Exit 38 Rock Climbing this summer? Try our new guidebook!

Exit 38 Rock ClimbsTodd and I have been climbing at Exit 38 now and again since the late 1990’s, and we know it’s a great resource for Seattle and Western Washington climbers. The drive out to North Bend is easy, and the crags stay cool and shady even on hot summer days. If you have ever been climbing at Exit 38, you know that it’s got a great array of moderate climbs from 5.6 to 5.12 and some excellent first leads for the beginning outdoor climber. The short approaches and friendly bolting and equipping of the routes are added bonuses.

Our friends at snovalleyrock.com (with whom we partnered to create the Exit 32 Rock Climbing title for rakkup last year) have a guidebook to the area, but its hard to find a copy this year and the new edition likely won’t be in stores in time for the summer climbing season. We thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase the advantages of digital distribution, so we set out to create a rakkup guidebook. You can buy the resulting Exit 38 Rock Climbs title now in our app or here on our website. Like all rakkup titles, it includes great mapping and our much-loved turn-by-turn directions to navigate you to every climb using the GPS in your smartphone.

We’ve included all the climbs at the most popular and highest-quality areas: the Substation, Write-off Rock, Nevermind Wall, Deception Wall, We-Did Rock, Hull Creek Wall, and Amazonia. We’ve even documented some climbs that have never appeared in any guidebook before. As always with rakkup, it’s fast and easy to search, filter, browse by grade, and map all the routes.

This was a fun project for us, as we took the opportunity to try some new technologies and teach ourselves some new tricks. We used some cool new Adobe software for iPads to sketch routes and annotate photos while standing right at the crag, and some cool “stitching” techniques to create panoramic views of some walls that would be impossible to take as a single image. As a result this guidebook features detailed color photos of the routes with clear lines making it easy to identify different routes. We think it’s the best guidebook yet for hassle-free climbing at Exit 38.

We’ve kept the price affordable and continue to offer an even less-expensive option to “rent” the guidebook for 2 months at half the usual price, if you aren’t a frequent visitor and just want to give it a spin. Happy climbing!

Check out our snazzy new website!

We’re proud to say we’ve launched a beautiful new website here at www.rakkup.com! Thanks to those who worked so hard on it and the amazing photographers who shared their work with us. Which image on our home page gets you stoked the most? Is there anything else you’d like to see?

rakkup discussion and feedback

There’s been a great discussion this week over at Mountain Project about rakkup.

There’s been particular interest in the mix of subscription options and update options that you all would like to see. Keep in mind that rakkup guidebook prices are set by the guidebook publisher or author, not by us. We have some influence and build the enabling technology, of course.

To quote from the Mountain Project thread:

Pricing is tricky, and what each person is willing to pay is different, of course. We’ve tried to strike a balance between making these guides affordable for climbers and making sure that the authors and publishers find the business worth their while so they keep making and updating guidebooks. Case in point, Wolverine Publishing found that they simply could not afford to keep adding updates to the older apps that never expired, hence the subscription plan. And there are a LOT of updates, and Wolverine’s been awesome about doing rapid updates to their rakkup guidebooks as climbs change or get put up.
The author of the New River Gorge book, Mike Williams, did a great job addressing this and describing the advantages of digital vs. print on his blog this week, check it out:
We think the prices are fair for the quality of these books, and tried to provide options that are cheaper than print rather than more costly. The 60-day option seems to appeal to a lot of traveling climbers. Also note that you can buy all of the exact same subscription for around 25% less at rakkup.com than you can via buttons in the rakkup app, thanks to Apple’s hefty surcharges!

Since we are guests over at the Mountain Project site, we wanted to give you a place to weigh in here at rakkup.com. What do you like about the app? What would you like to see? We can also start discussions about each guidebook or about particular topics you’d like to discuss in depth.

Thanks and happy climbing. -Rob and Todd

rakkup wins 2014 Climbing Magazine Editor’s Choice for Best App!

Climbing_ECLogo fixedWe’re delighted to announce that the editors of Climbing chose rakkup as a 2014 Editor’s Choice product! rakkup is a guidebook app for your phone, with powerful features and a growing range of available guidebooks for major climbing areas. See what Climbing had to say about rakkup in the 2014 Gear Guide. The rakkup guys have been reading Climbing gear reviews forever, so it’s great to see rakkup recognized for quality.  Huge thanks, Climbing!

New River Gorge Volume 1 & 2 released

rakkup-nrg-combined-cover 640We’re proud to announce the release of New River Gorge Volumes 1 & 2 by Mike Williams, published by Wolverine Publishing. Mikey did a nice post about his guides and rakkup here and nailed just how we feel about the importance of both print and digital climbing guidebooks.

These New River Gorge books are the largest guides we’ve released to date.  To get ready to show off all of Mikey’s great content we had to add a bunch of new features to rakkup this winter.

It became obvious as soon as we started this project that the rakkup of 2013 just wouldn’t do to properly showcase NRG. Endless Wall alone has over 500 climbs, bigger than lots of entire guidebooks! We had to add the ability to move up and down easily through a book’s “sectors”  so a climber could easily browse the Endless Wall’s many sub-walls.  We also added  histograms to every wall, great charts that help you tell at a glance whether an area has trad, sport or bouldering in the difficulty range you’re looking for.  In order to enable a climber to find the best routes from among over 1800 climbs, we added super fast searching and filtering.  It now takes literally one second and a few taps to identify the two four star 5.8 sport climbs that are in the shade at NRG using rakkup’s new filter features, and see them on a map as well as in a sorted list.  (Hint:  They’re both at Bubba City.)

One more second, tap the “Go” button, and rakkup navigates you to those two sweet climbs, turn by turn.  Best of all, every time you get a guide update icon (a small cloud) next to your NRG guide, you know that you’re a tap away from getting more great content from a trusted professional and Outdoor Research sponsored athlete, Mike Williams.

Thanks Mike and Wolverine Publishing. You guys helped us demonstrate what we mean when we call rakkup “Climbing guides, reinvented.”

Gear Caster Review

GearCasterReviewThumb Thanks GearCaster for the awesome review! Eventually we’d love to do Ice Climbing destinations like Hyalite Canyon too! Also, rakkup navigation does work with absolutely no cell coverage. Your phone only needs visible sky to see a few GPS satellites.

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