MY SOTA MISSION
As I stated earlier, I am not in the hunt for awards and other obligations leave with little time for SOTA. I decided that my new objectives in SOTA are going to be to activate all summits in any given mountain range.
For anyone following along (not likely too many), you may have noticed that I am not very active in SOTA lately. The reasons for this are three-fold:
1. I bought some acreage and I working on small ranch setup.
2. I started another job with more hours/days to work.
3. I have become bored with SOTA.
Over the last few months I have taken the time to reflect on number 3. Although SOTA is not supposed to be competitive per se, it has awards, and awards mean competition and being a competitive person, I want(ed) to win. Initially, competing and/or winning didn't matter as I was just climbing and activating. But after the novelty of that wore off and having less time to play, the competitive part came into play.
I know that no scoring system is perfect; SOTA is no exception. Some parts of the nation/world have lots of points available while others have none. Some areas have lots of 10 pointers while others have only 1 pointers; I get it. This however does nothing to allay my issues with the scoring system in SOTA.
To narrow this down to my area and me: here in Arizona, the southern part (where I live) has many summits, most less 10 points and many are very difficult and dangerous to hike. Contrast this with Northern Arizona where there are dozens of 10 pointers, most of them relatively easy to hike. So while activators here in southern Arizona can spend an entire day trying to activate a 4 point summit, activators in northern AZ can activate mulitiple 10 pointers with ease.
Based on this, I cannot fairly or easily compete for awards like Mountain Goat, so I have taken myself out of that competition as it is not applicable to me.
What I decided to focus on in SOTA is this:
1. Previously unactivated summits.
2. Summits that are difficult (ones with a couple of activations/activators or less)
3. Try for personal records, like number of summits activated in a day/week etc.
This does not mean that I will not do 10 pointers in Flagstaff when I am camping, nor does it mean that I will not do Mt. Lemmon here in southern AZ. Sometimes easy or known summits are what I need to get my hiking/CW fix. What it does mean is that I am focusing more on unactivated and unique summits rather than points.