Let’s face it, we don’t really get away anymore when we go skiing. We bring along phones with enough computer power to run the entire ski resort so we can spend our chairlift rides listening to music, texting friends, playing “Candy Crush,” shooting video or maybe even making calls.
While overdoing it with our phones is a great way to let some potentially enjoyable moments pass by without even noticing, there are some apps out there than can amplify your day on the slopes.
Here are eight examples:
THE SUMMIT AT SNOQUALMIE
The Summit at Snoqualmie launched its first app last year and has an updated version ready for this season. The app offers snow and weather reports; status updates on lifts and backcountry gates; trail and village maps; webcams; event info; road reports; and the ability to find your friends’ location on the mountain. It will call and transmit your location to emergency responders with the tap of a button. “It was extremely well received and very popular last year,” said resort spokesman Guy Lawrence.
Stevens Pass recently updated its app, which is similar to other ski area apps. It also offers information on the ski area’s mountain bike park and plays up a link to a bevy of entertaining, short skiing and mountain-biking videos shot at the resort. A tap of the finger will also call everybody from the ski patrol and ski school to lost and found and the Foggy Goggle.
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT
Crystal Mountain’s new app offers many of the same features as the Summit’s app, but also has information for its summer visitors. The app links to the resort’s website for information on its gondola and its Summit House restaurant. It also tracks where and how much you ski and logs your ski days.
Not a skiing-specific app but if you’re going to be skiing off backcountry peaks you might as well add them to your peak-bagging list. The app links to peakbagger.com, a website that allows users to log their summits, compare their climbing history with others and write and read trip reports. This app also works offline. It’s currently available for the Windows Phone, but similar apps like iCE Peak are available for other platforms.
Earn points toward virtual awards as you log vertical, distance, speed and calories burned. AlpineReplay shows how much time you spend on the lift and how much time you’re on the slopes. It will even measure jumps (sadly, for most, they won’t be as far as we thought). The app logs your stats and allows you to compare yourself with friends and view results online at alpinereplay.com.
A good app for those who want to use their phone to navigate ski areas that don’t have cell service or their own app. The app has trail maps for ski areas around the world and offers the option to download them to your phone.
This series of apps offers tips and lessons for a range of skill sets. Have a buddy record you skiing so you can watch the video in split screen and compare it with a skier with proper technique.
Not a substitute for proper equipment and training, but apps such as Avalanche Forecasts can be helpful. The app uses dozens of sources, including the Seattle-based Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center, to offer color-coded avalanche danger levels across North America. Pages viewed are stored on your phone so you can revisit them after you’ve skied out of cell coverage.