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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Tour planning and maps.

    Since came up in some of the fatality threads: I was wondering how people plan their tour in the US.
    Because and I quote "if you believe you know the terrain just by looking at some maps, you're wrong" sounds weird to me bacause I always plan my tours with maps over here. And yes I use inclination color scaling in the online map. And even in familiar terrain I carry my physical map or have my app ready (there is basically no spot in Switzerland without cell reception).

    How else would you do it? I hated having crap maps when I was at Thompson pass in AK running over bumps and through gullies because the guidebook author writes "start at the xy sign 3.5 miles from uncle hobos house" (I'm exaggerating a bit). If I'm at the face it's easy, but complex and /or wooded terrain or danger from above and so on: it's maps, maps, maps.

    If I look at this it's like I'm there.
    https://map.geo.admin.ch/

    I would hate running into a valley or drainage not knowing what I'm getting into.
    Last edited by subtle plague; 02-14-2021 at 03:01 PM.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    I use maps, primarily CalTopo (gradient shading, satellite, topos) exporting to Avenza (on phone app) for planning my tours and navigational purposes along the way.

    Planning tours and what I do when I'm in the backcountry aren't typically 1:1. Adjustments are made.

    Anyone who thinks maps, including slope angle maps, are for bozos is themself an idiot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Slope angle shading features provide useful info but aren't precise enough to trust them entirely. Is this what people were talking about? I use caltopo a lot. But sometimes a slope that looks like 28 degrees on the map has sections that are 32. Or a map might show an impassable cliff that can, in fact, be easily avoided.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    cb, co
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    We still use maps, maybe people are just saying not to be overly reliant on them and tools like slope shading? This accident has a thorough analysis and should be required reading. https://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/a...=685&accfm=inv

  5. #5
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    Hmm I mean yeah I'm not relying on maps to give me avie condition advice but a 1:25k map shows you basically everything. OK some rocks, starting zones or cliff bands sub about 10-20m diameter might not always show up, but those Swiss geographers do an amazing job.

    Of course on a 1:50k or even bigger scale maps you have to more careful what you are getting into. If there are no maps, it's a different thing entirely....
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    west tetons
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    Online resources are fabulous, for sure, but be sure to field truth your slope angles and have an idea of what your "safe" terrain is connected to. Here's an article that we ran in TAR from Jeff Deems' presentation at CSAW the year after that Silverton accident: https://theavalanchereview.org/digital-mapping/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Eastside Til I Die
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    1,841
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I use maps, primarily CalTopo (gradient shading, satellite, topos) exporting to Avenza (on phone app) for planning my tours and navigational purposes along the way.

    Planning tours and what I do when I'm in the backcountry aren't typically 1:1. Adjustments are made.

    Anyone who thinks maps, including slope angle maps, are for bozos is themself an idiot.
    Ditto
    ((. The joy I get from skiing...
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    SLC, Utah
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    2,121
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I use maps, primarily CalTopo (gradient shading, satellite, topos) exporting to Avenza (on phone app) for planning my tours and navigational purposes along the way.

    Planning tours and what I do when I'm in the backcountry aren't typically 1:1. Adjustments are made.

    Anyone who thinks maps, including slope angle maps, are for bozos is themself an idiot.
    Same. I use maps both at home and while touring, and I check slope angles often to validate what I see on the map (using both pole clinometer and standard inclinometer). Caltopo(via backcountry navigator) + WBS map here.

    They're obviously not 100% accurate but they are helpful, especially when planning more complex tours to link up various features (rather than just going somewhere and lapping something).

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Your Mom's House
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I use maps, primarily CalTopo (gradient shading, satellite, topos) exporting to Avenza (on phone app) for planning my tours and navigational purposes along the way.

    Planning tours and what I do when I'm in the backcountry aren't typically 1:1. Adjustments are made.

    Anyone who thinks maps, including slope angle maps, are for bozos is themself an idiot.
    Yep this. My pre-tour plan using maps, slope angle shading, and satellite imagery gives me the course route for my tour, The observations I make along the way determine my actual route.

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