Do you really need to know where you are all the time or just where you are going to and how to get there? Can’t you just follow the occasional sign post as you head for a pass or summit?
Knowing where you are at any moment can be extremely useful if you have to call the rescue services. Take the case of Dr. Claude Bivord from Belgium. Walking in the Aiguilles Rouges he hurt his leg and wasn’t able to continue. Not a problem, he called the Chamonix PGHM with his mobile. Only problem, he didn’t know where he was, he’d left the normal walking path and was in a valley somewhere above Vallorcine. The PGHM localized the phone signal but to a 9km search area (mobile phone masts are not that close in the mountains).
That was back in 2009. On Sunday a hunter came across the unfortunate Doctor’s remains in the combe de la Loriaz, mobile phone still clutched in his fingers.