App assist: 10 of our favorite apps for a day on the slopes
December 25, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Maybe you have a brand-new iPhone that still has ample space for apps, or maybe you have an older smartphone and need some new app ideas. There are plenty of options when it comes to apps useful for skiing, from dozens of weather apps to enough resort map apps to fill a hard drive.
Here are some of our favorites, arranged to take you from the night before to the end of the day.
Weather Line, $1.99, iOS
Skiing tomorrow? You'll want to know what to expect.
Plenty of weather apps work just fine. Weather Line is a strong one, too. It gets right to the point with an hour-by-hour forecast at the top of its home screen. A daily forecast, complete with estimated snow totals, is a click away. The app relies on Dark Sky, another app that offers hyperlocal weather and up-to-the-minute rain and snow information.
Liftopia, free, iOS and Android
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This app can be a vacation decider. Its home screen lists all the current deals on lift tickets. It may not save you a bundle during a crazy busy resort week like this one, but it definitely still can save you some, and it can lead to huge savings at other times of the year. At-a-glance condition reports from all nearby ski areas are just a click away, as well.
Alarmy, $1.99, iOS and Android
Sleep Cycle, $0.99, iOS and Android
Your choice of a skiing day wakeup alarm app depends on your goals.
Did the powder come in while you were sleeping? You need an early start, no matter what your aching legs might say. Try Alarmy, an app with a particularly cruel twist on waking up. Sure, it has traditional options (including snooze!), but for that powder day, you can set the app to require you take a photo of a particular scene to turn off. Set it for a photo of your ski pass (and don't leave the ski pass next to your bed) and not only will you definitely be up on your feet, you'll remember why.
Are your ambitions more centered around relaxing than attacking early in the morning? Try the Sleep Cycle app. Leave your phone resting near your pillow, and it will sense your sleep pattern and only wake you when you are out of deep sleep and into a more restless light sleep.
Steamboat Springs Transit, free, iOS and Android
OK, this is annoying, but it will get better. Steamboat Springs recently added GPS capability to its bus service, and the public can tap in and see where those buses are at in real time. An app is on the way to make this easy, but the hassle of visiting the city's website for that information still is definitely worth it.
There's a big link at the top of the screen that will take you to the map with the bus locations. Also important, there's a link just down the page a little to download the PDF of the city's winter bus schedule.
It'll be better when the app is finished. In the meantime, it's a must-save link on your phone. To do that (on an iPhone, anyway), click the share button at the bottom of the screen. It's a square with an arrow point out the top. One of the options after clicking that button is an "add to home screen" prompt.
Enjoy the day
Ski Steamboat Live, free, iOS and Android
Steamboat Ski Area’s official app keeps getting better, and it's become a great asset to have in the pocket while tackling Mount Werner. Sure, it has what you'd expect in a quick weather report and a trail map. It also has some sweet features you won't find anywhere else, including updated lift statuses for the ski area and a grooming report. It also has a run-tracking feature for that dash down Heavenly Daze and a friend finder GPS component.
Trace Snow, free, iOS and Android
Trace Snow is as good as it gets when it comes to tracking your activities for the day. Using GPS, it will record the distance you skied, the vertical feet you skied, the time you spent on the slope, the number of runs you did, the speed you went, the lifts you rode and even the calories you burned.
Slopes is an app that provides some pretty sweet perks, too, for $4.99.
RealSki, free, iOS
RealSki makes great use of augmented reality, accessing your camera app to show you, for instance, what run you're on, rather than tell you. Just point your camera down, and it'll let you know what run you're on and what that scary one veering off to the left is. It'll also let you know what that lift is you just crashed underneath.
The app is free, but it costs $0.99 to download the map for a resort.
PeaksUSA, free, iOS
Wonder no more what that peak is that you've never been able to ID. PeaksUSA is a free app that uses your location and your camera to determine which peaks are around you. Load the app and point your phone and, boom, you have your answer. Just an FYI: Locals may call it Emerald Mountain, not Quarry Mountain.
You have to download each state you want to check out. The first state is free. After that, they're $0.99 per state or $2.99 for the whole country.
Coach's Eye, $2.99, iOS and Android
Yeah, you've been told a hundred times to keep your skis parallel when you turn. It's a blur when you're on the snow, though, right? Coach's Eye is a video app that helps slow the world down. Hand it over to a friend, and they can take high-definition footage of your descent. Bring it back out at the bar, and they can show you exactly where you're going wrong rather than try to explain yet again.
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