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Do you look at the topo?

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Do you look at the topo?

Postby ShortTimer » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:58 pm

I just about never look at topos to routes anymore. This does occassionally get me in trouble with us going the wrong direction, but I find it worth the risk. I guess so long as nobody gets hurt or dies I will continue to climb this way. There are already too few adventures in life and I am not going to reduce the adventure of my climbs by studying a topo.
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Postby ShortTimer » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:29 pm

squishy wrote:That's not a bad idea, but why don't you find 1st ascents if this is how you feel? That's real adventure...


Done many FAs but they are too much work and there is not enough time to do it. I just go climbing these days but still want some adventure in route finding.
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Postby Dow Williams » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:37 pm

depends if I bring my reading glasses which I normally never do....made one of my regular partners nervous, so he enlarges topos on his copying machine if we are climbing together...I had a good laugh at that one.
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Postby rhyang » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:27 am

A friend of mine is similar. When we climb in the Valley or Tuolumne he will bring his outdated Reid guide and dig up obscure climbs that don't see much traffic (sometimes for good reason :) ) He likes the challenge of figuring out where the hell the route is and where it goes. I know to expect any or all of the following -

- loose rock
- gardening
- brush on the approach and / or belay (sometimes on the climb itself)
- wandering around for an hour trying to figure out which mossy choss is the one we want

In addition, some bail gear may be needed because the descent notes are either nonexistent or wrong.

It sometimes takes him a bit to get out of this mode, too. Last time we went to TM we spent a day at Dozier Dome, which has a bunch of new climbs listed in the latest supertopo guide. One of the climbs had bolted belays. He'd glanced briefly at the supertopo, then folded it in his pocket and launched up. Somewhere on the first pitch we yelled the following at each other -

Him: "uh, I'm gonna build a belay here"
Me: "Look for the belay bolts !"
Him: "Are you sure ?"
Me: "Look at the supertopo !"
Him: "That would be cheating !"

:lol: He did finally locate the bolts. It was a good day of climbing. What a nut :mrgreen:
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Re: Do you look at the topo?

Postby MarthaP » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:30 am

ShortTimer wrote:I just about never look at topos to routes anymore. This does occassionally get me in trouble with us going the wrong direction, but I find it worth the risk. I guess so long as nobody gets hurt or dies I will continue to climb this way. There are already too few adventures in life and I am not going to reduce the adventure of my climbs by studying a topo.


Interesting that most guys don't like reading maps.

I'll take my adventure by looking at a topo, knowing where I'm going, and making smart choices that may get me up some tough stuff, but at least I know what I'm into.

The adventure is more about getting through it alive and experiencing new territory than pushing my luck. I don't think adventure has to be about being uninformed. It's about pushing personal limits and I can do that better knowing my challenges and odds.

Besides, I'd rather aim for the challenge and work it than not read a topo and get stuck slogging some stupid-ass hip-deep-snow non-trail that goes nowhere just because...

...and I'll never even pretend to be Walter Bonatti.

So, how many of you use a GPS instead? :roll:
Last edited by MarthaP on Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby edl » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:49 am

Topos are great, especially at the end of the climb, when you're looking back up at the route and saying "Oh, THAT'S where I wanted to go...."
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Re: Do you look at the topo?

Postby ksolem » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:08 am

MarthaP wrote:...So, how many of you use a GPS instead? :roll:


I hate gps. Every time I have been with someone who uses gps to navigate in the wilderness it has been an epic. Gps will tell you where you are, and where you want to get to, but it takes a brain to navigate the terrain and very often the shortest distance is not a straight line...

Two things I never want to need are gps and viagra...
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Postby mconnell » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:31 am

For most trips, I look at a map on the computer before I leave but I almost never carry a map. It's really hard to get lost in Colorado.

I'm a bit more likely to look at a guide for a technical rock climb, but that's because I suck at rock climbing and getting off route can lead to bad things.
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Re: Do you look at the topo?

Postby armorfoot » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:06 pm

ksolem wrote:
I hate gps. Every time I have been with someone who uses gps to navigate in the wilderness it has been an epic. Gps will tell you where you are, and where you want to get to, but it takes a brain to navigate the terrain and very often the shortest distance is not a straight line...

Two things I never want to need are gps and viagra...


GPS is only as good as the person using it.

Case in point, we were hiking in Big Thompson Canyon during the evening., and my friend swore by his GPS that the truck was just right over the ridge in front of us.

7 hours later, we got back to the truck after bushwhacking in utterly complete darkness.

He programmed the start point right on the top of a damned mountain
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Re: Do you look at the topo?

Postby MarthaP » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:06 pm

ksolem wrote:
MarthaP wrote:...So, how many of you use a GPS instead? :roll:


I hate gps. Every time I have been with someone who uses gps to navigate in the wilderness it has been an epic. Gps will tell you where you are, and where you want to get to, but it takes a brain to navigate the terrain and very often the shortest distance is not a straight line...

Two things I never want to need are gps and viagra...


Amen to the GPS. I'll never have one, not even in my car. Nor will I ever carry a personal locator beacon.

Not certain about the viagra... :wink:
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Re: Do you look at the topo?

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:20 pm

ksolem wrote:Two things I never want to need are gps and viagra...


Two valid goals I attempt to achieve as well.

(although I presume, from the ads I see, that perhaps we are missing out on something on both counts)
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Postby surgent » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:10 pm

I like maps - I always carry one even if I don't need it. I have always enjoyed looking at them... I was a map-freak as a little kid. I think it did play some role in me getting into the outdoors. They can certainly be useful in some situations.

Agree that GPS is only as useful as the intelligence of the person using it. I've had one since 1998 or so, but to this day only use it to determine lat/long or UTM. I don't get into downloading maps or nav by waypoints. With a good map, a GPS can be very useful.

I have been with people who hike waypoint to waypoint. In worst cases, they make a beeline from one to the next, terrain be damned!

Don't forget a compass.

Like seatbelts, these items seem superfluous until you really need them. On my lone experience of being lost at night in heavy tree cover after taking a wrong turn, the GPS only worked spottily through the trees but enough to at least help me find myself on the map, but it was the compass that got my ass out onto the road again.
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Postby rhyang » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:10 pm

Climbing topo -

Image

Hiking topo -

Image
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