The Snakehive team includes some keen skiers with three of us out on different ski trips over the next few weeks so we thought it only right to focus on phones and slopes – no self-interest involved at all…
In our ongoing quest to get more from our phones we’ve found apps that can teach us to ski, track our runs, check the conditions and stay safe. We’ve also looked into ways to look after your phone while on the slopes. Here are our most useful and interesting app finds and our top tips for phone protection on the slopes.
Apps for ski conditions
Shows current conditions and snow reports from more than 2000 ski areas around the world as well as first hand condition and weather updates from users. It also includes trail maps, resort details and reviews. The app is from On the Snow which also has a useful website about all things winter sports related.
Apps with maps
Plenty of ski areas have their own apps that give real-time information about the slopes and lifts so you should check out your resort before you head. There are also independent apps that provide piste and trail maps, meaning you no longer have to use paper versions.
Fatmap (Android iOS: Free, in-app purchases)
This ski app allows you to visually plan your day out on the mountain with ultra-high resolution 3D mapping - it even takes into consideration where the sun will be at a particular time of the day so you can enjoy a brighter and warmer ski. If other people in your ski party also use the app you can visually track them to see where they are on the mountain, making it a lot easier to arrange a vin chaud meet up.
Apps to track ski performance
These days getting stats to measure your ski performance can add a whole new dimension to your ski break. Often combined with maps, these apps also give metrics on distance skied, track speed and altitude information etc. One word of warning though as we’ve read that some doctors in the Alps have seen a rise in ski injuries that could be caused by people trying to beat their own speed or someone else’s…
This extremely popular app will track everything about your ski runs including maximum and average speed, total distance travelled, altitude and slope angle, even if you're not connected to the internet by using GPS. Piste maps from many resorts are featured too. All of these metrics can be logged, divided into different runs and plotted out on a map.
Apps for virtual coaching
It’s never going to compete with a real-life ski instructor but there are apps that can provide an alternative to ski school.
Warren Smith Ski Academy (iOS: Free)
The lessons last up to four minutes and cover four categories: freeski, steeps, carving and moguls. They’re worth a view if you’re looking for a quick pointer but are only available on iPhone devises.
Ski Better with Ali (iOS: £3.99)
This app features a structured five-day course; each day you'll get a new tip, ranging from improving your parallel turns to adapting your body, with each having about five or six steps to them.
Apps for ski photography
Not strictly an app but if you're easily entertained like one member of the Snakehive team on a recent ski trip try using iPhone Time-Lapse and Slo-Mo video options. Slo-Mo is particularly good at recording jumps and tricks for slow motion play back. Speeded up Time-Lapse ski film is just funny. And a couple of good Android apps with a photography focus are:
Action Snap (Android: Free)
This camera app is fantastic for capturing action and movement. You can take multiple photos and combine 4 or 9 shots to create a photo montage; great for jumps and stunts.
Ski Phone (Android: Free)
This app allows you to use your phone with gloves on by shaking it instead of pressing buttons!
Apps for safety
Mammut Safety (Android, iOS: Free)
If you're an off piste skier this app allows users to quickly access international avalanche bulletins and look up a quick risk level guide based on your location and reported conditions. It also includes a button that allows you to call or send an emergency SOS to a saved emergency number.
In addition to an app, it makes sense to programme emergency numbers and any insurance policy numbers into your phone - double check these before you leave.
Protect your phone on the slopes
- Being Snakehive, our first recommendation is to ensure your phone is protected in a quality case, something like our Vintage Two Tone case - vin chaud optional.
- Buy a dry bag for your phone or even use a ziplock sandwich bag to protect your phone from moisture and snow. At Snakehive we've tested using our phone's touchscreen without taking it out of the bag - and it still works.
- Don't forget touchscreen-friendly winter gloves - check out the recent review from PC Advisor on best touchscreen gloves.
- If you use a back case style case for your phone make sure the touchscreen is facing your body while it's in your pocket for added screen protection, should you have a fall.
- Keep your phone in an inside front pocket which will provide more padding and will also be warmer which will help save your battery.
- Invest in a myBunjee; this is a brilliant device featured on Dragons Den that enables you to clip your phone onto you or your ski bag, ensuring that you'll not lose your phone if you drop it - handy on a chair lift.
If you’re a winter sports lover and fortunate enough to be heading to the slopes shortly make sure to download some of these great apps on your phone before you head. Give them a try before you hit the slopes. And we hope you find the phone protection tips handy too. They could easily apply to a wet, damp day in the UK as well.
PS. Know someone who would like this? We'd love you to share with a friend.