AAA Climbing

The AAA requires climbing to be worked out to the nearest 250 metres.

This page describes various ways of doing so which are acceptable for the AAA.

Because there are so many ways of calculating climbing, and because the resulting figures are so variable, any climbing figures used for AAA purposes should be forwarded to the AAA Secretary for assessment before being used.

Audax AAA Tool

For UK based rides Audax UK has it's own internal assessment tool which is beong rolled out over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 season so results may differ slightly*

*Please plan your route so it is not on the minimum requirement - for example if you calculate ride as 1125m for 1 1/4 points the AUK tool may calculate a lower figure and award 1 AAA point only.

How to assess your own ride

From 2017 onwards, two websites are reccommened for use to estimate the climbing figures. But for a definitive figure please contact the AAA Secretary. These are in the public domain, freely accessible to all members planning a DIY by GPS, or wanting to check their tracklog from a ride, or organisers planning calendar events and perms.


  • Use for GB routes and tracklogs.
  • Load routes and tracklogs in the form of gpx files on the Course Creator page.
  • Then click on the option to Resample Elevation Data. This is essential to get an acceptable figure.
  • The resampled elevation figure hasgenerally been found to give results similar to a contour count.
  • Note that loading a gpx file to bikehike that’s bigger than 2 MB results in an “Upload Error: 1” message, and the file isn’t processed, so it may be necessary to reduce its size first. Memory Map and Garmin Basecamp will both do this, as no doubt will other app’s.


  • Use for non-GB tracklogs.
  • Load them in the form of gpx file by clicking on the Upload button.
  • Do NOT click on the “Replace Elevation Data” button.
  • The elevations in the tracklog give reasonable results for all but poor quality tracklogs, of which there are a couple of examples here.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page.


  • The best website found for this is, which generally produces an acceptable figure.
  • Click on the Create button, and either draw the route or upload it. A variety of formats are acceptable.

Other Methods of assessing Climbing

Contour Counting

This is the original AAA method, and is still the standard by which all other methods are judged. It's consistent and accessible, it doesn't need any computer software or electronic means of recording altitude.

For more information about contour counting, click here.

GPS Tracklogs

Climbing can be worked out from GPS tracklogs produced when riding an event, either by uploading the tracklog to a variety of websites such as Strava, Garmin Connect, RideWithGPS, etc., or by processing them through AUK validation software. Sometimes the GPS device itself gives a climbing figure. Be warned though that the results vary enormously from device to device and website to website, can be very different from a contour-count based figure which is the standard, and may or may not be acceptable for AAA.

For more information about GPS tracklogs, click here.

Mapping Software and Websites

PC-based software such as Memory Map, or mapping websites such as bikehike, RideWithGPS, BikeRouteToaster, Google Maps can be used to draw a route. Some give a climbing figure, or the route can be exported as a GPX file for processing as though it was a tracklog to produce a climbing figure. The same warning applies as for GPS Tracklogs, and the resulting climbing figure may or may not be acceptable for AAA.

For more information about mapping software and websites, click here.

Three Independent Altimeter Readings

Some cycle computers and heart rate monitors give altimeter readings and record metres climbed. They require calibration at the start of an event against a known height above sea level. Results can be inconsistent, which is why three independent readings are required, preferably from three different dates. This method is little used now.