Avalanche! Five Safety Apps for Snow Freaks

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It’s still summer, but before you know it you’ll be thinking about hitting the slopes, whether it’s for boarding, skiing or just the après bit.

One thing that may have plagued you in previous years is the threat of avalanches and with climate change, the slopes are becoming a bit more unpredictable than they were before. Scientists are working on image analysis software that will be able to predict avalanches, but we’re not quite there yet. If you’re undaunted and you’re already packing your earmuffs and factor 50 lip balm, you should also download one or more of these babies onto your smartphone.

Remember! Your smartphone isn’t the be-all and end-all in the snow

As you probably know, your smartphone – or any mobile phone for that matter – can interfere with your beacon. It will also run out of charge pretty quickly in intense cold, so don’t rely on it totally. Most of these apps are designed to be used while you’re off-slope, so make sure you use all your usual precautions and protections while actually out in the white stuff.

The Mammut Safety App for Android and iPhone

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This app collects data on avalanches from all over the world so you’re able to calculate your level of risk on pretty much every slope. You can look at steepness and exposure; you’ll also be able to use its GPS function to summon search and rescue if you don’t have a beacon. But do have a beacon, OK?

Avalanche Lab for iPhone only (as yet)

What’s great about this avalanche app is that not only does it cover the whole world like the Mammut, it’s crowdsourced. You can submit your own information and files on avalanches, as well as slope steepness. There’s a free and an advanced version.

White Risk SLF Avalanche App for Apple and Android

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This is the app for the Swiss Alps, designed by the Swiss Avalanche Services. It features snow and weather forecasts as well as national and local bulletins. It also has an interactive danger area map which is updated at 8.00am and 5.00pm local time – in four languages, German, French, English and Italian.

The Clinometer and Bubble Level App – paid for, Apple and Android

This app is considered the most accurate digital spirit level and inclinometer around. You can measure slope steepness and thanks to the spirit level function, you might even get around to putting that shelf up…

Fatmap 3D Map App iPhone and Android

This app is an ultra hi-res 3D mapping app. It’s great for use on and off-piste. You can decide on your routes before you set off for the day by flying around them and examining them from all angles, then do a virtual replay when you get back home. It’ll also notify you of high risk areas, as well as crevasse zones.

fatmap-piste-map-3d-ski-snowboard

However fancy your app is, though, remember that it’s no substitute for education and good practice. Make sure you have your transceiver beacon, a shovel, and airbag and a probe, as well as your map and a compass. Listen to forecasts and other skiers, make sure you know what to do if you or a friend is caught out and if in doubt, play it safe.

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Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

I am Vishal Gaikar, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharashtra, India. If you like This post, you can follow Tricks Machine on Twitter, also you can add me on Google+.

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