Summits on the Air (SOTA) Goats, what is a SOTA Goat?
The term Goat is used affectionately to describe the SOTA activator who frequently climbs hills and mountains in extreme weather cold and hot to reach distant peaks. There are many summits in the ACT (VK1) where one requires the agility of a goat to reach the SOTA peak safely and in one piece.
The SOTA awards program has a prestigious award for the title of Mountain Goat for activators who achieve 1000 points in the activator’s log. The award recognises the dedication and effort of the SOTA activator to reach the peak of a distant summit only to spend 30 minutes or less on the air and then return home. Check out the post for Sentry Box Mountain, Al VK1RX and I spent 5 hours walking 16 km to the summit. Moving on…
The SOTA goat has recently morphed into an iPhone app appropriately named SOTA Goat used to alert SOTA chasers to the activation of SOTA peaks anywhere in the world. The SOTA Goat app has been known to go off at the most inconvenient times. Some users forget to turn the app off. Try it out, its fun!
There are a few VK SOTA chasers who like to be know as ‘OLD Goats’.
The community of SOTA activators and chasers would be familiar with expeditions of Steve WG0AT and his goats Rooster and Peanut who together activate summits in the Colorado, Dakota and Missouri regions. Wow wouldn’t it be great to have a pair of goats to carry your gear up the mountain? If you are wondering who Steve WG0AT is and the mystery of two goats then check out Rooster and Peanut’s YouTube channel.
Having a goat with me on SOTA activations might be fun and would no doubt surprise the Namadgi National Park Rangers turning up on the summit of Mt Tennent or Mt Gingera with a pet goat. The practicality of owning and maintaining a goat in the suburban blocks of Canberra would present a few problems, such as the veggie patch would be the goat’s favorites destination for a short time while the veggies exist. The rest of the garden would be easy picking, which wouldn’t impress the XYL. Then there are the two resident dogs Harry and Bella who adore their back yard and are very defensive of their turf. Okay I guess owning a real goat is out for now.
So if one can’t have a real SOTA goat then the next best thing is a stuffed toy goat, complete with a goat beard, I think it is. You may think I’m silly! Well today, one of my work colleagues presented me with a small stuffed toy goat as the VK1NAM ‘SOTA Goat’ mascot designed for Australian conditions. Yep I bet you still think I’m silly. 😉
I will be taking the SOTA goat mascot on my SOTA expeditions, I have no doubt the goat will feature in future blog posts and photos of mountain peak activations. 🙂 Lets hope the goat doesn’t get lost in the Namadgi wilderness.
What next? I need a name for the SOTA goat mascot and would love to hear from you on your thoughts. Please use the contact form below to send your nomination for the SOTA Goat’s name or use the comments field at the bottom of the page. I will accept nominations up to 1 November 2103.
Names received are; Billy, Billy the kid, Nambo and Andrew Goat Gruff.
Please keep the names coming.
Suggestions received on what the goat may like to carry; a UTC clock.
Other thoughts; the goat should be tethered in high winds.
Here are two pictures of the new SOTA goat mascot.