Sota Italia - Dual summit referencies, rules

I’ve found on the site that, in Italy, there are a dual sota summit list, national and international: .

There are also “Italian” rules that are different from the official sota rules, for example:

  • Minimum walk time
  • QRP Power
  • No VHF/FM


As you see all have the sota logo and seems official and sota approved.
Could someone explain this?

73 de IN3AQK

The only official list of summits in Italy is the one in the SOTA database

There is a local Italian award scheme that has extra summits and different rules that regularly causes confusion when people mix up the two schemes and we hope to be able to get the local scheme not to use the same references as SOTA summits. It should not be using the SOTA logo.

The official summits list contains many mistakes and omits many hundreds of valid summits. The Summits Team is working to resolve Italy so that the summits in the database are valid and accurately reported but this will take some considerable time. We have a number of ideas to try to enforce separation of the schemes, not because one is better that the other, but because they have different rules.

In the meantime, you should check the summit exists in the SOTA database and then check the location reported is the actual summit using Google Earth or other mapping resources. If you wish to activate the summit for SOTA then you must activate in accordance with the SOTA rules and not any other scheme rules. Similarly, if you chase an Italian summit you will need to ensure the activator is activating it according to SOTA rules.


Sotaitalia started out as an independent organisation with its own summit list and rules. A while back they contacted the MT and formed a SOTA Association but also maintained their original rules and award. This is best viewed as an Association award. Thus it is possible to either just work towards the international SOTA Awards, or by following the Sotaitalia rules work towards both the SOTA and the Sotaitalia awards where the summits are common to both lists.

The current summit list is far from complete and includes some unsatisfactory summits. Work is commencing on a revision which will eliminate the unsatisfactory summits and greatly expand the number of summits available. This is a major task which it is hoped can be completed next year.


I add another consideration:

Most of the Italian Official Summits are selected respecting the Italian, un-official sotaitalia rules.
So for example the summits on this list, that is the region where I leave: have all a “Grade/Points” between 4 to 10, but most have a grade of 8 and 10.

There are NO simple summits all are peaks for well fit persons.
My region is on the centre of Dolomiti Mountains, a world unesco natural heritage, visited by many Hams from all the world. Many Italian and International operator that visit my region have the need to have more simple summits with grade 1 to 4. In my region there are thousands of hill, peaks, mountains to add to the sota database.

73 de in3aqk

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Yes, we agree.

Part of the major review of the Italy and Sardinia associations will be ensuring that all qualifying summits are included, not just the highest / most difficult.

dear brian, summit revision is only one of the step requested to make SOTA in Italy a living, active, enjoying activity. SOTA in Italy need public events, need to use the assets existing in all regions, it’s not a pure climbing exercise - as we discussed many times - an elitist association.
People must be happy to contact other people by walking an easy cliff as well as a 10 grade hill. That’s what we are missing today.
There’s a lot of people in Italy with new ideas, and good legs…LOL

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There also another side effect generated by this sotaitalia confusion.
A lot of Italian Ham radio mountain operators, tired of the summit list problem, uncertain rules, difficult of interaction with the sotaitalia manager had drifted versus other italian asssociation that have a more dynamic and suitable summit list.

I think that one is free to select the radio activity that prefers, but I advise the official Sota of this “NON SECONDARY” side effect.

I hope that Sota will decide ASAP the action to do.
At the moment I’ve ceased to perform any sota activity, during winter in my region nearly all of the 8 to 10 point summits are unusable

73 de in3aqk

I agree, but the vital first step is a revised summit list with summits suitable for all abilities. IIRC satellite data indicates that the revised summit list should contain about 1500 summits, verifying all these summits is a major task involving many hundreds of man-hours of work. Once the Italian Association is on a proper foundation then we can turn our attention to popularising SOTA in Italy.


Brian, I also agree with you, and I know that a lot of work should be done.
Volunteers are needed to do this, but the problem seem that is like a team developing a “closed source software” that do not accept new software developers

Me and others have tried to speak with them but any our criticism is considered as an accuse.

We are in a stall situation and I think it will be solved ,unfortunately, after “ALL THE HORSES HAS GONE”


Hi Paolo,
I’m not sure how far away from you it is, but I/AA-303 Puflatsch (or Monte Bullacia in Italian) falls into the easy access summits in my book (and I’m NOT fit).

It’s an 8 pointer. As always points do not neccesarily reflect how hard a summit is.

73 Ed.

Here’s my report on my activation: I/DD5LP/P – October 4th. 2014 – I/AA-303 Monte Bullacia (Puflatsch) | DD5LP / G8GLM / VK2JI blog

Ed I agree with you and this summit demonstrate how strange are italian sota summits.
I/AA-303 Puflatsch / Monte Bullacia it’s in my opinion a 2 point summit, but actually a 8 points.
I’m a former military helicopter pilot (now software developer), and I have a 20 years flight experience, doing also mountain rescues in my region Dolomiti Suedtirol.
I know well all the summits and locations, and I/AA-303 is nothing more than a hill

73 de IN3AQK

Points only reflect height above sea level, not difficulty. Those are the SOTA rules.

Sorry for my "google translate english"
SOTA Italy expressing the personal view, of the person you have identified as Italian manager although not adhere to the SOTA rules. I wonder what interest you have to tolerate such a situation, maybe it was sufficient have references on Italian soil to accommodate the tourists?
The Italian section SOTA absolutely does not facilitate radio activity over the mountains, and trying in various ways to limit and hinder applying a Regulation in part is opposed to SOTA rules.
QRP is the basic requirement. It is not permitted FM modulation.
The references are few and comply with criteria of the personal manager Italian, often coordinates are incorrect and in my region are references in most activated only in the summer and then only having full days available and preparation level mountaineering.
I wonder how you can tollerate this so cocky and arrogant that in addition to distance Apassionata obscure your image.
I hope you can take action to remedy the shameful reality in Italian Apassionata allowing many to participate in your program without constraints from ideas and visions of a single person.
Rendondimo account of the heavy work necessary, movement myself available for the review of references in my region (South Tyrol) and the integration of new references that are not only available for mountaineers or high mountain fans.
I hope you can answer, which the Italian manager never did.

The big problem here is language. We of the MT have to resort to google translate when faced with anything written in Italian just as you do, Ivo, when you need to write English. We can only become aware of problems if we are told about them, and did not know that there were any problems until Mauro contacted us earlier this year.

It is important to know that the rules of the international SOTA Award scheme are the ONLY rules that count for the international SOTA Awards, and the Sotaitalia rules ONLY apply to the award issued by Sotaitalia, not to the Awards issued by SOTA. If you wish to activate using VHF or UHF FM, or using more than 5 watts, this will count for the SOTA Award, just as using repeaters will not count for the award. The international SOTA Award scheme is not elitist, in fact the rules have been written to be as inclusive as possible.

We knew that the Italian summit list was not complete, it was a “starter pack” offered by the AM to get the Italian Association started, in fact we have assembled satellite data which will greatly expand the number of summits when they can be verified and incorporated into the summit list. The satellite data will identify a summit which will probably qualify but it will not tell you the name of that summit! Each of these unlisted summits from satellite data will have to be verified from maps, and this will amount to months of work. When the satellite data summits have been added to the summit list there will be summits available to suit all levels of ability.


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Ivo, as my colleague Brian says we are working on a list of summits that meet the requirements of the SOTA program and checking the data is valid. Only when that is done can we move forward. The work is ongoing. Italy has far too many excellent hills and mountains for it not to be a properly formulated association. It will take time to do this work.



writing this you are accepting and certifying that Sotaitalia could issue it’s own diplomas in contrast with sota rules. For information tomorrow IW3RR has announced an activation of I/FV-339 a reference that does not exists. This lead a lot of confusion for an international hunter that think to have connected a Sota expedition.

Yes, Paolo, this is permitted by Rule 3.13.2: “In addition to Programme-wide certificates and trophies, Associations, individuals or groups may specify their own award system, using defined SOTA summit data (or a sub-set of it).”

Note that if you consider that Sotaitalia is acting as an Association, then they are offering an Association award in accordance with rule 3.13.2, as does other Associations. It is perfectly legitimate for an Association to offer an award where the rules governing that award are different to the international SOTA rules, the only requirement specified in the international SOTA rules is that the Association award uses the official SOTA summit list. In this case it appears from the reference that you have provided earlier that the award scheme is using non-SOTA summits, which is against rule 3.13.2, and we will be taking this matter up with them as such an award cannot operate under the umbrella of SOTA. It is a matter which can easily be corrected.


Yes Brian I confirm that the summits usable on the Sotaitalia awards are the official Sota summit list PLUS a lot of other NON official summits.

You can easily check the situation in this web page:

Sota Italia summits

On the right there is the list of our regions, if you check for example:

Suedtiorl Alto Adige

In each pdf there is a column “Validità” where you see if the reference is valid for the official sota.
As you can see in these three examples there are a lot of summits, at the end of each list, marked as “Solo Italia” or “Nazionale” that means that they are non present in your official database.

If you open the file Veneto you easily see that the official summits are 16 and that the “unofficial/only Italy” are 65!!

If you open this:

Summits in the region of the manager

The national summits are the most of the list!!!

In all the list that I proposed as example there are two noticeable things:

  1. The only italy awards summits are always at the end of the list, so it seems that in years from 2011 to today,no new official summits was added to the sota database
  2. The reference codes uses the same pattern and number progression of the official summits, this lead a lot of confusion during the activations of a “Non official summit”, so Hunters think to have worked a Sota activation but in most cases is not thrue.

There is another strange behavior in sotaitalia:

Years ago I had a email and telephone contact with the manager, requesting new summits in my region.
The manager sad that the summit must be usable at the same time in the Sota official award and in the National Sotaitalia awards.

The problem is that in the Sotaitalia awards rules there is the limit of a minimum of “45 minutes of walk”, this rule is not present in the official program.

So, surely all the summits marked as valid only for the national adhere to the “45 minutes of walk far from roads”, non problem they could be in the future submitted in the official database.

But this lead to an inverse problem, in the future there will be no official sota summits with a walk time less than 45 minutes near roads.

As you leave in UK you could not, obviously verify this, you should trust on the manager or trust in Hams, like me with a different opinion.
But the fact that I’ve exposed before tends to endorse my hypothesis.

This is my last replay to this thread, I think all was explained well, now is your turn to take o not to take actions.

73 de IN3AQK


I confirm IN3AQK explanation: the SOTA-Italia program is filled with unofficial summits to extend the chance of activating and they have some errors here and there (coordinates or difficulty).
It includes the official SOTA summit list, which also have some errors to correct.

My hope is that SOTA (international program) would soon extend the italian list and correct the problems.
Maybe we need a new, big, italian association, made by “freelance operators” that act like an open-source development team to write a new, good, full, big, Italian official summits list?


I think that in our interesting discussion there is an important issue still missing: A CLEAR STANCE made by SOTA int.l organization that SOTAITALIA is NOT SOTA. Whatever is…that’s shouldn’t be a problem. The trick used by italian manager is to impose HIS OWN SOTAITALIA (with its rules, paranoia, and elitism attitude) to any people wishing to enjoy SOTA. There is an extreme ignorance and confusion in Italy on this argument, and the guy is using this mess to impose his personal vision. This, I believe couldn’t be tolerated any longer by SOTA and its managers.

73 Mauro