By Troy Hawks
Right now there are about 1.5 million mobile apps available for your smartphone, so to help you blast through the whiteout, we’re highlighting the hottest apps for skiers and riders designed to put you on the powder, hook you up with sweet lift tickets deals, stoke your day on the hill, and even teach you how to shake your thang at night.
A powder bum’s day begins with wondering about snow. Did any fall last night? Where did it fall? And damn it, why didn’t I know about it?
When it comes to meteorologists and forecasters, you want someone who looks at the data through the lens of the powder addicted. Joel Gratz, founder and CEO of Open Snow and his team of meteorologists put you on the powder with a steady data dump of weather updates and forecasts.
Say good-bye to epic lift lines? The big news for EpicMix users this season is the addition of EpicMix Time, the latest technological development from Vail Resorts that gives skiers and riders access to real-time, up-to-the-minute lift line wait times.
The feature will be live across Vail Resorts’ four Colorado resorts for the 2015-16 season with information on 55 core lifts at Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail Mountain, and Beaver Creek. EpicMix Time will be expanded VR’s other ski areas in upcoming seasons.
What are others saying about the hotel you’re planning to book? Reviews from more than 225 million travelers are just a few clicks away with the TripAdvisor app, a go-to tool for family travelers and nomads alike. Research lodging options, restaurants, and even activities such as dog sledding and zip line tours. And when you get home, don’t forget to submit a review of #BestSkiTripEver #BreckBecause.
Expedia undoubtedly owns lift-side property when it comes to third-party online booking websites. In the past year it bought up part of the competition including Travelocity and Wotif, and a $1.3 billion merger with Orbitz is in the works.
Hoteliers will tell you that as Expedia has grown, so too has the fees it charges. As a result, some lodging properties and airlines are now offering incentives to folks who book directly on their website. You have to take a peek at a powerhouse platform like Expedia, but now it also pays to research rates when booking direct.
Available for iPhone, the Liftopia app gives you palm-held access to lift tickets, lesson, and rental deals at more 150 ski areas with savings up to 80 percent.
Download Liftopia in iTunes or visit Liftopia.com
There are a slew of tracking apps for skiers and riders, and one of the first on the market was Trace, formerly Alpine Replay. The app tracks skiing, snowboarding, and surfing stats including speed, vertical, jumps, and calories burned.
The technology to track stats has been a big stoke to skiers and riders. But never forget, gravity always wins. The key is to challenge yourself while staying within your ability level. Trace says its skiing and riding users collectively rack up two billion vertical feet a month.
With the ability to record 14 consecutive hours, Ski Tracks can record every minute of your ski day, including a few moments you might otherwise wish to forget. Stats including speed, distance, slope angle, run-by-run analysis and photographs can be shared via Google Earth, Facebook, and Email.
Ed Lewis grew up racing in the mountains of New England eventually moving west to Colorado and Utah. With Ed’s SnoCru app you can track your runs, speed, distance and elevation. Other features let you search for the nearest bar, shop, ATM or gas station and you can post photos and updates and share it via Facebook and Twitter.
Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’ve got to take a breath and have a look around. PeakFinder shows you the names of all mountains and peaks with a 360-degree Panorama display. The app is loaded with more than 250’000 peaks – from Mount Everest to the Ten Mile Range.
Nordic & Alpine Ski Wax
It’s easy to overlook the importance of wax, at least until you’re stuck in the snow while others are gliding by. Keep your wax right with the Nordic and Alpine Wax apps.
Download the Nordic Wax app in iTunes .
Download the Alpine Wax app in iTunes .
With Pocket Snow Storm, you can make everyday a powder day! Simply hold up your device, pan to the left or right, and virtual snow in 3D will be dumping all around you.
Most of us won’t have the opportunity (or guts) to sail off a 120 meter ski jump. For us chickens, there’s the Ski Jump app. Tap once to start, double touch to jump, swipe up and down to control the jumper and ski angle, and then double touch a second finger to land the jump. Roar of the crowd included.
With Stickman Snowboarder you can stomp 1000’s of trick combinations on ski slopes and in the city. Grind on whales, avoid the crush of falling snowballs, launch off giant chili peppers, and escape the police. Upload video replays directly to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The Dance App
When you’re day on the hill is done, but your wiggle and shake is still going strong, its time to the streets of Breckenridge and go dancing. The Dance App is inspired by Jerome Alexander, who helped Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, and a host of others find their groove. Ski boots not recommended.
After the party, it’s time to chill by the fire, and rest up for another powder day. If you’re slope-side condo looks more like a Volkswagen, you and your sweetie can still snuggle up to Virtual Fireplace – it even crackles like the real thing!
Did we miss any of your favorite apps? Let us know. Share your favorites on social media and hashtag it with #BreckBecause.