Q: What sites should I goto for program questions?
A: https://www.sota.org.uk/ This is the primary website for Summits on the Air. Understand that SOTA is a global program, and the rules are similar in most associations, however read the ARM for the association you look to activate in for any questions specific for the area.
https://summits.sota.org.uk This is where you go to find information for specific associations, and get access to their ARM.
https://reflector.sota.org.uk/ This is a messaging forum that is searchable that has a lot of information. You can also post to ask for questions too.
Q: What are some sites I could use for planning?
The ARM for the association
Q: You keep talking about an “ARM”: What is that?
A: Association Reference Manual: The ARM contains basic information about the program overall, awards and other caveats specific to that association and a summits list for that association.
W6’s is here: https://sotastore.blob.core.windows.net/arms/ARM-W6.pdf
Q: I’m looking at the map, and I swear i am looking at a peak that should be part of the association, who do I contact?
A: Associations use one of two guidelines to establish what peaks are eligible for inclusion in the program; P150M or P500F. P150M means the peak must have 150 meters of freestanding prominence from the nearest saddle. P500F means 500 feet of freestanding prominence from the nearest saddle. Topographic prominence measures the height of a mountain or hill’s summit relative to the lowest contour line encircling it but containing no higher summit within it. If you feel the peak in question meets this (and it’s possible to confirm via ListOfJohn, or Caltopo, Gaia, etc) then please feel free to email the Association Manager(s) for the association in question including GPS coordinates, peak name/number etc. W6 uses LoJ to determine if a peak qualifies for inclusion as do most other associations. We do understand that at least in the US surveys are being done using lidar and other new technologies so this could change things long term.
Q: This peak I want to do is on private property, why is it in the list?
Property ownership is a very fluid concept. What is private today may be inaccessible at a later date and vice versa. Also some owners are okay to allow you up provided you ask them well in advance. It is up to you to behave responsibly and not give Ham Radio or SOTA a bad name. W4K/EC-001 is a perfect example of a summit on private (commercial) property, is marked “no trespassing”, but is possible to gain access if you contact the owners.