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Summits on the Air - SOTA


Summits on the Air (SOTA) is an award scheme for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners that encourages portable operation in mountainous areas. SOTA has been carefully designed to make participation possible for everyone - this is not just for mountaineers! There are awards for activators (those who ascend to the summits) and chasers (who either operate from home, a local hilltop or are even Activators on other summits). 

SOTA is now fully operational in many countries across the world. There are 89 SOTA Associations. Each country has its own Association which defines the recognised SOTA summits within that Association. Each summit earns the activators and chasers a score which is related to the height of the summit. Certificates are available for various scores, leading to the prestigious "Mountain Goat" and "Shack Sloth" trophies. An Honour Roll for Activators and Chasers is maintained at the SOTA online database. 

The SOTA Association Manager for South Africa is Lucas Swart, ZS6ACT. The Association was started by Andrew Roos, ex ZS1AN, in January 2003.

At present South Africa has 317 summits registered of which 43 have been activated by 15 radio amateurs. The summits are divided as follows (number in brackets is summits activated): Eastern Cape 16 (0); Free State 18 (5); Gauteng 13 (3); Kwazulu-Natal 49 (6); Limpopo 50 (0); Mpumalanga 26 (10); North West 35 (1); Northern Cape 40 (0) and Western Cape 70 (18). Because of the large number of qualifying summits in South Africa, only a few summits were catalogued in 2003. Other qualifying summits will be issued with reference numbers in response to requests from a prospective Activator. Refer to the South African Association Reference Manual, part 2,5 and 2.6


The most popular summit in South Africa is ZS/GP-002 Suikerbosrand with 8 activations, followed by ZS/FS-004 Platberg with 7 activations, ZS/GP-006 Magaliesberg, ZS/MP-009 Verkykkop and ZS/MP-015 Van Collerkop each with six activations, ZS/GP-001 Perdekop and ZS/WC-043 Maclear’s Beacon each with 5 activations.


ZS Chasers and Activators

South African Association Reference Manual - PDF                                                SOTA General Rules - PDF

SOTA Activator's Guide                                      SOTA Leaflet                                        SOTA Winter Safety Notes

ZS SOTA Information - MS Excel - Who has activated which summit

Secunda ARC Sota Page

SOTA GPS (.gdb file): EC  FS  GP  KN LP  MP  NC  NW  WC  ZS zipped file