iPhone Avalanche Safety Apps
Saturday, 10 August 2013 | Evan
A post to highlight a some free avalanche safety apps from Mammut, BCA and Ortovox. I'm running them on an iPhone 3GS (I know, I need to upgrade soon, but I'm attached to it and it only costs me a tenner a month), which is the minimum you need to run the full programmes.
All three apps give access to some information on the factors that cause avalanches, as well as giving basic risk checkers that take into account factors such as the avalanche risk level, slope angle and slope aspect. While I wouldn't entirely rely on these features in assessing my own safety, they are useful to have as an aide memoire. At the very least, the inclinometer functions included are worthwhile. The Mammut and Ortovox apps both have a useful SOS/emergency call function that enables you to easily phone or text your GPS location to the local rescue services, while the BCA app has a variety of useful guides on transceiver searching, probing and shoveling. Additional tools included in the Mammut and Ortovox apps include a compass and an altimeter. All of the apps have the ability to to download the avalanche bulletins for all of the main alpine countries. In the case of the Mammut and BCA apps this included Scotland, which I was glad to see in light of last season's avalanche disasters there. A downside of the Ortovox app is that some of the information is only available in German at present
Best of all, they're all free! Download them from iTunes by searching for "Mammut Safety", "BCA backcountry assessor" and "Ortovox". Play around with all them and decide which one you like best. I've included some screen shots below to give you a flavour:
Mammut app inclinometer and home page:
Ortovox app home pages and tools:
BCA app home page: