These days all but the hardiest of dirtbags carry a smart phone. While the lack of reception at most crags will prevent you from uploading that summit selfie until later, there are a number of ways those handy pocket computers can enhance a day out. Below we've chosen our six favorite apps that will help you do everything from tracking your hangboard sessions to finding a dry cliff for tomorrow. And the best part is that they're (almost) all free.
Obviously. Before you even think of getting any other climbing related app, download Mountain Project. With over 110,000 routes available worldwide and a whole arsenal of other useful features, Mountain Project is THE digital guidebook for everywhere. This free comprehensive database of climbing areas lets you download your chosen crags, which are then readily available for offline use, so you can browse routes, photos, comments, and ratings all while off the grid.Free—iOS / Android
Plain and simple, MyClimb is a social platform for the climbing community, built by the climbing community. The app allows you to log climbing routes (indoor and outdoor) and track your ticks or share them with your friends and the global MyClimb community. Add photos, videos, and locations to each one of your climbing sessions and see your progress as you move on to bigger and badder grades. Check out the leaderboard and see how you fare against your friends, the local climbing gym, and the broader climbing community. We like to log routes because it helps us to track our progress, stay motivated, and ultimately achieve our goals, so why not do it in a fun and social way.Free—iOS / Android
A no-brainer and very easy to navigate, Climbing Weather provides you with up-to-date weather forecasts for over 300 climbing destinations across the US. This app lists all the standard forecast fair: high and low temps, chance of precipitation, wind, and humidity. But our favorite feature is how it's organized. Want to find the coolest nearby spot for a hot summer day? Climbing Weather will use your phone's gps to display info for the closest 20 crags so you can choose the best send spot. Traveling? Simply plug in any given zip code or search the area by name, and you’re good to go (or not, depending on the forecast).Free—iOS / Android
Climbing Grade Converter
Need a quick and reliable way to convert the many different climbing grade systems of the world? This app is your go-to tool. Offering a simple interface, Climbing Grade Converter changes difficulty ratings between 16 different grading systems. We didn't even know there were that many! If you're going international, install this app and have a safer and more enjoyable time by ensuring that each route you try is more or less what you expect. Just keep in mind that it can’t account for sandbagging! (Note: this app comes in both a free and premium version, the free version only allows you to convert YDS to other systems and not the other way around.)Free—iOS / No Android version, but this very similar app will do the job.
In 2014, we awarded Rakkup our Editors' Choice Award and with good reason. From our original review: "This intensely detailed app utilizes GPS tracking, turn-by-turn directions, and photos to get you directly to the base of the route—even if that includes fourth- or fifth-class scrambling. A compass with a direction-of-travel arrow and a map that moves with you keep your group heading in the right direction so you can avoid wasted time and energy. Wall and route descriptions include nearly all the beta you’d ever need, with zoomable topos, rack info, descent info, and individual pitch descriptions. It’s similar to our other favorite app, Mountain Project, but instead of relying on user-generated content, Rakkup uses professionals and guidebook authors to write descriptions and gather info. Game changer: 'Belay View' photos that show you exactly what the route looks like from the bottom belay stance, as opposed to that far-away and unhelpful view of the whole wall."Free (guidebook prices vary)—iOS / Android
Although not free, Boulder Trainer is well worth a couple bucks for all it does. Tailored towards the novice hangboarder, this app comes pre-set with every brand of fingerboard imaginable (Metolius, Beastmaker, Trango, Moon, just to name a few). It even works with homemade setups. Just take a photo, add numbers to each hold, and you're good to go. Customize your own training sessions, or use the plethora of built in workouts to get those forearms burning. This app is extremely flexible and very easy to incorporate into any pre-existing exercise routine.$2.99—iOS / Android (not yet available)