Altimeter or GPS meter when climbing in mountains

Reading Time: 5 minutes

do you need today while rock climbing and mountaineering

even a barometer / altimeter or a GPS sufficient?

This question I asked myself when I read the Suunto Ambit3 PEAK and the Suunto Vertical Ambit3 had in front of me. One of the two watches I wanted to give back. The Suunto Vertical Ambit3 has however no barometer function. This was until now always on my wrist in the form of Suunto CORE Green light was available.

Can I do without it or it will not work without?  

The barometer for weather and altitude analysis “DAS instrument” in mountaineering.

By the falling pressure in increasing height a calculated ABC pm in connection with the height reference value, the distance covered in altitude . Are so also an aid to orientation on a map. The weather display / weather trend is a barometer again an ABC AM. Some only display the current air pressure data (hPa) other create a bar graph to the history display . Thus let bad weather (falling hPa) and periods of fine weather (rising hPa) predict.

Additionally you can at some ABC watches functions to activate storm warning . This function gives alarm when the air pressure is abnormally changed quickly . These are usually 2 hPa in an hour or 4 hPa over 3 hours what the alarm trigger.

However, it is not so Simpl h the correct values to obtain ABC watches are indeed very white t in the correct creation of the altitude specified by include the temperature data . It must , however with be expected deviations and calibrated regularly be one available reference value .


still requires you a barometer in times of smartphones and GPS – Multi sports watches.  


For short hikes not far from cities can be found almost everywhere in the alpine region   cellphone reception . Except some valleys, walls and even entire regions . Thus, the would -date weather forecast for the area constantly available , as long as the battery takes part . Emergency, a phone call would lead to the desired information. Also, their own creation of a weather reports probably only possible very competent people . Daily fluctuations in air pressure due to the atmospheric pressure, Required for accurate analysis of the weather a certain knowledge in the field of metrology .

Even people who live long on mountain expedition are calling their meteorologists of confidence in order to accurately and expert analysis to obtain.

Karl “Charly” Gabl is probably one of the best known expeditions supporters. The Huaberbuam Alexander Huber and Thomas Huber, ie mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and many other rely on Professional weather forecasts by professionals . * Here are my top meteorological services 

The aforementioned Charles “Charly” Gabl writes in the very good book practical knowledge from professionals for weather observation and tour .


“Emotions do not be fooled: observe weather and feel”


Also my experiences along these directional clothes. The feeling does not deceive one most! Be it the weather , as in the circumstances . Through experience and learn a basic meteorological knowledge , it is also very likely the situation to properly assess or practical experience .

! However, this is combined with practical know well the key at the right emotion. !

This combined with the ever-improving weather analyzes of meteorological services ( Article: the best weather forecast for the mountain ) make on tours where you just over two days or longer huts touring the barometer dispensable . One is in the outback / hinterland without cell phone reception or civilization  (cottages) so that can Barometer very helpful to be recognition in the weather trend.

For the current analysis heights ranging from a vertical ambit3 without barometer. Through the long duration of the GPS (100 hours at minimum tracking function) completely out. However, it can also be quite the clock no satellite found.



Conclusion: Do I need a barometer in mountaineering

Short tourers can replace a barometer by GPS.

Who embarks on an expedition or similar longer trips must for yourself

decide how important this is. Basic knowledge about the weather

weather forecast should in both cases be present!

Personally, I’m doing me to go into the mountains without heavy barometer. 

It gives me just a sense of security! 


Who will be know to expand in the field Metrology / weather observation and mountain climbing or want to learn how to do is very well advised by the book of “Charly”





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *