If you’re a snow addict and happen to own an iPhone, the most venerated of all so-called smart phones, you have the gadget equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife right in your snow pants pocket.
There are literally hundreds of iPhone applications (a.k.a. apps) that can make a snow enthusiast’s life easier.
Gone are the days when you have to bring a bulky map with you when skiing. With the latest apps, all you need to do is whip out your phone and pull up the digital map on screen. Apps for the iPhone featuring ski resort GPS trail maps can help you find your location on a resort run. Another great feature in most iPhone ski-related apps is the ski resort summary. Depending on the app, this usually includes the resort’s name, location, number of runs and lifts and even photos.
The iSki app is one of the more popular apps available for skiers. It offers much more than digital ski maps. This app lists current information on the main ski resorts in North and South America (including Sun Peaks), Europe, Australia and New Zealand. If you’re a powder hunter, you can also check how much new snow has fallen at your favourite ski resorts in the last 24 hours. No new snow yet? It can notify you by text when that happens.
The Locate Me feature is great for safety. It shows your current location and even helps you find other iSki users through GPS technology.
If you’re a more advanced skier or snowboarder wondering how fast you’re going, the app’s Pace Tracer feature can provide your elevation, max speed, and distance travelled while you’re on the slopes—a useful tool whether you’re training or just trekking.
Like the iSki, the PeakLocation app also includes a resort summary report, weather and altitude features. In addition, it can record the highest geographical peaks you’ve visited for a handy proof of your mountain exploits to back up the bragging. Want to know which resort will give you the most adrenaline rush? This app lists a run’s vertical drop to help you decide.
The app’s resort database covers 1,000 locations in 44 countries, which you can search using filters. It shows the nearest international airport for a specific resort—handy for travellers. If you’re more of a visual person, you can check out the photos of the featured resorts.
Have you ever had inclement weather spoil a ski vacation that you’ve looked forward to the whole year? Using the Weather Channel app can help you plan better to prevent future mishaps. The free Weather Channel app provides you with timely weather information from a trusted source. This app provides location-based weather forecasts, international video forecasts and customizable in-motion radar maps. There’s also the Weather Channel Max version, an upgraded version that costs $3.99 where you can find hourly, 36-hour and 10-day forecasts. The daily forecasts include the high and low temperature, chances of precipitation, humidity, and times for sunrise and sunset.
For those who are always looking for discounts, try Ski Vacation Deals, a free app that gives you a list of weekly deals. The app provides everything you need to plan a ski vacation on a budget. With a WiFi connection, you can easily search by location, e-mail deals to your friends and even e-mail or call the ski resort or travel company if you have questions about a specific listing.
Last but not least, there’s the Mammut Safety app. Made by the same Swiss company that specializes in mountain sports, this app aids users in assessing avalanche danger. It features a clinometer to estimate the slope angle, a compass to determine the slope exposition, and an altimeter. Links to avalanche bulletins that are accessible worldwide and a list of personal safety equipment requirements are also included.
Finally, technology that aids but doesn’t hinder snow enthusiasts from enjoying the mountain! Visit your iPhone app store to get the most out of your skiing before heading out on the slopes.