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Can we say goodbye to printed guidebooks forever?

Did you know that nowadays numerous climbers are only using mobile topos instead of printed guidebooks? Have you ever tried one of the climbing applications? Join our current blog post to learn more about how you can benefit from the Topo Guru mobile app.

In the last couple of years mobile climbing apps have broken into the market, however guidebooks are still more commonly used. The very first time when we personally saw more people navigating with mobiles than books was during this summer in Magic Wood. We were super enthusiastic to see this change of habits, as we, the Topo Guru Team, have been enjoying a lot the advantages of our mobile app.

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Before we get into more details, we must emphasize that we admire printed guidebooks. In the last decades, they were our true partners at the crags. Also, when we were just planning our next climbing trips, it was no better feeling than looking at those pages, dreaming about our next projects. 

You might ask now, if we like guidebooks so much, what’s the big fuss about mobile apps?  

Let’s see the pros that Topo Guru climbing app can offer to you!


  • With Topo Guru you can have the feeling of swiping topo images just like in a guidebook
  • Lower costs, you don’t have to buy (and carry) heavy guidebooks for 25-40 EUR each, but you can simply calculate with our flat subscription plans (8 EUR monthly / 12 EUR quarterly / 36 EUR yearly) including all available topos
  • You can easily track your climbing performance
  • With our social functions you can help the community with beta videos or new route topos, and you can benefit from others’ experience as well
  • Your application is always up to date with the latest topos of a certain crag, everything included in your regular subscription plan, no need to buy the new version, like we used to do with guidebooks


Did you know that printing guidebooks have become pretty expensive? Especially the smaller editions are in a difficult situation, many times they prove to be less profitable, or it can end up in losses in case of smaller crag printings, for example. When less re-prints are possible due to the economic circumstances, it also results in out of stock situation, and in the end, it can lead to a slower flow of information and updates of new sectors, routes, etc.


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Why climbing apps have become so popular and why they have a big future ahead?

Digital transformation is unstoppable now. We might argue its advantages, but these days basically everyone has at least one mobile device. This year proved that even elementary and high school education can be manageable through video calls, and big meetings, conferences can be handled online. We buy way more stuff online, visiting shops and bookstores less frequently and more and more people enjoy the advantages of electronic books, having the luxury of purchasing new readings with 2 clicks from their Kindle. We have been experiencing this change within our climbing community as well. Why not to leverage the possibilities of a mobile climbing app?

Apart from the individual benefits, creating digital climbing guides has other additional values:

  • There are no printing costs to invest (thousands of euros) in advance
  • Easy to update topos with new routes (no need to re-print guidebooks)
  • Easy and fast to send crag info for the climbing community (eg. a sector is closed because of nesting period)
  • Environmentally friendly format (no need to cut trees for printing)


Will climbing guidebooks totally disappear?

We don’t think so, however just like for a trip one might prefer her or his e-book reader, out in the nature we will see more and more mobile apps. Using your phone to read topos, to record your ascents and to even navigate between the crags is extremely comfortable and feels just more free, instead of carrying heavy books. We believe the future is in mobile climbing apps, therefore we work very hard in order to provide an outstanding climbing experience and to make your life easier with our premium features, so in the end you can concentrate on what really matters: climbing!


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Digital topos – live community

In our partnership program we help all those local communities who are eager to share climbing guides, regardless if they want to share the topos for free or paid (Topo Guru charges only a maintenance fee to cover the development costs). With mobile apps the local Crag Masters have several easier options to publish topos. They can do it on a collaborative way, using the power of the climbing community or they can share fully covered, quality climbing guides on their own.

Our mission is to build a world-wide topo database, which contains high quality photo-based climbing guides of all the major and local climbing areas, and to help enthusiast local climbers share new topos with the climbing scene. If you are interested in this challenge, do not hesitate to contact us! We would be thrilled to welcome you in our Crag Master community!  

Have good conditions and see you out at the crags ☺