Slopes Animated Run Replay

Review – Slopes is The Ultimate Skier or Snowboarders Companion

Review of Slopes
  • Ease of Use
  • Apple Watch Usability
  • Statistics & Information
  • Historical Data
  • Premium Features (if purchased)
  • Pricing
4.9

Summary

As an avid skier who gets well over 60 days of skiing in a year, I cannot recommend Slopes enough. The amount of detail you get about your days on the hill is amazing and it gives you a great sense of where you went on the mountain, how well you skied, and how much of a workout you got while doing it. It is also just a fun app to use. I have been reviewing my stats with my wife on our bus trip home each day and more often than not the person next to me will want to know what app I’m using. It is a good way to relive the day but also share it with others.

I am fortunate enough to call Vail, Colorado home. As an avid skier, it is the perfect place to live. There are over 5,280 acres of skiable and ridable area at Vail including the famous back bowls of the mountain. As a skier, I’m always looking for apps that help me track my activity. I want things like how many vertical feet I skied, how many lifts I rode, how fast I went, and its overall impact on my health. To that end, I may have found the best answer in Slopes.

Slopes, developed by Curtis Herbert (an avid snowboarder himself), is an app that allows you to easily and effortlessly track your on mountain activities. It tracks your runs, speed, vertical feet you skied or snowboarded, the number and names (in some resorts) of the lifts you rode, automatically pauses when you stop, has wipeout detection (hope you never have to try this…), and leverages your Apple Watch in an elegant and thoughtful way. I rarely get overly enamored with apps but this one might, just might, be the perfect app for skiers and snowboarders.

First, a disclosure on this review. I am using the Premium version of Slopes which unlocks some of the features that are covered in this review. You can get details of what is included in the Premium subscriptions on the Slopes site.

The Basics

Getting started with Slopes is pretty straightforward. After installing the app and opening it, you are brought to the main screen. You’ll be prompted to give permissions for location information and the app will then figure out the closest resort to you. Select it and then press the green Start button when you at the resort and about to head up your first chair lift. That’s it. The app will use your iPhone’s GPS to track you on your chair lifts and then down the runs you make on the mountain you are skiing or riding. You will also see your lifetime stats on this page. This includes your lifetime vertical feet, the number of ski runs you have made, and how many different resorts you have visited.

Slopes Recording Page on iPhone
Slopes Recording Page on iPhone

Starting the recording process on your Apple Watch is just as easy. Just open the Slopes app on your Watch. It will use GPS to figure out which resort you are visiting and prompt you to select it. Once you do that, you are recording. You can also use Siri to start the recording by saying, “Hey Siri, start Slopes”. You also have Siri pause and stop your recordings.

Slopes Recording on Apple Watch
Slopes Recording on Apple Watch

The app is intelligent enough to know when you are riding up a chairlift or gondola so you don’t get “extra credit” when it comes to calories burned. Indeed, the app pauses itself and doesn’t start recording your skiing or snowboarding again until you are heading back down the hill. It leverages the sensors in your iPhone or Apple Watch to do this. The beauty of this is you don’t have to worry about pausing the recording process. It handles all of this for you.

When you are done recording for the day, stop it via by tapping the red Stop button on your iPhone or by pressing the Pause then hit the End button on your Apple Watch. If you have given permissions to Slope to your Apple Health data, it will then write that day of skiing or riding to the Activity app and show it as an excise you have completed.

Pausing or Stopping Recording on Apple Watch
Pausing or Stopping Recording on Apple Watch
Slopes Data in Apple Activity App
Slopes Data in Apple Activity App

The Advanced Data in Slopes

When you have recorded a day of skiing or riding, that is where the fun begins with Slopes. You have a wealth of data about your day at your fingertips in an easy to find and easy to understand fashion. That data starts on your Apple Watch. You can see basic information such as how many runs you made, vertical feet covered, top seed, and how many miles you have skied. Consider this a quick glance and not all the gory details of your day on the mountain.

Daily Results Information on Apple Watch
Daily Results Information on Apple Watch

The app itself on your iPhone provides an incredible amount of information about your day on the hill. When you have completed a day, you will see that day in the History section of the app. As the name suggests, the History tab shows you all of your activity that you have had with Slopes. It also shows you the number of runs you have made that day and the amount of time you were on the hill. If you have taken photos, and allows Slopes to access them, they too will be in the history tab for that day.

Slopes History Tab
Slopes History Tab

Tapping on a day will bring to the more detailed page of your activities for the day. At the top you will see a 3D map of the mountain you were on for the day while below you will see photos that you took for the day on the mountain (again, if you give Slopes permission to access your photos). Below this you will see the “How’d You Do?” section. This gives you the highlights such as the number of runs you made, your downhill vertical feet, total time on the hill, distance you skied, your average speed and the calories you burned.

History Day Detail
History Day Detail

Further down on the page, you will see a section “Your Bests”. Here you will find the top numbers for your day such as the fastest speed you achieved, the tallest run you made, the longest run you made and the highest altitude you had for that day. Finally, below this you will see the “You Spent” section. This shows you how much time you actually spent skiing, how much time you were on lifts, and how much time you were standing still or stopped (say to eat lunch).

Your Best Section & You Spent Sections
Your Best Section & You Spent Sections

If you scroll back to the top of the page, you will see the large blue “View Lifts & Runs” button. Tapping that brings you to a detailed map of your day on the mountain. Here you can play an animation of your day skiing or riding around the mountain including the lifts you took. If you are at a supported resort, you will even see the names of the lifts you took. Below is a screenshot of the view and below that is a video of the animated map in action. Note on the screenshot that it shows me where on the mountain I took photos.

Map View in Slopes
Map View in Slopes

You will note below the map itself there are three tabs: Overview, Analysis, and Vitals. Each of these taps give you different information of the same map. Overview, which you see in the screenshot and video above, show you the lifts you took and runs. Analysis gives you your altitude and your speed as you progress down runs. Vitals, as you would expect, gives you your heart rate as you were skiing or riding so you can see how much of a workout you are getting.

Analysis of your Run Details
Analysis of your Run Details
Heart Rate Information from Skiing in Slopes
Heart Rate Information from Skiing in Slopes

As you can see, the amount of information you have at your fingertips with Slopes is really second-to-none. It provides you insights to your day on the hill that no other app provides and it leverages the power of your Apple Watch and iPhone to the max to give it you. That said, the app isn’t a battery killer. I can easily spend a day on the mountain skiing for six-odd hours with plenty of power left on my devices to see me through Apres and other after skiing activities.

The Extras

Slopes has a few extras beyond the skiing and snowboarding tracking. First, there is a rewards system of sorts in the app. As you use the app more, you unlock the opportunity to purchase branded merchandise. For example, after using the app the first time, you unlock the Limited Edition beanie. Other things you unlock as you use the app are stickers, Tee-Shirts, Hoodies and there is even an exclusive pin if you happen to meet Slopes creator Curtis Herbert on the hill.

Slopes Gear You Can Unlock and Purchase
Slopes Gear You Can Unlock and Purchase

The second fun extra are iMessage stickers. When you install Slopes it also installs stickers that you can send to friends. These sticker range from trail rating stickers (Green, Blue, Black) to skiers and snowboarders.

iMessages Stickers from Slopes
iMessages Stickers from Slopes

Pricing

Slopes itself is a free download from the App Store but to save your recordings, you will need a Pass. A single pass is $1.99 while a 5-pack is $7.99 (saves you 20% over singles). The Premium Pass is a subscription that bills $19.99 annually. If you and your partner want to use the app, you can get a family pass for $29.99 annually. The premium pass is where you will get things like the animated maps and real time analytics that have been discussed in this review. You also get lift identification, speed heat maps and vitals. If you spend any amount of time on the hill beyond 5 days, the premium pass is well worth the investment. Besides, you are helping the continued development of the app at the same time.

Conclusion & Recommendation

As an avid skier who gets well over 60 days of skiing in a year, I cannot recommend Slopes enough. The amount of detail you get about your days on the hill is amazing and it gives you a great sense of where you went on the mountain, how well you skied, and how much of a workout you got while doing it. It is also just a fun app to use. I have been reviewing my stats with my wife on our bus trip home each day and more often than not the person next to me will want to know what app I’m using. It is a good way to relive the day but also share it with others.

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