Inaccurate elevation readings from Suunto and/or TrainingPeaks | Uphill Athlete

Inaccurate elevation readings from Suunto and/or TrainingPeaks

  • Creator
  • #66504

    I have a Suunto Ambit3 Peak which I use to record my workouts. Elevation levels and changes often appear wrong. Though I can apply an elevation correction in TrainingPeaks, it’s not clear this is accurate. For example, for a workout done yesterday, TrainingPeaks had an elevation gain of 827m compared to 758m two weeks ago on the same route! While not meaningful in isolation, over the course of a training block or plan, +/-10% seems significant to me.

    I realise I could just map the route on something like Gaia or Caltopo or Fatmaps (etc.) to estimate elevation gain. The problem is that I know they aren’t necessarily accurate; for e.g. Gaia has the wrong summit locations and elevations for many local mountains (cross-referenced against Bivouac and David Jones’ guidebooks, both of which I consider more accurate).


  • Participant
    Mariner_9 on #66591

    Different route, similar issues.
    2022-04-20: Suunto +616m; TP +571m
    2022-05-04: Suunto +575m; TP +665m

    I realise this is a non-issue if there’s no statistical bias, i.e. overestimates and underestimates roughly cancel out. Not clear that’s the case. I will contact TP to see what they say – not much point contacting Suunto given their lack of interest.

    Screenshot is of elevation correction in TP for yesterday’s route. Note that Suunto app has 575m vs. Suunto reading flowing through to TP of 587m!

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    Shashi on #67078

    No experience with Suunto, but here are some recent observations (Elevation Gain) from my Coros watch and TP adjustments –

    Larsen Trail on Grouse Mountain in BC
    Coros Watch/App – 843 m
    TP (data from Coros App) – 843 (original)
    TP – 836 (corrected, in the ballpark)

    Brunswick Mountain (up to the saddle) in BC
    Coros Watch/App – 1640 m
    TP (data from Coros App) – 1640 (original)
    TP – 1836 m (corrected, overestimated based on my previous trip and public information)

    Sky Pilot North Face (up to Base) in BC
    Coros Watch/App – 973 m
    TP (data from Coros App) – 973 (original)
    TP – 1270 m (corrected, overestimated based on information from maps/GAIA)

    I had similar observations in the past and didn’t feel the correction in TP was accurate so I don’t use it. I just go with the elevation gain captured by Coros. Did you get any response from TP?

    Mariner_9 on #67298

    Hi Shashi,

    Thanks for your comments – sorry I didn’t see them earlier.

    Two issues I noticed with Suunto which might be affecting the elevation gain readings:
    1) Suunto’s GPS recordings of my tracks can be wildly inaccurate. I’ve posted a screenshot of what Suunto recorded on an out-and-back hike by way of example. I have changed the settings to 1s recording intervals from 10s to see if that helps
    2) Suunto’s “fused alti-baro” estimate of elevation is consistently wrong. Keeps suggesting the valley is 200m lower than it actually is.

    I haven’t heard back from TP but will update the thread when I do.

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