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Points system.

I am a new Activator in Sota and i am sure i am going over ground already covered, but i can’t help but notice in my humble opinion the slight imbalance with reguards points allocation for some summits. GI/ has a very limited number of qualifying hills but any of the local or visiting Activators will tell you, you can have a very tough climb through some almost impenetrable ground that is bog land all year round for 1 point. I can see this conversation has done the rounds for a long time but i feel there should be some sort of insentive over and above the normal point for an especially tough climb. Possibly an extra point each for Activator and chaser. Would appreciate any comments.
73
MI7WJL

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You’re right that the ground has already been covered, William. The number of qualifying summits is massive, and there is no way to perform a custom analysis of each. Here is one of the more entertaining threads on the subject:

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I think we just have to accept that some system is needed if we want to allocate different points to each summit. due to the huge number of variables, it is not possible to implement any fair and consistent process for allocating points, so some simple formula is needed. Arbitrary, yes. Understandable yes.

My usual answer when asked about this is to accept the good with the bad. The 8 point drive-up is compensation for the 1 point 2 hour walks. Do enough summits and the difference doesn’t matter any more.

In the long run, you get to decide which summits to activate. Choose only walk-up summits if you like, or conversely choose only drive-up summits. Choose easy or hard summits. Or activate just as many as you can. The awards mean whatever you choose to make them mean.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

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Just think that, when SOTA was first devised many of the summits would not have had amateur radio activity so when allocating points they would not have known how physically challenging each summit is.

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A special protocol just for Northern Ireland? Who on Earth would even consider such a thing…?

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The problem is trivially solved, move to somewhere where you perceive there to be more summits that are easier to activate.

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Just the excuse I needed to move to Barbados.

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I think that you would find it instructive to make a list of as many of the possible influences on the difficulty of a summit as you can think of, and then think about how these influences can be allowed for in arriving at a score.

Let’s see now, off the top of my head: Length of walk-in, steepness, type of ground (grassy, rocky, scree, bog) and type of ground cover (trees, brush, shoulder height bracken, waist height heather, tussock grass etc) whether there is a road, a track or bush wacking, then there is the summit conditions, is there space to set up?

Improvements to the scoring system have occupied quite a few minds since SOTA started, and we have had quite complex algebraic formulae proposed - quite good ones, too, but failing to take into account that many summits have more than one possible approach and route to the top. Indeed, a popular summit like Snowdon (GW/NW-001) has several named popular routes, all of differing difficulty. Should we list them all and assign each a different points score? And then do the same exercise for the 163,429 summits currently listed for SOTA?

Our simple points system might seem a bit of a cop-out, but it works and avoids a possibly huge amount of complexity, and that is why it has survived.

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Thanks for your time in replying, is there many hills, i am sure the weather is suitable but what price for the cool ones and the bunks.
73 MI7WJL

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Andrew thank you for the reply, i can follow your point, and agree with your sentiments to a degree, where i have the problem is the amount of hills available to me do not give me the same choice as mainland activators. I think the issue will rumble just like the unlimited power used by some chasers to harvest points reguardless.
73 MI7WJL

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It probably would help to allow more than one activation per year. I mean getting the activation points. There are still many in areas with a low hill number that would have to drive as far as 200km for a new activation. Rising petrol prices are not necessarily supporting SOTA…

73s
Ingo

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Thank you for your reply, you know what, i did just what you suggested i made a list, those with tracks and those without. I don’t think for one second the system is a cop-out and i very much admire the whole Sota database mapping and the excellent software that has evolved around the hobby. i just can’t understand why the evolving aspect upsets some people.
73 MI7WJL

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There’s just one SOTA summit on Barbados. It’s small, close to a road and never been activated. Mount Hillaby 8P/BB-001. It’s on my list, should I ever return.

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Not sure I agree - the density of hills per square mile in NI is about 4 times England’s

Rick

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depends how or what you do not agree with GI/ 65 HILLS 12 WITH TRACKS. G/174 HILLS 166 WITH TRACKS.

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Rick, that assessment does take into account the fact that there is a fairly large area in the east of England that has zero summits. I don’t think that a comparison can truly be made on that basis, nor indeed on any other basis. SOTA presents different opportunities for each one of us depending on where we live, what time we have available, transport options, health, age, fitness, etc.

As has been said many times, SOTA is personal. Comparisons cannot be made.

73, Gerald

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Fair comment - I used to live in Suffolk !

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Just to add insult to injury GM/1221 hills 176 with tracks.

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Well I live in Northampton which is better by a degree. I don’t know how Martyn M1MAJ and Caroline M3ZCB in Cambridge have managed to accrue so many points over the years. The more remote that you are, the greater the effort required, both in terms of time and effort on the ground and also in planning. Again, no comparison - just respect for their Herculean effort.

I hope to work you again soon. Enjoy not living in Suffolk!

73, Gerald

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plonk

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