Top Windows Phone apps for skiers and snowboarders

Top Windows Phone apps for skiers and snowboarders

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2013 is shaping up to be a great year for snow junkies—at least here in the Pacific Northwest, where record snowfalls blanketed the Cascades last month. If you’re gearing up to hit the powder, here are three apps to pack. You’ll find more great options in the Store’s new Winter Sports collection—including some fun ski sims for days when the snowfall is scarce.

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Ski Guide

Ski GuideSki Guide

Ski Guide ($2.49) provides live mountain reports and hi-res trail maps for over 1000 resorts worldwide. One nice touch: Reports and maps can be cached for offline use, ideal when you’re in the backcountry without a signal or skiing overseas and don’t want to get snowed under by roaming charges.

North Face Snow Report

North Face Snow ReportNorth Face Snow Report

Budget-minded skiers should check out the free North Face Snow Report, which supplies snow conditions and forecast data, as well as trail maps, for tons of resorts around the world. For the safety-minded, the app also provides avalanche reports.

CascadeSkier

CascadeSkierCascadeSkier

This beautifully-designed app ($1.99) is the one to grab if you live or ski in the Pacific Northwest. Created by geek-skier Ben Martens, who also blogs about skiing for the Seattle PI, the app shows the snow conditions, weather forecasts, and webcams for all the major area resorts. Pin your favorites to Start as Live Tiles for at-a-glance updates.

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  • @zeekdog Sorry you're having trouble installing the app. Please feel free to shoot me a note through the support email link for the app and we'll get this figured out. We'll have to figure out what's special about your situation as this is the first report I've gotten that something is wrong with the CascadeSkier install.

  • Also, have a look at Skied Demon for Windows Phone

    www.wieser-software.com/.../ski

  • @kokasbal Openpistemap layers are used on Ski Blackbox. Give it a try.

    Once you have recorded your runs, you will be able to see the trails, where you have got the max speed, the max altitude point, the steepest point and playback the route by sliding your finger.

  • Hey all. If you want to live track your position on ANY kind of map try MapSnap GPS. I've just purchased the app and its totally awsome. Works with any kind of ski map!!

  • @mtcerio thx for the tip, but where can i download openpistemap? i just couldn't find only online website

  • Well, my Windows phone experiment has come to an end.

    I bought the Samsung Focus on the day WP7 was released. That phone got stolen and I went back to an iPhone. This past November, I gave Windows Phone another shot with the Nokia 920. And just this past weekend I went into the local AT&T store and had them reactivate my iPhone. (If anyone is interested in purchasing a slightly used 920, let me know).

    So why did I switch back? In short--I got tired of feeling like Windows Phone was the creation of some summer interns at Microsoft who were taking a good stab at the smartphone market. I remember some initial reviews of WP7 that likened it to putting lipstick on a pig, and unfortunately WP8 didn't change that impression.

    Yep, the UI is slick and modern and new. But that only takes you so far. WP8 is still riddled with bugs and still feels like a catch-up endeavor. And despite the fact that the mobile app ecosystem is littered with a whole lot of crap, I got tired of the nagging realization that any time I went to the app store looking for something in particular, there was a very good chance that that app wouldn't exist for Windows Phone. NFL has sponsored WP8 heavily in advertising, and yet there's no official NFL app. Likewise, even apps that do exist for Windows Phone are almost guaranteed to be buggy and functionally lacking as opposed to the equivalent apps on other platforms. I realize this isn't a technical fault of Microsoft, but nevertheless such limitations are a reality that consumers must deal with when they choose Windows Phones. And to the credit of developers, many have tried to create viable substitutes (Metrotube comes to mind). The problem with leaving it in the hands of indie developers is that their apps are just as buggy as official ones, and any time the underlying service they're dependent upon changes, their apps break. Oops! Stay tuned for an update, loyal and frustrated WP fans!

    Speaking to the Nokia 920 specifically--I found the camera to be lacking, despite what technical specifications say. My girlfriend has an iPhone and we both took video of the same scene in low light conditions. While she was happily recording, my camera couldn't seem to focus no matter where I pointed it.

    And that damn body. Why on earth would you use a plastic so smooth to the touch that the phone seems to wiggle out of your hands--and onto a concrete surface--of its on volition?

    I got tired of turning the phone off when I was trying to hit the camera button or the volume rockers. I got tired of stretching my thumb across the wide screen in order to reach the "L" key on the virtual keyboard. I got tired of having a harder time typing on a wider keyboard even though a wider keyboard should actually be easier. There I was, cheekily shaking my head at Apple's latest iPhone commercials touting the dimensions of their phone and how your thumb can easily traverse the entire screen, not realizing once again how it's the little details that matter the most.

    I wanted to create custom ring tones. Ok, no problem. But custom alerts? Whoooa....that's asking for too much! Nope--for some nefarious and obtuse reason changing your alerts is stepping too far outside the box. Alerts and ring tones are NOT at heart just sound clips, don't you know?

    On and on and on it goes. MS was given a second chance with WP. Some brainiac in Redmond realized the value of market saturation, but unfortunately such clarity didn't seem to extend all the way down to the ones developing the platform. Too many obvious features still off the table (separate volume control? huh? who needs that?), and yet we get to read Pollyanna posts every week about some contest or some new app that nobody's heard of and nobody will use as a sign of progress.

    Oh well. I was rooting for you back when WP7 came out, and I was rooting for you again when I picked up WP8. Now I'm happily back on my iPhone 4S wondering why I ever left it. A sea of icons may be stale, but at least I can count on things working and things being available when I need them.

  • garpen0
    0 Posts

    This is getting ****ing ridiculous. Release 7.8-upgrade ASAP Microsoft this month or I'm switching to Android. Im having the Lumia 900 and tired of checking up every day. You spit on your customer when you hold it back just because you blame other manufactures are not ready with their 7.8-upgrade and want to release it to every 7.5-WP at the same time.

    It's been 2 months since Wp8 was released.

    I was going to change back to Windows 8-laptop this year after 3 years with my Macbook Pro but you got until february. Or else I'm going Apple again with my Macbook and Android on phone.

  • Take a look to Ski Blackbox www.windowsphone.com/.../f1c53621-a14e-48ec-9dcf-b346d32b6b1c

    It has all the stats tracking you can ask for and it even plots your route on a map so you can see where you've been.

    You don't even need wifi nor 3G connectivity to run it-

  • mtcerio
    9 Posts

    @kokasbal and all: for tracking, I use Outdoor Navigation. It is not specific for skiers, but it does the job. You can download openpistemap for offline use and the tracking works well: it keeps the phone awake when switching off the display. For precise tracking while skiing (I can see my turns), I suggest setting the polling time to 10 metres and 1 second.

    www.windowsphone.com/.../83f78cdd-fb29-e011-854c-00237de2db9e

  • Maybe the Windows Phone team could stop playing with sparkly toys long enough to put call duration information in the call history. As it stands professional people take about 30 seconds before they throw it in the bin, and most of that is disbelief that Windows Phone lacks a capability that was standard on analog phones. I really hate being asked how to get call durations for billing. It's so embarrassing.

  • zeekdog
    0 Posts

    Cascade Skier doesnt even install.  I bought it (twice), then it goes to 50% download and errors out into a code that is used for any program that doesnt install.  Its never worked. Ditto to comments on the Northface app.  How about spending time getting these app devs to fix their apps, .... THEN promote them on this blog?!

  • I like WP.I like to make a feedback. I want see a better page navigation within an app. Can it be so that if a user presses and hold the back button for few seconds within an app he or she should see all the pages of that app that he has visited or navigated.

  • Here's an idea.... How about a magenta L920 for Valentines day, with a temporary rebate of $49.99??

  • JoleneG
    0 Posts

    Michael, while I like Ski Guide most out of these apps, Im surprised no one has mentionned the Skymotion app. The app tells you when to expect rain or snow on per minute basis. It's precision is pretty stunning and i use it for sking or everyday things.

  • While the app loads, the data is usually incorrect or just missing.  The have released updates for their other apps on other platforms (Android and iOS.)  Unfortunately, there isn't an app that offers the features The North Face could.  Freshy (www.windowsphone.com/.../f39444eb-19ff-df11-9264-00237de2db9e) comes close, but isn't feature complete.  Also, it appears to be broken, as a number of reviewers have stated it no longer works.

    I would REALLY love an app that would offer winter time mountain resort conditions.  Right now, that's severely missing from the Windows Phone ecosystem, just like plenty of other apps (United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Square, Instagram, Pintrist, etc.)

  • Hey a recently tried almost all the ski apps becouse I'm about to try my lumia 920 on the slopes. For non US skiers I can recommend Ski Guide, Ski Demon, SkiersApp and a fun staff Ski Slope Angle. I would love an app witch knows the region's skimap and actually can track me during the skiing. Do you know any? It would be enough if i could import the skimap image and calibrate myself on the map and than it could track my movements. (bing, nokia maps or google maps don't have any skimap support so they are useless for this purpose. )

  • @ChrisLynch: Hey Chris. I'll try to find the right contact and pass along the feedback.The app works just fine for me on my 920, but I appreciate the first-hand report. Which app do you prefer instead?

  • Michael, while this is a good idea to post about these apps, The North Face app is horrible and doesn't work the majority of the time.  I have tried contacting The North Face without success.  I hope you can track down someone there and report their app isn't reliable, and doesn't function properly on any Windows Phone device, and isn't specific to 7.x or 8.