A vertical metre is the metric unit used to measure the difference in height between two points on the terrain. For example, if the base camp for a mountaineering expedition is at 2,000 metres above sea level and the upper camp is at 5,000 metres; the height difference between them is 3,000 vertical metres. The term is used when there may be confusion between the point-to-point distance and the vertical distance.
Vertical metres are used to measure:
- Altitude of aircraft above ground level
- Distance climbed during sports such as mountaineering, hiking, running or cycling
- Cumulative distance climbed during such sports
- Depth of an ore deposit in mining e.g. as in 'tonnes-per-vertical-metre'
- Quantity of materials required in construction engineering e.g. 'bricks per vertical metre'
In German-speaking countries the abbreviation 'Hm' for Höhenmeter ("height metre") is used. If it is preceded by a '±' it refers to the cumulative elevation gain.
- Cumulative elevation gain for computation of cumulative gain.