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Advice on best app for on-mountain GPS phone tracking

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Going out west for the first time with my kid. Would like to be able to track her on the mountain with my phone - just because it's the 21st century and the places we usually ski you could see from one end of the "resort" to the other on a clear day.

I know there are lots of apps out there that claim to be able to do this e.g., find your lost phone, but I'd rather use one that other skiers specifically vouch for having used in this particular application. No, I don't need something for off-piste skiing, but just "where are the kids" stuff. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance...
post #2 of 9
If you go to a Vail resort, the lifts all have lift pass tracking you can program into your phone. It allows you to see which lifts others in your party are using.
post #3 of 9

I haven't tried this app but I've seen some reports on it lately from some skiers I hold in high regard. 

post #4 of 9

I used Ski Tracks, it's OK but I really only use it to see how many & what runs I make and how long it takes.  The slope feature is not accurate unless you're relatively straightlining (I made about 4 or 5 turns/traverses on a 35-40deg double black headwall and on the next lift ride it told me the max slop was 22).  And I think the speed feature is a bit generous.

 

My best tip, though, would be to keep your phone close to you.  I was putting my iPhone in my front outside shell pocket.  Worked fin until the temps got down around single digits.  Turns out, the iPhone battery  stops working, and you can't do anything with the phone.  I brought it back inside and let it warm up and I had 80% battery again.

 

Also, figure out what the app you choose needs to operate (GPS only, cell data, roaming, etc), and enable only those features while skiing.  I stick to GPS and cell data and have everything besides the ski app, email, messaging set to use cellular, everything else (facebook, theChive, etc) will only background update via wifi.  This can cut down on your battery usage.

post #5 of 9

Ski Tracks doesn't have the ability to show you where other people are. 

 

Vail resorts EpicMix does, but only to show you the most recent lift taken - it doesn't use GPS, just the RFID tag in your lift pass that the lift entrance scans as you pass. (I had it miss several lifts one day too.)

 

Those are the only two I'm familiar with.

 

From the website, I can't tell if Snowcru will show you where people are or not. 

 

Crystal Ski Explorer looks like it does what you're looking for (and a lot more) but it's a British app so it only has a few US resorts in it. (I just downloaded it to check it out - it doesn't appear to be able to handle any resorts not listed. The listed ones in the US are : Aspen, Breck, Park City, Steamboat, Vail, Winter Park)

 

There are also a lot of apps that will just show you where people are, but aren't skiing specific. You might want to search for GPS tracking apps (or "track kids on phone", or something like that).

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BinghamtonEd View Post
 

I used Ski Tracks, it's OK but I really only use it to see how many & what runs I make and how long it takes.  The slope feature is not accurate unless you're relatively straightlining (I made about 4 or 5 turns/traverses on a 35-40deg double black headwall and on the next lift ride it told me the max slop was 22).  And I think the speed feature is a bit generous.

 

My best tip, though, would be to keep your phone close to you.  I was putting my iPhone in my front outside shell pocket.  Worked fin until the temps got down around single digits.  Turns out, the iPhone battery  stops working, and you can't do anything with the phone.  I brought it back inside and let it warm up and I had 80% battery again.

 

Also, figure out what the app you choose needs to operate (GPS only, cell data, roaming, etc), and enable only those features while skiing.  I stick to GPS and cell data and have everything besides the ski app, email, messaging set to use cellular, everything else (facebook, theChive, etc) will only background update via wifi.  This can cut down on your battery usage.


I use Ski Tracks.  If you are going to use it with your iPhone, I would get a battery case to double the charge of the battery, particularly when skiing on a cold day in Vermont!.  As the previous poster mentioned, don't pay attention to slope angle and maximum speed, but it does track vertical very well.  Your skied vertical is based on "downhill runs" as opposed to lift rides.

 

Epic Mix (Vail Resorts) will base your skied vertical on the lift ride as it reads your pass at the lift entrance.  

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody. I will post back if I have success with any of the above.
post #8 of 9

The Road ID app does exactly what you want:
https://www.roadid.com/ecrumbs

 

If your kid has a smartphone you can track them with that app as long as there is mobile service w/data.  I try to use it when I ski alone so my wife knows where to send them to look for me if she notices I don't come home.  :)   I use it biking too and it works great.   

 

You might post asking the locals how well your carrier works on the mountain you are visiting, as it can vary widely.  

post #9 of 9

My brother used road ID and it crashed constantly and was feeding back the wrong location. To be honest I haven't heard of this happening before so we must have had a bad draw, but it is something to be cautious off.

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