10 Must-Have Apps for the Slopes
Whether you ski or board, download these must-have apps before you hit the mountain.
Skiers on Loon Mountain in New Hampshire – photo via Shutterstock
Santa gave New England what it needed this winter: snow. And for that reason, ski season is finally in full swing. Right now, Killington has a 3-foot base; Stowe and Jay Peak are hovering around the 50” mark; and nearly every run at Sunday River is open. Before you hit the slopes, download these apps to take your powder day to the next level.
Find My Friends
Let’s face it: You will inevitably lose someone in your group at some point over the weekend. And with spotty cell service, foggy conditions, and stubborn friends that have their own agenda, there’s a good chance you’ll ski solo all day. This updated app has GPS tracking so that you can locate people on a user-friendly map. And if you’re worried about people stalking you—just choose to share your location temporarily.
Not many people have touchscreen-friendly ski gloves, and even without gloves, shaky hands on the mountain can result in blurry photos—and memories. With Vapp you can snap a pic whenever you say you want. It turns your phone into a voice-activated camera, so you’ll never waste time fiddling with your phone on the mountain again. (No need to set your beer down during après ski happy hour either: This app will detect your voice in background noise too.)
iTrailMap, iTrailMap 3D, 3D Resort
Cost: Free, $4.99, $2.99, respectively.
Ditch the old-school paper ski map and save a tree by downloading iTrailMap, which stores trail maps of more than 650 resorts worldwide on your phone. The 3D version combines traditional trail maps with GPS tracking and interactive 3D maps, and even allows you to record your total vertical and distance for the day. The Resort edition goes one step further by giving you updates on weather, conditions, and lift lines. This will come in handy for mountain biking and hiking over the summer too.
Nothing can take the place of an avalanche beacon—but it doesn’t hurt to also have this nifty tool in your pocket. SnoWhere uses GPS to turn your phone into a beacon that other users can track and find you. Think of this more as a secondary safety net—even if you do only ski inbounds. If you injure yourself and need a hand, you can send an SMS alert though SnoWhere’s GPS, even if you don’t have cell service.
If your backyard is still green, you may have a hard time believing the snow reports. Can they really have a 3-foot base only two hours north? Download ski webcams to convince yourself the drive will be worth it. Watch any resort’s live camera from your iPhone, wherever you are around the world.
Ski and Snow Report
Occasionally you’re faced with a big decision: which resort has better—or more—snow? This app will give you answers. GPS coordinates of all the ski areas in your region, and it highlights the resorts with the most snowfall, gives you weather forecasts, access to live cameras, and even lets you check out reports from other users on the slopes.
This app is made for the stats geeks out there who need a run-by run analysis of their every move. Get comprehensive stats and graphs showing elevation, speed, altitude, miles skied, vertical distance skied, hours skied, and slope degree. Preview your run in Google Maps and take photos of your run to compare past tracks and watch your progress.
This app turns those stats into bragging rights. AlpineRelay measures speed, airtime, vertical, calories, distance, and more on any mountain you choose. Compare and compete between friends (or yourself) by posting your stats on Facebook and Twitter—or AlpineRelays stat site. Even compare your run head to head with a friend with the app’s 3D replay feature. For air junkies, AlpineRelay’s patent technology will tell you how long you spent in the air and how many time you went airborne, not to mention the height. AlpineRelay’s competitive spirit will no doubt push your game to the next level.
Don’t want to pay for a full lesson? Still need a couple tips here and there? This app contains 30 lessons that teach all the fundamentals of skiing, along with a few extra carving and turning tips. Download the next level up (SkiTips2) if you’re more of an intermediate and want some extra instruction on moguls, high-speed carving, ice, and bumps.
Contour Connect & Go Pro App
If you received one of those new helmet cams for Christmas, one of these apps is a must-have. Both cameras contain Bluetooth abilities that can be paired with the app to turn your smartphone into a remote control. No more pressing play and hoping for the best—these apps will ensure you get the footage you’re after by giving you a live preview of the video on your phone’s viewfinder.