SOTA TUSCANY CHALLENGE

A bit of background

My radio history is similar to that of many of HAM.

I obtained ministerial authorization many years back, but I’ve barely been active until i found the SOTA program which allowed me to combine two of my biggest passions: hiking and radio.

Premise

Following the initial activations which were essential to gain confidence, both with equipment and operating techniques, I realized i was becoming fairly constant with my outings meaning i was really liking it.

In October 2022 IW0HK Andrea becomes AM (Association Manager) in Italy and since the start proposes the creation of structure of Regional Managers which could support him in the administration of the SOTA administration in Italy.

For Tuscany - my region of residence - Andrea offers me the position of RM, offer which i accept with great pleasure.

Purpose of an experiment

The initial spirit is to involve the greatest possible number of OM in the SOTA activity and the intention is to experiment something that is easy to implement and streamlined in management.

One of the things which has always thrilled me in sport activities (always non-competitive) that i have done in the past has been adding a pinch of adventure to make the activity in question more stimulating. Nothing of particularly extreme.

Also in SOTA, over time I’ve been able to create my own “game in the game” activating the most possible number of summits NEW ONE (therefore peaks which have never been activated before).

I presented my first draft idea of this challenge in the 2nd meeting between AM and Italian Regional Managers in April 2023.

My desire is for this challenge to be under the umbrella of the SOTA program, therefore i informed the MT (Management Team) of the initiative and after a quick exchange of emails i received the approval of GM4TOE Barry, whom i thank.

Operational aspects

As an instrument to understand how the challenge develops over time it was necessary to develop software programs (written in Python and Open Source) which, by reading the SOTA or SOTLAS database, could retrieve the basic information in order to always have it updated, in a more or less automatic, the situation of peak activations in Tuscany.

Again for convenience, at least in this first phase, i have decided to include the statistics and the rankings in my personal website.

This way the SOTA activator has an “easy-to-consult” tool within his reach to check the general situation of the Challenge.

The statistics and rankings are grouped in these two pages, which i generally update every week.

On the Statistics page there are:

Dashboard: Activation Situation

Historical List of “First Activators”

On the Ranking page the situation of the OM who have made at least one NEW ONE

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Rules of SOTA TUSCANY CHALLENGE

Objective :

Encourage the SOTA activity in the Tuscany region.

The focus is on the NEW ONE summits (the ones that have never been activated).

The aim is to complete the activation of all of the 227 SOTA tuscan summits.

Summits with particular characteristics and Safety

It should kept to mind that some SOTA summits could be situated in private properties, military areas or protected areas (see Montecristo Island*) in which case if it is not possible to obtain the necessary permits to access them, they will need to be considered “non-activable”.

Each activator (who is responsible for himself) must put the safety issue in first place for this activity, especially for those summits which to reach require technical routes (unmarked or exposed paths, via ferrata or mountaineering techniques).

Being aware of your personal physical conditions, technical skills and good planning of each outing are essential conditions to have fun in this activity.

SOTA Authorization and Regulation:

This program has been agreed upon in advance with IW0HK Andrea - SOTA Manager for Italy - and subsequently presented and approved by the SOTA UK’s Management team (MT)

The rules are those of the SOTA program (sota.uk)

Awards

To each OM who ha activated or will activate a multiple number of 5 SOTA summits in Tuscany in “New One”, a patch will be sent, if desired, as a recognition of the goal achieved.

The situation of the Top Activators is viewable on the Ranking page.

This is the patch for those who have already reached or will reach in the future the NewOne 5.


Upon reaching the 10 mark, 15 mark - and so on - the corresponding patch will be sent.

I’ll also take care of sending the patch to those who have already reached the NewOne 5 milestone in the past.

All free including shipping costs.

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Conclusions

As with all the experiments, it is difficult to establish beforehand how this small initiative will develop.

My aim is to carry out an analysis at least quarterly on the progress of the new activation by creating reports which i will publish on my website and in the SOTA and MQC (Mountain QRP Club) Reflectors.

It is likely that throughout the course of the project I’ll need to make changes/ addition to make it even clearer and more usable.

In the meantime I’ll share some interesting feedback coming from a few of my friends, for example:

  • In consideration also of some of the safety issues, it would be a good idea to approach some summits with at least two or more people and if these all participate to the SOTA program it would be even better and more interesting if all of the crew could achieve the “New One” for that specific summit, provided that they made a minimum of 4 QSO (as i believe is customary in mountaineering expeditions).

-To avoid overlaps in outings, it could bee interesting to create a sort of calendar where we can highlight our intention to activate a particular summit (IW5ARK Stefano)

[describe any problems?]

It is likely that with time more feedbacks will arrive from activators.

Everyone will be evaluated, but being the only one managing the program (at least for now), response times and possible implementations may understandably not be immediate.

73 and wish you good SOTA activations

IK5VYZ Claudio

(*)
Isola di Montecristo problem: Having a base on the island of Elba where i go quite frequently, i looked for objectives within the Tuscan archipelago.

The eye obviously falls on one of the most difficult objectives which, in my opinion, is the Montecristo island not so much for its technical difficulties, but because of it being a natural reserve its access is extremely regulated and controlled.

The island is under the control of the Carabinieri Command for the protection of Biodiversity and Parks and specifically of the department of the Carabinieri Biodiversity of Follonica, to whom i wrote an email where i explained in broad terms the activity i would have carried out and therefore asking if it was possible to obtain a permit even with the presence of a guide.

Sadly their answer turned out negative, the reason being the only research which can be authorised on the island is strictly connected to the conservation of the species and of the natural habitat.

In a few months I’ll try to ask again for their permission not as a singular but as a member of the national association of HAM.

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Well done Claudio !

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Bravo Claudio e armati di coraggio e pazienza!
73 Claudio

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Nice proposal and nice to see you RM of Tuscany!
Filippo.

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Thank you for sending me the award

That was a lovely holiday… which I will definitely repeat… and then maybe I will have something new for my backpack :wink:

73 Armin

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Hi Claudio, received this week with great pleasure.
Still new peaks to be activated in the Apuan Alps but not all of them are easy to reach with our equipment. :sweat: :face_with_spiral_eyes:
I’ll try to do a new SOTA activation in the next few days.

73’ Antonio IK5MEL

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New one.
Tomorrow, weather conditions permitting, activation of the Monte Sumbra peak in the Apuan Alps park I/TO-008 also valid for POTA with call IK5MEL/P.
Locator JN54DB.
I should be operating in QRP with end fed antenna up 10m and
Sumbra03
no earlier than 09:00 UTC for about two hours on 40/30/20/15m CW only.
see you '73

Antonio IK5MEL

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Super Antonio,
one of the most beautiful and highest peaks in Tuscany… an important SOTA goal.
Happy activation…

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