Sat Nav for the Ski Slopes
30th December 2020
Last modified on May 13th, 2021
We all use sat navs in our cars as second nature. But would you want an automated voice giving you instructions on the slopes? Snonav thinks the answer is ‘Yes’.
It claims to be the first true navigation app for the slopes, though there are other devices around that perform a similar function.
“In-ear audio directions will now make skiing and snowboarding safer, more accessible, and more fun for everyone at resorts worldwide,” says Snonav.
The new Snonav app features route planning, in-ear turn-by-turn audio directions, and group skiing capabilities.
Snonav’s app will also apprently help skiers and snowboarders abide by social distancing guidelines in these coronavirus times.
“It will reduce the need to gather around a paper piste map or gather around crowded map signs on the mountain, all of which can be accessed on the app,” said the company.
“I’m a complete snow junkie and a lifelong entrepreneur and saw there was a real need for an app that would genuinely help people ski more, ski safer and have more fun,” said the founder and CEO of Snonav, Rob Petcove.
Snonav’s offline capability is a key feature since wifi service is typically unavailable or temperamental when on-mountain.
All map data is stored directly on the device allowing users to easily access maps, routing, and navigation wherever they are on the mountain.
Available on the Apple app store, Snonav allows users to set their preferences including ability level and final destination.
It then lets the app guide them down the mountain “with peace of mind knowing they’re headed in the right direction”.
The app also offers users dynamic rerouting.
If a wrong turn is made, the user stumbles upon a closed lift, or accidently goes off piste, Snonav automatically informs and re-routes you.
Snonav is currently available at 18 ski areas in the USA, four in France and one in Canada:
Arapahoe Basin, Aspen, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Camelback, Copper Mountain, Greek Peak, Heavenly, Jack Frost Big Boulder, Killington, Mount Snow, Northstar California, Okemo, Park City, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Stratton, Vail and Winter Park
Les3Vallees, Les Arcs & La Plagne, Serre Chevalier and Tignes & Val d’Isère
Snonav has plans to add 12 more resorts in the USA during the season: Aspen Highlands, Deer Valley, Hunter Mountain, Keystone, Mammoth Mountain, Montage Mountain, Shawnee, Snowmass, Steamboat Springs, Stowe, Sugarbush and Telluride
At the current time Snonav will work with any iPhone with iOS 13 or above installed.
Our readers have given their reaction over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:
Nick Sharpin: Dangerous IMO. It’s important to figure out the landscape and terrain for yourself so that you know where to go and where not to in case of bad weather, busy lifts, fitness etc.
The mountains are not to be taken lightly, and anything that reduces people’s interaction with them is not a good thing. You see the effects of them on the road with people only paying attention to their digital masters rather than the roads, imagine how many person to person collisions this will lead to.
Sar Ah: Doesn’t matter how amazing it is…. on a modern smartphone the battery is dead with an hour or so in these cold temperatures.
Dave Roper: I used to use an old Garmin tracker on the slopes, just to give me a mileage count at the end of the day, but it also plotted my routes, was then great fun in the fog knowing where the piste went on the second run.
Adam King: As a new skier, I can’t see the sense in this, it’s surely a skill to be able to map read on the piste. Establishing pre arranged meeting points with other skiers and hoping to get there on time is part of the fun?
Alan Hemming: I can think of a few people who need this!
Aileen Eglington: Never
Dean Cunningham: I thought of this years ago and called it ‘Twat Nav’. Just get a guide ffs and leave the digital tec at home
Alison Hodge: No.
Paul Tedaldi: Local knowledge
Louise Drover: Nope!
Catherine Murphy: No!!
Frank Atherton: Just another gimmick. Half the fun of skiing is exploring, finding your own way around an area. Maybe US skiers have more chance of getting lost on their tiny mountains?