Skiing + Smartphones = High-Tech Heaven
If you’re one of those skiers who turns off his phone while he’s out cruising the mountain, you might want to think twice about that. There are dozens of smartphone apps out there dedicated to helping you ski better, safer and have more fun on the slopes. Those little devices we carry around have the ability to do some pretty rad things, and it was only a matter of time before skiers started using them to help boost the skiing experience. Here are five smartphone apps (all for both iOS and Android) that are changing the way we ski:
For the Backcountry Explorer: Mammut Safety
Avalanche safety is incredibly important, and the Mammut Safety app helps you stay safe while traversing the backcountry. Reduce the risk of getting caught in an avalanche by assessing the danger of your chosen location with insights such as exposure, slope angle and more. Users can utilize the app’s altimeter, clinometer and compass to evaluate the safety of where you’re skiing, and you can also find links to avalanche bulletins around the world. It also can transmit GPS data to the mountain’s rescue service or another saved number in case you find yourself in a life-threatening situation.
For the Powder Chaser: OpenSnow
OpenSnow is a one-stop shop for weather forecast and reports. You can find real-time forecasts for resorts all over North America, Europe and Japan, as well as analysis from local forecasters. If you are trying to decide what mountain you want to tackle, OpenSnow lets you compare resorts on one screen, or you can search by what resort has the most snow currently. This free app also can setup custom alerts for the forecasts and reports of you choosing.
For the Social Skier: SkiLynx
When you’re shredding with a big crew, it can be impossible to keep track of everybody. SkiLynx makes locating and communicating with all the members of your squad a non-issue. You can create a private group for you and all your friends where you can see in real-time what run or lift everybody is on, and then message each other within the app. You can even send personalized messages with a single touch, so you’re not stuck fiddling around with the app with cold glove-less hands. SkiLynx is also compatible with the Apple Watch for easy access while riding.
For the Limits Pusher: SkiTracks
Ever wonder just how high or fast you’ve been shredding? Want to prove you’re the gnarliest skier of all your friends? SkiTracks is the perfect app for measuring and recording all the stats you’d want to know about your ski day (and some you’d never even thought of too). With stats like max and average speed, distance traveled, vertical, altitude, number of runs, slope degrees and duration all in one place, SkiTracks makes it easy to quickly check how you’re skiing and compare it to your friends. There is free online storage so you can see how you’ve progressed over time, and the app can easily share your stats to social media so you can boast about your killer day.
For the Resort Roamer: Skadi
Explore new runs and stay on course and on time with Skadi. Using Skadi is like having a personal mountain guide in your ears at all times. It works like this: You start by inputting information such as your skiing ability, any desired way-points and whether you would like to explore new runs or avoid long lift lines. Then, Skadi will design a route for you and feed you turn-by-turn directions around the mountain through your headphones, much like your car’s navigation would. Skadi uses geo-data they’ve collected to create new routes for you every day if you want, helping skiers explore more of the mountain than they normally would of.
Users of the app can also turn their day of skiing into an augmented reality adventure by taking part in the app’s Skadi Trophy mode, which voice guides you around the mountain as you collect virtual objects and compete to be atop the leaderboard.
Merging smartphone tech with skiing opens up whole new opportunities for skiers. Use these five apps to make your ski day more interesting, no matter how you like to ski.