Tanner Wanish isn't your typical big wall climber. Having only purchased his first pair of climbing shoes 4 years ago, he noted it's not the years of experience but rather the mileage you've put in. Building an addiction to the sport and challenge, Tanner retired from the US Navy 18 months ago and is now traveling the world to see what is possible.

Tanner's style of climbing is rooted in his past experiences, which rely on exceptional teamwork and moving fast. To Tanner, there is something beautiful about working closely with a climbing partner and putting your complete trust in them as you move quickly. "It is an extremely immersive experience to be part of a high-functioning team where each person is doing what they need to do at the right time...it's fast-paced problem-solving at its best." Further, Tanner is seeking speed as he climbs. "The faster I can do a route means the more climbing I get to do in a day." Propelled by this inner passion to push his limits, Tanner successfully completed a double ascent of El Capitan (El Cap) in Yosemite National Park within a 3-day span.


Accessories: COROS Carabiner + COROS Heart Rate Monitor

Capturing Insights Through Technology

Tanner and Climbing Partner following El Cap Ascent

Through the first 3.5 years of Tanner's climbing journey, he relied on "intuitional feelings" regarding his fitness and recovery. Further, Tanner was tracking all of his single-day projects with standard satellite GPS tracking, which often left his map looking like something a preschooler might draw on a piece of paper. Knowing there was more to monitoring his training and actual performance, Tanner shifted to wearing a COROS GPS Watch in the fall of 2023.

This change in product opened Tanner's mind to monitoring metrics such as sleep, HRV, and training load, but also inspired Tanner to help COROS develop the all-new Vertical GPS algorithm for climbers.

"I've been fortunate to develop a relationship with the CEO of COROS. I gave Lewis feedback and he acts on it that day. It's amazing to work alongside COROS who wants to take these tracks and build them… and I truly believe this is at the pointy end of what a GPS watch can do"

COROS Vertical GPS Algorithm was developed to help climbers better track where they are on any route. Through the development of this new software, climbers can gain accurate GPS tracking in a way never done before.

Vertical GPS on El Cap

COROS Vertical GPS Algorithm

Tanner often travels to Yosemite to take on one of his favorite climbs in the world, El Capitan. Having climbed El Cap many times via different routes, he often was upset given the GPS reliability on such a steep wall. "I’ve had issues in the past with GPS tracking and being able to generate the results based on statistics and metrics."

Based on similar feedback COROS had heard from other climbers, their GPS devices had a fundamental issue tracking vertically. Following this information, COROS began to work with climbers to identify the cause and how to solve this pain point for those looking to track their projects. Following months of testing, Tanner was able to leverage the new technology during his recent double ascent of El Cap.  

"It is significantly better than anything I’ve ever seen in this space at all. I looked at the GPS overlaid on a 3D image and it looked exactly like what I did. I couldn’t believe it. It’s like something I would look at if I was trying to identify the route myself."

Tanner's Thoughts on How Vertical GPS Will Change Climbing

Given the accuracy of the new software, Tanner feels that route development may be changed forever. "I see climbers on the wall taking notes all the time with paper and pencil. They are mapping out the route and stopping every so often to note what they just did. With this new software, I'm just going to climb and let the watch do this for me. This will allow me to climb faster while likely having more accurate tracks anyway."

Beyond route development, Tanner is also utilizing the COROS App as his new logbook. "It's great, before I would take notes on everything I did and have to keep track of all my notebooks. Now I just hit start, and get an accurate track, along with all of my fitness metrics in one place. It's like a no-brainer, it saves me so much time and gives me more information."

Tanner to Leverage Technology Moving Forward

Tanner monitors his Base Fitness within the COROS Training Hub to monitor improvement and recovery

With accurate GPS tracking accounted for, there is more to technology and how Tanner plans to leverage it going forward. Given his passion for climbing, Tanner noted that in the past, he often overtrained as he loved what he did, and wanted to wake up every day and climb further and faster. However, with larger projects on tap and wanting to progress over the years to come, Tanner has started bringing recovery metrics into the picture. "Before, I used to have a cup of coffee, see how my body was feeling, and just go with it. It's funny to say now, but I wish I had this information before. I already know I push my limits when training. I don't need technology to tell me that. However, I do need to know when I should recover or take an easier day. Following this guidance has actually helped me push harder on key days and get more out of my body."

Through following his recovery metrics (sleep, HRV, resting heart rate, fatigue), Tanner has also been able to build a larger base fitness which is allowing him to push towards larger projects. "Now I know how fit I am at any given time, but also I know when to taper heading into a larger day. It's allowed me to keep doing everything I was before, but just in a smarter way to actually see the benefits."

Climbing on El Capitan

Next Project: Denali

Tanner monitors his HRV through the COROS Training Hub to ensure he is ready

Near the end of May, Tanner and his climbing partner will be traveling to Alaska to take on a project of a lifetime. This route up Mt Denali combines a mixture of "50% technical proficiency, and 50% will to keep going". To get the most out of his performance, Tanner will be tracking his COROS metrics in the days leading up to their departure. "It's critical I show up feeling 100% and well rested. As soon as we land, we are hiking straight to 14,000 ft to start."

In the past, Tanner noted he would have kept training until the day he left to squeeze out that last bit of performance. However, with these new insights, Tanner knows the work is done, and those last few days are to rest. "Perhaps one unintended consequence of measuring everything is the confidence it gives me as I go. I can look back at everything I've done and know I've put in the work. On those harder days, I may question my technical abilities, but I will be mentally strong around my ability to keep going. If I ever have doubts, I can just open my App and see everything that has prepared me for this moment."

View from El Capitan

COROS & Climbing

COROS is the only GPS Watch built with climbers in mind. From tracking your routes, grades, and fitness, to keeping accurate GPS tracks of your accomplishments. Working with some of the best athletes in the climbing world, COROS continues to push its products and software forward to ensure you have what is needed when it matters. As you start your journey to send your next project, check out COROS at www.coros.com/climb to ensure you're getting the most out of your ability.