Archive for February, 2011
February 11th, 2011
The anticipation of a trip to the mountains is almost as much fun as when you’re there. Almost. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best iPhone apps to help you prepare for your trip, from choosing the resort with the best snow conditions, to getting a great deal on flights and accommodation, and working on your technique so you hit the pistes on top form.
Ski Club Snow Report
Produced by the Ski Club of Great Britain, the free Snow Report iPhone app gives daily updated reports on the snow conditions in over 250 resorts across Europe and North America. There’s a good overview of information including snow depths, the number of lifts and runs open, as well as conditions on and off piste.
You can access webcams and the latest ski and snowboarding news produced by the club. There is also a weekly video podcast. This app was recently voted in the top 100 apps by iPhone users. Not bad when you consider it was up against over 200,000 others.
Good for: planning which resort to go to.
We say: requires a network connection to get information so watch your roaming charges when overseas.
The Snow Report
Produced by The North Face, this app accesses snow reports in a similar way to the Ski Club’s app, with a few extra features too, most notably a 5 day weather forecast and piste maps for some (but not all resorts).
One big difference is the “Track Day” feature, which allows you to record the mountains conditions on the days you have spent in the snow, and post photos direct to Facebook and Twitter to the envy of all your online friends.
The app’s design is clear, simple and easy to use. And if you store your favourite resorts, users can receive the latest weather updates, snowfall reports and live reports direct to their phone.
Good for: recording a ski diary of snow conditions.
We say: piste maps are patchy and could be higher resolution.
Iglu Ski Deals
So you’ve checked the snow conditions and know which resorts have just had fresh falls – now you want the best deal on your flights and accommodation to the mountains. Booking a last minute ski holiday just got easier with Iglu’s Ski Deals app – the UK’s largest independent ski retailer pick their top 10 ski holiday deals, while you can search live availability for major ski resorts and airports, drilling down results by group size and departure date.
If you find something you like, you can save your search results or use the share feature to pass on the details by email or on Facebook.
Good for: booking holidays on the move.
We say: use the search function to dig out the best deals.
Ski School Lite
Based on this free sampler app, the Ski School series of instructional videos and tips is a real winner. High quality video tutorials are delivered in a clear manner by instructor Darren Turner, a former member of the GB ski team. Ski School Lite features four short technique videos, with films covering basic snow plough to tips to linking dynamic turns.
The production qualities are high while the app feels well made and easy to use. Videos are reinforced by cue cards – short text reminders of the key lessons. The stunning scenery will build excitement before a trip, while they can also reinforce everything you’ve learned after a day of “real” tuition.
Price: free. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced versions of the app are £3.99 each.
Good for: learning good technique at your own pace.
We say: all content is stored on your phone so there are no roaming charges to worry about.
A simple concept – iTrailmap lets you download high resolution piste maps to your phone. 750 resorts are available, and because the maps are stored on your phone you don’t incur roaming charges. A paid-for version, iTrailmap3D, take the app a stage further using GPS tracking to record your runs before viewing in 3D at the end of the day.
Good for: a piste map in your pocket. That’s it.
We say: a useful app, make sure you download the piste maps you’ll need before you go to avoid mobile roaming fees.
What do you think makes a great ski app? And what would you like to see in a Snowfinder app? Post a comment and let us know your thoughts.