Total Elevation Gain via GPS or Altimeter

General Palm Springs area.

Total Elevation Gain via GPS or Altimeter

Postby turtle » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:44 am

During our trip from museum to tram to summit to tram on Saturday, I used the logging feature on my altimeter watch. The total ascent (the sum of all uphill sections, as opposed to "net gain") it reported was 11,150. This is a good bit higher than the numbers usually reported (e.g. the "Cactus to Clouds Hiking Guide") for the route.

Has anyone else has used a logging feature on their altimeter or GPS, and if so, what number did you obtain? (For reference, I used a Suunto X6 with a 10s logging interval.)

It's likely that any such logs would be a bit jittery/noisy, and therefore report an inflated total ascent. On the other hand, estimating 2x150 = 300 feet for the cement walkway to the tram station, this would only require 475 feet of 'yo-yoing' en route, which seems quite possible.

Any thoughts?
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Postby Pilgrim » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:10 am

It's normal for the accumulated altitude climbed to be higher then reality for a watch based Altimeter.

My Highgear watch always shows more overall gain then I have done from just looking at the map. My assumption is it's due to my arms constantly going up and down with my hiking poles (or just swinging) as I walk which means my watch is gaining more accumulated altitude then the center of my body. An interesting experiment might be to leave it in your pack instead of wearing it and see how the altitude gained varies.
"So we are probably about where this pebble is, 2 inches off the edge of the map."
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Postby AlanK » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:01 pm

I think that 11150' is an overestimate. The net gain from Ramon Dr. to the summit is about 10300'. The gain in going up the ramp at the end is about 100'. Elsewhere in the hike there are a few hundred feet of downhill that must be regained. I'd put it at around 10700' in total elevation gained.
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