The Definitive Guide to iPhone Skiing & Snowboarding Apps

January 1, 2009

With 10,000 applications that have racked up 300 million downloads to date, it’s no wonder that there’s an abundance of skiing and riding applications in Apple’s iTunes app store. Unfortunately, weeding out the bad from the good can be difficult - many of the reviews in the app store seem to be less than honest (a lot read like they were written by the developers and their family members), and some of the apps just aren’t as good as others. Well, we’ve decided to do the legwork and pick out the standouts of the bunch. We’ll continue to update this post as the apps are revamped and new offerings become available.

App Summary

An easy to read breakdown of every skiing & riding app, including price, rating and feature info. Click to enlarge.

In-Depth Reviews

iTrailMap & iTrailMap3D (Free and $4.99)

Review: iTrailMap & iTrailMap3D are definitely two standouts in the bunch. If you are looking for just trail maps and no weather/conditions reporting, iTrailMap is probably the best choice. At many of the resorts we tested this app on, it quickly delivered trail maps of a useable resoloution which were easily moved and zoomed in on. It caches the maps for use even if you don’t have a Wifi or cell connection, which is a must-have feature in our book. Some of the maps were too small to read trail names, but this seems to be common across all apps.

iTrailMap3D offers all of the trail mapping capabilities of iTrailMap, but uses the iPhone’s GPS capabilities to plot your actual location and movements on 3D satelite images of the terrain. It works well when your iphone is kept high on the body and within reach of a GPS signal. Plotted lines and points can be exported to Google maps, which is a great way of looking back at your day.

Overall: Both apps come strongly recommended. iTrailMap is a simple but fast & powerful means of obtaining and managing trail maps on your iPhone, and iTrailMap3D’s plotting features are unlike anything else in the app store.

REI Ski & Snowboard Report (Free)

Review: REI’s Ski & Snowboard Report app is a simple conditions & webcam only application, no trailmaps here. The main page is a summary of conditions at three of your favorite resorts, and a large link to shop online at REI, which is an obligatory waste of screen real estate. Once you get to the resort detail page, everything is clearly laid out in front of you. Webcam images open quickly within the app.

Overall: While this is a solid app that’s pretty quick and easy to use, the launch page is a little confusing, and you can only store three favorite resorts at once. While there are more richly-featured free apps out there, this isn’t a bad choice if you just want weather and conditions data.

The Snow Report from The North Face (Free)

Review: One of the more popular free apps in the store, the North Face’s Snow Reporting app is a visually-pleasing, easy to use, and pretty quick. Each resort’s main page has surface info, base depth, new snow stats, temps and upcoming weather, but trail counts and lift status is missing. This app also features maps, GPS location (shows nearby resorts only), and links to the resort’s site, but the maps were often low or moderate resoloution, and you need to be connected via cellular or wifi for the app to even launch.

Overall: Has potential, but needs work. While the graphics and speed are great, it’s missing some key features like trail counts and the ability to use it without a network connection.

Ski Lodge ($1.99) - BEST of the TEST!

Review: From the moment I installed this app, I was struck by the appeal of its UI - it’s drop dead gorgeous, well laid out, seems reliable, and is lightning fast. It opens to a favorites page with surface conditions and temps, from which you can search for other resorts, view cams & pictures, map it, quickly place a call to the resort or visit their site, and download maps. Ski lodge pulls off the resort maps better than anyone else by leaps and bounds - hi res maps download quickly and are cached for later use when you may not have a cellular or wifi signal. Ski Lodge had the highest resoloution and most up to date map versions at most of the resorts we checked out. It’s location-aware, so you can map nearbyb resorts, too.

Overall: While this app doesn’t have much in the way of unique features, it does what it does very, very well. Stable, fast, and the resort maps really make it a stand out. Best of the test.

iSki by AppTime, LLC (Free)

Review: In addition to trail maps and weather reports, this app has a handful of unique features - location plotting via GPS and the ability to send your location to other users of the app. While we weren’t able to try out this particular feature, we did notice one thing that was a deal breaker - a sudden barrage of text message snow alerts that simply wouldn’t stop. The UI was occasionally slow, and jumped in and out of safari to display conditions data under some circumstances, which is a little cumbersome.

Overall: The ideas are great, but the execution needs some work. Only available to iPhone users, no iPod touch support. Skip it for now.

iSki by DW:Design ($1.99)

Review: This is a simple, clean application that brings snowfall and surface condition information to your iphone - nothing more. If you are looking for a very lightweight and simple solution, this isn’t a bad one.

Overall: Very simple, nothing special. Delivers the data, but nothing special for the $1.99 price tag.

Colorado Snow Report (Free)

Review: This is a relatively simple, clean app that delivers condition reports and access to cams at all of the major Colorado resorts. The main screen of the app is a simple list of surface conditions and new snowfall totals, from which you can drill down to a specific resort to see more detailed information and live webcams. The “Map” and “Resort’s Website” links take you out of the application to the Maps app and Safari respectively. This app doesn’t offer trail maps - just drops pins on the iPhone’s map showing the resort’s general location.

Overall: This app is simple, but that’s part of it’s appeal - it seems to be pretty stable and quick. If you ski exclusively in Colorado, don’t need maps or other frills, this is a decent choice.

FizzSnow ($2.99)

Review: From the same guys that created the top-rated FizzWeather (my weather app of choice) comes FizzSnow. The idea is great, but the execution looks to be a little off. This app delivers surface conditions and a pretty comprehensive look at the upcoming weather, but many users report that coverage is patchy at best, and that many major resorts are left out. It does include resort maps, but this can be found on many free apps.

Overall: This is an attractive application that is well layed out. That being said, if the data isn’t there, a good layout can’t save it. Doesn’t deliver anything particularly special for the $2.99 price tag that can’t be found on free apps.

HangTimerLite & HangTimer (Free and $9.99, Respectively)

Review: The HangTimer and HangTimer Lite apps are a little different than everything else in the app store - these apps are centered around recording your exact airtime (and for iPhone 3G owners, exact park location) using the iPhone’s accelerometer and GPS capabilities. In our tests, the hangtimer function appeared to be pretty accurate when worn on the hip as directed. The paid version of the app ($9.99) includes snow reports and trail mapping, which really lacks compared to most of the free apps available.

Overall: Definitely download the free version and give it a try, it’s a lot of fun. Skip the paid version - it’s expensive and offers little that can’t be found in many of the free apps found here.

SkiUtah (Free)

Review: This is another simple app that delivers only conditions information on Utah resorts. Each resort you add has one main screen with surface conditions and  current weather, and a link that clicks through to the browser to bring you full resort conditions info.

Overall: Another simple regional app. If you just want conditions info for Utah, it does this well.

Snocator ($1.99)

Review: Snocator is an app with a few unique features - GPS overlays on simple resort maps, and somewhat more detailed weather information than the majority of apps out there. That being said, there are questions about the reliability of it’s conditions data, and the app expires at the end of the season in 2009. Deal breaker! Trail maps aren’t yet cached, so you need a constant cellular or wifi connection to see them.

Overall: Steer clear. This app doesn’t offer anything that you can’t get in a free app, the data is questionable, and it actually expires in 2009.

SnoCountry Free & SnoCountry (Free and $0.99, respectively)

Review: is one of two definitive resources for weather and surface conditions on the web, so as you’d expect, the data this app uses is amongst the most comprehensive and current. The app also offers maps and resort cam access, but really only is a collection of links that point to resort homepages, making it cumbersome to use. The free app is fully featured, the paid version allows you to bookmark more favorites.

Overall: This app is probably has the most reliable conditions and weather data, but using other features (like maps and cams) is sometimes akward. If you are looking for an app solely to check conditions data, this is recommended… otherwise, there are better alternatives.

Snow Drifter ($0.99)

Review: This no-frills app offers surface conditions and resort weather, nothing more. The main page is a summary of your favorite resorts with the base, new snowfall and surface stats, which makes it easy to compare resorts at a glance. For more information, you have to click through to

Overall: For $0.99, this app doesn’t offer anything that you can find in many free apps.

Snow Reports ($1.99)

Review: SnowReports brings you conditions & weather information from, another definitive online resource for resort conditions information. While the data is solid, this app offers little more - no maps, and in order to see more detailed information or resort cams you need to click through to safari and the resort’s site.

Overall: Again, for $1.99 we’d expect full functionality including maps, and something more. Not the case - this app offers nothing that you can’t get in a free app.

SnowTrails ($1.99)

Review: This app is another data recording app, it isn’t designed to bring you conditions or maps. Compatible with the iPhone 3G, it uses GPS functionality to plot and record stats on your runs including location, speed, time, distance, and more. Whether or not it works well is another question, reviews are mixed.

Overall: Could be a lot of fun if it works, but the jury is still out. If you are willing to take a slight risk, drop the $1.99 and spend some time playing with it. The depth of the data it purports to collect could be useful.

WeSki (Free)

Review: This is another no-frills, conditions only app. The layout is convenient (trail counts and base depths are listed on the favorites page), but as others have noted, the font is a little on the small side. Data appears to be pretty reliable.

Overall: Simple, no frills. Data is current and reliable, and the price is right.