The youngest person in the UK, and probably further afield, to have achieved Mountain Goat status in the Summits on the Air (SOTA) awards programme is Jimmy Read M3EYP.
Jimmy (19), from Macclesfield in Cheshire, started trekking up the hills with his dad Tom (callsign M1EYP) back in 2002 when he was 10 years old, and quickly developed an interest in hill walking and amateur radio.
After studying for and gaining his Foundation amateur radio licence with the Macclesfield & District Amateur Radio Society back in 2005, Jimmy went on to become a very keen "activator" of the summits. Activators need to make a minimum of four contacts from a summit in order to qualify for the points on offer, which are broadly proportional to the height of the hill or mountain.
In six and a half years in the SOTA programme, Jimmy has amassed the 1000 points required for "Mountain Goat" status, the single most sought-after award in the scheme.
As well as conducting amateur radio from the summits of local favourites like Shining Tor, Kinder Scout, The Cloud and Gun, Jimmy has travelled further afield, usually with his dad Tom, and operated from mountains such as Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.
He completed his mission towards 1000 points with a long day out in the Shropshire hills on Saturday 10th March 2012, in which he transmitted from the tops of Brown Clee Hill, Titterstone Clee Hill, Long Mynd and Stiperstones. Finally, just over the Welsh border, an activation of Corndon Hill gave him the final five points he needed to pass through the magical 1000 points mark.
Jimmy celebrated the milestone with a bottle of ale on the summit, before packing his amateur radio station away and descending. Jimmy says that his next target in SOTA is to climb the remaining ten summits he needs in the Lake District to have completed all the 176 qualifying summits in England. Jimmy also continues to serve as the English Association Manager for SOTA, monitoring the latest news from topographical surverys, and updating the programme's documents and websites with the results.
Shortly after the Mountain Goat triumph, Jimmy was successful in his Intermediate Licence examination after another course with the Macclesfield & District Amateur Radio Society. This means he now has callsign 2E0EYP, and may transmit with a power of up to 50 watts. He expresses his thanks to the instructor, Brian Holland M0GOB at the club. Also successful at the same sitting was Mike Cooper who now has the callsign 2E0CKK.
For more information about the Summits on the Air programme, please visit the website - http://www.sota.org.uk
For more information about the Macclesfield & District Amateur Radio Society, please visit the website http://www.gx4mws.com