Enter the total descent distance and the total horizontal distance into the Descent Rate Calculator. The calculator will evaluate the Descent Rate. 

Descent Rate Formula

The following two example problems outline the steps and information needed to calculate the Descent Rate.

  • Where DER is the Descent Rate (descent per horizontal distance)
  • DD is the total descent distance 
  • HD is the total horizontal distance 

To calculate the descent rate, divide the descent distance by the horizontal distance.

How to Calculate Descent Rate?

The following example problems outline how to calculate Descent Rate.

Example Problem #1:

  1. First, determine the total descent distance.
    • The total descent distance is given as: 100.
  2. Next, determine the total horizontal distance.
    • The total horizontal distance is provided as: 50.
  3. Finally, calculate the Descent Rate using the equation above: 


The values provided above are inserted into the equation below and computed.

DER = 100 / 50 = 2:1 (descent per horizontal distance)

Example Problem #2: 

For this problem, the variables required are provided below:

total descent distance = 500

total horizontal distance = 20

Test your knowledge using the equation and check your answer with the calculator..

DER = DD / HD = ?