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5 Best IPhone Apps To Get This Winter

Monday, December 15th, 2008

If you are lucky enough to have an iPhone, you are aware of all the great apps that you can download to help make your life a bit more productive, fun, and entertaining. They are great because they offer a little bit of something for everyone, but sometimes there are so many choices you don’t know what’s best. More and more I have notice the addition of seasonal apps that are geared specifically for interests, such as skiing and snowboarding. After looking into them and asking around, here are the 5 best choices that we could find, to add to your winter arsenal. You don’t have to take it just from me; most of these are the top purchased sports apps in the iTunes store.

snocator

Snocator

Stocator is and all in one app that promises to deliver everything you need for your next snow trip. The app uses interactive GPS and allows you to see you, on the trail, and points out your near by surroundings like lifts, other runs, lodges, etc. You can also check snow, surface, weather, and forecast reports within the program. Also track reports and conditions, even check out mountain cams, at your favorite resorts. The program covers over 70 US and Canadian resorts and tracks web cams of over 800 resorts worldwide.

Snow Reports

Snow Reports allows you to create a personal report of all your favorite ski and snowboard resorts from around the world. Information is brought to you by OnTheSnow.com and features information from over 2,000 resorts. This app will help you track resort status, conditions, weather and more all in one stop.

SnowTrails

Talk about training while you are out on the mountain, SnowTrails works to record information as you are going down the mountain. You can track your speed, altitude, distance, airtime in jumps and much more. Use this information to compare runs or to play back and see your performance. This app works at any resort worldwide as it only limited by your personal performance.

ItrailMaps 3D

This GPS based app called “3D Skier” allows you to see you position on a 3D mountain, track and record your stats and route, and upload them to the web to share with your buddies. You can record not only your position, but your elevation and distance traveled. The program currently covers over 500 resorts and all have 3D models with lift lines displayed.

Free Apps

I could not pick just one, cause they are all free, and what is better than that! Most of these apps are restricted to general locations, but totally useful none the less.

SnowValley – snow reports from Vail and Beaver Creek
Colorado Snow Report – log into Colorado’s 26 ski and riding resorts at one touch
Utah Snow Report – provides online reports of Utah’s 13 ski and riding resorts
We Ski – track snow conditions from many North American resorts

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Winter Finally Comes to Southern California

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

bear mountain

IT IS OFFICIAL… It is winter in Southern California! Today marks the day when all 3 mountains are open in the area, and that means its winter to me! Big Bear Mountain and sister resort Snow Summit both celebrated their opening days today, joining Mountain High to complete the trinity of snow parks in down here in SoCal. Ah, I can already feel the icicles forming.

Even though some may say its not real until it ACTUALLY snows, but there is snow on the ground and they will continue blowing new snow every day until the stars align, clouds form, and we are blessed with a snow shower. Rain is in the forecast for this weekend, so it only looks better and better for great start to an awesome winter season. I will now stop complaining how cold it is in the morning when I walk to my car.

Here are the conditions I pulled off the Big Bear site to give you an idea of what they have in store. Its not much, but its something.

Current Conditions
New Snow : No – snowmaking will continue as conditions permit
Snow Coverage : Generally good on the open runs
Snow Surface : Machine groomed packed powder, with some hard spots that may soften
Snow Depth : 8 to 12 inches on the open runs

Central Park is open, and Inspiration currently has 13 jibs and 2 snow features for your jibbing pleasure. Snow Summit is now open! Miracle Mile is open top-to-bottom, and Bear Bottom is open for beginners. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain have 4 chairlifts and terrain available for beginner to advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Check out both resorts, www.bearmountain.com and www.snowsummit.com.

You can also preview the conditions before you go from you cell by texting SNOW to 52406 to receive powder alerts and regular updates form the resorts. Check out extended details on their site.

Happy Shredding!

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Whistler-Blackcomb Going Big Like Douggie

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

One of North America’s premier mountains is stepping up their game. In preparation for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics, the legendary Whistler Blackcomb in B.C., Canada is opening it’s new Peak 2 Peak Gondola, said to be the first lift of its kind in North America.

whistler blackcomb peak 2 peak

The Gondola will connect the Whistler and Blackcomb peaks; taking riders on a scenic 11 minute ride, hanging as high as 1427 ft. in the air. The resort plans to celebrate with an official ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Dec. 12, at 11 a.m., then send start shipping skiers and snowboarders across the nearly 3 mile span between the mountains.

If you’ve ever ridden Whistler, you know what a massive difference this will make in time spent traversing the two peaks. If you haven’t, this is what I’m talking about. It’s an absolutely amazing mountain that just went that much bigger.

Launch ceremonies will be taking place at both Peak 2 Peak Gondola terminal buildings atop Whistler and Blackcomb with DJs and emcees communicating between them. Video screens will connect the action in two terminals with a giant LED screen on Whistler and four plasma screens in the Blackcomb terminal. If you’re in the area, be sure to suss it out.

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Gnarshmallow: Wanna Shred From the Comfort of Your Desk?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The answer is Gnarshmallow. I recently caught a whiff of this game from John Symms over at EXPN. It’s one of those basic, simple games that turns itself into an instant classic. It can also be a hell of a way to burn a couple of hours at work while still looking busy.

gnarshmallow

I just stuck a lincoln loop of a 122 ft. cliff in Alaska, so I’m obviously pretty stoked on the game. With a massive cold front and weather system headed for much of the Western U.S., hopefully my perserverance at Gnarshmallow will translate to progress in my actual skiing. I probably shouldn’t count on that.
Check this one out!

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The Colorado Freshy Status

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

fresh powderIt’s been hit or miss(a lot of miss) for much of the Western U.S. in the early part of winter. But the optimist in me is saying that all this means is we have loads of snow to look forward to.

I just received a first-hand report on the snow situation in Colorado right now, and it sounds like this last round of storms left them in solid shape right now. Our 5ones friend, Erica Cahn, dropped this beat on how things are shaping up for riders in Colorado. Anyone still searching for a destination to bomb for christmas vacation may want to keep this in mind-

For much of the Rocky Mountains, the barren brown mountainsides have finally turned white. Just this week, Breckenridge boasted over 3 feet of new snow, along with snow falling all over Colorado’s Rockies ranging from 2-4 feet! New runs are finally opening after the never-ending pre season drought seen from October through November. The wait is over, snow is here! Vail already has 66 of its 193 runs open, while Beaver Creek has 25, and Breckenridge has 28. Most which have opened just this week! Need more of a reason to take your gear out and set your alarm clock? And just a tip for you 5 mountain pass holders: Imperial chair, the highest chair in North America, is set to open this Saturday with 4 feet of that fresh, Colorado champagne!

Your local mountain not mentioned here? Check http://www.snowforecast.com for your local mountain snow report.

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Go Snowboarding Day & 10 Good Reasons to Ride that Day

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

go snowboarding day

The third edition of the World Snowboard Day, the international snowboarding day initiated by EuroSIMA (European Boardsports Industry Manufacturers Association) and the WSF (World Snowboard Federation) will open the winter season in many snow resorts worldwide Sunday, December 21, 2008. The list of sponsors and supporters is huge, not only limited to snowboard and apparel brands, but to snow enthusiasts in general that want to spread the word and get out in the pow pow to enjoy snowboard at its finest.

Authentic “open day”, the World Snowboard Day will enable the masses, from beginners through experts of all ages, to discover and enjoy snowboarding. Skateboarding, Surfing and my other sports have similar days each year set aside to enjoy and relish in their favorite activity of all. On this day of snowboarding around the world professionals and volunteers of the snowboard scene (federations, resorts, clubs, shops, pro riders, associations, and brands) will mobilize everywhere to share their passion for snowboarding with public.

Participating venues will have snowboard lessons, product testing, snowboard demos, contests, environmental awareness, concerts, parties and many other surprises. You can check out the detailed program of activities of the World Snowboard Day in each partner resort on www.world-snowboard-day.com.

10 GOOD REASONS TO GO RIDING ON THAT DAY:

1. It is the first Sunday of Christmas holidays
2. Snow is falling everywhere
3. It is time to take your snowboard equipment out of storage
4. There certainly is a partner resort next to you
5. It is the opportunity to discover a new riding experience
6. You could meet pro riders
7. Test the brand new snowboard equipment
8. It is a good way to warm you up
9. It is a reason to get together and have fun
10. And, above all, it is completely free (if you aren’t counting your gas, lift ticket, or hot cocoa… haha!)

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If Ever There Was Motivation Not to Finish College…

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

avalanche

Albi Sole, program co-ordinator for Public Avalanche Awareness Programs at the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, has just put the finishing touches on his masters degree research profiling who’s at the highest risk of being caught in an avalanche. Slackers everywhere will rejoice in Mr. Sole’s findings.
I’m not what most people would call a ‘numbers man’. I’m not really even sure how one would come up with these stats, but according to Sole the most likely subject is a male backcountry skier, 25-29 years old, with a bachelor’s degree or higher and earning about $10,000 over the provincial(state) average. Also, being accompanied by a woman reduces the risk, while having taken avalanche safety training doesn’t.

I was involved in-a rather large avalanche incident in Park city, UT a few years back so I found this study to be quite intriguing. My stats at the time- Male, 18 yrs. old, the exact opposite of a college grad, and earning $7.25/hr as a liftie. I was also abnormally hungry and listening to Pink Floyd at the time. I guess I would have thrown the study off a bit.

Regardless of the results Mr. Sole’s study came up with, as another winter gets underway it’s super important to educate yourself as much as possible regarding avalanche safety. It’s pretty easy to find avalanche safety classes and get yourself informed. If you plan on spending much time charging the backcountry this season, do yourself and others a favor and soak in as much knowledge regarding the subject as possible. Even if you aren’t a 25-29 yr. old college grad-

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Gay Rights Supporters Call for Boycott on Utah Skiing: Huh??

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

The Mormons’ support of Proposition 8 in California has ignited a firestorm of oppositon to the religion and it’s methods relating to the issue. While 5ones is an action sports site and not by any stretch of the imagination a political platform, our beloved sport of skiing has been dragged into this mess and that’s just taking it too far.

gay protest mormon temple
* Photo credit: Eric Mueller

John Aravosis, editor of the popular political blog americablog.com, is calling for skiers to choose any state but Utah and for Hollywood actors and directors to pull out of the Sundance Film Festival. “The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand. At this point, honestly, we’re going to destroy the Utah brand. It is a hate state….And there’s great skiing in Colorado, too.”

Bru!! Really?! Leave skiing out of this my friend. I understand that the $6 billion a year brought into Utah by the tourism industry is largely made up of money from skiing and that cutting into that would send a message. But honestly, the ski/snowboard communities in Utah tend to be most of the freethinking, open-minded communities in all of the state. Riding Utah’s world-class snow is what many do to escape a lot of the madness that goes on in the state.

I’d love to take Mr. Aravosis up to Snowbird or Park City for a weekend of unreal riding on Utah’s finest, as well as for a sample of the underrated nightlife enjoyed by those who don’t conform with the beliefs of the majority there. I bet he would probably change his tune.

So go ahead and go after the Utah brand if you must. I understand and respect your passion relating to the issue. Just leave skiing and snowboarding out of this.

Posted in Snow | 41 Comments »

Global Warming My Ass: Early Winter Storms Unleash Fury

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Is this a sign of things to come for the 2008/2009 winter? Or was this merely a cruel tease? Winter storms slammed into much of the Northwest and Rocky Mountain region’s over the weekend. Needless to say, this quickly accelerated the stoke process for skiers and snowboarders who have been waiting patiently all summer for Old Man Winter to get his booty back over to this part of the world.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado were all among the states to get a very early pounding from this years first introduction from winter. And we’re not talking about just dustings of snow either. Anywhere from 3 to 11 inches had accumulated by Sunday evening in the Greater Salt Lake City area with more on the way. Boise, Idaho got a dose of the earliest measurable snowfall in Boise since record-keeping began in 1898. The Sierra’s in Northern California got a healthy dose of early winter as well.

So will it last? Will we have mid-winter conditions in many of these locations by the time Halloween gets here? Nah, probably not. But at the very least, if nothing else, this weekend’s winter tickle let us know it won’t be long until we’ll be strapping in for the season’s first runs.

Get ready, get pumped, and do whatever you need to do to prepare yourself to go bigger than ever this winter. It’s almost here my friends!

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Jon Olsson’s New Gig(Video)

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

jon olssonThe 8-times X-games medal winner and perpetual mind-blowing freeskier Jon Olsson has decided to push the limits with his newest of ventures… sideline reporting for the Jon-Olsson video blog.

Jon fans need not worry, this short career detour is only a temporary result of his recent surgery on his right knee. The surgery to repair his meniscus was a minor one and everything has gone as planned. Jon is eagerly targeting a mid-October return, hoping to take part at the Icer Air in San Francisco. “I have been a bit worried since I haven’t felt that the knee has worked 100% during my training in New Zealand. The decision was in my hands so I thought it is better to do the correction now and don’t risk anything in the future. It was just a small operation so I should be back on skis in a month. I’m really positive about it, this is my first injury in my career, so it was about time and luckily it’s just a minor thing,”

As for Olsson’s venture into the world of sideline reporting… Jon didn’t do too bad. His work at the recent Freestyle.ch games in Zurich produced a couple of cool vids. to check-out. Needless to say, Jon’s ready to give this new gig up and head back onto the mountain and into the air, which is right where he belongs.

Clips from the Freestyle.ch 2008…

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