Climb Steepness

Climbers care quite a bit about surprise roofs, slabby boulder problems, and much in between. A quick-to-eyeball index of climb steepness would be nice for many climbers. Aside from a climb's rating, there's little that affects your experience more than a climb's steepness. I can't climb slab and It's too steep are common refrains.

A good visualization should be versatile. Avoid color dependence; it can clash with color schemes or be difficult for users with color vision issues. Be clear. A bit of mandatory initial education is okay, but for a trained user, the message should be obvious. It also must clearly differentiate between a wide range of climbs.

For testing, we'll use a diverse selection of well-known climbs:

Connected Lines


This fails for steep climbs. The awkward rough edge is that it's too similar to the profile of a wall. For a vertical climb, it will look just like and match the cross-section of a wall. However, for a traverse, it AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


It's not immediately obvious which side of the line you're climbing on.




The idea here was to be a bit more compact and produce a predictable size.

Obvious issues revolved around segments similar levels of steepness; They overlap and hide each other. It's also hard to see context within a diagram. This visualization fail entirely when there are multiple small to medium segments defined.

burst (with opacity and ring)

Adding a ring at the outside edge, and making the rays of the "burst" opaque can help show context.

burst (adding pointers)

burst (pointers to ticks)

burst (tracking overhang)

this is far too busy.

burst (at the edge)


Target (with rings)

the downside here

Shaded Bar


somewhat similar to hillshade

topo equivalent?

could this exist?