The Best Winter Apps of 2013
Ski more powder, score cheap lift tickets, and avoid avalanches
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Ski and Snow Report (free)
There are countless snowfall apps; this is the most intuitive and accurate we’ve used. Staffers analyze and post data all day long, so the figures are often more reliable than what the resorts claim. Our favorite feature: you can set an alert for when, say, more than a foot of powder falls near you. For Android and iPhone
BEST FOR: NOT GETTING LOST
Still fumbling around with paper maps? This app gives you access to more than 650 basic trail maps; download them to your phone and access them anywhere on the mountain, no Wi-Fi or cell service necessary. There’s also a 3-D version ($5; iPhone only) that allows you to trace exact lines on interactive topo maps and then upload them to Google Earth. (More and more resorts are offering tricked-out trail apps, too, so check their websites.) For Android and iPhone
BEST FOR: BRAGGING RIGHTS
Ski Tracks (free)
Like Strava does for runners and cyclists, Ski Tracks uses your phone’s GPS to give you a snapshot of your day. It logs the angle of the steepest slope you rode, the amount of vertical you skied, and your max and average speed, among other things. Just be sure to charge up your phone before hitting the slopes—it’s a serious battery drain. (Another good way to show off: Claimmyrun.com, which allows you to tag helmet-cam footage with the trail it was shot on. The site then organizes clips in one easy-to-search place and allows users to rank the ones they like best. An app should be out by January.) For iPhone only
BEST FOR: BACKCOUNTRY SKIERS
Ullr Labs Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools ($12)
Think of this, the most advanced backcountry app available, as another tool in your snow-safety toolbox. View or download forecasts from avalanche centers—and crowdsourced observations from local users—as well as cross-sections of recent snow pits and even slope, aspect, and crown size of documented avalanches. (A cell-phone signal is required only when downloading forecasts or submitting observation data.) Smart: the next version will feature cold- and glove-friendly voice commands. For Android and iPhone
BEST FOR: SCORING CHEAP TICKETS
The discount-lift-ticket site’s new app makes finding deals even easier. It culls the biggest bargains from more than 200 resorts, organized by region. Bonus: you can purchase tickets right through the app. For iPhone only