Rakkup Red Rocks Climbing Guide 
Rakkup Digital Climbing Guide

How many times how you gotten lost on the way to a climb ("exactly which turn out were we supposed to stop at again?") or sat at the bottom of a wall trying to figure out exactly which line is yours? To help you spend more time actually climbing each day, Rakkup has teamed up with Outdoor Research and SuperTopo to create a digital guidebook app that not only gives you route beta, but delivers turn by turn navigation for the approach to a climb. Never get lost again. 

The Rakkup mobile app is looking to completely reinvent the climbing guidebook for the smartphone era. Partnering with SuperTopo means you will have fingertip access to the best climbs, enabling you to filer based on climbing area, sport or trad, and even star rating. Each digital guidebook includes a library of photos for each climb, topo drawings, route strategy, history, climbing beta, and even the rack you need for a successful send. 

Where Rakkup is truly unique and probably earns its hefty individual guidebook price tag ($19.99) is with the navigation. Combining GPS data with detailed beta about every climb, the app calculates your best approach route and navigates you through the trail system to your climb, turn by turn via an easy-to-follow compass with arrow and a moving map view. The app instantly and continuously calculates the best route from your current position to your climb, even taking into account fourth- and fifth-class approach options.

One of my favorite Rakkup climbing app features has to be the belay view. When visiting new climbing areas such as Smith Rock, I have spent tons of time just trying to figure out exactly which climb is which. Imagine how much extra climbing time the Rakkup digital guidebooks will give you just from guiding you to the base of your exact line. 

The advantage digital guidebooks have over paper ones is that they can be updated with the latest and greatest information almost in real time. The free Rakkup app has currently integrated the Red Rocks Climbing guidebook and also an approach trail guide for Smith Rock. I imagine we will soon see more SuperTopo guidebooks on Rakkup in the near future.

Now, if only we could get some ice climbing guides on Rakkup. We sure could have used the navigational help in the notoriously difficult Hyalite Canyon last winter. What do you say JoJo?!

So, if you already own a Red Rocks Climbing guidebook, will you pay the extra $19.99 for the added digital features such as turn by turn approach navigation? What about the Mountain Project app at $9.99 that gives you complete access to the MP database. Even without the belay photos and turn by turn navigation, is that enough?

Climbers- I would love to hear you thoughts on the new Rakkup app. I, for one, think it is a great move in the right direction. 

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  1. Oh my goodness, do I need this app! I don’t buy too many guidebooks and rely greatly on Mountain Project…which isn’t always written with enough detail to take you straight to the climb. But, that’s sometime part of the fun. It causes a lot of frustration to be sure, but I hate having too many electronics in my life when I’m outside. I guess it will take me a few more times of being lost and frustration before I pony up the dough.

    We spent a lot of our time just trying to find areas when we went to Red Rocks (http://lowgravityascents.com/2012/04/19/trip-report-climbing-in-red-rocks-nv/) so if I’m doing a new area I’ve never been to and only have limited time, I might go for it then.

  2. I agree Dave- for difficult to navigate or new areas, I will definitely fork out the money. I have been lost on approaches too many times, even if it is adventurous!

  3. I actually like navigating to places in new areas and don’t mind getting lost now and then. If the climbs are long and one returns to the base, I do carry a gps unit and use the backtrack function to help with the return trip in the dark. But I understand the appeal of turn by turn directions and imagine many people will be sold instantly on it.

    One thing to note: if you are using turn by turn, you’ll have your phone on all the time, and your battery will probably be dead in two hours. Better buy and carry some back-up batteries!

  4. We were excited to use this app on our iphone 5 when visiting Smith Rocks first week of April. It cost $5.49 on ITunes to download and about 1/2 hour while sitting in the parking lot. Off we went to Morning Glory wall, but as you descend and approach the climbing area it quit working as you loose phone reception! We pretty much had 2 bars the whole time but no RAKKUP, so we are assuming if your climbing without much phone coverage, this program doesn’t work. Maybe it works at Red Rocks but no luck for us in Smith Rocks. 🙁

  5. Hey Joe and Joyce- thanks for letting us know it doesn’t seem to work without cell coverage! Not good, as I imagine most climbing areas aren’t that well covered. For example, I know Hyalite Canyon in Montana has none. Hopefully they can find a way to access all the info offline- even if it will hog up more space.

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