Skis planted, goggles off, you peer over the edge of a tempting black diamond, while taking note of the much easier green circle to your right. You wanted to do one last run before heading back to the lodge, but aren't sure which would put you in front of a mug of hot cocoa and which would put you on the opposite side of the mountain.
Not to worry, now you can find your way with the Google Maps app on your smartphone. (We won't tell anyone you chose the green circle).
Google announced on its blog today that its Google Maps app, available for free on Android devices and iPhone, now includes 38 new maps of ski runs and lifts from some of the most popular ski resorts in the United States and Canada.
Forget squinting at faded ski-slope signs or fumbling with folded resort maps. The app marks green, blue and black runs - the colors ski resorts use to indicate a slope's difficulty - which appear on the screen as solid colored lines. Ski lifts are shown as red dotted lines. The app can help get your bearings if you are lost, or it can help you plan your runs for the day before you set out.
Now you can find your way to never-ending mogul fun on the Mad Wolf run at Montana's Big Sky Resort, or navigate to Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort's freestyle terrain parks for shredding bliss.
Other popular ski resorts on the app include Aspen and Vail in Colorado, Sun Valley in Idaho, Squaw Valley and Mammoth Mountain in California, and Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont.
Some notable resorts missing from the list: Colorado's Beaver Creek Ski Resort, Vermont's Killington Resort and Mont Tremblant in Quebec.
There are other apps out there that offer similar map services, but not, it seems, with runs as clearly marked as on Google Maps.
Both Ski TrailMaps Pro, $3.99 on Andriod, and iTrailMap, free on iPhone, offer digital versions of several resort maps for download, and also include snow forecasts, weather reports and slope webcams.
The Ski Tracks app, $0.99 on iPhone, is a GPS-tracking app that allows you to record your runs for the day.
- Google Maps