Guest Blogger: Brian Hockenstein
There’s nothing wrong with kicking it old school and spending a day skiing or riding in Whistler with your cell phone turned off: it’s actually pretty fun to unplug for a few hours and get lost in the snow globe of fresh pow and smiling friends.
On the other hand, nearly all of us have a smartphone in our pocket these days, so why not take advantage of them? Here’s a list of pretty handy apps to help you get the most out of your ski day, or season. (Everything listed below is available for both iPhone and Android. Digital Pow!)
1 – The Weather Network
Weather is everything when you’re a ski or snowboard fanatic and the official Weather Network App is a great tool for keeping an eye on what’s coming down the pipe. Of course with all the action happening five thousand feet above valley level you’ll need to learn how the valley forecasts impact what’s happening up high, but this free app is a great way to keep an eye on weather trends and what the clouds (or hopefully cloud-then-snow-the-sun) are going to be doing long term. Get the App.
2 – CAC Mobile App from Avalanche Canada
The safest way to enjoy the Whistler backcountry is with a trained professional guide. But even then it is important to know what the current snowpack conditions are and what to expect when you head out or to help decide when not to go. The interactive map features of this app will help you stay on top of what’s happening in the backcountry here in town or anywhere else in Canada. And the integrated Observer Network helps users share their experiences and first-hand reports to make sure important information gets into the right people’s hands as quickly as possible. This is a great learning tool for anyone interested in the backcountry and a perfect companion app for a Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course. Stay safe people! Get the App
3 – Ski Dice & Trick Bag
These two apps are similar: both designed to keep you having as much fun as humanly possible up on the hill. Give them a shake, or swipe, and you are presented with a trick that you and your friends have to pull off. Rails, jumps or freeriding, these apps have you covered. There’s even a mode for playing “S.K.A.T.E”-style trick-off competitions that inevitably lead to “loser buys beers” at après. Could this app (and a lot of training) actually help you drink for free this winter? Only time will tell.
4 – Snapseed
Sure, the cameras built into your phone are so incredibly good there’s almost no reason to carry a point-and-shoot camera with you anymore. But to really make those selfies pop you’re going to want to use an app like Snapseed to tweak them and truly make them shine. Adjust your colors, bring up the brightness and add a hint of contrast and saturation, crop, frame, go vintage and more — it’s amazing how much better your photos can look with only a few seconds of work. Shooting in mountain conditions can be tricky but with a ton of amazing, totally adjustable effects and looks Snapseed can ensure your pics stand out from the pack and get a ton of attention (and likes!) from all your friends back home in the concrete jungle. (Be sure to tag @gowhistler on all your faves). Get it for iPhone or Android
5 – The Whistler App
It’s your current conditions and resort guide all rolled into one. This app is run right out of Whistler, offering everything you need while you’re in town from events to dining guides, weather, activities guides and more. And it’s free!
6. Bonus: Canadian Red Cross First Aid App
The good news is that on the ski hill there are excellent ski patrollers always ready to help with any emergency. The bad news is we can’t live on the ski hill 24 hours a day for the rest of our lives. This app puts time-proven life-saving advice in the palm of your hand and includes videos, step-by-step instruction and little tests to help you hone your life-saving skills. Nothing beats formal first aid training but this app could help make a difference. And it’s free. Get it for Android or for iPhone.
Of course, you can still get weather and road information, as well as check out live webcams and plenty of holiday info and deals over at Whistler.com which works on any web browser on your phone or at home. Let’s go Winter!