Mountain hiking in the Graian Alps

Hiking in the Graian Alps

Fragment of the map of French Alps
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Topographic maps of the Graian Alps

The most basic criterion on which topographic map selects is, of course, the scale. Topographic maps in dependence of scale are divided about equally in different countries into groups:

  1. 1:1000000, 1:500000;
  2. 1:200000, 1:100000 (small-scale);
    1:50000, 1:25000 (medium-sized);
    1:10000, 1:5000 (large-scale);
  3. 1:2000, 1:1000, 1:500.

Maps of the first group are suitable for selection of area of travel, but to work out the route and for the hike needed a bigger scale. Small-scale maps will help determine the key points of the route, but they still do not show the area sufficient to walk steadily on the route. Medium and large-scale topographic maps already give details of the landscape, such as small streams, moraines, the cracks in the glaciers, etc. Medium-sized maps may not have the elements that are on the maps 1:10000, 1:5000. If all the difficult sections are clearly seen on the maps of a smaller scale, it does not make sense to use more accurate maps, because at the same sheet square, a map with a scale of 1:10000 covering the area about 6 times smaller than 1:25000 . If a hike has a difficult area, it is necessary find a map with the largest scale for this area. Summing up, I would say that the map of 1:25000 is optimal for movement on the route, but be careful on difficult areas.

In addition to the scale, the maps differ with the frequency of high-altitude lines, what in a mountain hike is extremely important. As a rule, on the maps is indicated the values ??of the main lines on which you can find out step. The smaller, the better, as long as the lines do not interfere with reading the other symbols. Accordingly, on a map with a large scale the high-altitude lines can be drawn more often. For medium-sized maps are typical steps of 100, 50, 25 meters. Also, on some modern maps have a grid UTM, which simplifies the use of navigation devices.

In any hike you can not do without maps, especially in the mountain. What are the main criteria in the selection of topographic (based on photographs) map?

First of all, it is the scale. Topographic maps in dependence of scale are divided about equally in different countries into groups:

  1. 1:1000000, 1:500000;
  2. 1:200000, 1:100000 (small-scale);
    1:50000, 1:25000 (medium-sized);
    1:10000, 1:5000 (large-scale);
  3. 1:2000, 1:1000, 1:500.

Maps of the first group are suitable for selection of area of travel, but to work out the route and for the hike needed a bigger scale. Small-scale maps will help determine the key points of the route, but they still do not show the area sufficient to walk steadily on the route. Medium and large-scale topographic maps already give details of the landscape, such as small streams, moraines, the cracks in the glaciers, etc. Medium-sized maps may not have the elements that are on the maps 1:10000, 1:5000. If all the difficult sections are clearly seen on the maps of a smaller scale, it does not make sense to use more accurate maps, because at the same sheet square, a map with a scale of 1:10000 covering the area about 6 times smaller than 1:25000 . If a hike has a difficult area, it is necessary find a map with the largest scale for this area. Summing up, I would say that the map of 1:25000 is optimal for movement on the route, but be careful on difficult areas.

In addition to the scale, the maps differ with the frequency of high-altitude lines, what in a mountain hike is extremely important. As a rule, on the maps is indicated the values ??of the main lines on which you can find out step. The smaller, the better, as long as the lines do not interfere with reading the other symbols. Accordingly, on a map with a large scale the high-altitude lines can be drawn more often. For medium-sized maps are typical steps of 100, 50, 25 meters. Also, on some modern maps have a grid UTM, which simplifies the use of navigation devices.

The silhouette of the mountain range
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pisma@alpenway.ru
With the support of the Nizhniy Novgorod trekking club