Seven Apps for Hacking Your Winter Ski Trip
You’ve loaded up the hand warmers, anti-fog goggles, climbing skins, and GoPro. But before you head for the slopes, pack your phone the way you pack your luggage—with all the gear you need to maximize the experience. Whether you’re going to Vermont or Val d'Isère, these seven apps will help you get the most from the snow.
Plan Your Trip—Or Your Day: SkiResort.info
The mobile app for the SkiResort.info portal lets you access a database of more than 5,000 ski resorts and ski lifts around the globe. It has trail maps, snow depths, weather reports, and ratings on everything from eco-friendliness to snow reliability to the best aprés ski scene. It’s a solid go-to resource.Free, for Android and iOS; skiresort.info.
Track Your Runs: Trace Snow - Ski + Snowboard Tracker
Track and analyze every aspect of your skiing in real time with this constantly-improving app. Trace will record your stats—speed, altitude, air time, calories, and more—today, over a season, and over your lifetime (so you can easily see your best-ever runs, as well as where you have historically bombed). You can relive a great run by replaying it in 3D, or share results and compare personal stats with friends via Facebook integration. Free, for Android and iOS; snow.traceup.com.
Cut Your Costs: Liftopia
This app pulls together thousands of deals from more than 150 ski areas—on rentals, lift tickets, lessons, equipment, and more. And they’re all bookable from your phone. Whether you’re still planning your trip or need to replace the ski poles that just went flying into the wild blue yonder off a cliff’s-edge turn, Liftopia will help you save a few bucks.Free, for iOS; liftopia.com.
Navigate Like a Local: FatmapSki
Fatmap has painstakingly created 3D terrain maps of select mountains, and they are many times more finely detailed than Google Earth. Find the sunny slopes, the nearest restaurant, or first aid station—or just figure out the best way back down to the bar. The maps download to your phone, so you can use them offline, too; location sharing lets you stay with your group even when you’re out of sight. Free, for Android and iOS (there may be in-app fees for certain maps); fatmap.com.
Find Every Mountain: PeakFinder Earth
Ever hop off the lift at the top of the mountain, gaze around at the mountains, and wonder what the heck you’re looking at? Wonder no more: PeakFinder Earth knows what you’re looking at, and (starting from your GPS coordinates) renders a 360° panoramic display that identifies all the peaks in view, drawing from a database of more than 250,000 mountains and molehills. $3.99, for Android and iOS; peakfinder.org.
Ski Safer: Mammut
From the Swiss maker of backpacks, climbing equipment, and safety gear like “avalanche airbags,” Mammut’s compass, altimeter, and clinometer (which measures the incline) let you pinpoint your position and assess the relative risk of your situation. If trouble strikes, an SOS button will transmit your GPS coordinates to the nearest rescue service—or to another number you program in. Free, for Android and iOS; mammut.ch.
To Get There: Waze
You can’t ski until you reach the mountain, and this popular socially-powered traffic application lets you avoid police traps and accidents, find cheap gas, get real-time updates on pass conditions, and spot road hazards before they appear on the horizon. Free, for Android and iOS; waze.com.