Climbers Sketch Maps

or raised surfaces. They help in visualizing the ups and downs of the landscape and have some value in trip planning.

Land management and recreation maps are updated frequently and thus are very useful for current details on roads, trails, ranger stations, and other marks of the human hand. They usually show only the horizontal relationship of natural features, without the contour lines that indicate the shape of the land. These maps, published by the U.S. Forest Service and other government agencies and by timber companies, are suitable for trip planning.

Climbers' sketch maps are generally crudely drawn but often make up in specialized route detail what they lack in draftsmanship. These rough and ready drawings can be effective supplements to other map and guidebook information.

Guidebook maps vary greatly in quality— some are merely sketches, while others are accurate modifications of topographic maps. They generally contain useful details on roads, trails, and climbing routes.

Topographic maps are the best of all for climbers. They depict topography, the shape of the earth's surface, by showing contour lines that represent constant elevations above sea level. These maps, essential to off-trail travel, are produced in many countries. As an example of this type of map, we will look in detail at the maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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