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Kit review: Suunto Core watch with altimeter

Written by Fiona December 23 2010

Yet another quick check of the altimeter on the Suunto Core watch!

“Oh, look, we’ve climbed 100 metres.”

“Wow, we’re now at 450 metres.”

“Fi! Look! It says 700 metres.”

“Do you want to see, babe? Fi, look here… Look at my watch. We’ve just climbed another 150 metres.”

“Oh this is brilliant. We only have another 50 metres of height to walk. Then we’ll be at the top. I will be able to tell you when we’re on the summit because this brilliant watch will say 1008 metres. Well, I hope it will.” And it did, to the exact metre!

All this commentary while climbing the Munro Beinn Dearg, near Blair Atholl, Perthshire, came from the G-Force. It was the first outing with his Birthday Gift. I’d bought him a Suunto Core watch that came with his heart’s desire: an altimeter!

So while we biked and hiked to the top of Beinn Dearg, I was lucky (?!) enough to be treated to a running commentary on our height gain and current altitude. I didn’t mind, to be honest, as we seemed to gain height pretty quickly. Also, since the peak was covered in snow, we could be sure that we were approaching the summit proper, rather than a random waymarker cairn.

Suunto Core All Black watch

Of course, because he likes his outdoor gadgets, the G-Force was also armed with his Garmin GPS satnav thingie, which meant he could double check the summit height and triple check that his Suunto Core watch was doing the job correctly.

Meanwhile, I was in charge of the map and compass. This is a relatively new set-up and since I completed my Glentrek navigation course. Under the continued tutelage of the G-Force (when he could tear his eyes from his Suunto!) I managed to navigate us from base to summit and back again. This was no small feat given the amount of snow on the Munro.

So why a Suunto Core? The G-Force fancied this watch because he wanted something that would look good on his wrist (“not too bulky,” he suggested) and also offers an accurate altitude reading. (This is a great asset when out in the hills.) Added to this, the Core has a host of fab functions including a barometer, storm alarm, weather trend indicator, compass, dual time, date, alarm, sports chronograph and predicted times for sunrise and sunset. If you so choose, the Core can be used while snorkelling and swimming down to 10 metres.

The Suunto Core has now become an essential part of our Munro bagging kit. The G-force has also made great use of the watch while climbing one of the North Face ridges on Ben Nevis (and descending) and while ice climbing near Crianlarich recently. I’ve yet to ask his climbing friends whether they have enjoyed his altitude commentary as much as me?!  As well as adding interest to our outdoors adventures the watch is a piece of kit that offers extra and vital safety, especially during winter outings in Scotland.

Now that was his birthday present… what to buy the outdoors gadget man for his Christmas?

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