Apps, Podcasts, and Backcountry Resources to get you stoked for ski and snowboard season
Preseason is the time to follow Alice down the digital rabbit holes, where skiers and boarders can get stats on resorts, discover motivation to train, scope out new gear, find some new riding friends, and generally up our stoke.
Whether planning your escape to Colorado or trying to find the best powder between our regional resorts, OpenSnow.com and OntheSnow.com let you easily compare snow reports, open lifts, and base depth for entire regions. These sites also feature trail cams, resort forecasts, historical snowfall, and reviews.
Sometimes skiers and riders can take themselves too seriously, but Instagram’s Jerry of the Day has the cure. Jerry represents epic fails, fun fashion, and the silly side of the mountain. I have a few friends who face-planted their way onto the website.
If you are tired of the overly broh-i-ness in a lot of ski culture, TheSkiDiva.com is the website to check out. This site recently compiled a list of every ski swap in the country, offers tips for skiing on the cheap this season, and hosts a woman’s only forum. The moderator even writes ski bum mysteries.
We have several sources for great local info and stoke, particularly when it comes to backcountry riding. PanhandleBackcountry.com features backcountry skiing and splitboarding in north Idaho and western Montana. This is a great site for finding trip reports, meeting riding friends, getting avalanche safety tips, and scoping out some used local gear. What started as an email group for the growing backcountry crowd in the Spokane area, B.C. Ski Friends is now a well-choreographed website geared to creating community and sharing info about gear, safety, and adventure. Check out the carpet skiing video!
Before heading out to the local backcountry, there is a mandatory check of the U.S. Forest Service’s avalanche forecasting site, idahopanhandleavalanche.org. This site has three forecast areas: Kootenai, Selkirk/Cabinets, and Saint Regis/Silver Valley. And if traveling north of the boarder, Canada has an excellent avalanche-forecasting site, avalanche.ca. Also, backcountryskiingcanada.com is a wealth of knowledge on routes, trip reports, and gear reviews. It is important to learn how to use forecasting sites when planning your backcountry epic.
If it is too risky to check the snow report every 20 minutes at work, you can plug into ski and boarding podcasts. The Dirtbag Diaries tells stories about all kinds of adventures, many of which focus on riding. WildSnow is a backcountry-focused podcast sponsored by the North Face, featuring their athletes’ epic adventures. Wintry Mix covers varying aspects of mountain culture including running a bar in a ski town, the rise of co-working spaces in ski towns, and a recent episode about Schweitzer, where the host states about Spokane, “It feels like Boulder but with a lower cost of living.”
Have you ever tried to keep a ski group together on the mountain, made plans to meet at the bottom of the lift, only to spend half an hour waiting? Well, they have apps to prevent that. Apps like SkiLynx and Snocru use GPS and detailed trail maps to show you where your riding party is on the mountain, including that buddy sitting at the bar. This app can also tack your runs and other metrics to share on social media.There is a lot of media out there for us to play on, learn with, and connect to. This was just a glimpse into the rabbit hole, you can go as deep as you want—just make sure to take time for riding.