Wainwrights On The Air (WOTA) Launches on 21st Mar

Wainwrights On The Air (WOTA) will launch on 21 March 2009. WOTA is a new adventure radio programme for radio amateurs within reach of the English Lake District. Similar to the well-known Summits On The Air programme, the basic objectives are to ‘collect’ as many Lake District summits as possible, either by activating them (making contacts from the top) or by chasing them (making contacts with the activators.) The summits that count for points are the 214 mountains described by A. Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, popularly known as “The Wainwrights.”

WOTA is the idea of and will be managed by Julian Moss, G4ILO, who lives close to the Lake District in Cockermouth, Cumbria. Julian has developed a website to support participants in the scheme. The website allows activators to pre-announce their activations, and chasers to “spot” stations heard working from the fells to allow others to catch them. There is also a database into which both activators and chasers can enter the details of their contacts and then view statistics and league tables.

Julian is sponsoring the “Worked All Wainwrights” and “Activated All Wainwrights” awards for participants who successfully work or activate all 214 Wainwright fells. Anyone who wishes to sponsor other WOTA awards should contact Julian. Only contacts made on or after 21 March 2009 may be counted for WOTA awards or league tables.

For more information, including the rules of WOTA, see the WOTA website: http://www.wota.org.uk

Julian Moss, G4ILO

In reply to G4ILO:

Hi Julian…just tried the link.
It looks like your webserver has crashed.

Will be interested in seeing how your scheme gets on. I don’t get to the ELD very often, but wish you the best of luck.


In reply to M0EIQ:

Remove the ‘dot’ after the ‘k’ in ‘uk’ and it will work.

73, Mike G4BLH

In reply to G4ILO:

What is with people that they have sites where you have to log in to read the forum posts?


In reply to G4ILO:

Well I’ve signed up for it and look forward to bagging a few Wainwrights on my way to SOTA summits!

Good luck, Julian.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
All sota chaser’s dont forget the summit reference for the lake district, are different on wota than sota, so be careful not to get it wrong, i wonder how many new wota activators will shout sota aswell, steve m0sgb

In reply to G8ADD:

Well I’ve signed up for it…

Same here Brian. I certainly do not have a problem with having to log in to the website.

I wish Julian the very best for his venture. I look forward to chasing the Wainwrights and activating the occasional one when time and finances allow. Maybe I should move house…

73, Gerald

In reply to M0SGB: I hope they will. The SOTA IDs are in the database so people can see which ones count for both. And the rules for how close to the summit you need to be are the same. So there is no reason not to.

In reply to G4ILO:
How many activators are going to in to a summit and shout cq.sota and give example ld-003 for helvelyn when they mean cq-wota what ever ref for helvelyn. I can see it getting it getting confusing. How many are going to sit on a wota before they get to a sota summit. Like they all say watch this space

In reply to M0SGB: I think those who are interested enough to chase points in both schemes would be able to figure out the ID for themselves if necessary. Helvellyn is a pretty distinct identifier in itself.

As for “How many are going to sit on a wota before they get to a sota summit” well there are a lot of walks you can do that don’t go to a sota summit at all.

WOTA opens up a lot of easier summits for people who can’t manage some of the higher ones in SOTA. For those near to the Lake District who have exhausted all the SOTA tops within easy reach it also opens up a lot of new possibilities.

Look at many of the SOTA activation reports and see the distances top activators travel to get to summits. The amount of time spent and cost of petrol involved is enough to put many people off, for a start.

I would like to think that WOTA is just the first of many more regional schemes that people could accomplish without having to travel the length and breadth of the country.

In reply to G4ILO:

There has been mention of some system of reference numbers for WOTA summits, but I can see no list on the website. Of course, it may be available to “logged-in” users, but that is no help to those who may just “happen by”. Surely such apparent secrecy is self-defeating …

73 de Les, G3VQO

In reply to M0SGB:

Steve, the summit ref for Helvellyn is LD-003 one that me and my Dad did last year, and the WOTA reference is LDW-003, simply adding a W to say its a WOTA summit, not being cheeky but I am only 10 and I can understand it.

When we stay at Eskdale Green there is really only Muncaster Fell thats in range of the hotel for SOTA, now with WOTA I can do more summits with my Dad without using the car to get to the starting point.

I signed up and joined your site, with Dads permission, and I feel it is secure and safe environment for me to be in becasue of the log in procedure.

Good luck G4ILO we will be using WOTA


It looks a nice scheme to me, with a good well-designed website to back it up. I have registered, but I agree with Les that it would be beneficial to the launch of WOTA to have summit lists and refs on open (ie not logged-in) view. It will be the first thing people go looking for.

I don’t know when my next major LD outing will be, but I’ll certainly log my contacts on your site as well (if my SOTA summit is a Wainwright) and try to get four quick QSOs on the 2m HH if passing over any non-SOTA WOTAs.

One day in Easter, we will be doing LD-047 and LD-039. I haven’t checked if these are WOTAs yet, or if the routes take me near or over any non-SOTA WOTAs. I wouldn’t imagine the latter is the case though.


In reply to G3VQO:

…it may be available to “logged-in” users,
but that is no help to those who may just “happen by”.
Surely such apparent secrecy is self-defeating …

That’s a rather negative and derogatory comment Les. What is the issue with having to log into a website? I’ve joined many a forum in order to obtain answers to questions, never to have returned once the information has been obtained… log-in usernames and passwords long forgotten. So what, I ask. It is hardly any effort to obtain access. Maybe we just want things to be a bit too easy nowadays as we potter around the Internet hoping we might “happen by” something of interest.

In my opinion the WOTA scheme should be seen as a valuable addition to SOTA in the Lakes and something that should be encouraged. I am certainly impressed by what Julian has set up and commend his website to anyone that enjoys walking in the Lake District.

Gerald G4OIG

In reply to G4OIG:

The problem is having to log in to read. Requiring some authorisation for write access is sensible. In fact going further such that, not only do you get the user to provide you with a password/name combo, but that you make efforts to verify the details are legit makes great sense. But it’s the fact that you have to register to read the content which is a pain.

The more sites you provide some details to the greater your traceable footprint in the internet is. Secondly most of us have no idea how secure the website is, who the people running it really are, whether the hosting company can be trusted, will the details be used without our permission etc. etc. etc.

There is no gain for the user in having to register for read access. It simply makes the website harder to use. Especially if you want to log in from a phone.
You have to ask why is read access registration required.


In reply to M1EYP:
Is this Tesco advertising on Sainsburys website?

In reply to M3LMP: Hi Morgan. Unfortunately it’s not always as easy as adding a W to the WOTA ID. I could have kept the same numbers for the fells that are also in WOTA I suppose, but instead the fells were numbered in order of decreasing height, which I think is the same way the SOTA numbers are allocated. So the further down the list you go the more the numbers diverge.

Thanks for joining up and I look forward to hearing you on from the fell-tops.

In reply to G0HIO: I asked permission before posting this announcement here and G8ADD authorized it.

In reply to G0HIO:

I don’t think so. You’d have to try very hard to see WOTA as anything other than complimentary to SOTA. If it encourages more people on to the air then that has to be good.

I’d be pleasantly surprised if there are suddenly hundreds of WOTA only activations and WOTA only activators. I bet I’m not alone in thinking that most WOTA activations will be by those already involved in SOTA and will be done in addition to/conjunction with SOTA activations.

There may be a bit of confusion at the start between the two schemes but that will soon settle down.


In reply to MM0FMF: “You have to ask why is read access registration required.”

To an extent this is a judgement call. Partly this was down to using a content management package to develop the site which means that you have to work within the security framework provided. The rest was to do with concerns about members’ security.

The requirement to log in means that parts of the site are protected from the attentions of search engine spiders and spammers. Anything you post in the forum is not going to come up in someone’s Google search, so if someone burgles your house while you are out activating Wainwright summits it won’t be because they read that you were going to be away on the WOTA forum. And any email address posted on the WOTA site is not going to start receiving tons of spam as a result of it.