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14ers Mobile App - Frequently Asked Questions

General

  1. Who created the app?
  2. What is 14ers.com?
  3. How is this app free?
  4. How does the app work with 14ers.com?
  5. How do I navigate the app?
  6. Does the app use a lot of mobile data?
  7. How often is the app updated?
  8. What do I do if I have problems with the app?
  9. (Privacy) Does the app share my information?
  10. (Advertising) Does the app have any ads?

14ers

  1. What information is included for each peak?
  2. How do I see the latest conditions of a 14er?
  3. How do I view weather forecast?

14er Route Descriptions

  1. How do make sure I have an entire 14er route stored in the app before I head to the trailhead?
  2. Can't I just use AllTrails®?
  3. Does the app have the same routes as the website?
  4. How often are the routes updated?
  5. What are route Risk Factors?
  6. How is elevation gain calculated for a route?
  7. My tracking device stats are different than the app route stats. Why?

My Routes (Bookmarks)

  1. Why should I bookmark routes?
  2. How do I bookmark a route?

Trailheads

  1. What information is included for each trailhead?
  2. How accurate are the driving directions?
  3. Can't I just use Google or Apple Maps for driving directions?
  4. How do I get trailhead status updates?
  5. How are trailhead roads rated for difficulty?

Map

  1. How do I use the map base layers and overlays?
  2. How do I track my hike/climb of a 14er?
  3. What are My Recordings?
  4. Can I export My Recordings to a GPX or KML file?
  5. Can I import a GPX file?

General

  1. Who created the app?

    Bill Middlebrook, the creator of 14ers.com.
  2. What is 14ers.com?

    14ers.com is the premier source of information on Colorado peaks exceeding 14,000 feet in height (14ers or Fourteeners). It's a comprehensive collection of information, with massive amounts of content provided by its members so we have everything you need to plan climbs and track your progress as you work your way through the 14ers.

    I created 14ers.com in 2000 and over the years the content and user community have grown as I've dedicated my time to adding tools for both new and veteran hikers, providing climbing information you can trust and making it the best 14er site on the web. I hope 14ers.com will help you safely gain your next summit and make some friends along the way.

    14ers.com is not a personal blog like you've probably seen when searching on Google — clogged with annoying advertisements, trying to profit from the popularity of the 14ers. Even worse, there are 14er poser sites by individuals who lack climbing experience and harvest information from 14ers.com and other valuable sites just to monetize 14er search traffic.

    - Bill Middlebrook
  3. How is this app free?

    The mission of 14ers.com is to provide detailed Colorado peak information without advertisements or membership fees. Open and free.
  4. How does the app work with 14ers.com?

    When you first open the app it retrieves peak, route and trailhead information from 14ers.com and stores it locally on your device. As you use the app it will retrieve maps and photos as needed and store them on your device for future use. It must work this way because there are thousands of maps and photos and it's not possible to include them in the base app when you download it from the app store. Remember, the app provides access to all of the maps and route photos found on 14ers.com route descriptions.
  5. How do I navigate the app?

  6. Does the app use a lot of mobile data?

  7. How often is the app updated?

  8. What do I do if I have problems with the app?

    If you have problems using the app, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you could try clearing the app data and cache via the SettingsProblems? page. If that doesn't fix your problem, feel free to post a topic in the 14ers.com Mobile Apps section of the 14ers.com forum.
  9. (Privacy) Does the app share my information?

    No. The app does not collect any personal information nor does it share any of the app data with 3rd parties.
  10. (Advertising) Does the app have any ads?

    No.

Peaks

  1. What information is included for each peak?

    From the  14ers tab, the list of 14ers can be sorted using the bar at the top. Each 14er page includes information and statistics about the peak, including: Elevation, mountain range, rank, and a weather link. Below the stats area you'll find a list of available routes for the peak or the peaks in a specific group of 14ers. Standard routes (recommended and most commonly used) are indicated with a .
  2. How do I see the latest conditions of a 14er?

    On a peak page, swipe to the bottom to find the Condition Updates area. Tap the Retrieve Conditions Updates link to retrieve the latest condition updates posted on 14ers.com. This requires an internet connection so be sure to get updates before you get into the backcountry where you might lose internet access.
  3. How do I view weather forecast?

    Each peak page has a weather forecast link that requires an internet connection. The forecasts are provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and are obtained using the coordinates of the peak. Providing the coordinates to NOAA does NOT usually result in a forecast for the exact summit elevation because NOAA only provides information for a rectangle of terrain for which the coordinates are contained. By doing so, it calculates an average elevation within that rectangle and provides the forecast for that elevation. In mountainous terrain, this means you are requesting the coordinates of a 14er summit but the forecast might come back for an elevation of 13,500' (as an example). So, take this into consideration when reading the NOAA forecast obtained via the 14ers.com mobile app.

Routes

  1. How do make sure I have an entire 14er route saved in the app before I head out?

    Peak, trailhead and route data is saved to your device when you first open the app and updated when data changes on 14ers.com. However, to save space, route photos are not automatically stored in the app and you must take action before you leave for a trip in order to have access to them once you're in the backcountry.

    To ensure you have route photos available in the backcountry, navigate to the desired route and either 1) Bookmark the route by tapping the bookmark icon or 2) Scroll to the bottom of the route and tap 'Save Maps/Images for Offline.' It's best to do this not too long before your hike. Once you have done this, a green dot  will show up next to routes for which you have offline photos saved in the app. So just look for that green dot, whether it's in My Routes, the list of routes on a peak page, or in the route description itself. If the route has a green dot, you'll have the photos/maps when you lose internet in the backcountry.
  2. Can't I just use AllTrails®?

    The AllTrails® mobile app is good for established trails where you don't need much guidance to have a safe and successful hike. 14ers.com is far more and designed for the Colorado 14ers. The 14ers, and many other high peaks in Colorado, are different because many don't have a trail to the top. Additionally, the more-difficult 14ers have dangerous sections and require careful route-finding and technical skills. Since 14ers.com is essentially a guidebook for the 14ers, it provides accurate, detailed route descriptions, photos, mapping, mobile apps, GPX tracks and other tools. It's way more 14er information than what you'll find on AllTrails® and when you get to the more difficult 14ers, the advantages of 14ers.com will become obvious.
  3. Does the app have the same routes as the website?

    Yes. The app uses the same text, photos and maps that you'll find on the website. When routes are updated on 14ers.com, changes are automatically picked up by the app so it has the most up-to-date information.
  4. How often are the routes updated?

    We keep the route descriptions current by applying updates when something changes on the ground. This could be a physical trail re-route by trail maintenance crews or a change due to erosion or other natural event. Additionally, the routes are re-climbed often to obtain the most helpful photos. App route descriptions are dynamic and updates are retrieved from 14ers.com when the occur.
  5. What are route Risk Factors?

    Compared to many mountains around the world, the Colorado 14ers aren't too difficult but we still face plenty of risk every time we climb. When planning a climb, we check the weather forecast to avoid the risk of being caught in a thunder storm. In winter, we assess the avalanche risk to avoid dangerous terrain. Additionally, there are risks specific to each route that don't change from day-to-day and should be considered before heading out. On 14ers.com we've come up with a scale from Low to Extreme to rate the risk of exposure, rockfall potential, route-finding difficulties and commitment. Please keep in mind that these ratings are in the context of the 14ers and are not intended as risk factor ratings for all mountains:

    Exposure

    Exposure is the empty space below you which could result in injury or death if you fall. If you're "afraid of heights," the exposure risk might be an important factor when selecting a route. A LOW exposure route would be walking up the standard trail on Quandary peak. HIGH exposure is crossing the knife-edge on Capitol Peak. EXTREME exposure is climbing the final wall after traversing from Crestone Peak to Crestone Needle.
    Low  Mild exposure in the area but not along the immediate route.
    Moderate  Mild exposure very close to the route. Route options may be limited but you should be able to walk through the exposure area.
    Considerable  Dangerous exposure along the immediate route. It should be avoidable with some slow hiking or scrambling.
    High  A fall could result in serious injury or death. Moving through the area will require some scrambling or short technical moves.
    Extreme!  A fall would likely be fatal. Big, sheer drops.

    Rockfall

    Is there a risk of rockfall or instability along the route? Walking up a Class 1 trail would likely have a LOW rockfall risk but climbing Maroon Peak or Little Bear Peak have High->Extreme risk of dangerous rockfall.
    Low  Risk of rock-fall is low either because the route is fairly low angle or the rock is very solid throughout.
    Moderate  Rockfall is possible on steeper sections but the route is generally stable. Most Class 2 routes fall into this category.
    Considerable  Rockfall is likely on steeper sections. Wear a helmet!
    High  Rockfall is very likely, making the route quite dangerous. Climb in a small group, avoid other groups and wear a helmet!
    Extreme!  Rockfall is unavoidable and the terrain is extremely loose.

    Routefinding

    How big is the risk of getting off-route due to a lack of trail, confusing terrain, misplaced cairns, etc.?
    Low  Route is easy to follow.
    Moderate  Route may have some minor complications and/or lack of trail but it's mostly obvious.
    Considerable  Route has several areas which may be confusing so you'll need to pay close attention to route features.
    High  Route is fairly complex and will require extra time for careful route-finding. Some cairns may lead you in the wrong direction and it may be easy to get off-route and enter dangerous terrain.
    Extreme!  Route is very complex with many confusing sections, requiring plenty of time for route-finding so you don't get off-route and into dangerous terrain. Plan ahead, read the route description carefully and take experienced partners.

    Commitment

    How big is the commitment to get to the summit? Are there complex sections high on the mountain that require a lot of time on your ascent AND descent? If so, the risk of getting caught in bad weather or without adequate supplies is higher. For Example, Capitol Peak's standard route has been given an EXTREME commitment rating because once you're past K2 and working you're way closer to the summit, there's no escape from the ridge and you're a long way away from flat terrain and tree line. If weather rolls in when you're climbing high on Capitol, you're in trouble and the only way back is via the same route.
    Low  The most difficult sections are short.
    Moderate  The more difficult sections are a bit longer and will require a extra time.
    Considerable  The more difficult sections are longer and more frequent, requiring extra time. This may also slow your progress on your return so you will need to watch the weather to allow enough time.
    High  Due to the complexity and possible regain on your return, you'll need a lot of extra time to climb the difficult sections of the route. Returning will also require extra time. Don't attempt this route if the weather may turn foul.
    Extreme!  The distance, complexity and lack of retreat options make this the highest level of commitment for a 14er route. Do NOT attempt this route if foul weather is possible or you're not in adequate physical shape to return safely. You'll also need plenty of food and water.
  6. How is elevation gain calculated for a route?

    For each 14er route, the approximate elevation gain (in feet) is calculated using the following steps:
    1. Subtract the starting (trailhead) elevation from the summit elevation to determine the Minimum Gain of the route.
    2. Determine an approximate amount of Additional Gain based on portions where your route goes downhill before regaining elevation. If you are returning via the same route, double that number because you have to regain it on the way back. Example: If you lost 500 feet of elevation during your ascent, your total additional gain (if you return via the same route) would be 1,000 feet.
    3. Total Elevation Gain = Minimum Gain + Additional Gain
  7. My tracking device stats are different than the app route stats. Why?

    A common problem with any GPS unit, including smartphones, is the "drift" that occurs when tracking. Each time the device plots your current position it can be a bit inaccurate due to the device sensors. Those inaccuracies add up to additional mileage and elevation gain in the final calculations. Many times this inflates your distance and elevation calculations. For the 14ers.com routes, we've GPSed the routes on multiple occasions and carefully removed as much drift as possible to get more accurate measurements. A good term for this process is "smoothing," where extraneous, obviously-inaccurate track points are removed. So, if the app says a route is 9.5 miles roundtrip and your Apple Watch tells you it was 12 miles, it's not 12 miles.

My Routes (Bookmarks)

  1. Why should I bookmark routes?

    Bookmarking routes makes it easier to locate your current information because they will show up in  My Routes.
  2. How do I bookmark a route?

    To bookmark a route, tap the  icon on upper right of the route screen. The route will then show up in My Routes.

Trailheads

  1. What information is included for each trailhead?

    From the  Trailheads tab, the list of trailheads is sorted by mountain range. Select a trailhead to see stats, driving directions, parking details and other on-site information.
  2. How accurate are the driving directions?

    14ers.com trailhead data is usually very accurate because the directions are verified or changed each time we visit the trailhead. Sometimes the road to a trailhead may have some unexpected damage or other problems that may not be specified in the driving directions but these instances are usually reported quickly via the member-contributed status updates (see below).
  3. Can't I just use Google or Apple Maps for driving directions?

    You can certainly use a mapping app to get you close to your trailhead approach road but that's usually the end of their usefulness. Once you hit dirt, use the 14ers.com driving directions since they provide much more detail and are updated often. For the many remote 14er trailheads, those mapping apps won't have any information about the trailhead approach roads.
  4. How do I get trailhead status updates?

    On a trailhead page, swipe to the bottom to find the Status Updates area. Tap the Retrieve Status Updates link to retrieve the latest trailhead status updates posted on 14ers.com. This requires an internet connection so be sure to get updates before you get into the backcountry where you might lose internet access.
  5. How are trailhead roads rated for difficulty?

    There are only a few 14er trailheads that don't require leaving pavement and driving on dirt roads. Most of the trailhead roads are rough dirt but may be more rugged than you've ever driven. The table below describes the difficulty ratings you'll find for each trailhead road. If you're not used to driving on rough 2WD or 4WD (a road that requires a 4-Wheel drive vehicle) roads, read the trailhead status updates carefully so you know what to expect. If you're still unsure if your vehicle can make it, consider posting a question in the 14ers.com forum or in the 14ers.com Facebook Group.

    Road Difficulty Ratings:
    0 0   Paved Road
    1 1   2WD, easy dirt road
    2 2   2WD, rough dirt road
    3 3   Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended.
    4 4   Moderate 4WD, long wheel base vehicles not recommended. Good clearance required.
    5 5   Rough 4WD, high-clearance vehicles with short wheel-base

Map

  1. How do I change the base maps and overlays?

    The app contains several "base" maps which provide different detail of the terrain. On the map screen, tap the  Base Map button, above the map. Overlays are additional layers displayed over your base map and include 14ers, 14er route lines, 13ers and trailheads. Tap the  Layers button to add/remove layers.
  2. How do I track my hike/climb of a 14er?

    1. Navigate to your route description by tapping the  14ers tab and selecting it from a peak page OR if you've already bookmarked the route, by selecting it from  My Routes.
    2. In the route, scroll down and tap Highlight/Follow Route on Main Map.
    3. Now on the map, tap the  My Location button on the top right to turn on location services. Your current location will display on the map as a blue dot.
    4. Record a track by tapping the "Record Track" button on the location toolbar. When you're done tracking, tap the  Tracking  button and select Finish.
    5. If you don't care to record a track but simply want to follow the route line as you hike, leave the location services ON so you can see your location in relation to the route line.
  3. What are My Recordings?

    If you can record tracks/waypoints while you hike, they are saved in  My Recordings. If you make a lot of recordings, they can easily be organized in folders.
  4. Can I export My Recordings to a GPX or KML file?

    Yes! You can export an individual recording by tapping its  Menu in the recordings list. Choose the Export option and select your file type. If you'd like to export multiple recordings into one file, tap the main recordings menu on the upper right (above the recordings list) and choose the Multiple Select option. That option can also be used to delete recordings or change their folder.
  5. Can I import a GPX file?

    As of October, 2023, you can import GPX files in the iOS (Apple) version of the app. For Android, this option is coming soon. To import, go to My Recordings, tap the main menu on the upper right and choose the Import GPX option. Imported tracks and waypoint will be saved to the "--IMPORTS--" folder, in My Recordings but you can move them to one of your own folders.

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