Weather report via inReach for Mountaineers


I used the weather report of in reach Mini and this report is useless for mountaineers.

The weather report bases on DarkSky and they have only some reference stations. The current altitude is not part of the forecast, wind direction or wind speed is completely wrong if you are

in height of 2000 - 3000 meters because the weather forecast station is normally the next city (normally in the valley).

Sorry Garmin. Its not really a professional device for longer outdoor trips in the mountains.

Best regards


  • I don’t think the inreach weather was designed to show the weather based on your exact current location, you will always get an information from the nearest available weather station for that region. The rest is marketing to make the user think....

    Because this functionality is still not available for the 66i, I wasn’t able to test it in the German alps last week. 

    If they only use dark sky for weather, this isn’t available all over the world, or I misunderstood something:

  • Sorry Garmin. Its not really a professional device for longer outdoor trips in the mountains.

    It isn't really a professional weather device, but SOS and communication is quite useful even if weather isn't working for you. 

  • Just a question: how have you get your weather informations for heights of 2000/3000 meters before you owned a inreach mini? I think you have checked it online before you started the trip (down in the valley) or (if possible) online during the trip?

    Yes, I know what you mean, the Garmin inreach mini homepage suggests “weather informations for your current position” etc....and I am with you, that it is useless at a height of 2000/3000 meters, if you get the weather from down the valley in 800 meters. 

    I wonder why no others mentioned this before...

  • yes, but the topic today is the not correct weather forecast and not the sos messaging.

  • I did a check one day before. Its ok for 1-2 day trip but a weather forecast for more than 3 days is not really accurate enough.

    I did multiple tests with the inreach device and checked different weather sites including weather stations and saw that the inreach does not use altitude values for the weather forecast. I think the main problem is here the provider darksky weather. They provide no such data linke or other sites. Temperature and wind direction/speed is completely wrong on the top of the mountain

  • I agree with you that it doesn't provide accurate enough weather for your use case, but I think maybe you're confusing added features with core functionality. 

  • Garmin sells a feature that do not provide correct values. Its a outdoor product and not a iPhone or Android phone. In a City this kind of weather report is more than enough but not for Mountaineers.

  • I know all mountain ranges are different, but here in NZ there aren't any reliable weather forecasts for any specific mountain.  The Ski fields have reasonable interpretations but it is highly localised and needs experienced people interpreting the forecast models.  My advice is based on what I do, and it may not be useable for you but here is a suggestion...  please factor in my 66i doesn't yet support downloading the DarkSky weather over satellite, but that doesn't matter, this approach works with any system or observation.

    I build a future view of the weather that is heading into the area where I'm going.  This is for mountains, but also for marine expeditions.  I use everything available before I go, MetService models,, other services.  No single source of information is going to be completely accurate but a composite gives you an idea of what might change over the course of a week.  Complete a Macro and a Micro view of what is coming your way.  This is how you decide if you're going and what to be prepared for.

    When you're in the field, you really are just looking for indications of which of the weather features is coming your way, and is it sticking to the weather plan you prepared.  Looking at fronts which come through, look at the centre of high and low pressure systems.  There are highly localised events (thunder & lightening are good examples) which might occur every afternoon in the Rockies for instance, you need to know about these before you go and plan for them - it's too late when your forecast app says get undercover.

    If you don't have weather forecasts or observations in the field from satellite or phone, look for cloud patterns, wind directions.  These should align with your weather plan and predications from before you left.

    The obvious proviso is that if your weather observations don't align with your pre-trip predictions, you may need to pull the pin and head off the mountain.  With all of my pre-planning I still have weekends sitting on the mountain waiting for the storm to clear, or high-winds that never seem to stop.  There is no perfect solution and a forecast from a computer model delivered by satellite is only a single model and will always be just a single weak input to your planning.

    The preplanning should highlight which parts of your route are likely to be avalanche risks, and where you are likely to encounter large accumulations of snow, windslab etc.  This is every bit as important as the current weather from a computer.  Get some help from somebody with knowledge of the mountain you're on to help build your plan if you don't know the area or don't have access to reliable weather models and snow pack observations.

    I do think it would be nice if the altitude was reflected in the forecast information, don't get me wrong, but that shouldn't prevent the amount of pre-planning that is required before heading into the mountains.  It would at best be a guesstimate anyway as there are no observations points high in most mountains.  And it is never going to highlight the local conditions where you are, nor will it highlight snow pack conditions, or anything else.

    If you're in the field for several weeks, you really need a satellite phone with data connection to use the numerous online models each day.  Stay safe our there.

  • Really?  I didn't realize it just looked for the closest weather station.  Disappointed

    I'd suggest that they move to licensing data from they have a model that can generate the weather for any GPS location on the globe, considering altitude, and is surprisingly accurate for 24, 48 hours. I rely on it for all of my mountain treks.

  • yes, meteoblue is very good. Or, there are different weather models available.

    I think everything is better than the "dark sky" weather report.