By Skimum Richelle
Remember the olden days when you had to stay up and watch the 10 o’clock news to see what the weather was going to be like tomorrow? These days I have an astonishing amount of information, all in the palm of my hand, and available anytime I need it. Following are a few of my favorite apps and websites that I regularly use to enhance my skiing, and beyond. Some of these are Utah, or even Snowbird, specific but my guess is you can find something that will help you wherever you live or ski. In no particular order…
TRACE SNOW (FREE – Android, iOS)
Trace Snow (formerly known as Alpine Replay) allows you to track your day on the mountain by measuring speed, distance, vertical feet, calories, time and more.
I’ve tried several ski tracking apps over the years, but this one has remained my favorite. One of it’s best features is that you can quickly open the app and hit the big orange GO triangle. It takes two seconds! Put your phone back in your pocket and then hit the pause/stop button when you are done skiing for the day. You can also access all of your historical stats via their website and share (brag about) your day by sending your daily stats page to friends.
I should also mention that Trace Snow also offers a small hockey puck shaped disc that you attach to your skis or snowboard. This little device augments your phone’s GPS and gives you some pretty detailed stats on tricks, spins, etc. Since I’m not doing much park skiing these days (or ever), I don’t really have any need for the premium service. The basic, free version provides plenty of info for my skiing style.
MyRadar (FREE – Android, iOS)
This little icon holds a prominent spot on my phone’s home screen. Wonder if that storm rolling across the Great Salt Lake is on track to hit Little Cottonwood Canyon? Just pull this app up and watch the storm trajectory, size and speed. Very simple to use! Definitely a must have app!
Snowbird Mountain Report Webpage
I’ve been accused from time to time of being a bit obsessive, but this time of year, checking the Snowbird Mountain Report page is part of my daily (or, uh…hourly) routine . It is a great page to give you some quick stats on weather and mountain conditions. A peek at the mountain cameras tells me what visibility is like (and which goggles I need) and the Snowbird Snowcam snow leader board tells me which skis I should grab for that day (hopefully the FAT ones!). Knowing which lifts are open, closed or pending can be extremely helpful on knowing where to park at the Bird. I have this webpage bookmarked in my mobile browser (actually, it’s my homepage).
When doing some longer term planning, I always check out the NOAA 7-Day forecast page. I also have this page bookmarked in my mobile browser.
I should mention here that the NOAA just recently optimized their website for mobile devices. Yay! So much easier to read now!
If you want to get really geeked out on your storm tracking (like I have been known to do), you can go to NOAA’s 24-hour forecast. It has detailed information on forecasted weather conditions at Snowbird and Alta ski resorts including temperatures, freezing levels, winds, snow water content (density).
Canyon Alerts (via Text, Email, Twitter, Facebook)
If you like skiing powder, or plan to ski after a big storm, this alert service is a must have! As you probably know, Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons are prone to being closed during and after large storms while UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) clears the roads and does avalanche control work. By subscribing, you are automatically alerted about canyon closures or restrictions. The Canyon Alert system is provided by the Unified Police Department. You can subscribe to their alerts via their website.
Personally, I receive only critical text alerts. You can subscribe by texting “canyonalerts” to 553535. There are a number of subscription methods to choose from, however. Pick the one that is best for you and stay informed!
What’s on your phone?
Did I miss a great app or website? The app world changes fast and there are great new ones all the time. Please post a comment and let me know what you use and why.