Trip Speed

When going to the mountains, it is always a little bit tricky to calculate how long a trip is going to take. One method of estimating how long a trip will take is the Munter Method of time calculation:

\[ t = \frac{d + \frac{e}{100}}{r} \]

Where \(t\) is the trip time, \(d\) is the distance traveled in kilometers, \(e\) is the elevation gain in meters, and \(r\) is your rate of travel. Rate of travel depends on your form of travel as well as fitness and group dynamics, however good estimates are:

  • Skinning/Walking uphill - 4
  • Walking flat/downhill - 6
  • Skiing downhill - 10
  • Bushwhacking - 2

You can then break your trip into "legs" where each leg has a different activity, and sum the legs together to find your total trip time. For example, if I were planning to ski tour to Uncle Buds Cabin, I know the trail is 5.9 miles one way, with 1,620 feet of elevation gain, or 9.5 kilometers, 500 meters of gain. Calculating each leg:

To the cabin: \( t = (9.5 + \frac{500}{100})/4 = \) 3h 38m

Back from the cabin: \( t = (9.5 + \frac{500}{100})/10 = \) 1h 27m

For a total round trip time of 5h 5m.

The Munter method can be used for any backcountry activity, but I have most often seen it used for ski touring.

Check out the app at, and the code at GitHub

Chris Marchbanks
Senior Software Engineer

Skiing, hiking, Prometheus, and all things observability