SuperTopo on the iPhone with rakkup: guidebooks reinvented


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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 3, 2013 - 06:30pm PT
SuperTopo has long been looking for the perfect iPhone app partner and we found them with rakkup. The rakkup app gets you to the parking area, gives you turn-by-turn approach directions and helps you select which climb is best suited for you. It then incorporates the SuperTopo Red Rocks Climbing guidebook where you find photos, history, detailed beta and topos. It is by far the most feature-rich and innovative climbing guidebook app available today.

Right now only the SuperTopo Red Rocks Guide is available (just in time for Red Rocks Rendezvous) as well as the rakkup Smith Rocks guide.

There is a free Red Rocks sample that you get once you download the app for FREE at the iTunes store.

The complete Red Rocks guide is available on the iPhone for an introductory price of $9.99. Offer expires in one week..

Here is how it works:
1 - Download the free app in the iTunes store (and check out the free sample that is included)
2 - To buy the complete Red Rocks Guide for the iPhone, go to this page
3 - Send!

Brief Tour of the app in 5 screen shots
1) First you get an overview of all the climbs (cams are trad climbs and bolt hangers represent sport climbs).

2) Next, you can scroll around and find which climbs are best suited for you by sorting by difficulty, reading the beta, history, etc.

3) Once you select your climbs, the app gets you to the parking area and then gives you turn-by-turn navigation on the trail: just follow the red arrow. Yes, the rakkup founders Rob and Todd hiked every single approach in red rocks with a GPS to get this data!

4) Once you are near the climb, you can browse photos from the SuperTopo guidebook to get oriented. You can also see beta, history, and written descent beta and more.

5) Finally, get a color SuperTopo on your iphone and follow it up the route.

>>> Download the FREE app and check out a free Red Rocks sample here

Frequently Asked Questions
Post any questions you have about the app below and I will answer them here:
Q: What about descents?
A: At this moment there is no decent tracking in the app for the climbs that have walk-off descents. However, the written SuperTopo descent beta is included in the app.

Q: how does this app affect battery life?
A: Like all apps that use the GPS capabilities of your phone, it drains your battery quickly when the GPS is being used in Map Tracking mode. This app should work for 1-2 hours in Map Tracking mode if you start with a full charge. When you are not using the GPS function and just browsing through the app, your battery should last a normal amount of time. So there are a few options:
a) carefully use Map Tracking mode by turning it off when you don't need it.
b) get a $20 extra external battery like this one good for 1-2 charges or a $40 battery like this one good for 4 iphone charges
c) use a portable solar charger with a built in battery. Our current favorite is the SolarMonkey Adventurer.
d) a combination of all of the above

Q: Does the app work with no cell signal?
A: Yes. Or course you need a cell signal to buy the app.

Q: When will there be more SuperTopo's available on the iPhone through rakkup?
A: Red Rocks is our pilot project. If it goes as well as we hope, then we hope to add Yosemite SuperTopo guides to the app soon.

Chris McNamara and the rakkup founders at Red Rocks Rendezvous
Come by the Outdoor Research booth on Saturday April 6 at the Red Rocks Rendezvous to get a demo of the app from Chris McNamara and the rakkup founders Rob and Todd. All money from purchases of the app during the Rendezvous go straight to the Access Fund.

Please tell a friend about the free sample and promo price!
We are in the "trying to send" phase... we need help getting the word out. If you like the app and free sample, please tell a climbing friend, app addict, Red Rocks junkie. Thank you!

>> Like the rakkup Facebook Page
>> Like the SuperTopo on rakkup Facebook Page


Trad climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
Intersting, although it does take a bit of the adventure out.

Is Rakkup only associated with ST Books, or can any guide book publisher partner with them?



Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
While headed up Lotta Balls on Friday I looked over to the right to see a guy using his iphone to figure out where his belay was located. He was quite mortified to learn that I had seen him :-)

Trad climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 06:43pm PT

Thanks Chris. Be ready for all the "old skoool" tech haters to rag on this.

The only thing better is my Chipotle app. WHich is pre-loaded with cash and has my order already in it. You dont even have to wait in line. You go to the front and pick up your already paid for burrito.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 3, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Prod, right now just SuperTopo.

And I am a huge fan of the Chipoltle app. The veggie burrito is my current favorite "save me when driving on the freeway in a culinary wasteland" meal.

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 06:48pm PT

Social climber
San Francity, CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
If the app doesn't live up to my (low) expectations, can I place the phone in a crack, sling it for pro, and climb on?

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
Please please please!!!.....
Make it say:

"The Monkeys Are Sending"

Once the correct belay spot is found.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 3, 2013 - 07:16pm PT
Great suggestion, GhoulweJ!

Boulder climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
Woah.....just when u thought the adventure was gone...the times they are a changin!!

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Apr 3, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
Most of those smart phones have accelerometers in them, so you could make it where if they fall *(V exceeds some setpoint), it will give a shout:

"The monkeys are not sending. Sweet fall though, bro-dizzle, we calculated it at 1.276 meters. You'll get it next time!"

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 3, 2013 - 07:36pm PT
Great idea. Finally a way to accurately tell how long everyone's falls are. Downside is all those epic stories of 50+ foot falls would actually be called out as 20 footers (same phenomena as "I once caught a fish the size of...")
Some Random Guy

In a chair, drinkin' a beer, watchin' the show
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:18pm PT
brilliant! the gps function is awesome. but...if u already own the red rocks book in pdf format do u basically have to buy it over again for the app or can the existing one u own be integrated into the app?

-gonna have to get that chipotle app-
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
Very nice. I have loaded pages from guidebooks onto my phone to refer to when I am not being watched.

What about Android support? Apple smart phone is only 43.5% of the smart phone market in the US, Android is 51.5%
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2013 - 12:15am PT
Not sure about the timeline on Android support. Yes, ideally it would be out at the same time, but remember that overall us climbers are a small group and therefor the business are small with small budgets. Right now rakkup is 2 guys, SuperTopo only has one full time employee (me)... so there is a lot to do with only a few people on a really small budget!

This is also a start-up, and it will take some popularity of the app to inspire the next versions and expanded offerings... so once again, please tell a friend!! Here is the Supertopo on rakkup page, right now it is very lonely and could use some likes and comments!

And while on the FB, why not show rakkup some like

As far as getting SuperTopo on rakkup if you already bought the Red Rocks ebook pdf: again, at this stage with the limited people, budget and time we had to put getting the app out as a priority and push off the integrating of special pricing for past purchasers until down the road. However, the good news is the Red Rocks book on rakkup is only $9.99 and as I think you can see from the free sample on the iTunes store, it is a LOT of climbing app for that price. Did i stress enough the turn-by-turn approach beta!! All for the price of 2 beers at the Mountain Room Bar.

Thanks again guys for the comments, suggestions and support. This has been a ton of work for all involved so the positive energy, word-of-mouth and suggestions are all much appreciated!!
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 4, 2013 - 12:40am PT
Chipotle app?! Who knew?

As for the Supertopo app, I'll sure be checking it out, though I'm pretty old skool. Technology is great since it's there if you're inclined to want or need it. I think the gripe about some folks' use it of is not the tech itself but rather a complete dependence upon it rather than using it as a supplement to common sense and judgment.

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 4, 2013 - 01:43am PT
Well, I have an iPhone 4S (iOS 6.1.3), downloaded the free app, bought the $9.99 content, and downloaded the content. Two observations:

a) Once downloaded it displayed the highly dubious "Expires 4/3/14" - it's like, if you're selling subscriptions you need to be way, way (did I say way) more upfront about it as I thought I was buying a product. You know, like if I bought your paper guidebook it would not 'expire' on 4/3/14.

b) On opening the downloaded $9.99 content the app crashed and now the app crashes every time you open it immediately after displaying the splash photo.

Better tell your homeboys to 'rakkup' those keyboards and start heading out on the next, version.

P.S. I'm a software guy and know how it goes so I'm fine waiting for a clean 4S version.
chris cosgriff

Trad climber
Apr 4, 2013 - 02:30am PT
I have seen the app demonstrated and it really exceeded my expectations. Getting to the base of alot of these routes can be challenging. I have been on more than one extended route find. Now you get there quick and have great topos fo rht e route. Get me the Android version pronto!

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 4, 2013 - 10:18am PT
Thanks for all the love guys. healyje, I'm sorry your initial experience wasn't a good one but I can say it's far from typical. Rest assured we have done a LOT of testing on this puppy in many environments -- my personal daily driver is a 4S on 6.1.3 same as yours -- and haven't seen a crash at startup before. Bottom line though, we'll respond to the email you sent and either make it right or issue a refund, of course.
Anyway we're here listening and learning, and hope you like what you see. I like the fall-detection feature suggestion especially...

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 4, 2013 - 10:29am PT
Yeah baby! I'm on this! And the Chipotle app!

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