Unactivated or Never Activated?

…back on topic… I was rather late to the SOTA game so there are relatively few unactivated summits that are possible… but the retirement present to me was a rather nice camper van and although lots of journeys are planned with the unretired Mrs IPB I have done rather a lot of planning involving a long drive and a CalMac ferry or two to try and bag one unactivated summit - although even I’m not mad enough to try this in winter - I might get stuck there for weeks…and the jobs list I would return to would probably rule out any activations at all in 2023…
So I am waiting for a break in the weather (48 hrs please) for a somewhat shorter drive and a couple of easy summits (Muncaster Fell and Black Coombe) that are just a bit too much to justify driving there and back in a day, and also to try and work out not only how to complete an activation with two dogs but how to live in a van with two dogs…and to plan for that unactivated summit. Paul

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I nearly got stuck on Arran back in my student days, when we had a field trip to the island at the beginning of the Xmas vac… A storm blew up on the day I was due to head home, and the ferry stayed in port.

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ISTR the Arran ferry will sail in amazingly bad WX unless the wind blows in such a way the mainland harbour can’t be entered. So if the wind is wrong it doesn’t sail.

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I think most Scottish ferries sail in pretty bad weather so when you hear they are cancelled you know it is bad. A few years ago we were sailing back from Orkney in some rough seas. The first thing we did was get breakfast. A big mistake. I felt fine after my full Scottish but my daughter’s came back out, all down me!

When I sailed to Shetland the outward journey was as flat as Suzi Quattro. The return was a bit choppy and I couldn’t walk in a straight line down the corridors. I asked one of the staff how rough it was really as I was novice… she walked in front of me in a straight line which was impressive and said “I only think it’s rough if I can’t walk straight”. So it wasn’t rough at all. After 3-4hrs it went back to Ms. Quattro conditions and I was able to sleep all the way back.

I don’t know if any of these exist except for a small time period. A summit that is listed as unactivated but has been chased, so by implication it has been activated but no one has claimed a activation.

Andrew (G4VFL)

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It’s possible. Or someone activated it and was chased. The activation and chase were entered but then the activator realised it was not a valid activation and deleted it. Or the activator failed to acknowledge mails from me to delete it for whatever reason and I deleted it. It would be worth a sniff in the data to see how many activated unchased and unactivated chased summits exist.

I have one of the latter in my chaser log. I’m certain I logged the correct call sign and summit. Could be the activator simply forgot to upload it, or maybe there were issues with summit access. No one’s clued me in, so I’ve kept it in my log.

Back to the original question, I use the term “maiden summit.” I picked it up from N3II, who nicely documented his activation of several such in W4V and W8V on his blog: https://n3ii.wordpress.com.

Having just gotten into SOTA at the beginning of last year, and living in a pretty active association that’s been in existence for 11 years, the only maidens remaining here in W4V are not easily won. I find the challenge one of the more interesting angles of SOTA and have managed to bushwhack and scramble my way to 12 maidens in W4V to date.

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Faint heart never won fair maid :innocent:


SOTA Maidens?

SNOTTY - Summits Not On The Transmitted Yet? (there’s an implied ‘List’ between transmitted and Yet which kind of spoils the acronym unfortunately)



Understood. Here’s what we do:

  • Have one day of the week that is an agreed pass-out for a full day of SOTA.

  • Get up at 5am on every other day of the holiday to do an activation, with the aim of being back at the holiday accommodation to start the day with the family around 10am. (NB this does require going on holiday somewhere with plenty of accessible small summits in the vicinity!)

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Total vote so far.

Remember this is a 100% Officially Unofficial tally and every vote counts.

Unactivated - 3
Virgin Summit - 1
On My List or Unclimbable (OMLU) - 1
Activated and Unchased - 1
Unactivated and Unchased - 1
Maiden Summit - 2
Summits Not On The Transmitted Yet (SNOTTY) - 1

I kinda like the sound of activating a SNOTTLY myself.


At first I thought you meant alternate days but I have a feeling you mean every day! I think you have to be really keen to do that. But doing it on one or two days is a good plan. Plus I’d probably only have to be back by 12 as my wife and daughters like their lazy mornings!

That is often the problem.

I have managed to ensure that next year’s big family get together is within range of G/SB-001. It’s also near a beach so hopefully I can persuade every one to walk to the beach while I drive off to find some more summits.

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I did see that someone had activated a Maiden in Alaska a couple of months ago


May I suggest The Canary Islands… sun but not too much, cheaper booze, lots of places to stay for all budgets, a plethora of summits from trivial to quite involved, cheap car hire, laid back locals, you are activating in Africa. Plenty of things for the non-ham family members as well.

A different vibe and some of the summits are definitely serious then you have Madeira. When there, you can try and add in some of the summits on Porto Santo Island for guaranteed chaser mayhem. Madeirans seem more laid back than Canarians.

The sun is quite awake now so it should be mega fun on 15/12/10m. I tried 10m in 2015 from Lanzarote (not sunspot maximum) and had a stunning run of 64 10m QSOs non-stop into EU and NA. And I had some damn CX station causing QRM.

Shorter flights you have The Balearic Islands. Same as The Canaries but different :wink:


Ho ho!

Yes laughable, especially when he could have put “emacs / xemacs” and garnered respect :wink:


18 months of trying. Could have been less but Motorsport started up again after covid and that started to take up more of my time.

My routine was to activate after work once a week, do one at the weekend if I had time and a couple of holidays a year we would do some hill walking/SOTA. Then, a couple of times a year go off on a backpacking hike I’d be dreaming of doing for 25 years or more but finally had incentive to do. Just two of those netted me 112 points or 11.2% of whats needed for MG! 96 of my points are bonus points, so that’s me 20.8% of the way there just with two outings and winter bonuses. Simples :smiley:


You have to plan your time and watch the wx forecast everyday and not be shy of rain or snow. You also have to be an early bird, travel and begin walking in the pitch dark. I set myself a target of doing one summit mid-week after work and then a morning of SOTA on the weekend. This case, I still managed to work 5 days a week and have 1 and a half days with the family over the weekend! Holidays really helped, my XYL is a keen hiker, so we both climbed mountains with me carrying the little one on my back, Martha would have a picnic on top with little Lyra and I would activate the summit - I’m lucky in this respect but it got us all out of the house for good fresh air and we actually all enjoyed it.

Being a left winger in a Welsh spa football team for 20 years, and a tarmac rally driver for 15 years certainly helped me towards my goal :rofl:

You need to plan your routes carefully, so in the winter plan a route which takes 3 or 4 summits into account with a bonus on each. Example:

GW/NW-005, 004, 003, 006 on a weekend morning starting very early or even a day. This equates to (8 + 3) + (8+3) + (10+3) + (8 + 3) = 46 points in a day! You then do one summit mid-week which is above a 1 pointer and you’ve gained over 50 points in a week! This is 5% towards your MG. Make the most out of the bonus season scheme, it doesn’t last long! Even if you just concentrate on the 2 and 4 pointers and tackle the larger mountains in the summer - it can be done this way too!

I concentrated on my local area first, the closest 8 pointer to me is 50 minutes drive, it then moves to 1.5 hour drive, and then 3 hours, so they are not close at all! Once I’d completed all 2 point summits and above in Wales, I moved over to G land - the closest 6 point summits and above are a 4 hour drive for me, but I was dedicated and set off from home at 02:30 BST to begin my hike at 06:30 BST. I was on my way home by 12 most times.

Everyone is different and wants different things out of the SOTA hobby which is great. But if you really want MG status, especially in a 12 month time frame, you really do have to work for it and put the time and commitment in. Nothings easy these days :slight_smile: a lot, and I mean a lot of planning is involved when organising your routes. They need to be safe and you need an escape plan/route if things go pear shaped when on top!

If you’d like any company or routes to do in GW land, I’d always be willing to come with you for the walk.

73, GW4BML. Ben