SOTA Mountain Goat Achieved! 14

Achieving SOTA Mountain Goat on Skiddaw (G/LD-004)

Achieving SOTA Mountain Goat on Skiddaw (G/LD-004)

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-007 (Fairfield) 8 949
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-009 (Grasmoor) 8 971
20/09/2020 G/LD-015 (Grisedale Pike) 6 977
21/09/2020 G/LD-006 (Pillar) 8 985
21/09/2020 G/LD-014 (Kirk Fell) 8 993
23/09/2020 G/LD-004 (Skiddaw) 10 1003

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
SOTA Mountain Goat trophy

SOTA Mountain Goat trophy – hand carved in the Scottish Highlands!

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!


14 thoughts on “SOTA Mountain Goat Achieved!

  1. Reply Adam - MU0WLV Nov 29,2020 09:05

    Well done James… a great achievement..

    but you do need GU/GU002 (& 001)

    It’s a tricky one… I could drive you there… ha ha ha

    all the best mucker…

    • Reply James Stevens Nov 30,2020 11:27

      Thanks Adam! Yes, those mighty summits are still on my list. I’ll let you know when I come to GU land!

      73 James M0JCQ

  2. Reply David Hepworth Nov 29,2020 16:34

    Fantastic achievement James.

    Well done.

    Dave G7ABT

  3. Reply Pete THOMAS Nov 30,2020 09:29

    Congratulations; your blog too is inspiring.

  4. Reply Thomas Will Dec 4,2020 15:12

    Congratulations James! And thanks for the very interesting blog (plus the YouTube videos), I really enjoy that. Besides being active as a SOTA activator, too 😉

    Thomas DB4LL

    • Reply James Stevens Dec 9,2020 17:20

      Thanks Thomas, I hope to catch you on the air for a Summit to Summit at some point!

      73 James M0JCQ

  5. Reply Tom McQ Dec 22,2020 10:26

    Absolutely fantastic! Well done. Have a great Xmas break.

    73, Tom, M7MCQ

  6. Reply Richard M1HAX Dec 23,2020 07:49

    Well done James, a great accomplishment! Nice to get you summit to summit on the big day too.

    • Reply James Stevens Dec 24,2020 11:20

      Thanks Richard – to my shame that was the last SOTA activation I did. Good going on your recent winter activations in the LD!

      73 James M0JCQ

  7. Reply Rob W4ZNG Dec 24,2020 03:03

    Good going OM! Here’s to many, many more summits.
    [lifts whisky glass while pressing “Post Comment”]

  8. Reply Gavin 2E0TKT Dec 12,2021 05:09

    Nice work James and thank you for making your thoughts and experience available outside of social media sites which some of us avoid.

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