Rules question

I have some questions regarding the rule that activator points will only be awarded for one activation per summit per calendar year. What was the reasoning behind that? Winter bonus aside, why have this yearly limit and why not have activator points awarded for multiple activations of a summit in a calendar year? The effort to climb and activate a 10 point summit is the same in June as July for example, so why not award activator points? Don’t chasers get points for multiple chases to the same summit, why not activators?

I ask for purely selfish reasons of course. I’m running out of nearby summits this year and soon will be faced with 6+ hours of driving to complete an activation. I will spend more time driving than hiking and activating, which is hardly good for the environment and is heavy on the wallet too given recent fuel price increases.

I realise I’m lucky to live where I do (I could be in Norwich or Gdansk !) and am within relatively easy access to some fantastic climbs and views, but I don’t have a years worth of single use summits within easy reach. After all, the hobby is supposed to be about radio, not driving.



That’s a good question Colm.
Be interesting to see the reasons why only 1 score per calendar year.
Maybe it is a good time to think about a change, filled my SOTA transporter yesterday for a 3 summit trip this coming Monday and it cost half my pension payment for the week on fuel. Certainly lots of driving involved with SOTA for me 2018 I visited 47 different summits and drove 8,760 km to and from summits. But that is where the summits are for me so I got to do the km’s or stay home. I consider myself lucky to live here in the country and have a few local summits sort of close by with no winter bonus it would be nice to gain a few more points to visit them more often. Certainly would not waste my liquid gold on going to a summit and not get a score.
Good luck to you and thanks for activating SOTA.
Ian vk5cz …


This goes right back to the beginning of SOTA, Colm. The idea was to encourage people to activate a diversity of summits rather than spend the whole year repeatedly activating their local summit. If you repeatedly activated a local one point summit you could make Mountain Goat in about three years without ever setting foot on another summit! Meanwhile an avid chaser would make Shack Sloth in the same period just by working you on your local summit…or the two of you might give up in boredom! The rules do permit a second activation if it is to pick up the seasonal bonus, thus you could activate a two point summit in the summer and go back to it in the bonus season to gain the additional three points. Of course, some Associations have a summer bonus to deal with summer heat, so for them the procedure would be reversed!



One of the things that annoys me is the frequent changes to rules that take place with our national football competition. The game is now almost unrecognisable compared to 50 years ago and has lost much of its appeal afaiac.

SOTA has operated well for 20 years with only a few tweaks to the rules. I am not saying these rules are perfect or their interpretation perfect but a major change as proposed would completely change the nature of the activity.

For awards such as SOTA goat the proposed change would completely devalue it.

Sure, where you live determines a lot of things. Imagine being in Eastern Ukraine right now.

If the rules are changed to suit a few individuals then I will be demanding the right to have the rules changed to suit me for a year. I want every activation I make to have the point score multiplied by my age and everyone else’s existing score divided by their age. Just to make it more equitable for me of course. No?

Then maybe just enjoy things as they are. Or try some other pastime.



Did anyone tell Tom? :wink:

(And I know he’s activated plenty of other summits too)


I think it was a fair question and many of us are probably thinking a little more about the costs of travelling ever further to activate new summits.

However I think I’m in agreement with Ron here. SOTA encourages me to go hill walking and to keep interested in radio. I suspect I would do less of the former and probably none of the latter without it. I am looking forward to reaching MG and enjoy S2S contacts. I also enjoy gradually building remote acquaintances around the world through our shared interest. If it was too easy I would probably lose interest.

I am happy to reactivate my local hills just for fun or to do something special such as satellites or DX or simply whilst walking the hound. I frequently don’t even bother to log such activations (unless I get a S2S) but I’m very happy to give away chaser points.

No vote to change from me


This isn’t the first time that Colm’s idea has been put forward, a few years ago another participant made the same suggestion and gave the same reasons. The MT debated the idea and rejected it.

Not many. I have activated The Cloud G/SP-015 some 1623 times (#1624 will be later today). I have only activated 476 other summits…

So there is nothing to stop anyone from enjoying SOTA activating from a convenient summit as much as they wish. But I agree with the majority view that it would negatively alter the nature of the SOTA programme to be able to score activator points every time.

Not that you can’t score points on your repeat activations. Just activator points. Even when an activation is repeated within a calendar year and scores zero activator points, it still gives an enhanced opportunity to collect chaser points, S2S points, chaser uniques points etc.


Please don’t change the rules, atleast not yet, it’s cost me an arm and leg to get MG this year keeping to the rules :rofl: I ran out of summits in GW where most of the 4 and above pointers are a minimum of 2 hours drive for me, 4 hours to LD and 9 hours to GM (one way). Personally I think it’s a great organised hobby and these difficulties make it more challenging and fun!

73, GW4BML. Ben


I once proposed to make a small change or exception regarding low denomination summits (1-2 points) so that they can compute points multiple times in the calendar year. The proposal was, taking into account the maximum score of 10pts, that the 1pt summits could be activated up to 10 times in the calendar year and the 2pts up to 5 times. In this way, the enormous gap that exists between regions where most of the summits are 10pts and those that only have 1 or 2 points, would be shortened a little, just a little.
An example of this gap: An activator who lives on the main island of Okinawa only has 15pts during the calendar year (13 summits of 1pts and 1 summit of 2pts) that is, to achieve the MG it would take approximately 67 years, while another who lives in Nagano prefecture in a couple of years he would achieve the MG.
If we continue with the calculations, according to the proposal that I gave, the Okinawa activator could only obtain approximately 150pts per year, thus reducing from 67 years to almost 7 years. And in itself 7 years is quite long to obtain the MG.
And I think this would not degrade the program or the environment at all.
I´ve received the explanations why not, some I understood others not.


This would definitely be more inclusive to disabled operators as well as operators in low point areas who cannot afford to travel.


In that scenario the first thought that comes to mind is why would anyone bother to do the ten point summit at all if the same points could be gained by activating a local 2 point summit five times - and if those five times were in the winter bonus period, the aggregate of ten activation points would be reinforced by fifteen bonus points, whereas the ten point summit would only gain three bonus points.

1 Like

Ladies, gentleman, boys and girls. At some point you learn it’s not JUST about the points. Then you activate whether you get points or not because you enjoy walking the hills and radio.


Well, but in the case of the mountain of 2 points to obtain the 10pts in the calendar year, you have to make the effort to climb it 5 times.
And regarding the bonus points, for me it is a negative aspect of the program. At least in Japan it is most unfair as only 8 and 10 point summits qualify for this, while there are low denomination summits that are just as complicated as 8 and 10 point ones. For this reason it would be ideal if the bonus points criteria were centralized.

1 Like

And please don’t stop Tom - in over 2k chaser points I still haven’t managed to work anyone on The Cloud! :rofl:



Your next opportunity is this afternoon on 2m SSB. Please note though that i won’t be self-spotting, as I’m taking part in the RSGB Backpackers Contest. Maybe another chaser will spot me - or maybe you will find me!


Thanks, I’ll take a listen, although I’m in a bit of a VHF black hole here. I live below the highest point in Cambridgeshire! (a 112m chalk “hill” but not much use for SOTA :grinning:).


It isn’t a matter of “complicated”, it is simply a matter of climate and altitude. If we could magically ensure that all Associations had the same climate and the same summit height profile then the bonus points would be the same everywhere. As things are, some tropical Associations have no bonus period at all, and some hot desert Associations have a summer bonus for coping with the heat. The summer bonus Associations have the bonus for all altitudes because the heat is greater for the low altitudes and you have to pass through the lower altitudes to get to the cooler high altitude. The winter bonus Associations have the bonus kick in at the altitude where snow and ice can be expected. Its complicated, but we live on a complex planet and SOTA tries to adapt to the wide range of conditions that can be experienced.

1 Like

I wonder why more people don’t take part in our SOTA L’Oreal award?


Ecky thump! Impressive - perhaps there should be an award for the SOTA summit most activated by a single activator (Nah, just kidding).

1 Like