difficult to verify a claim. Not impossible but very difficult. The follow on is that if we do launch any kind of S2S award then we need to update the database. Which brings in priorities. Do we want to spend time updating the database to add S2S logging if only a handful of people will claim the award. Is there something more beneficial to the whole program that I could be doing for instance. All these points need considering and often the MT have conflicting views.

On top of that there’s vetting new associations and old association updates. Since the summit sloth thread we’ve added 2 new associations and 3700 more summits. There’s 2 or 3 more associations just about ready to go live plus 2 updates.

Now and then some of us like to get up a hill and play radio too!


In reply to 2E0YYY:

I fear that this is becoming a circular discussion and is also being tied down with semantics. We have two principal awards, one for Activators which became known as “Mountain Goat” and one for Chasers which became known as “Shack Sloth”. These are just handles applied to this level of award, namely 1000 points gained either by activating or chasing. It seems to me to be irrelevant, in the case of a chaser, whether they were sat in the comfort of their own “shack” or camped on a chilly hillside - they achieved 1000 chasing points. The activator is not so lucky, they have to be on that chilly hillside. This is not to demean the achievement of winning 1000 Chaser points while sitting on a summit - it is a very difficult and far from a slothful existence; most of my chaser points were actually gained on summits rather than in the comfort of my own home but, I must admit that, until now, I had never considerd this to be anything remarkable - it was a side benefit of my activating!

The MT are considering how to achieve a S2S award, it is not easy to measure with the existing data set - ask Mike G4BLH about how easy the summitsbase one is to check, I am sure you will get a polite and reasoned response!!! We see no point in providing an award which is already in the public domain, why should we clash with an existing and well respected award? It has been long recognised that S2S is perceived by Activators as a most worthwhile achievement and this will continue. How do we reward this - that is what is being considered right now, but we need to do something different which may well be to recognise the “Summit Sloth” and not clash with the Unique award.

It has already been stated that when somebody would like their award within the existing scheme of things to be personalised then I will make every effort to accommodate that request provided the data is there to be analysed. I have to do this the hard way, the only tool I have for a one-off check is Excel so it is not something that I can do too often; ask and I will try.

The MT needs to ensure that any new award, or modification of an existing award, does not devalue any that have been achieved in the last ten years. There is room to enhance existing awards and I am studying ways of doing that right now but I also tend to agree with some of the posts above that there is no place to introduce awards which mean little or nothing and are not a measure of real achievement - I think I made that mistake with the tenth anniversary awards, they really offered little challenge to the dyed-in-the-wool SOTA participant so have had little take-up.

This is a very lengthy thread, there are many ideas being debated and due cognisance is being taken - now all I have to do is come up with a proposal which I can reasonably expect my colleagues on the MT to accept AND which also meets, in some reasonable measure, the wishes and objectives of the majority of the SOTA community! No challenge there then!!!

Please show a little patience, the principal activity of the MT (outside their working lives) is to encourage, check and approve the growing number of Associations which are there for the benefit of the SOTA programme as a whole, the principal means to ensure SOTA’s growth and to offer further challenges worldwide. Awards are there to mark an individual’s performance and achievement and the MT wishes to continue to provide worthwhile and meaningful ways of ensuring that objective.

Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager

In reply to Andy MM0FMF and Barry GM4TOE

First of all, thank you for not appearing to dismiss the suggestion of Summit Sloth totally out of hand.

Thanks also for pointing out the Database problem associated with the verification of such an award. Clearly, Andy knows what is required in Database terms to organise such an award, and Barry, quite rightly, is concerned about checking claims, something that is way beyond my knowledge of databases.

Activators such as myself see precious little in the way of points for activating the same summit week after week, despite handing out thousands of points to chasers to keep the interest going, especially on the 2m band where the sound of CQ SOTA, has probably brought it back from the verge of extinction. My reward has come as a result of picking off a bit of dx or best of all, the contact I and probably all activators cherish the most, an s2s. These contacts more than make up for activating a summit for no points.

I worked HA5MA/p Laci and HA5LV/p Victor on HA/EM-012 today and they were made up to here s2s from G/SP-015 even though it was only a single point for them. Same for SQ9SHR/p on SP/BZ-020 Kuba. But of course it’s more than a single point, it’s also another summit ticked off for both of the activators.

As more and more activators take to the hills, I can only see the s2s contact becoming a bigger and bigger part of the the SOTA programme. After all, what can be more rewarding than coming off a single point summit carrying no winter bonus with 20 s2s points in the bag.

Having said this, there must be some sort of incentive for the activator to take up the challenge of trying to work s2s contacts. These are not always easy contacts, especially for the QRP activators working with compromise antennas.

Hopefully, the MT will recognise the value of a Summit Sloth award and the huge interest and positive impact, I’m absolutely convinced, any such award will have for SOTA Activating as the programme grows.

Andy, I know both you and Barry love to get on the summits, however, I was close to topping myself on HF today :wink:

73 Mike