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Best Beta Tool Yet? Climbers Create 3D Crag Maps

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A new platform called Climb Assist creates a whole new way for climbers to discover beta.

Technology has long been a tool in the outdoors, but this time it helps athletes with a very specific task. Introducing Climb Assist, a database for outdoor rock climbing information. Most importantly, it offers an easier way to access beta at crags across the country.

A climber named Dustin Tong, along with four others — Brian Uyeno, Jimmy Uvodich, Andrew Sussman, and Kyle Cooley — started the project. They were able to use photogrammetry, the process of obtaining data from photographs, to create three-dimensional models of crags.

Two of the founders had the idea when they were climbing in Washington and couldn’t find a route, even though they had a guidebook on hand. Together, the group has 27 collective years of climbing experience. And they’ve created 3D beta maps for hundreds of climbing areas across Colorado, Utah, Washington, and more.

The Crag Maps

boulder canyon Climb Assist map
3D rock and route detail on a map of Boulder Canyon from Climb Assist

Navigating to the Climb Assist site, you will find a list of crags by state/area and a map layout of the entire beta database. When clicking on a climbing area, it will give you the option to view the data on the 3D model, in a guidebook list format, or on a 2D topo map. Similar to MountainProject.com, each page has a graph showing the difficulty of routes in that area.

“The climbing community has all the collective knowledge for route finding,” wrote the founders. “But it’s scattered across multiple sources” — like guidebooks, online forums, and more. Climb Assist will hopefully centralize all that info and provide more helpful maps.

You can also search the site for climbs by location or by the style of climbing. But the best feature of the site is definitely the unique level of detail in the crag maps.

So far, Climb Assist offers beta on over 700 bouldering, sport, and trad climbs. “Climb Assist will allow everyone to learn what they need to climb, without ever stepping foot at the crag,” reads the site. The founders are still working on amping up the site, including offering an app and subscription services, but what’s there is a pretty cool start.

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