A world without skiing is not one I want to be a part of. Neither is a world without the ability to track your every movement and plaster it over social media.
In the middle of this first-world Venn diagram lies the ski tracker app, of which a premier proponent is Ski Tracks.
If you are so inclined to fiddle with your phone at the start of your day, tapping with frozen fingers while family or friends wait atop an ice cold run, you could do worse than Ski Tracks. Set-up is pretty easy and straightforward so you may put your gloves back on just in time to stave off the frostbite.
At its core, the app is essentially RunKeeper for the slopes, with a few bells and whistles. Set it at the start of the day and it will not only plot your route and distance travelled, it also detects when you have been on ski lift to avoid counting towards your ski distance; calculates your maximum speed; altitude; ascent (because these things are important, apparently) and a few other statistics your friends will no doubt love to dissect from your Facebook feed.
Let’s be honest, the stat that many will look for is max speed. It is a little fun to register you have travelled marginally faster than a car on a dual carriageway, wearing little more than thickly padded clothing and – I hope – a helmet (you really need this).
The bells and whistles I mentioned earlier include the ability to:
- take photos along the way and save this as part of your route;
- listen to music within the app;
- and of course, post the result of your endeavours to Facebook.
The watch app is rather good, giving you the key bits of information without having to take out your phone and tap on the screen with your bare hands. Feel like a 1980s James Bond with none of the danger and slightly better clobber.
Battery life is always a concern when you leave a smartphone doing stuff for an extended period of time and Ski Tracks is no different. How well your device fares will depend on a number of factors including the model and its age. For this reason I keep an external battery pack with me on the slopes.
One of the earlier problems with the app was that you had to allow it to always use your location – thankfully that is no longer the case and you can set it to only use your location when the app is in use. Cos there ain’t no skiing in Dubai. Well, there is, but that’s another story.