After six years of trying to climb everything within my reach, I’ve finally done it. I achieved SOTA Mountain Goat status.
In September we visited the Lake District for a holiday (before lockdown 2) and as usual did a lot of walking up to the various peaks in this region. I had four days to activate the 6 summits needed to make Mountain Goat in 2020. It’s not been a great year for SOTA, due to the COVID-19 lockdown across the world, but here I had a small window of possibility.
Driving up to Lake District I had 941 activator points, so me and my wife knew we’d have a lot of walking and multi-day summits to get the remaining 59 points and tip the scales in my favor. But, after reviewing some walking routes passing multiple summits in a day, we worked out it was possible, but still a good challenge.
Here’s my activator log over 5 days (including 1 rest day – enforced, very strong winds and rain!):
|Date||Summit||Summit Points||Total Points|
|19/09/2020||G/LD-010 (St Sunday Crag)||8||957|
|19/09/2020||G/LD-022 (Seat Sandal)||6||963|
|20/09/2020||G/LD-015 (Grisedale Pike)||6||977|
|21/09/2020||G/LD-014 (Kirk Fell)||8||993|
As you can see my final summit was Skiddaw (G/LD-004, 10 points, 931m), the conditions were predictably awful (it usually is up there!), but it was a fun activation, with plenty of chasers calling in to congratulate me passing the milestone.
Here are some statistics about my road to mountain goat:
- 6 years taken
- 243 SOTA activations
- 143 unique SOTA summits activated
- 3,504 QSOs (thanks to the many chasers!)
- Summits activated in:
- 6 countries
- 10 SOTA associations
- 3 continents
I’ve had a lot of fun with SOTA over the past few years, it’s taken me to some crazy places which I wouldn’t have otherwise visited and has seen me operate in some conditions where you start to really question your sanity.
So what next? I don’t plan on stopping SOTA just because I’ve achieved Mountain Goat, there’s still so many summits left to activate. Some initial ideas include:
- Achieve 1,000 activator points using VHF alone
- Achieve 1,000 activator points through unique summits alone
- Achieve 1,000 chaser points to get my Shack Sloth award (222 points to go)
- Activate all English SOTA summits
Thanks to all the blog readers who have followed my SOTA (mis)adventures over the years and supported my endeavors. I do intend to continue blogging about the more interesting activations, so stay tuned!