making an alpeaks topograph
There's a lot that goes into making topograph.  We'd like to share the metalworking side of our process.

A topograph starts out as two pieces of raw 6061 aluminum billet.  Our stock is melted and extruded in the United States with at least 50% post-consumer aluminum material, which reduces production-related energy consumption by up to 90%.

raw material

The first step in our metalworking process is to machine one side of our stock material completely flat.  4 tapped holes are also added to eventually secure the the top of the model to the base.

facing cut

Now that the bottom of our stock is flat, it can be flipped over and and have the actual terrain carved out.
 roughing cut

A series of progressively smaller tools is used to remove aluminum until a perfectly detailed topograph is left over.  All of the removed aluminum falls to the bottom of the machine enclosure for collection later.

half dome production

While the machining of the terrain is finished, there's still more work to be done before these topographs are ready to be shipped.  They have sharp edges need to be removed by hand.


Once any sharp edges are removed, the upper portion of the topograph is complete.  Later on in production, the compass base will be screwed on, creating a completed, ready to ship topograph.

completed topographs

Alpeaks takes pride in the fact that our products are responsibly made in the United States with domestically sourced tools, machines, and materials.  We're also happy to do our part for the environment by recycling 100% of our waste aluminum.

aluminum chips

Thanks a lot for reading along!  If you have any questions about our process, shoot us a message here.
June 18, 2020 — Juan March


Nic Houlihan

Nic Houlihan said:

I’m so happy to have recently received my aluminum topo model of Old Rag Mountain ⛰ in VA. I have hiked and climbed this trail so many times with so many friends during different times in my life and can’t thank you enough for creating such a damn cool representation of these memories for me. I just order three more Old Rag topo’s as gifts for my three closest climbing buddies. This item will forever be treasured and close to me!

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