Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
👁 durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

GPS recommendations

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
OK... So to keep this short...

1) What GPS devices would you recommend for both hiking and skiing/snowboarding?
2) Is it possible that you can download hikes and ski maps etc. to said devices...?
3) Is it best to just use an app on a phone over a GPS device?
4) If answer to 3 is 'yes'... Any decent app recs that you can also download hikes and piste maps to...

PS. reason for piste maps is that I've been caught out in white outs in both of the last seasons where I simply could not find a turn off, on several attempts... I can't help but feel a GPS app/device would have solved that issue...????

Thx folks Happy
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Phones are rubbish compared to dedicated devices - ask any runner. I don’t think any device would be a great help in a white out, and I certainly wouldn’t want to reply on one.

A Garmin 935 will handle skiing, hiking, running etc etc, but it won’t help you much if you’re lost and blind on a mountain.
snow conditions
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I use a Garmin (eTrex?) for pinpoint accuracy in the hills & mountains. Old one, but it picks up the sats, gives me a grid ref and records my path, aim points, etc.
However, unless you have the appropriate map available in order to be able to confirm your coordinates, it's questionable as to its use. Piste maps wouldn't usually have that much detail, OS type maps (whatever they're called in each country) wouldn't normally have the runs marked (unless there is indeed such a potentially useful map?).
Seems like a potential gap in the market, though: if it hasn't already been filled.
First useful device, however, has to be your brain's safety and caution mode, and get off (or don't chance getting on) any dodgy or unknown bits of the mountain before you get caught in a situation where you can't see them.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Wot @Grizzler said.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Best phone app by far for hiking etc is View Ranger. This on a modern phone would be at least as useful as an old GPS unless you could get out your paper map and plot your coordinate position and direction. Try that in a white out!

The app also has thousands of trails, over which it will direct you. Even Google Maps has pistes shown on it.

No device is going to be 100% reliable in a white out and any GPS devise is particularly susceptible to loss of signal in snow.

The sensible answer is to not put yourself into situations where weather dictates that you are relying on a gadget for your safe passage.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@AlpineAddict, google the resort you are going to as some now have GPS based apps for SmartPhones etc not so much for getting lost in a white out but more for finding lifts / cafes etc

For going further afield then there are numerous threads on here.

I'm just going through major IT / TechGadget / WebApp / Bluetooth Pairing / Password not recognised / brain feck overload so I'm almost jealous at the simplicity of a simple app
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi folks

Appreciate the responses and I concur with the above comments re not putting yourself I danger etc. One of the occasions I mentioned, was not a dangerous situation as such, I just couldn't find the turn off on a run from Val T to get myself back to Meribel... If it wasn't for some guys, that new the terrain, sat on the piste side, I'd have been getting a rather expensive cab... I just kept ending up back in bloody Val T Very Happy

I was just wondering if there was such a thing where resort maps could be loaded onto GPS devices to at least give you a rough guide as to where you are on a piste map etc.

As I mentioned, the other thing I am interested in is hiking in the mountains and being able to download trails for the region, as a failsafe for example... I know most areas are well signposted, however, I just discovered last week, that when you get higher than a certain level, at this time of year, they remove the signs for the winter... Google maps helped at junctions etc. but I wanted something a bit better...

I guess I assumed that in today's age, there would be something simple to overlay on OS maps...

Thx again in advance...
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Weathercam wrote:
@AlpineAddict, google the resort you are going to as some now have GPS based apps for SmartPhones etc not so much for getting lost in a white out but more for finding lifts / cafes etc



Thx... Just found this site... no idea how good it is but looks promising...

http://www.gpsskimaps.com
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@bar shaker, said
Quote:
Best phone app by far for hiking etc is View Ranger

Not tried View Ranger, but IMHO the “Best phone app by far for hiking etc.” is AlpineQuest (only available for Android)

Loads of open source maps & map-layers available…

For instance using the “4uMaps Topo Map” which shows the lift infrastructure, in conjunction with “OSM Waymarked Trails – Winter Slopes Layer” (with opacity reduced so it doesn’t overwhelm the map) produces a very usable ski-area map

ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Just to add, the above link seems to only be available from iTunes US...
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I would go for a Garmin and if abroad you can use open source maps with them
Phone aps are ok but wouldn't be my choice if out in the wilds
Dedicated GPS are a bit tougher and more waterproof not cheep though
This site is worth a look if you are thinking of getting a GPS https://www.gpstraining.co.uk/
I would still want a map as backup
snow conditions
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I use Gaia gps on my phone, which enables download of the full French IGN maps.

However my main navigation device is a suunto ambit3 watch. It’s really easy to transfer routes to/from it, and 100hrs+ battery life is a lot longer than my phone.
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I use viewranger on my phone for climbing, walking and off piste. The phone has a battery life of about 12 hours if used sparingly. As @snowdave, says you can download full 1:25,000 IGN maps for it as well as 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 OS maps. I had a lot of problems finding downloadable maps for the Dolomites until I discovered they are listed under Austria/Gemany as if WW1 and the subsequent forced Italisation didn't happen.

If I was going away from charging points for more than a day I would use a dedicatcated GPS receiver with replacable batteries. And a paper map and compass of course
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

...use viewranger on my phone...download full 1:25,000 IGN maps for it ..... I had a lot of problems finding downloadable maps for the Dolomites


Just to continue my blatant plug for Alpinequest (not saying it's better than any other mapping app, but it's my goto one)...

For France - IGN (10 map types) can be accessed via geoportail dot gouv dot fr/carte within AQ

For Austria/Dollies etc 4 map types for Kompass maps (including Winter Topo) are available, and of course you can add the "OSM Winter Slopes Layer" to convert the Winter Topo to a virtual piste map.
...plus tons of others (some pretty obscure - Krgyzstan Visicom anyone snowHead )



Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Tue 30-10-18 10:36; edited 1 time in total
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
geoffers wrote:

Not tried View Ranger, but IMHO the “Best phone app by far for hiking etc.” is AlpineQuest (only available for Android)


I like that. Shame it doesn't run on IOS devices.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:
Shame it doesn't run on IOS devices.

...personally: if I was an IOS user I'd pick up a cheap Android phone off flea-bay just to use as an AQ device 👍

Mapping is free, and it's well worth paying ~£5 to upgrade from lite to the full AQ version. Developer is in the UK and constantly responds to "like to have" requests


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 30-10-18 9:37; edited 1 time in total
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just to update... I emailed support @ View Ranger and got the following... Will investigate more...

"...As part of our Premium subscription, which is $/£/€3.99 per year, we offer the Open Ski Map — this is a community sourced map, which shows ski runs and the like. You can see it free of charge on our web site at http://my.viewranger.com, iof you'd like to check it out first..."
snow conditions
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Unsure if it would be in any way suitable to carry when weight is prime consideration but you can get small converter for power tool batteries that gives you two USB charge sockets for emergency power supply.

I've bought Makita ADP05, obviously for my Makita power tool battery, and with just one 3.0ah 18v lithium-ion battery pack it charged my two kid's tablet and phones for nearly a week when we camped.

They range up to about 9.0ah pack size and are available for the other makes like De-walt etc. Could also be useful for charging drone kit as well.
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
geoffers wrote:


Just to continue my blatant plug for Alpinequest (not saying it's better than any other mapping app, but it's my goto one)...

For France - IGN (10 map types) can be accessed via geoportail dot gouv dot fr/carte within AQ



Hi, Is it possible to save areas of the geoportail maps for offline use with alpine quest, or do you always need an internet connection?

Thanks
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@AlpineAddict, watches with maps are out from Garmin...

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/06/garmin-fenix5-plus-5s-5x-in-depth-review.html
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
geoffers wrote:
Quote:
Shame it doesn't run on IOS devices.

...personally: if I was an IOS user I'd pick up a cheap Android phone off flea-bay just to use as an AQ device 👍

Mapping is free, and it's well worth paying ~£5 to upgrade from lite to the full AQ version. Developer is in the UK and constantly responds to "like to have" requests


I am very happy with View Ranger and have no intention of buying a cheap phone on eBay just to use another app. Have you considered buying a used iPhone just to run View ranger? Thought not.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@AlpineAddict

Whatever option you go for on your phone - get hold of a paper map. They will never run out of battery power and you can read them whatever the weather.

Oh yes - and they are free
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
kitenski wrote:
@AlpineAddict, watches with maps are out from Garmin...

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/06/garmin-fenix5-plus-5s-5x-in-depth-review.html


That is one detailed review... Not too good for the Suunto watches, which is good to know as I really liked the look of the Suunto options...

Thx for the share
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
skitrack wrote:
@AlpineAddict

Whatever option you go for on your phone - get hold of a paper map. They will never run out of battery power and you can read them whatever the weather.

Oh yes - and they are free


Dont worry... I always have several piste maps on me... and a paper map when hiking... Happy
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@ldudley,
Quote:
Hi, Is it possible to save areas of the geoportail maps for offline use with alpine quest, or do you always need an internet connection?

Yes : no data connection required when you're out in the field...

Just highlight the area of the map which you want to save for offline use, then select the level of zoom you want to store (obviously the greater detail required will require a larger file-size) then the map-data is stored locally.

AQ was a great tool for route-following on recent cycle tour in Brittany, as we were able to download the required mapping the night before via wifi then use it offline the next day.

AQ allows you to select the map outside the phone's lock screen, so with the phone on a handlebar mount you can press the on button; quickly view the map to see if you're on the route; then press for off - any other phone access will still need the pin etc to unlock. Like having your own satNav on the bars. Battery usage is really good too - even with extensive nav/screen-use on a several hour ride I still had ~ 1/2 the battery left
latest report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
duplicate post


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 30-10-18 17:09; edited 1 time in total
latest report
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
AlpineAddict wrote:
kitenski wrote:
@AlpineAddict, watches with maps are out from Garmin...

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/06/garmin-fenix5-plus-5s-5x-in-depth-review.html


That is one detailed review... Not too good for the Suunto watches, which is good to know as I really liked the look of the Suunto options...

Thx for the share


I've picked up the new Fenix 5X sapphire for general running and day to day watch duties and have said elsewhere, there is nothing it won't do. That said looking at a 39mm screen in an attempt to find your way down in a whiteout might not be ideal especially when it's cold and fumbling with buttons.
latest report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

Whatever option you go for on your phone - get hold of a paper map. They will never run out of battery power and you can read them whatever the weather.

Oh yes - and they are free

Free paper maps! I still end up paying a fortune for paper maps where can you get free ones from
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Theres a new Garmin GPS unit coming out either this month or next to replace the GPSMAP 64, its imaginatively called the GPSMAP 66. Looks as if it's going to be good and it has proper buttons so you can use it without needing e-tip gloves.

I'm planning on buying one in the new year to replace my old etrex.

Theres a site which offers piste maps of just about everywhere for minimal cost, in case you werent aware. Same goes for hiking maps. No need to spend a fortune on the Garmin maps.
snow conditions
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@johnE

Well Piste maps are free in every resort I've been in for the last 20 years - which is what I meant. I know O/S, Walking maps etc aren't free
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
skitrack wrote:
- get hold of a paper map... you can read them whatever the weather.

Yeah, about that howlin' hoolie whilst it's chucking it down with rain and soggy snow... Good luck Toofy Grin
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Grizzler wrote:
skitrack wrote:
- get hold of a paper map... you can read them whatever the weather.

Yeah, about that howlin' hoolie whilst it's chucking it down with rain and soggy snow... Good luck Toofy Grin


My thoughts entirely. The odds of me plotting an accurate position in such weather are slim to none.
snow report
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Phones are OK when you're skiing and hiking but have limitations. The battery life can be poor, especially if it's very cold, the touchscreen won't work properly if it's wet or you're wearing gloves, the screen can be hard to read in sunshine, and it's unlikely to have a hardware altitude meter which can literally be a life saver in the mountains.

If I wanted a backup for safety reasons, I'd always use a dedicated GPS device, not a phone. Your choices are a pocketable device - big screen but inconvenient - or a GPS wrist watch - small screen but easy to read in a second or two.

Personally I'd go for a watch. The only one I know can handle maps is the Garmin Fenix (already recommended above) and then only selected models have mapping capability.

I have a non-mapping Fenix. It works perfectly in the mountains and never lets me down regardless of conditions. Highly recommended.
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Grizzler, My top quality map case with strong cord to stop it from blowing away tends to work, but if it doesn't it will be akin to kite surfing Shocked
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
... reason for piste maps is that I've been caught out in white outs in both of the last seasons where I simply
could not find a turn off, on several attempts... I can't help but feel a GPS app/device would have solved that issue...????
I'd say that almost always following piste markers is going to be significantly safer than any advanced navigation techniques in an on-piste white-out.

I own plenty of navigation aids, but I don't bother taking any of them out for on-piste resort-based stuff.

Buy one and try it though - toys are fun.
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Heavy snow will block GPS signals. No device will work in the worst conditions, just make sure you aren't up there when weather like that hits.
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@geoffers

Thanks for the recommendation, I have been using alpine quest for a while now and I find it brilliant, especially with the geoportail maps. I'm looking forward to using it for touring!
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

Heavy snow will block GPS signals. No device will work in the worst conditions, just make sure you aren't up there when weather like that hits.


That shouldn't happen with a modern device, unless it actually has a layer of snow over the antenna. Certainly we have never had one drop out on a hike. Had batteries run prematurely out due to the cold though.
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@ldudley,
Quote:

Thanks for the recommendation, I have been using alpine quest for a while now and I find it brilliant, especially with the geoportail maps.....

FYI you can access the OS via www.bing.com/#os from installed maps>add new maps
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy