Maps and Apps
This is somewhat a Coastal BC specific post but could still be useful for others. I often get questions about how to find great trails and routes for trail running and ski mountaineering. The true answer is that mostly just exploring and knowing the area is important but it has led me to writing this blog post about the resources that I use while in the mountains.
Weather, Webcams, and Avalanche:
These are important ones. The more data you can collect on the weather, the less likely you will be caught unprepared. For winter activities, an avalanche forecast is also critical. Avalanche Canada provides forecasts for most of Canada. Most European countries also have an avalanche forecast such as Switzerland’s ‘SLF White Risk’ App.
- Avalanche Canada – Weather and Avy Forecast
- Whistler Live – Whistler area Weather and Webcams
- Sea To Sky Gondola – Weather and Webcams
- Mammut Avalanche Safety – Inclinometer, Avy Forecast, International Emergency Numbers
www.mountain-forecast.com – Worldwide Mountain Weather Forecast
Maps and Route Resources:
Both paper and electronic maps are extremely useful. I tend to plan my route using a combination of paper and electronic resources. Running, I typically rely on my iPhone and apps. Bigger days in the mountains and ski mountaineering, I will typically take a paper copy as well.
- Google Earth – There is no better resource for planning mountain adventures than Google Earth. Not good enough quality to see individual trails but good for scouting valleys, slopes, etc. Best on a big screen!
- TrailMapps – North Shore, Sky Pilot, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and more! GPS incorporated into the map. This is my #1 go to for running when you encounter tons of trail junctions and need to choose the right one. An absolute must have app.
- PDF Maps – Many Maps available but less functionality within the app.
- Scrambles in SW BC – Most (but not all) of the scrambles listed in this book make excellent mountain runs. They are a bit more than typical trail runs though so be prepared.
- Baldwin Maps – Excellent resource for Coastal backcountry ski touring.
- North Shore Trail Map – High quality N. Shore (and HSCT) paper trail map. A South Chilcotins version is also available!
- Trail Mapp Squamish – Paper version of the above TrailMapp App. Put it on the wall at home and use it to plan the route.
Training apps are easy to find and depend somewhat on the watch you use. For example with my Ambit2 watch, I sync to Suunto’s ‘Movescount’ App. There are several standalone apps though that may be useful. Both Strava and Training Peaks also allow automatic sync with the Ambit.
- Strava – Can be used as a GPS to record runs or as a Training Log.
- Training Peaks – We use TP as the primary Training Log for all Ridgeline Athletes.
- Snapseed – My my favourite photo app. Powerful editing but simple to use.
Our training plans pull from both our expertise in mountain and ultra racing and are designed both for the first time ultra runner as well as experienced runners looking to take on a new goal.