If you’re planning to hit the slopes this winter, no doubt you’ve already started kitting yourself out with the latest skiing gear. But as ViewRanger’s ski expert Marco Mietti explains, our free app could be the most valuable piece of kit you take on your trip.
Here are Marco’s top tips for using ViewRanger on the slopes…
Choose the right maps
Whenever I go skiing I always use ViewRanger mapping, either by saving the relevant section of the free online Ski Map or by downloading premium maps if they’re available in the resort I’m visiting. If possible, it’s far better to get a premium map because of the enhanced scale, names, details and precision. For example, using ViewRanger while skiing in Austria last month allowed me to find additional information about the area I was visiting, such as bus stops, so I knew where to get off every morning and evening to reach the right slope or hotel.
Save maps for offline use
Before leaving home I download maps covering the ski resort I’m heading to, plus a little bit more of the area around it as a buffer zone. The ability to save offline maps is a great feature, because obviously in the mountains you don't always have data coverage and connection may be slow. In addition, being offline means you can save phone battery and avoid roaming charges when you’re abroad.
Mark points of interest
One of the first things I do on each trip is add a point of interest on the map showing where my hotel is! That means that at the end of each day, no matter where the slopes take me, I’ll find my way back to the hotel safely.
Measure altitude gains
Thanks to ViewRanger I can easily check my altitude while skiing, which is always interesting to see and a very useful navigational tool. I can also measure my altitude gain from the very first gate at the base of my ski resort to the highest point I reach on the mountain.
Record your stats
What I really like doing is recording my personal track from the highest point of the day, all the way to the bottom. Just one track, no pause, no stop. It's not about being competitive but I like to see how long the ski runs are when I link them all together, how long it takes me to reach the bottom, and how fast I was travelling. Speed and time are always interesting and surprising when I’m skiing because they always turn out to be shorter and faster than I expect – probably because of all the fun I’m having on the snow!
Track your whole day
As well as individual descents, I also like recording myself for a couple of hours, including the time I spend on ski and chair lifts. This means I’m able to track how many total miles I cover, where I went during the day, and which slopes I skied. It's awesome to see your track on the map at the end of the day.
Pinpoint your precise location
The most important thing ViewRanger does while I’m skiing is always pinpoint my exact position, so I can see how far I am from my starting point or hotel. Thanks to the map I can always see where the nearest ski and chair lifts are and how they’re connected to each slope, and if I’m using a premium map I see also all the names of mountains and places. And these all are now live in ViewRanger Skyline, which actually shows you what you’re looking at!
I had the chance to do some freeriding on my recent trip to Austria, so having the map saved was very important. It was also nice to discover the best freeride trips uploaded by other ViewRanger users. In many areas of Europe I’ve also found routes published by the local tourism agency, which I download before I leave the hotel then follow when I’m on the mountain so I won’t get lost and can enjoy my ride.
Share your adventures
At the end of each day skiing I share the tracks I’ve made during the day, and if I think they’re interesting enough I upload them as ViewRanger routes, adding pictures and text.
Explore with confidence
With ViewRanger I feel safer and more secure when I’m skiing, especially when I’m visiting a new ski resort for the first time. I also don’t have to waste time looking desperately for local information that’s often not easy to find – instead I’m ready to ski as soon as I arrive. That means I can fully enjoy each day, explore the entire resort, ski all of its slopes, and arrive back at my hotel safely every evening. Awesome!
You can find skiing routes within the ViewRanger app, or at my.viewranger.com.