Monday, January 17, 2011

Question: How do you measure ascent?

The last two weekends we've been out for a walk and each time I've recorded the route with my Garmin GPSMAP 60Cx. On average it seems fairly accurate, however it's sometime a bit hard to tell. Now let me segue into today's topic. There are really only two ways I'm aware of for measuring ascent.
The first is counting contour lines on a map, which is certainly the traditional way of doing it, but can either be very time consuming or very inaccurate.
The other is using a GPS to record the height data, but unfortunately that appears to be wildly inaccurate.

On my first trip my ascent is recorded as 128m, which I know is absolutely ridiculous, as I don't think the track could have been much flatter. At one point I see an altitude change of 19 meters in a distance of 12 meters. I can only hope that this might be a bit more accurate in the mountains with nothing to impede the GPS signal, but I'm really doubting the usefulness of this.

Do you have another way of measuring ascent during a trip?

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