News Headlines     |     


WE TEST SKI EXPLORER APP - Katie Bamber, Sestriere
Wednesday February 8, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Crystal Ski has been developing and improving its app that tracks skiing, finds friends, offers weather updates and resort information. PlanetSKI tries it out in Italy.

The first thing to say is that you don't need to be on a Crystal Ski holiday to use the app, just in a resort they work out of, which, because of its long standing, is a fair few.

Though if you are with Crystal, it tells you all the important information about your booking.

In Italy, for example, the app covers 20 resorts - currently, it seems, some more thoroughly than others.

It has a snow report, a resort guide, recommended routes as well as resort and piste maps.

All the more useful for being collected and displayed in one place and accessible offline.

Where to in the Milky Way?Where to in the Milky Way?
















The fun side of the Ski Explorer

Ski Tracking!

Press record when you set off and the app will log the distance you've covered, the altitude and the gradient that's been skied.

It then breaks this down into the time spent on chairlifts as well as your average speed, and even offers the numbers in different metrical units.

It's a great addition for week's ski holiday to track what you've done and if, like me, you are a little competitive with yourself, it shows if you have improved on yesterday's skiing.

Crystal ski app
















The most used part of the app for our group in our few days in Sestriere was 'Find Friends'.

Making a group when you first arrive, you can see where anyone is on the mountain or down in the resort.

That means if someone is still at home in bed, has fallen off the side of a piste, or is locked down in a bar for hours.

Find friends













Each member of the group has a picture icon - the user is the purple dot.

To be completely honest, as a group we were rather old-school skiers and boarders and ran into more problems of our own doing such as forgetting to go online or start the tracking, reaching first for the paper piste map than the easier zoom version on the app.

So day 2 was the launch, after losing one of the group for a few hours before lunch and following a guide around the resort enjoying the view and sun, and not the challenge of orienteering.

Here's a look at a morning in Sestriere using Ski Explorer


A useful aspect for beginner/intermediate users is 'Suggested Routes'.

The app gives options for warm up runs for a morning start, for different levels of ability, and the Twitter feed gives you more independent information on the resort, pistes, conditions and general area news.

















App users among Crystal Ski holiday guests at the Hotel Du Col, located on the edge of the snow and in the centre of Sestriere,  made these comments:

"It's quite good that you can find out where your mates are. If you want to be found, that is... Finding out how fast you're going and how much time you've actually spent moving on skis is cool and if you've done more or less, day to day."

"I keep forgetting about it and then trying to find out little bits of information, then realising it's all collected and in one place on the app. It's easy to use."

My morning sum up:

Morning sum up




















After the struggle of giving directions to lunch to a lost friend across the vast ski area of the Milky Way, a useful addition would be directions using GPS.

Similar to Google Maps, if you could put in a current location and a destination to reach, with the result of route options, it would make navigating around the slopes even easier.

Lazy or what?!

Although there are many phone apps with a similar set of functions out there, a plus for Ski Explorer would be that it covers a fair amount of the most popular resorts and the information is collated and produced by such an experienced and trusted tour operator.

The Milky Way ski area, looking over to  FranceThe Milky Way ski area, looking over to France and Montgenèvre
















Check out our up-to-date snow report here, featuring news of the Milky Way ski area.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

Related Articles

MAY SKIING SECRETS (Wednesday May 23, 2018)
MAY NEWS IN BRIEF (Tuesday May 22, 2018)
SUMMER GLACIER SKIING 2018 (Tuesday May 22, 2018)
SUMMER IN THE MOUNTAINS (Wednesday May 16, 2018)
GSTAAD GETS OUR VOTE (Wednesday May 16, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners