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.
rakkup app brings climbing guidebooks into the digital age
Innovative smartphone app melds print guidebook accuracy with turn-by-turn GPS navigation to accurately locate climbing routes.
SEATTLE, Wash. (April 2, 2013) – The crux of a lot of rock climbs may not necessarily be the technical crux. It may be getting yourself to the base of the intended route in the first place.
To address that problem, as well as provide an easy-to-use, accurate rock-climbing guidebook solution for the digital age, the climbing guidebook app rakkup is being released this week, coinciding with the annual Red Rock Rendezvous climbing festival. The Red Rocks Climbing guidebook will be the first guidebook available in the free app, made possible through a partnership with the print guidebook publisher SuperTopo. Other guidebooks for additional climbing areas will follow.
rakkup, created by Outdoor Geeks LLC and sponsored by the apparel and gear manufacturer Outdoor Research, was developed by two climbers with a combined quarter century in software development, and improves on the digital guidebook format in a number of ways:
- rakkup uses turn-by-turn GPS navigation, using the GPS capabilities of smartphones combined with digital mapping of the trail systems at climbing areas, to offer users real-time information on the best route to their selected climb. Moreover, once users get close to an intended climbing route, rakkup offers its unique ‘BelayView’ photograph of the climb, so climbers can precisely locate the start of the proper route. The app downloads guidebooks, photos, and trail maps so that climbers can navigate and view the guide even when out of cell phone range.
- Rather than simply translating a print guidebook into a digital version for on-screen display, rakkup’s developers worked to develop a mobile app format that allows users to browse climbs via an interactive trail map or convenient lists based on different criteria, and interact with the guidebook in an intuitive touch-based interface so that it’s easy to access detailed information incredibly quickly. It’s truly a guidebook for the smartphone era.
- The rakkup app is free, and consumers will be able to purchase guidebooks for different climbing areas, based on the print guidebooks created for those places, The digital guidebooks – which will include topo drawings, route strategy, history, climbing beta and rack beta – will typically cost less than their print counterparts, because of the reduction in cost associated with digital distribution. For instance, the Red Rocks Climbs print guidebook sells for $24.99, but is initially available in digital rakkup format for $9.99 for a 12-month license. Both rakkup and SuperTopo have agreed to donate proceeds from all sales of the digital guidebook during the Red Rock Rendezvous to the Access Fund.
“We’ve been waiting for years to find the right partners for getting SuperTopos on smart phones,” said Chris McNamara, SuperTopo founder and owner. “When we saw rakkup, it blew us away. The turn-by-turn navigation on approaches alone is a game changer. The fact the app also is packed with beta, climb selection tools, photos and topos makes this by far the ultimate climbing app.”
rakkup was developed by Rob Price and Todd Kutzke, both climbers and former Microsoft employees with a collective 25 years of experience in software development. Price also used 10 years of experience in developing GPS navigation tools for aviation situations to help create the navigation capabilities in rakkup.
“The goal here was to create a marketplace for professionally produced climbing guidebooks in a digital format, so that climbers can access this content in an easy-to-use format and at a fraction of the cost of a printed guidebook, while guidebook authors and publishers can see return on their intellectual property,” Price said. “Beyond that, we wanted to improve on the guidebook experience, given today’s capabilities of smartphones. We feel like our GPS-based navigation, along with the BelayView, will help cut down on confusion associated with finding your way to a route you want to climb and put the adventure where it’s supposed to be.”
rakkup and Outdoor Research will support the release of the app at the Red Rocks Rendezvous by holding a scavenger hunt that attendees can complete by using the navigation tools that rakkup offers. People can tackle the scavenger hunt any time during the Rendezvous by stopping by the Outdoor Research booth for instructions. The fastest time will win a climbing-focused apparel and accessory kit from OR. Attendees at Red Rocks who are interested in more information on rakkup can also stop by the Outdoor Research booth.
The rakkup app is currently available via Apple’s App Store.
For more information on rakkup, visit rakkup.com.
About Outdoor Geeks, LLC
Outdoor Geeks brings technology to your outdoor recreation experience to help you maximize fun and minimize epics. Inspired by long days at Red Rocks, Nevada, and in Yosemite Valley, which were made longer by the lack of better information resources, its founders decided to apply their extensive knowledge of software and navigation technologies to the climbing world. Our mission with rakkup is to grow and sustain the marketplace for professionally produced climbing guides by providing tools to the experts who’ve dedicated thousands of hours to assembling the finest information climbers could want. With rakkup, we open a door for authors and publishers to easily produce, market, sell, and distribute professionally-produced guidebooks and compete in a digital world based on the quality of their climbing knowledge, without having to become programmers or undertake costly software development. Founded in 2011, Outdoor Geeks is based in Seattle, Wash.
About Outdoor Research
Outdoor Research® is Designed by Adventure®. We provide Innovation and Inspiration for the Relentless Adventurer. Based in Seattle – with in-house manufacturing and prototyping capabilities at our company headquarters – Outdoor Research was founded in 1981 after a failed piece of gear on an Alaskan climbing expedition inspired ideas for a better design. Ever since that first product, the X-Gaiter, put Outdoor Research on the map, we have been dedicated to building better outdoor apparel, gloves, hats and an array of other outdoor accessories informed by real-world testing. We develop innovative, functional, bomb-proof products that are beautiful in their simplicity. Design abides by the maxim ‘make it better, not just new or different,’ and our gear is backed by our Infinite Guarantee®. We listen, value and empower each other and our fellow adventurers – we invite input from our customers, athlete ambassadors and the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations Test Team. We’re independent, letting us strive to provide the best value to our customers, not shareholders. We are committed to our core sports: alpinism, rock and ice climbing, hiking, backpacking, paddling, trail running, and backcountry and sidecountry skiing. We’re growing, as a company and as individuals. And we’re having fun along the way.
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We at rakkup are super stoked about sandstone! We are just back from a trip to the desert southwest where we hiked many dozens of trail miles to bring rakkup to some exciting new places. Our technology is getting better all the time, but there is no shortcut once out in the field. Even when there are many trail variations and choices, we walk them all to find the best way for you. Climbers get pretty competitive about getting to routes first, and we think we have the extra edge to help you. If you opt to sleep in instead, then rakkup might just help you on your way back to the car by headlamp instead…
Stay tuned for exciting features and content announcements throughout the Winter and Spring, and thanks for choosing to rakkup before you climb.
Rakkup welcomes the American Alpine Club to Smith Rock for their first Craggin’ Classic. For more information on this event go to http://americanalpineclub.org/p/craggin-classic. The AAC is a great organization that unites climbers to advance the climbing way of life. Have fun at Smith this weekend!
It’s SpringThing here at Smith and we’re here to volunteer with everyone. SpringThing is an important day where the climbing community pitches in to give back to the park that gives so much to climbers like us. This evening we’ll have a booth where you can preview rakkup on an iPhone or an iPad, stop by and say hi. You can also receive a coupon this weekend as thanks for volunteering at SpringThing worth 50% off our already low introductory price. Look for us in the rakkup t-shirts and ask for a coupon.
We’ll also be watching Mark Hudon’s slide show tonight. Check out his awesome Yosemite pano pictures and tips here www.hudonpanos.com.
It’s been a busy Spring here at rakkup. We took some extra time in January to improve this website and get it commerce-ready, and put the infrastructure in place (both here and in our iPhone application) for the new rakkup guidebook store. We polished and improved our iPhone app, and tested and tested at Smith Rock State Park until the navigation experience was a joy to use. Finally, we debugged and debugged until the app was solid and robust.
That’s not to say we didn’t find time for some snowboarding, and even some pitches to inaugurate climbing season. Afer all, the Outdoor Geeks spirit has to stay vibrant. We’re proud of our progress though and excited to share some awesome announcements with you in May. Stay tuned to this space, or join us at Spring Thing on May 5th. That’s the volunteer event at Smith Rock where the community works together to maintain and improve the park. Hope to see you there!
This week we’re camping at our secret lair, polishing our first app and getting it ready for the app store. It’s starting to feel really good and we can’t wait to get it in your hands. We got some new icon artwork from our artist, Peder, and we’re super-excited about the professional quality it lends to rakkup’s appearance.
Last week we hit the road and had some very positive discussions with a couple of amazing guidebook authors who are also savvy publishers. Look for rakkup data packs for some great new climbing areas in 2012, hopefully with the expertise of local climbing guides built right in. We can’t put the rope up for you or offer you a belay, but we’ll try to do everything else we can to make it just like you brought a local along for the day.