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simon3
2009-04-02 14:55:29
Re Checking or calculating altitude and ascen
My short answer would be to find height gain: use the contours with a bit of guesstimating for where the start or end of a climb is between them.

You may point out that this does not include minor ups and downs that don't appear in the contours or even the height gain and loss going over peat hags etc. You may ask why not use the GPS figure for accumulated height gain.

This then brings us to the long answer. As far as I can see there is no right way of doing this. If you use a GPS it constantly calculates height around about every 2 seconds. These height estimations have an inherent error in them (around 1.4 times as great as horizontal error) which is constantly changing. As far as I can see these random errors make it look like your accumulated height gain is rising so the figure given by a GPS always seems to be more (as in around 30% more) than that given by looking at contours. The GPS may well be recording extra height gain resulting from rough ground, but the signal is probably lost in the noise from random error. Like a coastline or any fractal, the complexity and the height gain expands as you increase the detail.

Surely this can be fixed by a GPS with a pressure based height sensor? Not in my experience. Minor variations of the almost omnipresent wind as you move around cause fluctuations just as bad as the GPS radio based system.

There are various ways of mitigating readings from a GPS tracklog. GPSU software has a filter which smoothes small variations for example. However the only "Modern Navigation" tool in Ireland that seems to give a figure consistently similar to what you would expect from reading contours off the map is OSI Trailmaster which presumably is calculating the height gain by using its in-built DEM (digital elevation model) which tells it how high every point is.

That's what I tend to use now when it is available.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 18 Next page >>
Track
BRANDON HILL - THE QUICK WAY
David-Guenot 3 hours ago.
A steep but quick ascent along the forestry on rocky terrain, along what I believe has been dug as a firebreak rather ... walk, Len: 5.0km, Climb: 305m, Area: Brandon Hill, South Midlands (Ireland) B

  
Summit Comment
Carrickarede: Island.
sandman 17 hours ago.
Carrickarede island is connected to the mainland by the world famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. One of Northern Ireland's top tourist attractions it is operated by the National Trust but unfortun...

  
Summit Comment
Inishmeane: The concrete road thru the village
magicstep a day ago.
Part of the village, about 10 houses in total.

Track
BLACKSTAIRS CHALLENGE 2017 - A PEAK-BAGGER'S ROUTE
David-Guenot 5 hours ago.
walk, Len: 34.1km, Climb: 1629m, Area: Black Rock Mountain, Blackstairs Mountai...

  
Summit Comment
Inishmeane: Not much to do, a tranquil place.
magicstep a day ago.
Visited in 2014. There's a sandy beach and a solid pier with slipway and a picnic table facing the mainland. The road from the pier all the way thru the village is a robust concrete one, but it's ...

  
Summit Comment
Inishsirrer: Deserted village
magicstep a day ago.
Mainland on the horizon (left and right)

Track
THE LONG WAY UP LUG
David-Guenot 5 hours ago.
walk, Len: 21.0km, Climb: 980m, Area: Cloghernagh, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Clo...

  
Summit Comment
Inishsirrer: The only building that is not a ruin.
magicstep a day ago.
Surprisingly Donegal islands have a very good mobile internet reception, sometimes better than in an office in Dublin.

  
User profile
ewen
ewen 3 days ago.
Now living furth of Scotland and getting to know the Irish hills. If you come across a Scottish hill Walker with dodgy knees and walking sedately, stop and say hello.

Summit Comment
Inishsirrer: Part of a road from the past
magicstep a day ago.
There's a salty tidal lake on the island.

  
Track
CAMADERRY + TONELAGEE + BROCKAGH
David-Guenot 5 hours ago.
walk, Len: 27.6km, Climb: 1295m, Area: Camaderry South East Top, Dublin/Wicklow...

  
Summit Comment
Inishsirrer: Uninhabited except a few sheep.
magicstep 2 days ago.
I did kayak to the island in 2014. There is a slipway facing the mainland. Lot's of ruined houses. Walking is decent as the island is flat but in places ground is uneven and overgrown, there are o...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 18 Next page >>