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Elevation gain issue

davidmeiland
Mt. Kenya

I recently used Strava (iPhone app) on a backpacking trip. The trip was a combination of trails and backcountry routes, all of it in steep terrain, over several days. On a couple of the backcountry routes, the elevation gain shown for the day was wayyyy off. The most extreme example is a day on which I know we started at about 3500 feet, climbed up over a saddle at about 5500 feet, then descended back to about 3500 feet. There's a little give and take and I think the elevation gain for the day was around 2200 feet or so. Strava shows 7500 feet of gain that day. That's wildly inaccurate. 

If I look at the activity in the app, there's an orange bar called "view analysis" and if I go there I find a graph of elevation that shows the ~2200 feet of gain very straightforwardly. I cannot reconcile this with the 7500 foot figure. The website version does not have the analysis feature, for whatever reason.

Anyone have any insight into how this works and what might be going on?

6 REPLIES 6

davidmeiland
Mt. Kenya

Jane, the puzzling thing to me is that the mobile app seems to recognize the elevation gain correctly in the graph that is provided under "view analysis" but the stated elevation gain is three times that amount. How do I reconcile these two things?

Jane
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

Hello @davidmeiland 

Thanks for posting about your activity's elevation.  Thanks also @Jana_S for mentioning the "correct elevation" function.  This option is not available on all activities.

If your device has a barometric altimeter and it is included in our device database, the activity page will display the elevation that the device recorded into the file and the "correct elevation" function will be available.

If you record with one of our mobile apps or your device doesn't have a barometric altimeter, the activity page will display a "corrected elevation" and the "correct elevation" function will not be available.  The accuracy of this elevation  calculation is based on the accuracy of your file's GPS data and the accuracy of our Basemap.  A common reason the activity's elevation data may not be accurate is because some of the recorded activity GPS data isn't accurate.

For more details on how we determine elevation for an activity, please visit this link. Also please check out our elevation FAQs article.

Elevation FAQs

I hope information is helpful.  Please let us know if you have additional questions.

 


Jane (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

Jana_S
Pico de Orizaba

So perhaps @davidmeiland could try changing the activity type e.g. to Running (i.e. activity supporting elevation correction), trigger the elevation recalculation, and then switch the activity to “Hiking” - it’s a bit cumbersome but it might work, theoretically..? 🤔

I use an iPhone during the trip and it doesn't have a barometric altimeter, so I think the "correct elevation" option is off the table

davidmeiland
Mt. Kenya

I don't have the option to "correct elevation", only "correct distance". The activity type that I used is "hike". Is it possible that another activity type would have the elevation option?

Jana_S
Pico de Orizaba

I had a similar experience the other day. On long run with almost zero hills, Strava was showing elevation gain of 860 m (~2820 ft), that looked odd. But there’s an option to correct the data - when you open the particular activity on the Strava website, click the “…” on the left menu and choose “Correct Elevation”, that would trigger a recalculation (based on maps data I think..?), and you should end up with a more accurate number. My run got corrected to 143 m of elevation gain which is quite realistic.