Summits On The Air (SOTA) is a contest (of sorts) that encourages Ham Radio operators to be more active and operate from the field. Specifically, from the summits of designated mountains. Points are awarded to participants and plaques/trophies are even available to those to reach certain milestones.
There are two types of operators in SOTA:
1. Activators – those who hike to the top of and operate from the summit
2. Chasers – those who communicate with the Activators (from their home station, on the road or even another summit)
Each (successful) Activator receives a specific number of points depending on the prominence, difficulty of hike and season of each summit per activation (only one activation per summit per year). Each Chaser receives a specific number of points assigned to the summit they successfully chase.
That’s about as simple as I can make it, but you can read more on the Summits On The Air website.