Winter bonus 2017/18

Just wanted to mark the passing of another Winter Bonus period really.

As many will know, due to my circumstances, I tend to do SOTA activations in the winter. A large part of my Activator score is made up from bonus points.

The bonus period that has just finished was a tough one for me; ‘safe’ weather and allocated time just never seemed to coincide.

Anyway, at a quick glance, I managed to earn another 50 activator points, lost 2 1/2 stone and had one of those very special cold, dry and clear mountain days on Helvellyn.

Has anyone else got winter bonus stories or photos to share?


(Not sure what category this sits in)


Hi Colin, If you want to grab some more winter bonus points, come over to the DL region as our period only ends at the end of March (with good reason - more snow is forecast for this weekend !!).

I managed to grab Ammerleite yesterday in some, for us at the moment, very nice weather! Shame the bands apart from 40m were USELESS!


Compare this to the activation a couple of weeks earlier:

73 Ed DD5LP (G8GLM).


Hi Colin,

I didn’t make it out as often as I hoped to, for various reasons. I’m envious of your cold clear mountain day - magic! Thank you for sharing the photos.

My last attempt was Great Rhos GW/MW-002 on 9th March. Getting there was easy, and I could see just a few patches of snow lying around on the countryside.

Because of the windy conditions, the snow had drifted and settled in the sunken path up:

I managed to skirt around that by walking on sloping ground above the drifts. When I reached the final “pass” onto open moorland, though, it didn’t look very inviting, and the cloud was down:

It took me an hour to get that far, and the AZ was still quite a walk in whiteout conditions. I kicked myself for not preparing for this eg starting earlier, bringing GPS, map etc, but decided to wimp out and return to the car.
Enjoyed the walk, though, and spotted several fox tracks in the snow.

50 points total this bonus season.



Ha! It would be more trouble than it’s worth to travel to DL, for a start, my passport expired in 2011!

Yes, it was tough as an activator yesterday. I went up Whernside G/NP-004 to bank my final bonus points yesterday. I had arranged to go early to see if I could sniff out some LP DX on 20m, my heart sank a little when I looked at the propagation information on Wednesday evening, but I decided to go ahead with my activation anyway.

I’d packed a home made 20m ground plane antenna which I had intended to use on the EU-VK-JA event (before WX and car problems prompted me to cancel). On Wednesday I’d been testing a kit built radio in my garden using my SOTAbeams 3 band linked dipole, I packed the dipole straight into my bag for Whernside. I got the dipole out of my bag on Whernside yesterday and one of legs came detached at the feed point. :cry: My dipole is rather tired, it’s certainly provided good service and needs replacing really. I had no choice but to deploy the mono band ground plane antenna!

I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t manage to qualify the summit but thankfully I managed to complete just enough contacts on CW on 20m. The WX was awful, I wasn’t able to function inside the bothy bag as it kept blowing across my arms and face due to gusts, so I just sat on it. The antenna was guyed by string in addition to the 4 radials but it was still blowing around wildly. Signal reports coming in with well down, but again, I was just happy for the QSOs!

A very difficult day on the hill but it was nice to be back home having a soak in the bath at 11am!

In Polisch Bieszczady moutain. SP/BI

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Winter Bonus period is not yet over in EA2 and I’m just now planning to sum up 6+3+6+3 = 18 activator points tomorrow.
The two 6 pointers I’m willing to activate tomorrow (weather permitting) are Mt. Saioa EA2/NV-021 and Mt. Zuriain EA2/NV-023.
This will be the GPS track to follow:

It wiil be very cloudy with some, hopefully light, rain showers, but I hope to be able to make it and take some good pictures of the nice landscape.

I’ll have to leave the 4 pointer Larrakarte EA2/NV-173 because I won’t have time nor legs to hike that one after the 2 previous 6 pointers.

Hope to copy you all soon.



An excellent thread Colin. Some nice photos as well. :slight_smile:

Due to work commitments, for several years now Paul G4MD and I have been restricted to just two outings in the winter bonus period. We refer to these as the Post Christmas Bimble, as it is sandwiched in between Christmas and the New Year, and the Birthday Bash which is similarly timed between our birthdays on 22nd and 28th of February. The December outing has often been disrupted and the weather kept us off the hills one day at the end of last year. By contrast the February outing usually runs quite smoothly, though temperatures down to minus 4C coupled with 40 mph winds did challenge us last month. This winter we actually managed to accrue 33 points which were most welcome as we are both now starting to get an interest in double goatdom. It has taken a long time to regain the interest in points which seemed to evaporate after the magic 1000 were achieved. I wonder whether others have experienced this.

73, Gerald G4OIG

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New Years morning on Burnhope Seat G/NP-003. A great way of clearing the head!


G3TQQ Dave on G/NP-003 Burnhope Seat 11 March 2018


MM0FMF Minch Moor GM/SS-133, below 0C


Nice thread!

I also get a major part of my SOTA opportunities in winter due to skitouring.

Best memory this year was the three-summits activation of the popular “Rotwand Reib’n”, with a total of 3 * (8+ 3) = 33 points in a single day in perfect solitude, spanning

  • Rotwand - DL/MF-058,
  • Auerspitze - DL/MF-056, and
  • Hochmiesing - DL/MF-057.

73 de Martin, DK3IT



Fantastic Colin! Managed 1-1/2 stone myself so far… Got to do something now Gerald’s in racing snake mode again :smile:

73 de Paul G4MD

Dear all

Just a glimpse at our winter holidays in February 2018 in Eastern Allgäu, Southern Germany. We had roughly 2 hours of sunshine in that week, and this only by taking a chair lift to be above the fog.

Best story was visiting Edelsberg, DL/AL-161, being for the third time on snowshoes, in the fog at -10 °C – just see below.

This winter bonus was well deserved in my opinion, hi. And we decided to come back once in the warm period of the year to see the beauty of this place at better sight - unfortunately without bonus points then, hi!

Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ

Well guessed? A bench and a sign post nearby the gondola from Nesselwang. :hushed:

On our way to the summit. It was that much peaceful!

At Edelsberg summit – DL/HB9DIZ/p preparing the activation at -10 °C with APRS2SOTA. :sunglasses:


I did quite a few activations during the current bonus season. And took a lot of photos, of course. Still, I could not find any of the photos of me, doing my usual activator’s stuff, very inspiring and interesting. And worthy of publishing at this respected and highly-selective site :smiley:

Therefore, I turn to the Heavens above us, which never fail to surprise and astonish us. Here are some examples of what I’ve found over there…

Seaside Sunset: Bringing Peace to the World / Taken on December 30th, 2017 / Expedition to 9A/DH-054

Just One Shade of Grey / Taken on March 3rd, 2018 / Expedition to E7/BO-030

The Skies Above Sarajevo (the whole City of Sarajevo is just a small white spot in the middle of the picture) / Taken on March 15th, 2018 / Expedition to E7/BO-011 and E7/BO-013

Twilight Above the Good Waters Saddle / Taken on January 29th, 2018 / Expedition to E7/BO-003

Snow Blue(s) / Taken on January 24th, 2018 / Expedition to E7/BO-023


Winter in DL Alps is big fun!

More winter photos (and others) is on my homepage:

–… …-- and CU soon
Mario DJ2MX


With a temperature of +1 deg.C at the start point of my hike and graupeling, I decided to abandon after having hiked about 100m vertical under graupel and finding the summit I was heading to completely inmersed in cloud.
Perhaps, I would have been able to get to the summit and carry out a quick activation in the fog under graupel but this wouldn’t have been a pleasant activation and I decided to give up.
There will be a future chance for sure.


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The older one gets - well what’d ya know a certain flautist roaming the hills:



Slip an anvil in his pack.

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'fraid he’s got wise to that one. I’m hoping he’ll accept that I gave him the diving boots because they’re very waterproof :wink: