The Cost of a Summit Activation

For those of us that chase awards, be it DX, Summits, Islands, etc...  we have all heard about the costs of expeditions and in many cases we individually choose to support those  that interest us the most. Costs for expeditions to rare places like Bouvet or Peter I can approach $400,000 or more. Those expeditions require ice class ships, helicopters and tons of equipment. Even a jaunt to rare IOTA qualifying island can run into the tens of thousands of  dollars. Major expeditions have found ways, other than greenstamps in envelopes, to fund their adventures, e.g,  by  offering online QSL requests for a fee and by just making it easy to contribute by accepting PayPal. Often times we will read what the cost per QSO was as the expeditions try to recoup their costs.

This brings me to the costs of my recent trek to the top of East End Summit in Arizona which qualifies for the Summit on the Air (SOTA) award. I was able to fit this into a business trip so it's hard to allocate travel costs to the expedition. I did rent a car to get to the trailhead and some food to eat on the trek and water to drink, none of these costs were outrageous. However, there was a huge expenditure that is worthy of mention and that is burned calories.. Using my "Lose It" app, I burned approximately 2,500 calories on my trip up and down the mountain. Given that this activiation took place on a weekday, the QSO's were limited with 18 QSO's made. So I propose a new measure of expedition economics, and that is, calories per QSO or C/QSO. With the numbers above my C/QSO ratio for this trip was 138.9 to 1. So to help reimburse me for my costs, it might be more appropriate to send me a pastry with the QSL request rather than a green stamp.

So the next time you need to drop a few pounds, maybe you should try the SOTA activation diet, it can burn a lot of calories.
Mike Crownover, AD5A, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Texas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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