Using FATMAP To Plan An Adventure | Piste Off TV

We show you an essential route planning tool, FATMAP, in this week's Piste Off TV

Planning your day in the mountains, no matter what activity you’re planning, has always been an essential task before you step out of your front door. While in previous years you’ve had to pour over endless amounts of paper maps, guidebooks and notes, there’s now an app – FATMAP – that helps to cut the amount of time planning in half while giving you vital information and statistics. FATMAP is essentially the Google Maps of the mountain sports world, only the mapping and detail is ten times better.

Now, we’re not saying FATMAP will replace the essential use of a map and compass (and the knowledge of knowing how to use them), but it’s certainly something that we believe is an awesome tool to help you plan any kind of mountain day out – whether that’s mountain biking, trail running, hiking, skiing or climbing.

The FATMAP Website

FATMAP is split up into two different formats; the desktop website and the FATMAP mobile app. The desktop site is perfect for helping you plan your trips right from the comfort of your sofa. The mapping real estate is the true selling point of the website, thanks to the incredible levels of detail on offer. This map gives you the ability to scroll around, zoom and pan around and explore literally every mountain on earth, in 3D.

“The mapping real estate is the true selling point of the website”

We’ve used a fair few other mapping software sites and, quite frankly, nothing comes close to the amount of detail that FATMAP has on offer. This level of detail really helps while you’re planning your next adventure as you’re able to check out every nook and cranny of the mountain.

Summer And Winter Maps

Depending on the seasonality of your chosen activity, you can also toggle between a worldwide summer map and winter maps for areas such as the Alps and areas of North America.. This is a great little feature when you’re scoping out ski descents. Just tap a little button on the map and voilà, the maps are now showing what the terrain would look like with their winter coats on. It’s really that simple.


If you’re in need of a little inspiration, then you can also toggle certain routes on and off on the left hand side panel. So, if you were searching for hiking and trail running routes, you can select them, giving you a variety of different routes displayed on the map. These are broken down into FATMAP Select content (the best bits that the FATMAP team have curated) and community posted content (public content that anyone can upload).


Once you’ve scoped out a specific descent/ascent, you can make use of the really handy overlays that show you how steep a specific slope is, the aspect, distance and elevation. They’re simply overlaid on the top of the satellite imagery, allowing you to really fine tune your planning. Another handy feature are the topo maps. This, you guessed it, shows a topo map (like OS Maps for Great Britain) over the top of the 3D map, showing you exactly what the terrain will look like when you’re looking at it with a topo map. You can even combine a topo map with an overlay like elevation


The great thing with FATMAP is that you can get all this awesome mapping power in your pocket from the FATMAP mobile app. You’ve got many of the same features as the website, but a few more app specific and community features.

FATMAP Adventures

Once you’ve got your route set, you can then start what’s called an adventure. You can use the FATMAP app itself to track your adventure, add photos and details to it and choose to show it publicly so other users can see it – or just keep it private. You can also link it to your Suunto, Garmin or Strava accounts if you prefer to track with them.

FATMAP Community

You’re now able to find and follow other users and athletes from the app just by tapping on the community tab. This is a great way to discover what’s happening in the local area, or just to get a bit of needed inspiration on those down days.

If you’ve not yet got FATMAP then you can just download it on Android or iOS, or head to FATMAP to sign up. FATMAP is free to use for most features like finding routes, using the terrain tools and tracking. But to make use of all the features you can sign up to Explore which is £30, €30 or $30 for the year –  shockingly cheap considering the cost of a Netflix sub.

This membership gives you unlimited offline map downloads, custom terrain tools and live info like snow forecast and depth. They also have a nifty membership portal with loads of benefits from brands like Mammut, Salomon and Faction, to name a few.

Here’s a quick example of the power of FATMAP taken from our ‘5 Of The Best Steep Skiing Descents In Scotland‘ article. Be sure to head over to FATMAP to make use of all the features described in this article.

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