10 Avalanche Safety Apps You Want to Have in 2017

by: Anna Szlavi

Category: , ,

Avy Savvy on Your Smartphone

Are you one of those folks who relentlessly hate technology, because they make us lazy and give us instant (and often half-baked) solutions?

Or are you one of those geeks who just loooove hi tech gadgets, because they make accessible an awful lot of things, often pretty awesome stuff to be honest, which were previously out of reach?

Or you’re just the average dude that has a smartphone with the usual social media apps and you don’t care much?

Either way, you are a mountain dude who engages in this inherently dangerous hobby.

So, my friend, it is just a smart thing to know how you can make your slide, your ride, or your climb safe and fun, to be aware what your phone can do for you when you’re out there.

First of all, you need to start with a crucial question:

Smartphones in avalanche safety?

Are they useful? Are they dangerous?

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In the digital age, smartphones make your life a lot more comfortable and many times a lot safer. But does it hold for the outdoors?

On the one hand, I’m sure you know that they can interfere with the beacon, which is the No.1 device in your Avy Kit, totally superior to any app. Plus, your smartphone — especially those with lithium batteries — will die pretty fast in the cold. So it is out right dangerous to rely solely on apps!

On the other hand, you may have heard that there are more and more apps, both on the Android and the iPhone market, that come pretty much in handy for any outdoor junkie. Imagine, they can help you in route planning, getting prepared for the terrain and the weather, or they might even assist in rescue.

So, it just doesn’t hurt to know about some of the best Avy Safety Apps.

What we’d suggest for you is, get updated on the best avalanche safety apps and decide for yourself.

But always keep in mind! NO APP can replace proper avalanche gear, education, and practice!

Did you know that most avalanche accidents could have been prevented? It is your mind that tricks you into situations that you are normally well aware they’re dangerous.

Wanna know the 8 mindtraps so you can escape avy scenarios? Download it from here.

 

So let’s see a short Review of the Avy Apps you might wanna consider downloading for your snowy adventures in 2017.

 

1. All-in-One

First, let’s see avy apps which are, let’s say, all-in-one. They provide all functions you might need (and can expect from an app) for avalanche safety. Forecast, slope analysis, danger alert, GPS.


Mammut Safety App




general info: all-in-one, free, Android & iPhone

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features: Why this app is very useful is because it makes avalanche data accessible from all over the world, so you can measure the level of risk you are taking on a specific slope. You can calculate slope steepness, which will be matched with exposure. For cases of emergency, you'll have the GPS function which will alert search and rescue teams of your location.

download: Android, iPhone


Avalanche Lab



general info: all-in-one, free, iPhone only

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features: This is another all-in-one avy app, covering the whole world. It has a crowd-sourced database, where you can submit your avy file as well. You can take photos, measure slope steepness, record crown size. The app has both free and advanced versions, only for iOS though.

download: iPhone

 

2. Region-Specific

Besides the general, all-on-one avalanche apps, even those applications that focus on specific areas can come in handy.


White Risk - SLF Avalanche App




general info: Swiss Alps, free, Android & iPhone

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features: This app, created by the Swiss Avalanche Services, is the No.1 app for the Swiss Alps. It contains weather and snow forecast, regional and national bulletins, plus an interactive danger map (updated at 8AM and 5PM CET) in four languages.

download: Android, iPhone


SnowSafe




general info: for Austria, Germany, Northern Italy, Slovakia (Alps, Dolomites, Tatras), free, Android & iPhone

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features: Another region-specific avy app, this one for Central Europe. For the Austrian Alps, the Italian Dolomites and the Slovakian Tatras, SnowSafe's free app could be a good choice. It provides live avy reports and danger warnings. Descriptions don't always come in English though.

download: Android, iPhone


Utah Avalanche Center



general info: Utah (Wasatch, Uinta), free, iPhone only

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features: UAC's own free app, so far only for iPhones, is an all-in-one app for the Utah area. Weather, slope steepness, road conditions, GPS -- everything you can ask for in the Wasatch and Uinta region.

download: iPhone

 

3. Function-Specific

If you don’t want all-in-one apps, or you feel safer with complementing them with applications that specialize in one specific function, here are some you might want to consider.

Inclinometer and 3D maps for understanding the terrain, weather forecast for anticipating the weather, photo sharing for general info on the area or avy danger (using #s), rescue kit for avy rescue.


Clinometer + bubble level



general info: inclinometer, not free, Android & iPhone

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features: This payable app is considered the most accurate tool to measure slope inclination in the digital world, available both for Apple-fans and Android-lovers. Besides the obvious outdoor function of measuring slope steepness, you can also use it for simple, household tasks like aligning a frame, so even your wife will thank you for it.

download: Android, iPhone


FATMAP - 3D Map



general info: 3D mapping, Android and iPhone

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features: This is an ultra high-resolution 3D mapping app, awesome for on-piste and off-piste adventures alike. You can move around the map and view the 3D image from any angle. If you fancy, you can even do a 3D fly-through of your routes. As for avy specific features, you will be notified of risk zones (based on steepness, avy hot spots, and crevasse zones).

download: Android, iPhone


Avalanche Forecasts



general info: forecast for North America, free, iPhone only

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features: BCA's free avy forecast app is a little more than weather forecast. It helps you determine avy danger by combining available info on weather and slope, and provides you with info on how to perform a rescue when in need. It only comes for iPhone and for North America.

download: iPhone


Rescue Kit



general info: rescue, not free, iPhone only

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features: Although the app is only for iPhone and not free, the price is completely acceptable ($1.99) and worth considering. The app detects your GPS coordinates and sends them to rescuers in case of emergency. Equipped with colored SOS flashlights for visibility.

download: iPhone


Instagram



general info: photo sharing, free, Android & iPhone

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features: Instagram doesn't need introduction, but you might be surprised why we included it in this list. It is a crowd-sourced app, which is freaking useful when it comes to avy info. By searching the # (hashtag) of the area, you will find precious info on what's the situation out there. If you notice avy danger, you can also post and hashtag it, to let others know about it.

download: Android, iPhone


But Always Remember:


  • Bring your transceiver and know how to use it
  • Carry a shovel, a probe, and preferably an airbag
  • Don’t forget about your map and compass
  • Be prepared for the current avalanche situation
  • Know what to do what to do if you get hit or a friend gets hit
  • Practice, practice, practice

 

Wanna Know More About Avalanche Safety?

It can be pretty useful to have some of these apps on your smartphone, but remember, no app can replace proper avy education.

As you can guess, avalanche prevention is a very complex issue, but if you wanna take home just the most essential knowledge, it is the Mindset.

Most avalanche accidents can be prevented once you are aware of the 8 Mindtraps that are usually the reason people fall victim to dangerous situations.

If you take your safety, and the safety of your pals, seriously — and given that you are reading this post, you do — then here’s what you wanna check out next.

Learn the 8 Mindtraps so you escape avalanches.

Get the know-how now for free, by clicking here.

avy_mindtraps

 

 

  • Julien

    For the ones used with french language, you have the app “NivoTest”to help making a ranking of the avy risk.

    • Anna Szlavi

      Thanks for the tip, Julien!