Essential apps for winter sports adventurers

November 23, 2010 10:49 AM EST

The holiday season's approaching pretty fast now, so while I kick iOS 4.2 around a little more I thought some readers might enjoy a short collection of adventurous ski and snow-related iPhone apps, as there's a pretty huge possibility some of you are headed into the mountains in the coming weeks. (And if that's you I'll bet you're counting the days). Meanwhile, don't forget Black Friday's approaching so take a look here.

Organized adventure: Satski ($9.99)

Available for a host of mobile platforms, Satski also makes its own standalone GPS device (see video), which costs more. The iPhone app offers all Satski's incredibly useful features for skiers, as it includes maps of the piste and ski trails, can record your day on the slopes and even assess your speed levels during the day.

What's really cool about this is that it summons the map of the area you are in and lets you choose where you want to ski, it will help you plot routes, and help you avoid those runs you aren't comfortable with (good for beginners). If you're a hardcore piste-head, you can put together more complex routes.

Satski also includes detailed resort info, real-time navigation, stats and more. Oh, and if things go wrong, the software helps you contact the local emergency services and provides you with your exact location co-ordinates (longitude and latitude) which you can give to rescuers. I can't imagine why anyone headed for the slopes wouldn't want to take this with them.

[This story is from Computerworld's Apple Holic blog. Follow on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

Also recommended: Alta & Snowbird GPS and MotionX GPS.

Information addict: Ski & Snow Report (free)
Sure, I know this is the Internet age and we're all addicted to info overload. I know it has now been recognized that office workers can become anxious if they don't receive an email for over an hour, and I know that getting away from it all these days really means sitting there sucking in ideas off of the Internet while lolling by the pool, or, in this case, dozing by a crackling log fire drinking herb-infused warm red wine after a hard day on the piste (nice).

However, if you are exploring the slopes you want all the latest information, and SkiReport.com is recognized as one of the leading online destinations to help you stay ahead of the mountain race. The free download plugs you into weather reports, recent snowfall and user comments for ski slopes across North America. Better yet, there's also those live feeds direct from those skiing locations.

Also recommended: We Ski and (of course) The Snow Report (sponsored by The North Face).

Fitness first: Ski Fitness Workouts ($1.99)

If you are going to hit the slopes you better get ready. Snow sports are extremely physically demanding and you don't want to ruin your holiday through injuring yourself because you aren't quite up to full fitness. Get started early with this app which offers you an easy-to-follow home workout system which should help get you prepared for your winter adventure.

Basically the app's exercises aim to build strength and stamina as the best protection against injury. There's set targets, progress reports a timer, and each exercise is well-explained.

Adrenaline junkie: Sedogo (free)
A social network for adventurous high-achievers, small start-up Sedogo is both an online service and an iPhone app. The service says its aims are to "create tomorrow's goals for your life and connect with others to achive them". You can create any goal you like and the service automatically matches you to people with similar goals to your own.

The idea is that by sharing goals and finding others who have similar ambitions you can both link up with others who might be able to help you reach your target, and/or be inspired by the connection with others to actually fulfill your own promise. So if you want to climb the tallest mountain or simply learn to ski on the slopes at Cloisters, Sedogo could help you do it.

Also interesting: Sedogo are running a competition at the moment in which the user who creates a goal that gets the most Facebook 'like' votes will be given a free iPad -- the must-have gift this season.

Augmented adventure: Realski (free)
What's not to like about this? Realski is an augmented reality app for skiers and snowboarders, meaning you can use your iPhone to develop routes across the mountain(s) in AR.

What this means is that all you need to do is point your iPhone camera in any direction and the app will get you the information you need to safely ski your way down. Even better, an all-new version of the app (which has always possessed the ability to update maps automatically) has recently been submitted to the App Store.

Regular suspects: Snowbird (free)
This is a de rigeur app for anyone on the mountains offering numerous cool featues, including Facebook and Twitter integration so you can send your messages "out there".

Essential features include news feeds, mountain cameras, trail maps and 24-hour snow totals and news on road closures.

I also like that the app lets you take pictures and upload them, though I think many skiers might also want to pack a copy of Autostictch ($2.99) into their iPhone so they can put together those oh so fantastic mountain panorama shots.

Map it: iTrailMap 3D, ($4.99)
iTrailMap 3D is fun, it lets you see a ittle you on a 3D mountain, lets you record your routes and share them, and also records essential stats including height above sea level and distance travelled. Yo can even upload routes you've taken to Google Earth.

Snow fantasy: Touch Ski 3D ($4.99)

Just because I like this particular little skiing game (above). To play it you need to use your fingers as skis -- that's a lot more fun than it sounds. The game boasts good artwork, seven game modes and over 40 courses.

More than that the app also gives you live ski news and streaming video content from The Ski Channel, all without ever leaving the app.

Emergency call: Pocket First Aid and CPR ($3.99)
I recommend this app because it already saved lives -- in Haiti, in fact. There US filmmaker Dan Woolley was crushed under the rubble of a hotel. Injured, he used this app to treat his injured head and leg and followed its advice to stay alive until 64-hours later when he was eventually rescued. You, or someone else, may need this app one day.

Have a good -- and safe -- holiday season. And please do keep up with this blog, Apple Holic, follow it on Twitter or RSS.