Worth a Shot

By Blake Herrington

Bonus uses for your digital camera

Halfway up a new route, roofs and blankness loomed above. Where was the long hand crack that had lured us up here? I pulled out my camera and scrolled through photos of the face, taken earlier from camp. After identifying our position on my glowing camera screen, I saw that a short traverse rightward would bring us below the splitter, and from there the route-finding looked simple.

A digital camera can do more than capture memories of your climbs. Whether new routing in the mountains or redpointing at the crag, put your point-and-shoot to use with these tricks:

Route topos: Paper topos get torn or dropped. Take a few photos of your topo or guidebook pages for mid-route reference.

Redpoint beta video: After a section of climbing that you hope to try again another day, make a voice or video recording of what gear you needed (or wish you’d had) and any move-by-move details you might want to remember for round two.

Terrain overviews: Snap reference photos of a peak, cliff, or a convoluted approach before you begin—this is especially useful on complex or crevassed terrain. If fog or darkness is about to overtake you, take a few shots of the route ahead, and use these images to help identify your position.

Route-finding breadcrumbs: As you do a cross-country approach, take pictures of landmarks behind you for reference during the hike out.

Online beta at your fingertips: When you check online resources for route information, maps, or driving directions, bring it all along by snapping pictures of your computer screen.

Flashlight: The flash of a camera, or the flashlight app for iPhone and iPod Touch, can shed a bit of light when your headlamp goes dead.




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One more to add! Even on point-and-shoot cameras that don't seem to zoom beyond what you can see yourself, if you take a pic and then review the pic on the screen you can usually zoom much further in on the screen to check out whatever it is you wanted to see closer...route features such as holds, cracks, etc. or that dark rock on the ridge you think might be a bear.

Mike G - 07/26/2013 3:37:51