"There's an app for that," so the saying goes, so of course there are sundry iPhone apps for skiers and snowboarders. Search the App store, after all, and you'll run into a ton of different winter-themed apps. The trick, though, is sorting through which apps are worth downloading, using, keeping on your phone, and in some cases, paying for. Here's a selection of some of the best ski and snow apps for 2014:
Find My Friends
No matter how hard groups try to stay together on the mountain, inevitably, at some point during the day, somebody's going to get lost. After all, it can be hard to keep up with quick friends who fancy themselves racers, foggy conditions make it hard to see, and sometimes, people just want to ski different trails. This recently-updated apps uses GPS tracking so you can locate friends and family on a user-friendly map.
The photo album of millenials doesn't necessarily offer ski-specifc features, but, it sure is a great way to daydream about the slopes and keep your followers updated about all the great tracks you're making. Explore hashtags like #skiing, #powder, or even find pictures of you're favorite mountain (for example, almost 1,000 users have posted to #parkcityutah). It's a fun way to see awesome pictures of the slopes, document your own travels, and even meet other skiers!
REALSKI is an "augmented reality" app that uses your phone's camera to show you where you are and what ski runs are before you, helping you navigate the slopes. The app is linked to over 100 North American ski resorts, including Park City Mountain, Aspen, Breckenridge, Squaw Valley USA, and many more. The newest version of the app allows you to geotag important points - for example, your parked car, favorite run, or a pole dropped off the chair - and also integrates Twitter and Facebook sharing. The app costs 99 cents to link to your chosen ski resort.
Using your phone's map and GPS tracking abilities, this 99-cent app shows you exactly where you've skied on a satellite map, while also tracking distance, speed, altitude, duration, and more. Plus, it uses a minimal amount of battery life, so you can keep it running and still attend to your texts and calls, without worrying about running out of juice.
Ski and Snow Report
Recently updated for the 2013-2014 season, this top-rated app is free and delivers up-to-the-minute ski and snow conditions from your favorite ski resorts. You can track multiple resorts at once, and the app will provide with you details such as recent snowfall, temperature, snow depth, wind gusts, as well as a weekly forecast. This app comes in very useful when you're planning a ski weekend or trying to decide which resort to go to.
This app is $9.99, but consider it a good investment: SnoWhere functions as a beacon-type receiver, helping your friends locate you should you get caught up in an avalanche. The newest version uses iPhone-to-iPhone connectivity, so that signal strength of the app's beacon increases as two iPhones get closer. Additionally, the app works even in remote areas, where there's no cell phone service. Keep in mind that if you're skiing in avalanche-risky terrain, you should always keep a real beacon on you, but this app is a good addition to have on your phone, too.