By Steve Casimiro
In The Snow
In The Snow is a snow-based news aggregator. It’s mostly European based and makes for moderately entertaining reading. The fatal flaw: There are no dates on any of the stories, so you have no idea when they were written or filed.
For the moment, iTrailMap is an acceptable way to keep images of your favorite resorts’ trail maps. It will zoom in or out, as you’d expect, but that’s as dimensional as it gets. Someday we’ll have trail map apps that are as interactive as Google Maps, but we aren’t there yet. Until then, this is as good as any.
This is the future of ski apps. Mammoth Tapped (and its sibling apps for Jackson Hole and Smuggler’s Notch) takes full advantage of the iPhone’s data, display, and GPS capabilities: It tracks your skiing throughout the day and logs your runs throughout the season, shows where your friends are on the hill, and displays open lifts, which trails have been groomed, and more. It’s like having an information command central in your pocket, with trail map, snow report, forecast, resort Twitter feed, live web cams and more. The only negative? A seriously drain on the phone’s battery.
REI Snow and Ski Report
REI has improved its app dramatically since our last visit, though it still includes overly commercial appeals on the home page to spend money at REI. Snow report information is well-organized, easy on the eye, and intuitive to navigate. Forecasts, webcams, and trail maps are displayed within the app rather than kicking you out to Safari. Nice.
Ski and Snow Report
We have a winner! Ski and Snow Report from skireport.com is the gold standard for snow apps. Reports are as accurate as they get, info is well, organized, webcam images load quickly, there are forecasts and tweets…if you have this app, you don’t really need another. The snowfall chart is a quick snapshot that compares this season’s bounty to last (how stoked is everyone in Jackson?!), and you can tell the app to alert you when there’s fresh at your favorite spots, and you set how much has to fall before they ring your bell. The only complaint? There’s a map function, but it shows where the area’s located, not the trail map.
Log your vert including speed, distance, and debate-settlers like the degree-angle of that double-black you bombed. The latest version allows export to a KMZ file for viewing in Google Earth and your photos are location-pinned on a map view page.
The Snow Report from The North Face
The North Face’s app gives Ski and Snow Report a run for its money and, while it doesn’t put key information quite at your fingertips as efficiently, it offers several features that will ensure a place for it on your phone, including in-app trail maps and, more important, recent avalanche forecasts. There’s also a North Face news feed, image gallery, and place to log your season’s efforts, which is, as they say, added value. But it’s still glitchy or confusing. If you enter the news feed, you can’t go back to snow reports — you have to exit the app and restart. And the trail maps are great, but don’t rotate when you turn your phone sideways.