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Ah, the wonders of technology. Once a gloriously put together book, full of stunning pictures and informative graphics, Mountain High by Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding has been transported into the 21st century and turned into a gloriously put together app for Apple devices. Containing over 50 climbs and just like the book there’s detailed information on each of them. Mountain High offers a comprehensive guide to all the best cycle climbs around Europe. We put it to the test.
Style and substance
First things first, the app is gorgeous, it presents the routes and the imagery from each route with stunning photographic panoramas, complete with descriptions, detailed mapping and handy information. But this is not all style over substance; the Mountain High app has a ton of useful features for those looking for a techie companion for their epic cycle adventures.
All of the sacred sites of cycling are showcased including all the classics from the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia to lesser known routes and all with great attention to detail, combining the breathtaking images and interactive mapping to great effect.
The app comes with interactive links to Strava, allowing you to compare climb times, as well as online retailer Wiggle and travel website TripAdvisor for travel planning. Mountain High is bundled with pretty much every feature that you’d expect from a mapping app. Offering rather fascinating route histories that can be saved and revisited at a later date if you’d like to share with a friend or retrace your steps for a future cycle. Every route comes with the full technical details for the journey, including detailed maps, lengths, heights and gradients as well as GPS tracking incase you get lost or have an accident.
There is also a feature that allows you to tick off the climbs that you have already conquered as well as list the ones that you are still aiming to complete. Everything is quite straightforward, allowing for easy navigation around the app and easy access to the features that you’ll want to use the most.
App VS Book
If you have one should you get the other? The app does bring more information with interactive maps but the book has more of a physical presence, it’s heavy and the photos are so big that a single page is larger than an iPad; some photos are spread across two pages. But the book obviously sits on a shelf or the coffee table whereas the app can be whipped out in a coffee stop on your phone albeit only if you have an Apple device for now. The choice is as much about technology and reading habits although it is important to note the app is cheaper.
Note: it didn’t crash once during several sessions spent browsing. The fact that it worked shouldn’t be remarkable but if only every app was as stable.
A wonderfully well put together app. The perfect companion for anyone that enjoys incredibly long bike rides and wants to document and map them for a more efficient experience. At just £4.99 it represents far better value than the book, and although it lacks the romantic qualities of the coffee table book, it’s far more convenient.
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