Technology like WB+ from Whistler Blackcomb, Garmin's Fenix3, Oakley's Airwave goggles and a host of phone apps make it easy to track your ski runs.
Last winter, Pierre Marc Jette of Whistler became a Guinness Book of World Record holder for the most vertical distance skied in a single season.
Over four months he carved up 4,175,000 feet, which is like skiing from Seattle to San Francisco, all in the name of raising money for Alzheimer’s research.
Just a few years ago, it would have been incredibly difficult to calculate how much you skied during a season. But thanks to the recent fitness tracking boom, skiers and snowboarders can choose from a host of technology – from apps to gadgets – to track their performance on the slopes.
To help skiers enhance their experience this winter, Whistler Blackcomb is launching WB+, a new online interactive platform that allows visitors to record statistics like the number of days on the mountain and vertical feet skied.
Skiers and boarders can create a profile that follows their skiing throughout the season, allowing them to track their performance and compare with friends.
When you buy an EDGE Card, lift ticket or season pass, it’s embedded with RFID technology that is scanned when you pass through a chairlift access gate. Every time you use a lift, your movement is recorded and stored.
With customized privacy settings, you can share your profile and network with friends. When you form groups it’s easy to create fun fitness challenges and set goals for a single day or throughout the winter.
WB+ also features a leader board to see how your performance stacks up against others on the mountain. Skiers and boarders will be awarded badges for notable milestones, including ‘May the fourth be with you’, where guests can earn the badge by skiing or riding on May 4, ‘skiing 10,000 vertical meters in a day’, or ‘riding every lift on the mountain’.
Like Whistler’s WB+, other ski tech offers wearable tracking technology you can use anywhere:
The Garmin Fenix 3 tracks your individual runs and records cool data like speed and overall distance. If you want to compare your most recent run to others you’ve skied that day, you can easily see your stats directly on the watch. As an added bonus, you can also use it to control Garmin’s action cameras.
When you use the Recon Instruments Snow2 system, it’s like you’ve skied into the future. A heads-up-display in your goggles projects data making it look like you’re seeing a 14-inch image five feet away. This makes it easy to glance at your stats without refocusing your eyes. Users can see such information as current speed, distance, altitude and vertical drop while also displaying texts, calls and music selections.
Oakley’s Airwave 1.5 goggles also offer a heads-up display hidden in the periphery of the lens using a 1-inch display. It shows speed and altitude in addition to jump stats like height, airtime and distance. The integrated GPS records your routes so you can recreate your day. The most useful feature might be the buddy tracking that guides you right to your friends (as long as they have the Airwave goggles or Oakley’s smartphone app).
Another watch with some sweet features is the Suunto Ambit3 Peak. In addition to recording vertical distance and heart-rate information, it has a pressure gauge that provides you with weather and altitude information. At the end of your day, store your stats in the cloud by syncing with the Suunto Movescount app.
Ski tracking can also be done using inexpensive phone apps. One of the most popular is Ski Track ($1 for Android or iPhone) which has 14 hours of storage offering GPS data on your routes, speed, distance, altitude and elevation. When you upload the data to a computer, you can see a portrait of you day.
Another popular tracking app is Trace Snow ($1 for iPhone or Android) which measures speed and vertical but also gives more personal data like calories burned, and jump height and rotation. At the end of the day you receive a session sheet with all the info you’ll need for bragging rights.
Seize the snow and the savings at Whistler Blackcomb. With the best exchange rate since 2003, there is no better time to visit North America’s #1 resort. Start planning your winter getaway at WhistlerBlackcomb.com/deals.