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Paul Schreier HB9DST

Most of you have likely heard about SOTA, Summits on the Air. In short, you take your radio with you to a registered summit and broadcast from there. Having climbed the summit, you get "activator" points; those at home who make contact with you get "chaser" points. Full details about this fascinating, addicting aspect of our hobby can be found on the website of the Swiss SOTA Group ( or at the main SOTA page (

The list of registered summits is contained in an Association Reference Manual (ARM). The Swiss ARM was just updated effective June 1, 2015. This update reflects the latest knowledge and tools available for measuring summit heights and in particular their prominence. The SOTA Management Team in the United Kingdom recommends a minimum "relative height" or "prominence" for summits of 150 meters. Summits must be distinct peaks. In other words there must be a vertical separation of at least the Association's prominence value between the summits and their associated saddles (also known as cols).

Upon a detailed review, the Canton of Zurich was given one new summit (HB/ZH-020, Batzberg). What was particularly unfortunate, though, was the fact that the canton lost one summit, ZH-009 Üetliberg, which apparently did not have the necessary 150 meter minimum at some point. What a shame! -- this was an easily accessible SOTA summit, especially for visitors. And while it is not in the Canton of Zurich, there is another summit I was particularly sad to see taken off the list, HB/SZ-031 Etzel. This is another popular hiking destination close to Zurich.

Even with these losses, the Canton of Zurich has a number of SOTAs -- 15 to be exact -- to offer those activators who do not wish to travel far from home.

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