There was a time when skiers were as cynical as it was possible to get about ski apps. An app? For skiing? Nah, you're alright thanks. Skiing is all about two planks, two poles, a warm coat and a hill with some snow on it. Leave the computer technology for Star Trek fans and MI6, they'd say.

But then skiers changed. They saw the light and realised that actually, you know what, a good smart phone app can genuinely bring something really cool and useful to their ski trip. Take the Crystal Ski Explorer, for example. The latest version of the app, brought kicking and screaming into our lives by the folks at Crystal Ski Holidays, is packing some seriously great features. Features like:

Recommended Routes and Route Planner

Screenshot via Crystal Ski Holidays

Rather than wasting hours taking wrong turn after wrong turn and ending back at the crepe place that gave your mate food poisoning, why not whip out the Ski Explorer app and follow a step-by-step route lovingly put together by Crystal's resort teams? To help you get your bearings, the app also now includes an interactive piste map. Oh, and you can post completed routes on your Facebook and Twitter as well. Because if it's not on social media... did it really even happen?

One of the best new additions to the app is the 'Route Planner' feature. All you need to do is tell Ski Explorer where you want to go, and it will give you the fastest A to B route with minimum fuss. What's particularly impressive about this is that you can filter out elements like black runs and drag lifts, leaving you with a customised route that's perfect for you. An estimated arrival time is also provided. 

Friend Finder

Screenshot via Crystal Ski Holidays

Friends are nice, aren't they nice? It's nice having friends. Where would you be without your friends, hey? Remember that time you went to that (insert place) with (insert name), (insert name), and (insert name). And, oh my god, (insert funny incident) happened to (insert name). Yeah, that was brilliant wasn't it?

Well, anyway, you'll be pleased to know that the Ski Explorer app understands the importance of having friends; offering users a secure and simple feature that will help mates find each other wherever they are in the resort. Ideal for working out with your pals where to meet for lunch.

Ski Tracking

Screenshot via Crystal Ski Holidays

You can pretend all you want that you don't care for stats but, guess what, we know your secret. Stats? You love them. Can't get enough of them. How fast? How far? How high? The Ski Explorer app uses GPS to track all of it - letting you blissfully nerd out on all the pretty numbers it throws your way. Don't be ashamed by your love of stats. Stats are cool.

*starts humming Batman theme-tune* 

"Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na STATMAN!"

Speaking of GPS tracking, one of the coolest new features on Ski Explorer is the option to see the whole of your day's journey on a piste map. Show your friends where you went, while they show you where they went. Talk about it. Laugh about it. Point out places you particularly enjoyed. Then do it all again the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. No other ski app tracks you quite like this one.

 

 

Weather Updates

Screenshot via Crystal Ski Holidays

Crystal Ski Holidays

When your Grandad was a wee nipper, he no doubt predicted all of the weather for that week by licking his finger and holding it up to the wind for between 30 and 45 seconds. Fortunately, for all concerned, things have moved on somewhat since then.

Thanks to the Ski Explorer app you can now get all the latest snow reports, weather forecasts, and piste conditions for your resort delivered straight to your phone. This updated weather and snow feature, which improves on the app's previous efforts in this field, now gives you a whole six days worth of forecasts and more detailed data than ever before.

Points of Interest

Screenshot via Crystal Ski Holidays

We've already briefly touched upon how Ski Explorer is home to interactive maps, but we're yet to have delved down into a discussion of how the app is home to a number of new resort maps that will handily pinpoint not only your accommodation but also various points of interest around the resort.  Points of interest include, but are not limited to, banks, bars, medical centres, restaurants and ski hire facilities.

Notifications

Screenshot via Crystal Ski Holidays

With up to the minute notifications sent straight to your phone, courtesy of Crystal's very good in-resort teams, the Ski Explorer app means you'll have a heads up on all the local news. Say your favourite cable car's closed due to high winds. Rather than find out about the closure when you get to the cable car, and see the dream-crushing closed sign, you'll instead be in the know right from the word go. Updates from the pal-finding 'My Friends' feature will also appear here.

Your Booking

Screenshot via Crystal Ski Holidays

If you book a ski trip with Crystal Ski Holidays, your booking details and itinerary can be accessed directly from the app. Imagine that. Everything you could ever need to know about your holiday in one convenient place. No more scraps of paper to worry about. No more carrying about a colour-coded laminated folder which everyone makes fun of. Just you, your phone, and Ski Explorer. Simples.

For more information, or to book your ski holiday, visit the Crystal website.