Thursday, 24 December 2009

Les 3 Vallées iPhone App Review [updated 02-01-10 with screenshots]

snowboarding in Méribel, Les 3 Vallées
My father-in-law kindly invited my wife and I to join him for a week's skiing at the start of January in the small resort of Les Menuires, part of Les 3 Vallées. Well, guess what? There's an app for that!

The app promises to "revolutionise the comfort and safety for everybody on the slopes." It includes the following features:





Les 3 Vallees map on iPhone app
Ski run map

A cool integration with the GPS functionality of the iPhone, places you on the ski runs making it a lot easier to navigate to the next vin chaud.

The map also includes a feature for open/closed runs and lifts and an avalanche warning page.

Clicking on the red cross button gives you the Aid Station Number along with your GPS position so that you can quickly call help to your location. This could be a real life saver, with the time taken to find lost skiers in the night often a factor leading to fatalities.

Les 3 Vallees weather forecast on iPhone app
Weather forecast

A five day forecast gives you wind speed and direction, temperature and weather conditions. You also get open and close times for the ski lifts, as well as overall snow depth and fresh snow cover.

Webcams

Live webcams allow you to see the conditions and the crowds around the ski terrain, helping you to avoid the teams of school children, who are almost certainly better skiers than you. You get a still from the webcam rather than streaming video.

Mountain restaurants

There is a thorough listing of restaurants in each of the resorts of Les 3 Vallées. Choose the resort, select a restaurant and you get contact details so you can make use of your time on the ski lift to book a table.

Just be careful not to let your iPhone slip out of your gloved hand.

Les 3 Vallées iPhone app is free.

The developers, Skiplan Lumiplan Montagne, backed by the French State, earlier launched a similar app just for Méribel, one of the resorts in Les 3Vallées. It seems they will be releasing a number of variants on a resort by resort basis. Skiplan is the company that provides electronic communication boards around the ski slopes of France

This is the kind of app that has great potential to be rolled out to ski resorts globally. I believe keen skiers would pay a fair sum to have one app which covers several - or all - resorts.

Sadly I won't be going on the ski trip, what with a broken elbow, sprained wrists and shoulders, gained while cycling to the gym to get fit for skiing.



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