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Skiing With A GPS

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
We had a blast skiing with the GPS unit over the course of our Utah trip. Found it to be useful for mileage tracked, highest speed posted and it showed elevation in feet wherever we were on the mountain. Pretty cool.
I posted a speed of 53.5mph at Solitude. At Deer Valley we skied 31 miles.

Anyone else enjoy skiing with a GPS??
post #2 of 22
I'm (hopefully) going to try next week. Just getting the software sorted out for my cell phone.

www.sportsdo.net
post #3 of 22
Threads in the past have gone on post after post explaining how that 53mph was really only 22. I use them a lot and find they can be quite accurate, with a weird number once in a while.

Recently I was measuring some XC loops, and set the odometer to 0. It quickly went to 15 meters. I wondered why until I noticed it actually read 0.15 meters. I stuck my arm out an back and it jumped to 0.85 meters. It could detect the movement of my arm from satellites. Scary.
post #4 of 22
What kind of gps units are you guys using?
post #5 of 22
I have a garmin 76CS that I use sometimes. I can set it to give me a data point every second. There's a great site that lets you make color coded maps of your gps logs. http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/map?form=google

At first I was very curious to find out how fast I skied on the typical day. Now the novelty has worn off.
post #6 of 22
I train daily with a Garmin Forerunner 305. I also have the Edge 305 on my road bike). The data I collect is very helpful to my training regime. I keep a log of waxing, snow conditions, my physiology, training objectives and discipline. The data is surprising.

I also use www.motionbased.com for my data warehouse and analysis, I find if very helpful.

Here's some samples

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2243427
http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2243424
http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2243426

Side by side shows some interesting comparisons.
post #7 of 22
I have a Garmin Gecko 301 from several years ago. I like it because it is small, rugged, and semi-waterproof. It's got a small screen, no maps, but I never look at it in real time anyway.

The most fun / easiest to use computer tools for GPS track logs that I have found are

www.gpsvisualizer.com - makes maps or altitude profiles from your logs, overlaid on a wide selection of backgrounds (I like USGS black and white aerial photos). The tracks are color coded by your choice from a lot of options -- slope (now in degrees, not grade as originally. Thanks!), speed, altitude, ... THe shading algorithm throws out wild points.

GPS TrackMaker (www.gpstm.com) for reading the logs. It can export as gpx (gps exchange) or as kml (input to Google Earth - display your path
on Google Earth in 3-d; lots of fun if your ski area is one of the many with high-res maps in GE.)
post #8 of 22
GPS's are evil! Whenever I use one I ski way too fast and am not always in perfect control. I've clocked over 72kmh on a chopped up part of a regular blue run, straight-lining between beginners, and have clocked over 100kmh several times straight-lining down big wide runs. Each time I've wondered what I was going to do if I got a bit of shape - crashes at that speed could be very nasty. Without a GPS, I like to ski fast but do slow down when I'm at my limit of control.

I'm not the only one - this seems to happen to most of my friends too. I had a laugh at one of my speed demon friends who wanted to get 100kmh plus and straight-lined it down a black run which was getting a bit bumpy. He was going too fast for me and got wobbly over some bumps at very high speeds. I skiid up next to him when he'd stopped and he was shaking. He pulled out the GPS and it read 23kmh - he had it next to his phone in his pocket haha. I suggested he try again as I was sure he'd have been doing over 100kmh - he said no way and was looking a bit pale.
post #9 of 22
Do skiers in Australia go around bumps the opposite direction of skiers in the northern hemisphere?: I've always wondered about that........
post #10 of 22
Haha - most Australians are pretty sporting but we don't get to spend a lot of time on the snow so it's more usual to just go straight over the bumps and hope not to crash. There's more bravado than skill with a lot of skiers in Australia. Anyway, turns are for girls

I'm sure our beer pours the opposite way though.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by closh View Post
GPS's are evil! Whenever I use one I ski way too fast and am not always in perfect control. I've clocked over 72kmh on a chopped up part of a regular blue run, straight-lining between beginners, and have clocked over 100kmh several times straight-lining down big wide runs. Each time I've wondered what I was going to do if I got a bit of shape - crashes at that speed could be very nasty. Without a GPS, I like to ski fast but do slow down when I'm at my limit of control.

I'm not the only one - this seems to happen to most of my friends too. I had a laugh at one of my speed demon friends who wanted to get 100kmh plus and straight-lined it down a black run which was getting a bit bumpy. He was going too fast for me and got wobbly over some bumps at very high speeds. I skiid up next to him when he'd stopped and he was shaking. He pulled out the GPS and it read 23kmh - he had it next to his phone in his pocket haha. I suggested he try again as I was sure he'd have been doing over 100kmh - he said no way and was looking a bit pale.
LOL, I did just about the same thing when I first got my GPS. I wanted to see if I skied faster on longer skis or if it was all in my head, so I put gps in my pocket planning on switching skis at lunch. Conditions were skating rink ice with little piles of snow here and there and goggles covered by insta-freeze snow-gun spray. I stubbornly proceeded with the test until I just about lost it on an unseen bump, only to discover that the batteries had run out before I got to the steep section.:. You can read about it here. http://forums.epicski.com/newreply.p...eply&p=679412&

Don't worry; the novelty wears off. Now when I take the GPS along I don't ski any differently. I just put it in my pocket and forget about it until the end of the day. I already know how fast I ski. It might be dangerous the first time I take it to a real long steep though (We don't have those in the east).
post #12 of 22
I saw a guy the other day at Hunta with one. It was an ankle bracelet!:
post #13 of 22
I still think that a GPS is prone to missing data points due to sattelite loss on treed slopes or just obstruction by the skier himself. The unit interprets a signal loss as being stationary, and calculates the average speed to the next point where the signal is regained, resulting in falsely high maximum speed readings. The small remote patch antennas would help a lot with this allowing the GPS to be carried in a more protected pocket.
post #14 of 22
I ski with a small pack (to avoid chipmunk pockets). It has a very small pocket right on top, which I think is supposed to be a camelback feedtrhough or some such. My GPS just fits. It gets good reception there, not blocked by me or the other stuff I'm carrying. When I used to keep it in my coat pocket I had more dropouts.

As to spurious readings - I never believe the "max speed" reading. I've seen it read obviously ridiculous numbers too often, though I think that is usually during initial lock-on at power up. Post-processed results on the computer are more reliable.
post #15 of 22
I don't know the algorithm for max speed function of my garmin. I have read that it incorporates a dopler shift of the satellite carrier wave signal. I do know that the track logs use a simple total horizontal distance divided by total time between readings, so they at least provide a mathematically correct average horizontal speed regardless of signal loss.

I too have some doubts about some of the "max speed" readings I've seen on the GPS.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
I ski with a small pack (to avoid chipmunk pockets). It has a very small pocket right on top, which I think is supposed to be a camelback feedtrhough or some such. My GPS just fits. It gets good reception there, not blocked by me or the other stuff I'm carrying. When I used to keep it in my coat pocket I had more dropouts.

As to spurious readings - I never believe the "max speed" reading. I've seen it read obviously ridiculous numbers too often, though I think that is usually during initial lock-on at power up. Post-processed results on the computer are more reliable.
The way I see it, my GPS is always super-accurate on the speed thing in my car once it's locked into a few sats. I see no reason for it to be inaccurate while skiing.

I last did this a couple of years ago with a friend's GPS and consistently got just over 40 for a couple of runs. That was with 180cm 9.18s. I wonder how I'd do today on my 164cm Metrons.

The GPS is coming next time
post #17 of 22
No doubt if your shooting for a high speed, Murphy's law will dictate that the steepest longest run will have the satellites blocked by the mountain.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
No doubt if your shooting for a high speed, Murphy's law will dictate that the steepest longest run will have the satellites blocked by the mountain.
I was getting 40 on a blue run near the bottom of Gore (or was it Killington).

If I go for speed again, it probably won't be on a steep black narrow trail
post #19 of 22
Just find out where which ever mountain you're at have their DH race. Pre-run the course first, grooming isn't always as good as it is for race day. Don't do it on a crowded sunny Saturday. Do it right after a freezing rain storm when the hill is empty.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow View Post
I train daily with a Garmin Forerunner 305. I also have the Edge 305 on my road bike). The data I collect is very helpful to my training regime. I keep a log of waxing, snow conditions, my physiology, training objectives and discipline. The data is surprising.

I also use www.motionbased.com for my data warehouse and analysis, I find if very helpful.

Here's some samples

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2243427
http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2243424
http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2243426

Side by side shows some interesting comparisons.
That site is killer. I have a compatible Garmin (Legend CX) and had no idea that even existed.

I can't wait to use this for skiing and hiking.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Unobstructed the GPS is probably the most accurate tool for speed.
post #22 of 22
I use a Garmin Edge 305 primarily for bicycling but in a pocket it collects some cool data while skiing

works fine in the parka pocket...

I also use it for mountain biking and the tree cover does not seem to impede it much... the newer units seem much less sensitive to trees
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