Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome! I'm Dzianis, a licensed radio ham holding the callsign DD1LD. I love to take this hobby with me wherever I may roam. The blog "QTC de DD1LD" means "Messages From Me" and reflects my ham radio activities and projects. I barely have time to write everything down, so I blog occasionally, and mainly, for myself. You can subscribe to the blog below to receive updates when new posts are available. 73 and enjoy reading!

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GoGreen XOTA

GoGreen XOTA? What on earth does it mean? There are thousands of ham radio operating awards available, some of them offer a great way to...

Friday, July 31, 2020

GoGreen Activation of the Echinger Lohe, DLFF-0700

July 31st, 2020. Short activation report. 

It was going to be a very hot day.  The Echinger Lohe, DLFF-0700 would be a suitable shady place for activation on a hot day with the sun shining.  So, the decision was easy - GoGreen activation of DLFF-0700.

The forest in the Echinger Lohe is undergoing an enormous change. It was used intensively by humans until after the WW II. The name "Lohwald" already suggests that the oak bark in particular was extracted. With this "Lohrinde" (oak bark) animal skins were tanned into leather. The 23.7 ha area was designated as one of the first natural forest reserves in Bavaria in 1978. There is a 100 m × 100 m research area in the reserve. All trees are permanently marked and numbered there. The development of the individual trees and the deadwood, which is important for many animal and mushroom species, is examined at regular intervals by the Bavarian State Institute for Forests and Forestry.
One of the entrances to the Echinger Lohe, DLFF-0700.
I easily found a suitable place at the edge of the forest, however, the QRP operating was tough. The propagation was poor, and the tall trees also weakened my weak QRP signals. The logbook was filling up slowly. In order to use the time most efficiently, I also chased other WWFF activators. I took a short break and strolled through the fairytale forest for a while. Definitely an interesting place to visit on a hot summer day!
 Log statistics, DD1LD/P @ DLFF-0700 on July 31st, 2020. 

After reaching the "enough is enough" point, I quickly packed up my things and headed home for dinner. Cycling was the most fun today ­čĹŹ, radio operation was less pleasant ­čĹÄ.
My shady operating spot at the Echinger Lohe, DLFF-0700. 
GPS: 48°18'2"N 11°38'49"E
Short summary and statistics for DD1LD/P:
  • Date: July 31st, 2020 
  • GoGreen distance: 57 km by bike
  • Equipment: 5W QRP + EFHW
  • Participation time: ~ 5 hours
  • Operation time: 2 1/3 hours
  • DXCC worked: 28
  • Top countries worked:  DL (22x), I (18x), ON (11x)
  • Continents worked: 3 (EU, NA, AS)
  • DX: K and UA9
  • WWFF areas: 1x unique (not activated by myself before) and rare
  • WWFF reference: DLFF-0700
  • WWFF-valid QSOs: 115
  • Unique callsigns: 101
  • WWFF activator points: 2
  • P2P: 8 (more than usual ­čĹŹ) 
Mni tnx all chasers and activators fer QSO!
73, 77 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P

Saturday, July 25, 2020

GoGreen Cross Activation of the Falkenberg Castle, WCA DL-05243 and 2x GMA

Friday, July 24th, 2020. Preparation.

It was one of the activations when some things just go wrong… Below is the story.
This Friday was a pretty busy day and I came home very late.  On Saturday I had to be in Egmating at 11:00 UTC. The weather forecast was nice, and I decided to cycle about 25 km there. I was thinking about a possible GoGreen XOTA activation on Saturday morning. The choice fell on the Falkenberg Castle, which has just been given a fresh WCA reference number, DL-05243. I decided to operate from the forested H├Âchenberg (607m), DA/AV-217, which is in the activation zone of the castle. Both WCA DL-05243 and GMA DA/AV-217 have not yet been activated. The detour for activation would have added 10 km more, so the total distance would be approximately 60 km. Okay for me! 

The plan was to get QRV at 7:00 UTC, collect 100+ QSOs, QRT at about 10:00 UTC and continue to Egmating, and the plan only worked partially. Late at night I announced my activity through the WCA Group's reflector, set up the environment for this activity at www.tnxqso.com and went to bed.

Saturday, July 25th, 2020. Activation.

I was just too tired to get up in time…  I still felt tired and enjoyed a large coffee while packing everything on my bike. The fresh air and cool temperature below 20°C quickly got me going. I arrived at the H├Âchenberg at 7:20 UTC.  Actually, the right option in the deep forest would have been to throw my wire antenna over a tall tree. However, I was too late, the forest was quite damp after yesterday's rain and full of annoying mosquitos. So, I opted for a more convenient option, a pole instead.  I found a suitable operating location directly on the forester's path.
My operating spot on the H├Âchenberg, GMA DA/AV-217  
in the activation zone of the Falkenberg Castle, WCA DL-05243.
GPS coordinates: 48°2'28"N 11°53'59"E.

The first QSO was logged on 20m at 7:45 UTC and ¾ hour behind the schedule. I knew that the operating QRP in the deep forest could be a challenge, but I just love challenges. The radio operation was tough, the log was slowly filling up despite frequent DX-cluster spotting. The aggressive mosquitoes stung mercilessly. There was a lot of QSB on 20m. So, I spent almost all the time on 40m. The received RST reports indicated the weakness of my signals.  The propagation on 40m improved somewhat around 10:00 UTC, but I had to go with 93 QSOs in my log.  I painfully missed some familiar COTA and GMA chasers, and I just missed the 100 QSOs threshold by 7 QSOs ­čś×.

On the way to Egmating I made a stop to take a mandatory picture of the activated castle. The Wittelsbach family had a castle built in Falkenberg at the beginning of the 12th century, the ruins of which later became the Falkenberg castle. In the 436 years of its existence, the castle was sold a total of 18 times, 12 times in the past 200 years alone, and it was only inherited 8 times.  The rich history of the castle is well summarized HERE.
The Falkenberg Castle,WCA DL-05243. 
The castle has been privately owned again since 2000 and is closed to the public.

The route to Egmating was hilly and mostly led through meadows and forests. I made it just in time… Beautiful!

After today's activation in the morning, I didn't really feel happy.  A short and harmless rain greeted me twice at noon, then the sun came out and greeted me too... ­čśü So, on the way home I spontaneously decided to activate the St├╝rzerberg, 557m, DA/AV-199 close to Purfing and only 7 km from my QTH.  Incidentally, I had to learn that the heath on the western slope of the St├╝rzerberg is a natural monument, a natural landscape that is under nature protection.

A pure GMA activation is always a tedious task because there are not so many takers compared to WWFF, COTA and other programs.  You should have enough time and patience for a pure GMA activation if you want to achieve more than 4 mandatory QSOs. It's just a different kind of challenge for an activator.

I still had some time. The weather was just nice. I set up my QRP station directly on the hill and started CQing in a cozy and rural atmosphere. 15:00 UTC. I called CQ, chased some WWFF areas, called CQ again and enjoyed the great view from the hill.  In the end I was able to log 28 QSOs in about 1 hour of relaxed operation, 3 of them were with WWFF.  A slim result, but better than nothing, sorry, better than 4 mandatory QSOs anyway.
My operating spot on the St├╝rzerberg, GMA DA/AV-199.
GPS coordinates: 48°7'45"N 11°49'45"E. 

When I got home, the GPS tracker showed a little over 60 km. Although the number of QSOs was not impressive, three XOTA objects were successfully activated. I ended this beautiful day with a nice dinner with well-deserved cool beer... and 121 QSOs in total, 4x Castle-to-Castle and 5x WWFF.

Sunday, July 26th, 2020. Post processing. 

I stared at the monitor in horror and didn't want to believe my eyes. What on earth was going on here? Ten QSOs were missing from my yesterday’s activation log of the St├╝rzerberg, DA/AV-199. I used the FLE SW for logging and for some reason, I don't understand, I was missing 10 QSOs ­čśí. I was pretty sure I clicked the save button a couple of times before closing the logging GUI. All attempts to restore the log electronically have failed. After an hour, I was able to restore 6 QSOs based on my human memory, as well as on database and DX-cluster cross-checks. At the end, I was able to submit an activation log with 24 QSOs versus the original 28 QSOs. Lesson learned - backup, backup, backup. Even a few simple measures like taking a picture from the screen would have been extremely helpful in such a case. I have to think about it!
Mni tnx all chasers and activators fer QSO!
73 es 11 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

GoGreen Activation of the Garching Heath, DLFF-0701

July 21st, 2020. Short activation report.

This was a spontaneous afternoon GoGreen activity. There are two fairly fresh WWFF areas close to my QTH: the Garching Heath, DLFF-0701 and the Echinger Lohe, DLFF-0700 are less than 25 km by bike. I was thinking about activating the two areas by a single expedition. But I decided against it as it would have been pretty stressful for an afternoon activity, and would have been penalized by a small number of QSOs from each reference.

I left home 40 minutes later than planned. I arrived at the Garching Heath, DLFF-0701 in about one hour by bike, at 9:45 UTC. The Garching Heath is home to over two hundred plant species, around fifty of which are on the Red List of Threatened Species. In the Garching Heath there are two groups with burial mounds from the Bronze Age. And you can still see some of them. The necropolis dates from between 1,800 and 1,000 BC. In addition, four funnel pits from antiquity were located. Some more info and great pictures can be found HERE.  Definitely an interesting place to visit!
 Arrived at the information stand at the Garching Heath, DLFF-0701. 

I took some time to find a nice, shady and hidden place for operating the radio. The first QSOs was logged at 10:20 UTC.  The propagation conditions on 30/40m were strange with deep QSB, the time was not optimal to expect a large number of chasers. The 20m band was open which resulted in some nice DX like K and UA9.  The radio operation with 5W QRP was tough... and slow-moving that day.  So, I decided to call other /P-stations on 20m and was immediately successful in SSB with YLFF and RFF.
Shortly after 12:00 UTC I saw a man approaching me. The first thought was that it was a park ranger or a curious visitor. On closer inspection, it turned out that it was Rafal, DL9RNV, who lives a mile from here and just wanted to pay a visit. It was a nice and welcome change. I was happy to interrupt the tough SSB operation flow on 40m for half an hour for a chat with another like-minded radio ham. Thanks Rafal for stopping by!
Rafal, DL9RNV visited me spontaneously during my activation of the Garching Heath, DLFF-0701.
GPS of the operating spot: 48°17'28"N 11°39'18"E.
Initial plan was to QRT at about 12:00 UTC. I logged less than 100 QSOs. I had some time and decided to continue while diligently collecting every QSO when a heavy rain shower suddenly came. Thank god I was able to stow almost everything away before the first drops fell. Some equipment and I got pretty soaked. I had to hide under a tarp for a while. As soon as the short but heavy rain stopped and the sun shone again as if nothing had happened, I made my way home with 145 QSOs in the log.

This time I used TNXQSO.com, and it was fun again! It definitely brought me a few more QSOs, especially with UA. And again, some chasers should have checked the live log better before desperately calling me over and over again. I mean, they just lost a lot of time. But never mind! The live chat feature is also quite useful. The only feature that currently doesn't work for me is live tracking. However, I can use the chat function to inform chasers of my status.

The bike route through the countryside was pretty beautiful and lonely. In general, I was satisfied with this GoGreen activity. So, I'm looking forward to the next activation of the Echinger Lohe, DLFF-0700 soon.

Short summary and statistics for DD1LD/P:
  • Date: July 21th, 2020 
  • GoGreen distance: 46 km by bike
  • Equipment: 5W QRP + EFHW
  • Participation time: ~ 4 hours
  • Operation time: 2.5 hours
  • DXCC worked: 29
  • Top countries worked: I, SP and DL (less than usual this time)
  • Continents worked: 3 (EU, NA, AS)
  • DX: K and UA9
  • WWFF areas: 1x unique (not activated by myself before) and rare
  • WWFF reference: DLFF-0701
  • WWFF-valid QSOs: 145
  • Unique callsigns: 128
  • WWFF activator points: 3
  • P2P: 3
Mni tnx all chasers and activators fer QSO!
73 es 44 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P

Thursday, July 09, 2020

GoGreen Activation of DLFF-0642 in Fr├Âttmaning

July 9th, 2020. GoGreen activation report of the S├╝dliche Fr├Âttmaninger Heide, DLFF-0642.

This was a spontaneous after-work activation. I needed some exercise, and a bike ride was just right in the hot summer weather. For some reason, the S├╝dliche Fr├Âttmaninger Heide, DLFF-0642 remained a still rarely activated WWFF area (by 169 OSOs in SSB so far). It wasn't far from my home, and 45km by bike is a nice route.  I packed my QRP station, announced my activity at short notice and set off in the hope of a nice short pileup.
 Short stop at the Heidehaus.  The construction costs of the house are 400.000€ (!?)

I needed some time to find a suitable operating spot. There were many ants everywhere, so that I needed several tries to find a suitable place. Finally, I found a nice place in the shade with an open spot for the antenna.

Make nature your shack - my operating spot in the S├╝dliche Fr├Âttmaninger Heide, DLFF-0642.
GPS coordinates are: 48°12'60"N 11°36'33"E.

I started on 20m and had a nice run in SSB, the propagation was good! Then, down to 30m with moderate success and, finally, down to 40m. The propagation on 40m was weak at the beginning, but significantly improved around 16:00 UTC.  

This time I decided to try TNXQSO.com, and it was fun! The live log, info and chat were available to chasers in real time. It gave chasers the opportunity to check whether they got in the log or not before desperately calling me a second or third time. This makes perfect sense, especially if QRP is used. However, of course, not everyone took a look into it. Unfortunately TNXQSO isn't available for iOS. For this purpose, I reactivated my old Odys Winpad and connected it to the iPhone. I had to get used to the new logging and operating procedures, but finally I liked it. Anyway, I will continue to experiment with TNXQSO.com.
OSO statistics from my activaton of DLFF-0642.
Live log, statistics, info and chat were available at TNXQSO.com 
The propagation conditions were fair-to-good, the run rate was decent, so, I decided to operate longer than planed. The participation time was ~3.5 hours, the real operating time was about 2 and 3/4 hours. I QRTed as soon as the run rate dropped significantly. I'm happy with the result, which is pretty good for an after-work QRP activation.
17:30 UTC was time to leave my nature shack. It was a lot of fun. 
Fr├Âttmaninger Berg and Allianz Arena in background. 
GPS coordinates are: 48°12'60"N 11°36'33"E.

Short summary and statistics for DD1LD/P:
  • Date: July 9th, 2020 
  • GoGreen distance: 45km by bike
  • Equipment: QRP + EFHW
  • Participation time: ~ 3.5 hours
  • DXCC worked: 26
  • Top countries worked: DL, I and SP
  • Continents worked: 2
  • DX: NA
  • WWFF areas: 1x unique (not activated by myself before) and rare
  • WWFF reference: DLFF-0642
  • WWFF-valid QSOs: 180
  • Unique callsigns: 160
  • WWFF activator points: 4
  • P2P: 4
Mni tnx all chasers and activators fer QSO!
73 es 44 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Triple 1x2 Activation in Allg├Ąu: DLFF-0230 and OE/TI-622 & DL/AL-061

Preparation, July 4th, 2020. 

I was constantly looking for an opportunity to do some high alpine SOTA activations in Allg├Ąu. The weather forecast for Sunday was nice and suitable for a longer bike & hike tour, so I was targeting at least two 10-pointers in the Allg├Ąuer Hochalpen, DLFF-0230. The Gro├čer Wilder, OE/TI-622 and Kleiner Wilder, DL/AL-024 were waiting long enough for the first activation. The Schneck, DL/AL-061 was activated by only 18 QSOs in 2008, and fewer than 50 QSOs were filed in the WWFF database for DLFF-0230. So, there was a lot of potential for a nice pile-up! 

My plan was to activate the Gro├čer Wilder, OE/TI-622 first, and then the Schneck, DL/AL-061 by 132 QSOs to get 3x WWFF activator points. I started preparations on Saturday morning. It was only on Saturday evening that I realized I needed new hiking shoes and was lucky enough to buy a pair just before the local shop closed. It was probably the fastest purchase of hiking shoes in my life - all in 15 minutes.  And, yes, the shoes endured the tour, which wasn't always the case.

Activation. July 5th, 2020. 

Our one year old Norwin slept restlessly and woke me up shortly before 4 a.m. / 2:00 UTC. I made a big coffee, checked my backpack, and sneaked out of the house. It took me about 2 hours by car to get to the parking lot Oybele-Halle (840m) in Oberstdorf. I started moving at 4:30 UTC and reached the K├Ąseralpe (1400 m) by bike in less than an hour. 2 and 1/4 hours later I reached the north peak of the Gro├čer Wilder (2370 m) and I logged in the summit book at 7:45 UTC.  I really missed wild climbing this year, so I really enjoyed it (degree of difficulty: II UIAA) today as well as wonderful views over the Allg├Ąu High Alps.  On the way to the Himmeleck saddle (~1 hour from the K├Ąseralpe) I met some curious and fearless chamois.
Short break and signing in the summit book on the north peak of the Gro├čer Wilder (2370 m). 
For a short while I enjoyed the loneliness on the summit.
The green mountain in the background is the Schneck (2269 m), DL/AL-061. 

After a short break and as soon as some other climbers arrived I continued to the middle/main peak of the Gro├čer Wilder (2379m). 


 View from the main peak (2379m) to the north peak (2370m) of the Gro├čer Wilder. 
 The north ridge walk was great fun! 
 The green mountain in the background is the Schneck (2269 m), DL/AL-061. 

 After a quick luncheon I set up my /P station and went on the air from OE/TI-622 at 8:30 UTC. The propagation conditions were good so I made 22 QSOs on 20m and 60 QSOs on 30m in CW in ~1 1/4 hour of uptime. From strategic point of view, and also to avoid dupes for the WWFF activation, I decided to keep 40m band for the later activation of the Schneck, DL/AL-061.

 My operating spot on the the Gro├čer Wilder (2379m), OE/TI-622.  The Hochvogel (2593m),
DL/AL-030 on the right in the background. 

I QRTed at 9:45 QTC with 82 QSOs in my log and went back to the Himmeleck saddle (2000m) through the Gamswanne (Chamois Tub). It required some climbling (degree of difficulty: I(+) UIAA) and more importantly, good orientation skills. I just realized again why I love solo climbing so much, it is a unique opportunity to spend time with yourself, and learn how to deal with yourself, and how to touch your own limits. I just felt great!

 I had to find my way back to the to the Himmeleck saddle (2000m) through the Gamswanne. 
There is no marking and no path. The Schneck (2269 m), DL/AL-061 is in the background.

I had to regain some height again to lose it again at the saddle. I arrived at the Schneck (2269m) and logged in the summit book at 11:15 UTC. The transition to the main peak is very exposed over a rocky edge (difficulty level: I UIAA), so almost all normal hikers avoid climbing the main summit.

 Climbing the main peak of the Schneck. The difficulty level is I UIAA. 
The weather changed to cloudy and windy.

Good for me! I was good on time, I announced the second activation for 12:00 UTC. I spent about half an hour enjoying everything around me, except for a few rare climbers, then started setting up my shack in the nature. The first QSO was logged on 40m at 11:55 UTC. I had a nice run on 40m and made 41 QSOs in ~35min of uptime. The pileup died quickly away. Then, I needed almost the same amount of time to collect 20 more QSOs while switching between 20, 30 and 40m.

 My operating schack in the nature on the main peak of the Schneck (2269m), DL/AL-061.
The H├Âfats, DL/AL-055 in the background. 
 Loneliness in the late afternoon...

As usual, the band change took some time, and I felt like I was missing some familiar WWFF callsigns in my log. Unfortunately I had no LTE connection and wasn't able to spot myself or check for spots. At home I realized that I was spotted in the SOTAwatch but not in the WWFFwatch cluster. For any reasons, the WWFFwatch didn't pickup my RBN spots... Well, I collected 61 QSOs in 1 and 1/4 hours and QRTed at 13:15 UTC. The mission was complete with 143 QSOs in CW.  

As far as I remember I arrived at the parking slot at ~15:00 UTC. The descent was quick and smooth, the nicest thing was to ride my bike down.  My brake discs glowed ­čśÇ

I got stuck in traffic on the way home and lost an hour. So, I drove a total of five hours by car ­čśá. What a waste of time that was! This emphasized the right to exist for GoGreen ham radio activities. And, thanks goodness, the long drive was the only downside to this wonderful activity. All logs have been submitted.

Gorgeous day. Very nice weather. Mission complete. Happy me.
On the Schneck (2269m), DL/AL-061.
The Hochvogel (2593m), DL/AL-030 in the background.  
Thanks to all chasers and activators for QSOs!

Short summary and statistics for DD1LD/P:
  • Date: July 5th, 2020
  • Equipment: high alpine QRP
  • Operating time: ~ 2 and 1/2 hours
  • DXCC worked: 29 
  • Top countries worked: DL and SP
  • Continents worked: 2
  • DX: NA
  • SOTA summits: 2x unique, 1x first activation
  • SOTA reference: OE/TI-622 and DL/AL-061
  • SOTA-valid QSOs: 143
  • SOTA activator points: 20 (2x10)
  • GMA activator points: 45 (23 + 22)
  • S2S: 4
  • WWFF areas: 1x unique (not activated by myself before) and rare
  • WWFF reference: DLFF-0230
  • WWFF-valid QSOs: 135 (w/o dupes)
  • Unique callsigns: 116
  • WWFF activator points: 3
  • P2P: 4
  • Altitude difference made: >1900m 
  • Walked distance: 10 km
  • Cycled distance: 20 km (to the K├Ąseralpe and back)
  • Overall activity length: 10.5 hours
  • GPS-track record: available on request
Mni tnx to all chasers fer QSO!
73 es 44 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P

Thursday, July 02, 2020

GoGreen XOTA

GoGreen XOTA? What on earth does it mean?

There are thousands of ham radio operating awards available, some of them offer a great way to take ham radio outdoors. You can hike a high alpine mountain or a local hill, go to a green park or to a sunny beach, visit a lonely island or your favorite castle and "activate" them to enjoy outdoor ham radio activities and apply for a corresponding activator award.    

I had the idea for GoGreen ham radio activities in my head for a very long time. The basic concept is pretty simple:
  • Activations should be done without using personal cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc. (any vehicles with combustion engines, hybrid and electro vehicles), but on foot, by bicycle, e-bike or/and by public transport (bus and train). A GoGreen activation starts and ends at your QTH or at alternative QTH.
  • QRP is preferred, however, Low Power (100W) should be fine, too.
  • Solar and battery powered operations are welcome. Combustion engine generators should not be utilized.
  • Ideally, GoGreen activities should be incentivized by appropriate programs e.g. SOTA, GMA, WWFF, COTA, BOTA, etc. and, moreover, incorporated into associated award schemes.
The motivation behind the GoGreen idea would be to foster:
  • outdoor and /P ham radio activities in the fresh air,
  • homebrewing and experimenting, 
  • personal health and fitness,
  • flora and fauna conservation (less emissions, noise, damage, etc.), 
  • "green" thinking (less congestion and traffic jams, better life quality, etc.),
  • personal achievements and joint family activities
The COVID-19 restrictions in Bavaria in March 2020 brought some urgency to get the idea on the way and try it out, as the exit restrictions in Bavaria still allowed sports and exercise in the fresh air. So, outdoor ham radio activities around the corner were allowed as long as social distancing was maintained. I was looking for what I can do... together with my family.

The most of SOTA (Summits On The Air) and WWFF (WorldWide Flora and Fauna) activities require driving decent or long distances by car, at least for me. 

I have been participating in the SOTA program since 2007. I was there from the start, so to speak. The SOTA program has not evolved over the last decade. OK, new associations and new folks joined the program, and that's it in general. In a nutshell, the main limitations are:
  • The scoring system is neither competitive nor reflecting an actual effort associated with an activation. The rigid scoring scheme doesn't offer any additional incentive to activators who climb high and challenging peaks or do GoGreen activations. 
  • There is no incentive to activate the same summit (around the corner) multiple times a year unless you are looking for a summit-to-summit (S2S) award. An activator is thus constantly forced to activate a unique one in order to collect points for Activator Awards.
  • The references are given by SOTA Management Team to a summit with the highest prominence according to the P150 rule. The highest prominence and P150 rule don't always reflect a degree of difficulty and effort associated with an activation, and what is more important to me, the attractiveness of a mountain.  A lot of really beautiful mountains and hills have been removed from the list or not added to the list for this reason.
There have been a lot of discussions in the SOTA-reflector, but nothing has changed since then, and probably will not be changed under the current SOTA Management Team.
From this point of view, the GMA (Global Mountain Activity) program offers much more flexibility and indeed encourages green thinking. It is also much more family friendly as you can always do a quick activity with all of your family members and/or pets. And this is exactly what is important to me - spending more time with the family and enjoying activities together.
GoGreen activation of the Turmh├╝gel hill, DA/AV-200 
together with my family on Sunday, June 28th , 2020.
Easy 15km by bike, 30 CW QSOs made by QRP in 35 minutes of uptime.  
My QRP station fits in the bike side pocket.

The GMA website has been created and maintained by Mario, DL4MFM. The program has evolved well over the past decade. You can submit or add a reference for a mountain or hill around the corner and activate it everyday by bike or by walk with your kids while still collecting some award points. The hill or mountain should have a name and height that appear on an official map. The prominence doesn't matter, but frankly, do you really need a P150-rule and a long drive to have fun? Well, you should have enough time and patience for a pure GMA activation if you want to achieve more than 4 mandatory QSOs because there are not that many takers compared to WWFF, SOTA and other programs, however, the number of GMA enthusiasts is constantly growing. The GMA enables GoGreen activities, however, doesn't explicitly incentivizes them. This means that no additional points will be earned through any GoGreen activities. 

One of my after-work GoGreen activations of my favorite local hill, GMA DA/AV-198. 
A few QSOs in a few minutes are always possible.
Together with my son Kirian on June 3rd, 2020. 
The WWFF program has been designed around the IOTA (Islands On The Air) award scheme, all this was about activating and collecting references. Once activated or chased, there is no urgent incentive to do this more than once or twice. It requires a lot of traveling by car to get a New One. End of 2019 the WWFF Committee announced the upcoming launch of a new pilot award scheme for activators - the WWFF Activator Points Award starting in 2020. The new annual award scheme pursued two objectives - to encourage:
  •     longer activations (beyond the default 44 QSOs),
  •     return activations (more than once).
Points are awarded annually, as follows:
  •     For achieving the 44 QSO quorum at each reference,
  •     For achieving additional QSO quotas (multiples of 44) at each reference.
Additional points will be awarded for each DX entity (five points) that an activator activates from.

This means that you can activate your favorite WWFF park around the corner as many times as you like and collect up to 10 activator award points per year. In my opinion, this is a great idea, the only one variable missing in the equation is a similar award scheme for chasers. Similar to GMA, the WWFF program enables GoGreen activities, however, doesn't explicitly incentivizes them, since is doesn't make any difference if you operate from car or come by bike. Actually, the "Make Nature Your Shack" slogan implies green thinking, and the WWFF program and Committee should support GoGreen expeditions rather than entertain /M activations.

 "Make Nature Your Shack". Operating from DLFF-0642 on July 9th, 2020.
After-work GoGreen Activation. Live log and info at www.tnxqso.com
45km by bike, 180 QSOs made with QRP in ~3.5 hours of participation time.

I also had a look at the COTA/WCA program which is also very similar to the IOTA award scheme. You can activate some castles and fortresses around the corner, and there are many, so you're sure to find one near your QTH. So, you could easily Go Green if you like. The COTA/WCA program enables GoGreen activities, however, does not create a direct incentive as it is not based on points, and there are no award points to collect. Well, the world castles day and the world castles weekend might give an incentive to activate the same object twice over time or even several times, and earn a nice award and a participation certificate from the COTA/WCA group. 

I tried them all - SOTA, GMA, WWFF and COTA, and it is fun!  As soon as GoGreen activations are considered, the GMA and WWFF programs are my favorites, since they are sustainable and have a chance to embrace green thinking, create appropriate incentives and design GoGreen award schemes for activators like me. They are not there yet, but very close to. The number of GoGreen activators is still small but emerging, e.g. DF3MC, ON4VT, ON5SWA, PA9CW, RN3ANT, Z35M, etc. Certainly the integration of the GoGreen option into the appropriate award schemes will create more work for the program owners and award managers, but there is nothing that cannot be managed.
The GMA Triathlon award scheme brought me to think about XOTA that means X-any On The Air, and, especially, about the GoGreen XOTA. You can activate whatever you want - mountains, hills, nature reserves, castles, light towers, islands, beaches etc. as long as you Go Green and have fun! Does it sound easy enough for you? Just try it! You also can undertake X-activations or cross activities by a single expedition, e.g. operating from a GMA/SOTA mountain which is located in a WWFF area. Or you can go out for a GMA activation of your local hill and, in parallel, chase some other SOTA/GMA or WWFF or COTA activators.

The GMA provides a great platform to track your XOTA activities and progress. It offers many tools to plan your ham radio mini expedition or anylize your logs. Martin, DF3MC summarized a great overview of the GMA platform.  All of this is more about your personal goals than the competition. For example, my personal goal for 2020 is to
while maximizing the number of my GoGreen activations and joint family activities.  And this will be my Personal DD1LD's GoGreen XOTA Challenge 2020.
 My GoGreen Activation of DLFF-0706 and GMA DA/AV-384 on May 24th, 2020.
40km by bike, 107 QSOs made with QRP in 2 hours. 
Well, why not to introduce a Green Medal in the GMA Triathlon or to award additional five WWFF activator points for a GoGreen activity? I know, the idea of GoGreen activations is revolutionary for any of those programs mentioned above, and will probably never be included in any of these award schemes... But who cares and who knows? The only thing that finally matters is outdoor ham radio experience, fun and personal health!
73, 44, 11 de Dzianis, DD1LD