Magellan Triton 2000 — Review


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 8, 2009      
Magellan Triton 2000

Magellan Triton 2000

While at OR show this summer I figured out which top-end Magallan GPS might work for WildSnow purposes. Thus, sitting on our doorstep a few weeks ago like an early teaser from Santa: Triton 2000. Since then, I’ve used the Triton for multiple days that included everything from land surveying to 4-wheeling — all with the long view of how this unit would work for ski mountaineering.

Initial impressions:

– Proprietary data cable, yep, one-more-cable to carry in the travel kit. 2.2 ounces and bulky. Groan.
– Battery door is attached to unit, won’t flit away like a sparrow the next time I change batteries in a “breeze.” Nice
– Uses National Geo Topo! maps. Big deal, a bunch of out-of-date scanned topo maps that blur out when you enlarge enough for detail work.
– Two megapixel camera. Yawn.
– Built in flashlight. Could be useful.
– BIG LCD. Definitely useful.
– Media player. Nice, but I’d rather have a GPS that didn’t crash (see review below).
– Control lock. Essential. In fact, this is why I got interested in this unit.
– Weight 8 oz., compare to Garmin Etrex at 5.2 oz, really not a bad tradeoff considering Triton screen is 31% larger for 2.8 ounces more. And wow, you get a camera in the deal (just joking about the camera)!

First thing for me: Get familiar with the menu system. This unit has a touch screen — and button controls. Latter essential, as trying to operate a touch screen with bulky gloves on is like driving with your arms tied. The unit’s button layout had us wondering how to back out of menu screens, until we discovered the camouflaged “escape” key located below the control panel. Some designer obviously got off on a tangent with this, I mean, it’s a button, why not just locate and mark it like all the other ones? Is there something evil about the “escape” key that makes it necessary to hide?

Next challenge, try to get some maps from the TOPO! software into the Triton. I’ve never been that impressed with TOPO!, which simply uses a scanned set of dated USGS topo maps which loose significant quality when when viewed or reproduced in larger sizes (due to their low initial resolution). What’s more, the TOPO route drawing tool is so difficult to use one can only imagine it was programmed by a kindergarten student between graham cracker and milk breaks. But, in big bold letters on the Triton box it says “First GPS compatible with TOPO!” So I figured I’d better at least give it a shot and see what the maps looked like on the LCD screen of the Triton.

After a somewhat difficult time getting TOPO! and Triton to communicate, I proceeded to create and download some maps. As it turned out, using TOPO! with the unit is frustrating because you can’t just install a map set for say, a whole state. Instead, you have to mark out a map with a cropping border while in TOPO, then download to the unit. I suppose you could do this for the whole state if you had a year to kill… So I eventually got frustrated, gave up on using maps from TOPO!, and downloaded some decent topographic maps designed for GPS use. Now I just use TOPO as reference and for GPS coordinate storage and conversion.

A good test of any GPS is try and do some basic stuff you’d have to do if you use the unit much. For example, if you’re messing around with maps and field work, you can end up with a huge confusing list of waypoints in the unit. So how do you delete ALL those pesky waypoints in one swoop? If you go through the Triton menus for this, you’ll find it’s incredibly non-intuitive. What you do is hit “Menu” then “GoTo” then “Waypoint,” then you have to highlight a waypoint and hit the “Menu” key again. After that, you’ll finally have a menu with the option to “Delete ALL Waypoints.”

But wait, try deleting ONE waypoint. After almost an hour of messing around I simply could not figure this out. So I found a manual on the Magellan site. By following the written instructions, I had no success but got closer, then finally did figure out how to delete a waypoint. The solution involved knowing what some arcane icons on the screen did. Which brings me to another take. The Triton interface is based on both text menus and icons. This can be a mind numbing combination, as you get in the habit of seeing text menus, and your eyes just pass over any tiny icons that actually might do something. That’s why I couldn’t figure out how to delete a waypoint. Does this mean I’m stupid? Varied opinions on that.

Okay, using menus is really a minor issue because constant use will inculcate any goofy stuff into your brain and you’ll eventually be good to go. So onward to something important — the touchscreen.

While a touchscreen is a truly nice way to scroll a map on a small LCD, touchscreen on a GPS is mostly a liability for real world use. Reason: If you’re in rain, snow (or dust), you have to wipe off your screen so you can see it. As mentioned above, Triton at least has a control lock so every brush of the screen doesn’t whack out your settings or scroll your map to Africa. But what do you do when you need control of the unit to make waypoints, scroll the maps and so forth, but have to wipe junk off the screen? Basically, you will find that in this situation any GPS with a touch screen becomes nearly useless and possibly even dangerous if you are depending on it in full conditions weather.

In the case of Triton, if you’re using it in bad weather and need some control, but have to clean the screen off and so forth, you may find yourself flipping the control-lock button back and forth. Problem is, the lock button is under a waterproof flap that one has to assume is there for a purpose. But in bad wet weather, the flap gets in the way so you end up leaving it open or even cutting it off. Catch 22?

The only solution for this: Magellan should build simple control-lock options into the firmware. For example, you should be able to turn OFF the touchscreen but leave the front panel controls active (the Triton manual control lock turns off everything.) I have to admit that after seeing all the foo they stuff into this unit (camera, music player, and so on) I was personally miffed that they couldn’t have worked on the firmware a bit more. Honestly, one gets the impression these things are built so a salesman in a store can wow a customer, rather than built with real-world use in mind.

Considering all of above, while my overall impression of the Triton is that it’s a good try by Magellan, a couple of things were deal breakers for me. First, during a couple of critical moments (needing a quick decision on a route in the desert) the unit crashed, gave me an error message, and needed to be restarted. During one such instance, it took me two reboots to get back up and running. (The interface software of the Triton is said to be Windows Mobile, so is crashing any surprise?) I can’t imagine having this happen at 18,000 feet on Denali in a whiteout, so I won’t. But more importantly, I found the Triton LCD very difficult to read in bright sunlight. This was true while summer hiking in Colorado and 4-wheeling in Utah, so I simply do not see how the Triton 2000 would be functional in an environment such as a high altitude glacier, or even for backcountry skiing at high altitudes in Colorado.

At $399.99 MSRP, the Triton 2000 is pricey. If you can survive without a sub-standard digital camera, electronic compass and altimeter. Triton 1500 is a better deal, but still has the problematic touch screen. Perhaps their model 400 with no touch screen is the solution? It has a smaller LCD and no control lock, so who knows.

In summary, this is the latest in my ongoing epic of GPS testing. Presently, I’m so underwhelmed by what’s out there in the handheld GPS world that I’d go back to 100% map and compass if it wasn’t for those couple of things a GPS can do that nothing else can: mainly, locating your exact spot on a map or guiding along an exact route in a whiteout or darkness. For those reasons, I’ll keep the faith. But in my experience today’s GPS units, including the Triton, have some evolution to do before they live up to their marketing hype.

Addendum: A few days later, I’ve got the unit sent back and am de-installing the Magellen Vantage Point mapping software from my netbook. I’m 10 minutes into it. Every time I do a “remove” in Windows, I get a message that says “Some files that need to be updated are currently in use.” And, “The following applications are using files that need to be updated by this setup,” “VantagePoint Lite.” So, all I could think to do was go into Vantage Point folder and manually delete Vantage Point Lite. (I of course tried re-starting the computer.) I did the manual file delete, and I still can’t remove this software from my computer using the Windows de-installer. I tried it twice! Nice, well programmed software that’s efficient and easy to use…



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Comments

36 Responses to “Magellan Triton 2000 — Review”

  1. Clyde October 8th, 2009 9:54 am

    Lou, I recently went through the same thing of looking for a GPS and ruled out most of them. Touch screens are notoriously hard to read in direct sunlight (Garmins really suck) and don’t work when wearing (most) gloves. So I settled on the Delorme PN-40. Other than the smallish screen and clunky user interface, I think it’s the best currently available. The maps are way better than NG Topo and it’s reasonably viewable in the sun. Pity that Apple doesn’t get into this market because I doubt we’ll ever see top-notch products from any of the current brands–too entrenched in their rut.

  2. Andrew McLean October 8th, 2009 9:56 am

    A scathing review on WildSnow.com! I like it!

    I’m 100% sold on GPS’ and GPS technology, but I use them with a printed map (TOPO!) with a UTM grid overlay. I also use them to tag important points along the way so I can find my way back when/if a storm moves in or the sun goes down.

  3. Lou October 8th, 2009 10:01 am

    Oh, you know, once in a while I get my expectations shattered and have to say something.

  4. Nick October 8th, 2009 11:43 am

    So I am in the market for a GPS unit, and based on the above review I think the magellan is out. Do you have a recommendation for which unit to go with? I really dont want the camera and media player, though something with altimeter/barometer and compass would be nice. Any recommendations based on your experiences (or those of any WS readers)?

  5. Lou October 8th, 2009 11:49 am

    I’d look at what Clyde suggests, but also look at the Garmins that don’t have touch screens. Hopefully I’ll review a few of those next. I do have a couple of Garmin Etrex, but they’re the low-end ones and don’t work all that well.

  6. Lee October 8th, 2009 12:33 pm

    If only more product developers built stuff which was “fit for purpose” instead of trying to cram every latest (pointless) gadget into everything they design…I for one would be much happier. I wonder if the good old Silva compass still manages to outsell all these gimmicky GPS units? (I still rely on map, compass and altimeter, though the latter is a Suunto X3 so I’m not a complete dinosaur!).

    As a designer myself I always believe simple, efficient and reliable is always best – I think the acronym is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!)

  7. Andrew McLean October 8th, 2009 12:43 pm

    Between my wife and I, we own about six GPS units. For the car, I like the Garmin Nivo (or something like that), but for outdoor usage, I still like the Garmin Gek0 301 (altimeter, barometer and electric compass) is my favorite.

  8. Jordan October 8th, 2009 1:19 pm

    Wow. I think we got back too late for Lou last night and he didn’t wake up on the nice side of the bed today!

    In all seriousness I have a Garmin Etrex and love it. Altimeter, compass, and barometer.

  9. altis October 8th, 2009 2:28 pm

    I have a wrist-top Garmin Foretrex 201 which I like enormously. It doesn’t try to be anything more than a GPS and is much like the Etrex – only smaller and lighter. It has a small but easy to read screen. Like calculator screens it’s reflective so the brighter the sun the easier to read. Most colour screens are transmissive so they get harder to read in bright sunlight as well as consuming lots of power. It has an internal battery but with careful switching on and off I can make it last 3 days between charges. The 101 model uses AAAs but, at the time I bought it, wasn’t at such a good price. Apart from on/off, there are only 5 buttons to play with but Garmin have done an excellent job of making the operation intuitive. My only difficulty with it comes when trying to skin up ice! The case is so wide that in a sudden forward fall I can pull out the watch-pins as my hand flexes backwards. The new 301 is a little bit narrower and might be the ideal solution.

  10. Paul B October 8th, 2009 3:46 pm

    The Garmin 310xt looks good, first glance, but you can’t load topo maps onto it. Only a line map. The screen seems like it might be too small for anything but a backup. If the 310xt had a barometer, it would make the perfect backup. The battery lasts 20 hours, and charges off of a USB cable, which you could theoretically plug into one of those backup batteries used for cell phones which take a USB.
    I like the Garmin GPSMAP 60 CSx. I also have an eTrex Vista, but when I carry both to compare, the 60 CSx seems to track much better. The vista shows the return hike about 50-100 feet off from the ascent. (same trail). I think the advantage the 60 CSx has is the antenna.
    People complain about the garmin maps being only 1:100,000, but I have never had an issue in CO. Because as Lou said, you really are just trying to figure out where you are, and which direction you are going at a fork in the trail.
    Garmin now has a 1:24,000, for the US, but it only comes on a micro-SD, and so, you cannot view it on a computer to input a route. Definitely a scam. It is always about what I wish something did, but in the end, you have to decide what is the best tech for right now.

    On another note, I did download the “AccuTerra” app for my iphone and it seems to work fine as a back up as well, since I carry my phone for music, camera, etc.
    The iphone 3G has a GPS built in, which works with its built-in map program. The problem is, it can only load the map program maps when the phone is in cell range. So, Accuterra uses the GPS, but has built in maps which load onto your phone. The map resolution is pathetic, but, again should hopefully turn out to be a good backup. ($0.99 for the app, and $2.00 for the CO map).

  11. RobinB October 8th, 2009 3:49 pm

    So I used to think that all I needed was a GPS that gave me my position, and I could look at the map to see where that was. I had an Etrex Summit, and was thinking a Gecko might be more what I wanted… until I got a GPS that really worked that is.

    For me it was the Garmin 60CSX. The combination of a high sensitivity receiver that gives you a lock in almost any area (including indoors often!) and a map interface that could be better, but doesn’t suck along with a reasonably intuitive menu system, and customization options makes for a useful tool.

    Now I can quickly glance at my screen to have a quick update on whether I am on the right track or not. I can download tracks that actually have some real resemblance to where I travelled. I can store a reasonable amount of maps, tracks and waypoints etc. It uses the same USB cable as my camera, or a Serial cable for legacy systems.

    It’s not perfect, but most of my complaints are small details.

    You might not want a camera in your GPS, but for SAR work that actually sounds like a great feature. If it tags the images with location it would be awesome for recording clues and sign that we find while searching…

  12. Greg I October 8th, 2009 4:58 pm

    Lou,

    Great review. We were looking for a new GPS unit for work and this unit was purchased before it was fully evaluated and now we are stuck. We found the same issues as yourself along with that damn stylus that is easily lost (wonder why they give you 5) and is needed to access some data fields in map mode. I also experienced intermittent input from the buttons, a clunky UI, and I could not find how to change elevation in map mode to show feet and miles above sea level (WTF, elevation on my map is in feet no miles above sea level). I also could care less about mp3, camera, or flashlight.. More stuff to burn the batteries quicker..

    I personally like the Garmin 60csx. I am a ‘multi-user’ hiker/climber, cyclist, motorcyclist, etc.. The garmin can be used like a car navigator (with software), usb micro cable (same with my cell phones), expandable, and PaulB garmin does have 24K on DVD or you can go the topofusion route for maps (windows only, short-sighted wanks).

    But if I were to buy one it would be the Oregon 400t with the topo base map. It is lighter than the 60, I can get a bike kit and heart rate monitor. Plus garmin offers fitness software to download all the information. And they are forward thinking by making this all Mac friendly. I know there can be limitations but it offers everything I want, not need but want.. LOL…

  13. Lou October 8th, 2009 5:14 pm

    Thanks Greg, good to get some confirmation… I didn’t mention the stylus but it’s indeed difficult for manly hands to use effectively because it’s so small. I found it essential for a few functions, but could usually do what I wanted by using the front panel buttons.

  14. Lou October 8th, 2009 5:19 pm

    Robin B, I agree that having a built-in camera that can do geo-tagged images could be useful. That is, if it was a decent camera. The camera in this unit is marginal in terms of getting any sort of useful reproduction that goes beyond small web images or very small prints.

  15. Chris Sheehan October 8th, 2009 6:13 pm

    I second the vote for the Garmin 60CSx. Hasn’t failed me yet.

    Also check out http://home.roadrunner.com/~creek/garmin.htm for a step by step on making your own custom topo maps for Garmin GPS units. You do have to download a few programs (free) and follow the directions very closely but you can make some nice detailed maps once you get the hang of it.

  16. Francisco October 9th, 2009 4:43 am

    Greg, I own the Garmin Colorado 400t, very similar to the Oregon. It has a very detailed topo map and good interface. The thing crashes contantly, however. Also the display is nearly impossible to read in the sun, and it’s a battery hog. I’ve gone back to using my etrex, simple but vey reliable. My two cents.

    Francisco

  17. john Gloor October 9th, 2009 9:46 am

    My only gps is a Garmin Rino 110. It is basically an FSR radio with a very simple one color screen. No topo maps or anything. My problem is that the slightest bump causes it to shut off. Unless it is checked all the time, I cannot count on it to track my route. Has anyone had similar problems, or are there recommendations for similar units, with FSR radio

  18. Tom Gos October 9th, 2009 11:07 am

    Lou, you mentioned that you loaded in some sort of more detailed topos made specifically for GPS. More details please.

    FWIW, I use a Garmin Etrex that I am very happy with, except for battery life (which seems to be a problem for all GPS units, especially in the cold). I have an older one with a B&W display but I would really like a newer one with the color display and the better antenae. I have to say I’ve never had a problem where I needed a button lock. I must use mine differently than you, although I tend to not leave it on due to the battery life.

  19. Lou October 9th, 2009 1:06 pm

    Tom, I just found some .img files for Colorado and Utah, they worked fine. I’ve forgotten where I found them, but I got them fairly quickly with Google.

    If you have battery problems, just use AA lithium, they don’t get compromised by cold.

    And yes, everyone uses these things differently. But when one does a review, one has to fall back on their own experience with the product.

  20. Cory October 9th, 2009 1:08 pm

    I had one of the 1st generation GPS devices (it was a gift). I used it a bit and now it sits in a a drawer. I’ve always kind of had a “self-reliant” philosophy and thus haven’t really considered looking into a new one. Am I missing out?

    p.s. I did borrow one this past summer on a trip from Boston to DC. I must say that it was a lifesaver as I was cutting through the Bronx. I’m wondering more specifically about in the bc.

  21. Tom Gos October 9th, 2009 3:34 pm

    Lou, like you, I’ve definitely had better luck with the Lithiums. I’m still confounded that I can get a cell phone batter that lasts three days (and that device must both recieve and transmit) and GPS technology hasn’t advanced past a 20 hour batter life.

    As for yor review, I of course expect to read your expierience with a product even though I may have a different expierence. Keep up the good work.

  22. Lou October 9th, 2009 4:37 pm

    Tom, mainly, thanks for sharing your take!

  23. Owen October 10th, 2009 6:39 pm

    I have been using the Etrex Vista for about 6 years. 2 years ago I upgraded to a Vista Cx (color display) and I use it with the Garmin Topo Software. Works Great! The maps are not as detailed USGS quads found in Topo, but I find that helps with the load speed and I have NO crashing problems. There are lots of accesories like car/bike handlebar mounts. and the unit seems pretty durable.

  24. Jon October 10th, 2009 9:26 pm

    I’m a co-creator of the app “GPS Kit” for the iPhone and I’m wanting to add some kind of module for it that is designed for backcountry skier usage. One of the main goals has been help for avy assessment and I’ve been talking with Bruce Tremper about how to do that– liability just gets a bit dicey. I got a kick out of your April fools app. At that time we were actually working on using the wifi antenna as a poor man’s beacon. In fact, got it working but would never fly with Apple as it uses private functions. Also, they say apps can’t be used for lifesaving- we planned to call it an iPhone recovery tool 🙂

    Anyway, this post was useful- some great all-weather insight (tip- noses work well on touch screens!) Watch for something cool from Garafa. Feel free to shoot me requests.

  25. Jonathan Shefftz October 10th, 2009 9:53 pm

    A huge advantage of Garmin units is the availability of 24k-level (albeit vector-based) topo maps . . . for anywhere you’d want to ski in the Lower 48 + Canada . . . and they’re all free:
    http://tinyurl.com/numnoo

    For backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering, hard to come up with a reason against the Garmin 60Cx/CSx, unless you use your GPS only very rarely, in which the small eTrex Legend/Vista HCx is lighter & smaller.

    This seems to be the only reason in favor of Garmin’s newer line:
    http://tinyurl.com/yg765xd

  26. Lou October 11th, 2009 8:02 am

    Jon, that sounds great! First thing, I now do most of my map work for http://www.hutski.com in Google Earth. Can you tell me what I need to provide HutSki.com users so they can see a detailed map on their GPS/iphone, as well as follow a route using the iPhone GPS?

    Will they need a KML file of my specialized map? And will they be able to just use a GPX file to get their route/waypoints?

    Biggest issue with what you’re doing for backcountry use will be battery life. It’ll be important that folks using iPhone for GPS for backcountry to know of and use those auxiliary battery packs that you can get at Radio Shack, etc. The other issue will of course be the touch screen, as mentioned in my review above.

    As for liability concerns for Apple making the iPhone work as a beacon (recovery tool), I’ll bet if they figured enough people would buy it $$$ they’d do it. :angel:

    Thanks, Lou

  27. Lou October 11th, 2009 8:10 am

    Jon, the Garmin 60Csx should be here next week. The catalog copy promises that it has a “sunlight-readable display,” and “superior reception.” Should be interesting. You’ve got a 60 series, don’t you?

  28. Jonathan Shefftz October 11th, 2009 10:06 am

    I’ve never had any problems reading my 60Cx display, even on clear summer days on PNW volcanoes at 14k’.
    I’d describe the unit’s reception more like disturbing rather than just superior — I mean, basement rooms w/o windows, office building staircases, it’s just kind of spooky how good the reception is.

  29. Andrew McLean October 11th, 2009 10:42 am

    I own a Garmin 60 CSX (I think those are the letters..?) and although I’d agree with the comments above, the unit doesn’t really blow me away. It does get a faster read than the Geko 301, but I don’t think it is any more accuate (+/- 18′). It is also at least twice as big as the Geko 301 and has the annoying “horn” antenna sticking off the side which makes it a bulky item for a pocket. I’d say the battery life between the two is a wash, although the 60 csx uses two AA’s and the Geko uses two AAA.

    Personally, I think like a lot of modern electronic items, GPS’s are suffering from too much feature creep.

    Lou – in the spirit of the FTC ruling, was the Magellan Triton a freebie?

  30. Clyde October 11th, 2009 10:49 am

    In case you haven’t seen these:
    http://www.gpsreview.net/delorme-pn-40/
    http://www.gpsinformation.org/penrod/g60csx/60csx.html

    The weight and bulk of the 60csx were turn-offs for me. Even the Delorme (almost a third smaller and lighter) is so big I’ll end up leaving it home a lot. Don’t think the iPhone will ever be a suitable backcountry device. What I really want is a Delorme packed into a Gecko with an Apple UI but nobody is heading in that direction.

  31. Jonathan Shefftz October 11th, 2009 3:30 pm

    “I’d say the battery life between the two is a wash, although the 60 csx uses two AA’s and the Geko uses two AAA.”
    – According to Garmin:
    http://tinyurl.com/yj52nou
    …. the 60 CSx’s battery life is exactly twice that of the Geko 301.

    “It does get a faster read than the Geko 301, but I don’t think it is any more accurate (+/- 18′).”
    – The *reported* accuracy is indeed very similar. But the actual accuracy is much better. I know that sounds odd. (And it is!) When the 60Cx/CSx models with their high-sensitivity receivers first came out, many users noted that, but then when out and tested them. The most compelling tests I saw entailed driving down a long straight road, recording tracklogs on both a 60C/CS and a 60Cx/CSx: the tracklogs on the former bounced around considerably, whereas the latter tracklogs were pretty much just a straight line.

    Bottomline though, for a user who just wants to record the occasional waypoint and follow a go-to every now and then, the Geko series is great. But for a user who is interested in mapping capability, enhanced accuracy, and/or longer battery life (and willing to put up with a bit more bulk and a few more ounces), the 60Cx/CSx and eTrex Legend/Vista are great choices.

  32. Lou October 11th, 2009 3:36 pm

    Clyde, I think my approach will be to use the 60csx when I’m doing major GPS nav work or doing stuff like surveying land parcel corners and tracking trails for guidebooks, and use an Etrex on trips when it’s just a backup or only used on occasion. The Etrex Venture I have works fine for certain things, but it’s really difficult and unresponsive when following a track or route. Garmin told me this is because it doesn’t have a good internal compass for reference, which slows everything down. So along with reviewing the 60 I’ll come up with the better Etrex eventually.

    My recollection from OR is that this next gen of Etrex is even a bit smaller than last. Really nice if that’s the case.

    Thanks for the review links. I did quite a bit of web surfing on GPS over the last few days and probably landed on at least one of those… but good to get the links here to help everyone.

    I got a first gen Delorme a while back for review, but found it very kludgy and difficult to use, so I didn’t review it. I figured since it was their first try, why bash it, unlike Magellan, who’s had their chance for years now. Sounds like Delorme is better now, so perhaps I’ll review. I really dislike their Topo USA mapping software, and that hasn’t changed much.

  33. Lou October 11th, 2009 3:51 pm

    Jon and all, beyond details, the main thing is that the chosen unit actually is usable. In other words, it’s got to have a sunlight-readable display and not crash when you’re in the middle of using it. Oh, and if it’s got a touchscreen it needs a way to wipe the screen off without whacking out the settings or scrolling the map. Those are minimum but deal breaker requirements for real-world backcountry recreation use. If it’s just being used in a car or for occasional goofing around, then just about anything can work.

  34. Jon October 11th, 2009 5:57 pm

    Lou, to answer your question, GPX files can be imported into most of the iPhone GPS apps. It’s probably best to keep it simple though- one track or one set of waypoints per GPX file. Ours can handle KML files but it just takes the points- no formatting or images, etc. Of course, if I could partner with HutSki.com to provide the trails right from the app that would be really cool.

    You’re too right about the battery. We’ve done our best to get around the problem with things like “Low Power Mode” which flips the GPS off every once in awhile but it can only help to a point. The best option is a battery pack, like you said. They work great.

    I don’t know if this is how it is with all GPS units but at least with the iPhone the less it has to work to find the satellites the longer it will last. Goggle pockets are a good place for signal in my experience. I have a Garmin 530HCx and its battery lasts forever- I just never use it anymore. Too bulky and I’m bringing the phone either way.

    As for wiping the screen off, we have a way to lock out user input that does the job for me. I could try some accelerometer UI stuff but that might get kind-of crazy. If you surprise people they get mad- we use the proximity sensor to turn off the screen to save some battery when it’s in your pocket and people cover it by accident and think the app has crashed. *sigh*

  35. chris July 9th, 2010 12:54 pm

    I purchased the Magellan 2000 yesterday. I’m taking it back today. I wasted more than half the day with customer support- and never got the issue resolved!!!

  36. Lou July 9th, 2010 1:18 pm

    Just get a Garmin 60 CSx and don’t look back. I don’t know what the heck Magellan is trying to do, but I sure wonder who is asleep at the wheel over there…

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

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