The ski season is fast approaching and in anticipation the team at OnTheSnow have been checking out some of the hottest apps around. From 3D ski maps to tracking speed, without the need to be online, apps have become more user friendly on the slopes. Read on to check what’s worth downloading for the 2015/16 ski season.
Ski Tracks GPS Track Recorder
Ski Tracks records everything from top speed and distance, to altitude and degree of descent, and can do this without needing to be connected to the internet. We spoke to Sketch (all round dude and founder of Syndicate) about the apps that he rates and he said that Ski Tracks was one of the only apps that the Syndicate collective all used. Sketch said “[they] can be dangerous when a few of you try to outdo each other.” So don’t be an idiot, use the app wisely. The app now also comes with piste maps from popular resorts. Download Ski Tracks on iTunes or Google Play.
The team got pretty excited when FatMap appeared on the market. The smart app, which provides seriously detailed 3D maps, has loads of impressive features designed to give you knowledge – enabling you and your buds to explore more, both in resort and off-piste.
For skiing in-resort, you’ll get terrain descriptions, which allow you to make a better call on whether or not to ski the area, and guides to every run in the resort. Every other convenience (food, first aid, travel) that you might need up on the mountain is all marked on the map. It also includes weather and snow conditions and shows avalanche and crevasse zones.
But where FatMap truly impresses is off-piste. You can ski the same backcountry lines as discovered by locals in the area and can therefore make decisions more easily instead of, well, getting lost. Of course, this doesn’t replace the need for a guide particularly if you’re new to exploring off-piste, but it’s a really good and easy to use app to get to know your surrounding area better. Download FatMap on iTunes or Google Play.
For use only in emergencies, Alert5 provide an instant alerting system by sending a map of your precise location to a list of your chosen contacts.
You can customise the app and different types of ‘alerts’ include an alert that will be sent automatically after a certain amount of time, a “ring-fenced” alert that is sent automatically if you move beyond a given radius from your starting position or a combination of the two. The app is pretty cheap at just under five pounds a year and is a worthwhile investment.
A bonus app, which we think is excellent is the SLF (Swiss Avalanche Services) own free app. It provides daily information about the avalanche situation in Switzerland. The app doesn’t decide for you which slopes are safe and which aren’t, rather, you assess the situation using various features such as the Danger Analyser. The multilingual app is available for free from the iTunes store and the Google Play store.
Our very own OnTheSnow app is possibly the gnarliest of them all (our judgment is of course impartial). It features more than 2,000 resorts from around the world, out of which you can create a customised list of your favourite resorts, complete with hour-by-hour weather conditions, customizable powder alerts, and resort opening dates. You’ll have access to a wealth of expertise from the OnTheSnow community – resort reviews written by skiers like you. And you’ll be able to get picture galleries, live webcams, piste maps, and access to some sweet editorial content. Enjoy! Download our app on iTunes or Google Play.
Developed by clinical experts in Chamonix who saw the injuries resulting from poor technique on the mountain, SkiFit aims to prevent injuries by teaching exercises that strengthen the body. Everyone from beginners to pro skiers and riders can benefit from the app’s programme which consists of 100 different exercises designed to make you a better skier. Those who want to make the most out of their time on the slopes should seriously consider downloading this one in the months before their trip. Download SkiFit on iTunes or Google Play.