Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
SummitPost Mountain Community
By Kenny Stocker | 23, Feb, 2006
If mountains are your bag then this site should feature highly in your list of favourites.
SummitPost is a collaborative content site where its members share photos, reports, articles and information. In short it is built by its members and thanks to a recent redesign it is even easier and faster to smurf around. There are a lot of sites that occupy themselves with climbing, mountaineering and outdoors activities but what makes SP ace is the quality of its content. Josh and Ryle, the sites developers and owners, have done some clever programming so that the content of the site is shaped by the voting of the sites members. Bad submissions and cheesy photos fall away and the good stuff floats to the top. Not only that, the more you post the more influence you gain within the community, your vote starts to carry more weight. There are many levels at which you can contribute to the community. You can lurk: research you next trip, look at some pretty pics in your lunch break and read about other peoples epics. You can post in the forum, upload your own pictures and comment on articles. If you really get going you can create your own articles, organise a gallery or share your knowledge of an area, mountain or a route. If you rise to god like powers you can adopt a mountain and influence the structure of the site. 'Objects' are one of the most valuable resources on the site. Objects can be Areas and Ranges, Mountains and Rocks or Routes. It is here that members slave away sharing everything they know and love about the mountains. The information is comprehensive and illustrated by the best photographs submitted to the site. Want to go trekking on Aconcagua? just click on 'Mountains & Rocks' in the menu, select 'Aconcagua' and let William Marler guide you around the mountain. If he has forgotten something, or you have some more up to date information contribute to the page. The simplicity and logical structure of the site is testament to the hard work of the Elves that keep it running. The site is content rich, the information just a click away is hand crafted by individual users. It is not just text either, there are some stunning photographs which might just get you reaching for your power off button and pulling on your favourite mountain boots. One user describes the site as 'A beehive for hands on activity to anyone who takes an interest in what they see'. With ever more bees entering the hive the site has started to diversify from its roots of mountaineering to encompass trekking and other outdoor activities, a reflection of the increased popularity of the site and the interests of its new members. The powerful search feature as well as drilling straight through to the information you need, doubles as a great way to navigate the site and keep content relevant to your interests. And when your eyes are square, or you have been spellbound by the thousands of mountain images pop into the Plans & Partners section and get out into the hills. Signing up just takes a minute and will give you access to all the features on the site.