Skip to main content

5 things you should always do on your iPhone before you go skiing or snowboarding

Follow this smartphone checklist before hitting the slopes

Smartphones. Love them or loathe them, it’s hard to imagine how the world operated before them. The level of connectivity we have now was unimaginable even in fairly recent years. Forget your iPhone when you’re heading out the door, and it’s like you’ve left a kidney behind — that empty space in your pocket where your phone should be burns a hole all day.

In the outdoors, smartphones are essential for emergency situations, often used for navigation, and of course, taking the all-important photos — if it’s not on social media, did it really happen? But there’s so much more to your smartphone, and when it comes to ski days, you can achieve most of your planning right from the comfort of your handset, all while enjoying a cup of coffee or sitting on the John. Here are the most important things to do on your smartphone before you hit the slopes.

skiing snowboarding goggles gear

Check social media

No, not like that. Get off the memes. But you should be following whatever resort you’re skiing at, and if there’s a page for the area, probably give that a like, too. While we’re at it, it’s probably best to make sure you’re following your preferred snowboarding brands or ski companies as well. You never know when they’re running a competition, after all.

This is all with good reason, though. Resorts love to show off on social media. They’ll push photos that show how much snow they’ve had and how awesome their new terrain park is. But they’ll also use their social media channels to issue weather warnings, give updates on lift status, and tell you which runs are open that day. Resort pages are a great place to find out about events, too — I just remembered to check my local resort and found out there’s a splitboarding event this weekend.

A cell phone being held in a hand in front of a laptop.

Check out your apps

There are three must-check ski apps to hit up before you head out the door:

  • Slopes – I’ve been using this for the first time this winter, and it’s a game-changer. Not only do they have a snow forecast — more on that in a moment — but they take real-time updates from visitors to the resort. Find out from real people whether the resort is deep in fresh pow or whether you should pack the groomer skis today.
  • Open Snow – That forecasting service that Slopes use? It’s this one. This is my first winter using Open Snow, too, and if there’s a sleeker forecasting service out there, I don’t know it. Open Snow is reliable, super clear with its information, and has webcams at loads of major resorts, so you can check it out for yourself. There’s also an avalanche forecast for those heading out into the backcountry. Remember to save your favorites to your home page for easy access.
  • The Weather App – This is just a quick one because Open Snow also has a weather forecast alongside the snow forecast, but check your weather app. It might give you more localized weather, and it’s always good to get a balance of forecasts. If they agree, you’re probably onto a winner. If they don’t, be prepared for a mixed bag.
Saga Monarch 3L Snowboarding Jacket and Pants

Set your phone up for the day

You’re going to crash, right? That’s fine. We all crash. But before you head onto the slopes, make sure that your iPhone’s fall detector setting is turned off, okay? That way, 911 won’t get pocket dialed while you’re shredding that groomer.

While you’re here, consider closing any apps you aren’t using and turning off WiFi if you don’t need it. If your phone is constantly searching for a connection, it’s draining valuable battery life. I always keep my phone in the pocket of my insulated jacket rather than my outer shell, too. The extra body heat keeps my battery from draining in the cold and means I have my phone when I need it.

Editors' Recommendations

Tom Kilpatrick
A London-born outdoor enthusiast, Tom took the first ticket out of suburban life. What followed was a twelve-year career as…
Yes, there are real rules for skiing and snowboarding, and here they are
Prevent accidents and ski more with these safe skiing rules
Skiing Snowboarding Lake Louise Ski Resort Canada

It's generally acknowledged that skiing and snowboarding can be dangerous sports. Heck, any sport where you hurtle down the mountain propelled by gravity will have the potential for injury; that's why we always recommend wearing a helmet. We're not trying to put you off on your ski holiday here, but it's always good to be aware of the potential risk of the sport.

Crashes are an unavoidable reality of learning the sport, and even experienced skiers and snowboarders will fall over as they push their abilities on new slopes. What is avoidable, though, is crashing into other hill users or having them crash into you. The worst accidents I've seen on the slopes have been caused by someone riding completely out of control — usually because they've put themselves on a higher level of ski run than they were ready for. To try to keep everyone safe on the mountain, the FIS - Fédération Internationale de Ski — has put together a set of skiing instructions that every mountain user should follow.

Read more
Up your ski game with these lesser known ski resorts in North America
Undiscovered ski towns: Avoid lift queues and busy groomers and discover a whole new ski area
Alyeska Resort

I remember when I took up snowboarding in a hectic French Alpine resort. Everywhere I turned, there were lines of skiers coming down the mountain, and if you stopped for a break — I was a beginner, cut me some slack — you had to merge into traffic like you were entering a busy highway. What's more, once I started cruising runs, I realized I was spending more time standing in lift lines than I was riding. Then I moved to Canada. On the suggestion of a friend, I shirked the better-known resorts and headed to a small town with a small mountain, which boasted a ridiculous amount of skiable acres per person. I no longer had to wait for lifts, I could ride fresh powder all day, and ski accidents were few and far between.

Sure, if you love a big aprés ski scene or long for the buzz of a busy holiday destination, there might be a benefit to going to a better-known or all-inclusive ski resort. But if your idea of the perfect ski holiday is a quieter destination with great snow, shorter lift queues, and good vibes, then check out one of our lesser-known ski resorts.

Read more
The perfect skiing mid layer? Why this jacket has become my winter gear go-to
Find out why the Ibex Aire Hoodie is my new go-to jacket for every day on the hill
ibex merino insulated ski gear review whatsapp image 2023 01 15 at 6 34 39 pm

I'm sure you're the same as me. Having spent so much time outdoors and in such varied conditions, I'm now at the point where my clothing layers are absolutely nailed. I know my gear. So much so that after four years and five attempts at replacing one of my ancient stretch fleeces, I've stopped trying. I love it; it works for me, so what if it resembles a block of Emmental? (In looks, not smell, honest.)

So it was with mild trepidation that I took Ibex up on their offer to try out their new Aire Hoodie. Not because I didn't trust their gear — I've used and loved their Nomad jogging bottoms and loved them — but the promise that this merino-insulated jacket could become my new snowboarding mid-layer seemed too good to be true. For context, I shirked the bulky ski jacket long ago and now rely on warm and adjustable layers for touring days and resort days. But could the Aire Hoodie really earn a place in my ski gear lineup?

Read more