Getting the Most out of your Ride: Best Apps and Upcoming Ski Towns to Hit
Colorado is famous for a number of things. Aside from the spectacular mountain views, skiing the Rockies has historically been one of our biggest attractions. As the number one destination for skiing and snowboarding in North America — we know a bit about the sport. With as much as we love the skiing here, a true “shred head” loves nothing more than to find and conquer the freshest trails less taken. Often cheaper, and without the crowds, you could say these underrated towns are some of the ski world’s best-kept secrets…for now. Here is our list of the top five most underrated ski towns, along with the best apps every skier and snowboarder should install right now.
This volcano boasts 3,500 acres with 150 runs, 28 lifts, 3 base lodges and pitches for riders of every skill level. With everything from easy green runs to double-black chutes, Mammoth sports nine terrain parks, including 18 and 22 foot half-pipes. On top of great terrain diversity, this wide-open alpine terrain receives 400 inches of snow annually and 300 days of sunshine. How could you go wrong? Did we forget to mention it has one of the country’s best ski schools and backcountry opportunities?
Located on the edge of the Four Corners — surrounded by the San Juan Mountains — this small, Old West, railroad town has become one of America’s adventure sports capitals. Renowned for its mountain biking and kayaking, this low-key town is also a great place to bring the whole family for numerous activities available including: fly fishing, ice climbing, and skiing. The terrain at Durango Mountain Resort is perfect for families and intermediate riders with 88 runs, 10 lifts, 5 terrain parks and 260 inches of snow per year. If you’re a more advanced rider, try tackling the new expert level ski terrain, or head over to Silverton, just 55 miles up the road. With so much to do you’ll never get bored!
Revelstroke, British Columbia
Ever dream of getting whisked to the top of a mountain, only to drop down into a pile of powder? The thrill is real. Rapidly making its way up the North American list of top ski areas to hit is Revelstroke. It boasts 5,620 feet of vertical and an average of 350 to 550 inches of snow per year. It’s also the only area in North America where skiers and boarders have access to lifts, snowcats and helicopters from the same base area. Regardless of whether you’re looking to go big, or just cruise some of the premier backcountry skiing at Roger’s Pass up the road, this quiet and friendly ski town (with a surprising number of delicious restaurants) is certainly a worthy mountain to conquer.
Only 40 minutes north of Salt Lake City’s international airport, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain are covered in the same soft powder that blesses the resorts in Cottonwood Canyon—but without the crowds. Following its 2002 renovation for the Winter Olympics, Snowbasin now features base lodges with state-of-the-art lifts including a tram and two gondolas. It also has expert terrain that rivals any other park in Utah. Meanwhile, Powder Mountain continues to keep it classic with slow-moving chair lifts, simple lodges and cheaper lift tickets. Its layout sprawls 7,000 acres and receives 500 inches of snow per year; ideal for intermediate riders. This mountain currently lays claim to the largest ski area in the U.S, with hiking and snowcat terrain available. After a great day of skiing around, visitors enjoy the downtown nightlife of hip bars and eateries on 25th street.
Situated on the northern tip of the densest concentration of ski resorts in North America, sits Reno’s Mount Rose. It isn’t the flashiest of the ski areas around, but it’s less expensive than most. It sports an excellent beginner’s program, while its expert area—the Chutes—hosts a buffet of 1,200-plus feet, north-facing, 45-degree pitches. It stands as the highest base elevation in the Tahoe region at 8,260 feet. Mount Rose is also located a mere 20 minutes from downtown, where there are plenty of casinos and nightclubs to enjoy. A recent facelift has also filled its streets with cafes, galleries and artist’s lofts overlooking the river walk. This pedestrian-friendly town has become more of a smaller, family-oriented version of Las Vegas…with great skiing!
Now that you know the best “new” slopes to hit, here are the apps you need to get the most out our your ride.
Best Ski and Snowboarding apps:
If you don’t have this app installed already, you need to download it now. GasBuddy is a wonderful app that displays all the gas stations and their prices near you using your location technology. You can then find a station nearby with the right price and gas grade to fill up at. Say goodbye to wasting time (and gas) driving around wondering where the nearest, cheapest station is. Now you can pull them up as quick as a swipe on your phone. You’d be amazed at how much you can save if you’re strategic!
The car is loaded, you’ve got all your gear, you’re fueled up and it’s time to hit the road…just in time to get stuck behind a car accident. ..What do you do? Pull out your handy Waze app of course! Waze works by crowdsourcing data from users nearby to provide the most up-to-the-minute reports on congestion, road conditions, speed traps and alternate routes so you find the path of least resistance.
Anytime you venture into the backcountry, the possibility of being engulfed by an avalanche is in the back of your mind. But even as educated, experienced and safe as you may be, your decision-making abilities can never be too sharp. It also helps when you have accurate data on your side. The Avalanche Safety tool app comes complete with GPS, a compass, a clinometer (to measure the angle of the slope), avalanche forecasts and up-to-the-minute snowpack information. It by no means is meant to replace the value of an avalanche safety course, but it certainly helps trained backcountry skiers make informed decisions.
Familiar with geocaching? Kinomap allows you to record video and store it at that specific geographic location using your GPS. It is then uploaded onto Google maps, either publicly or privately, and shared with those who travel there next. It’s a great way to leave a mark and share the fun with fellow riders.
Have you ever been in the mountains and wondered what peaks you’re looking at? By pointing your camera at the peak in question, this app pulls up a detailed list of everything it knows about each peak in sight. It’s 2015—there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to read up on your surroundings at any time.
AlpineReplay is perfect when you want to know exact details about your day. The app not only tracks your speed, vertical drop, and total distance traveled, but it also provides calories burned, airtime, and time spent on lifts. It’s a great way to track progress made throughout the season.