Copper Mountain
 
 

Last Week I Used the Best, Most Effective Ski Resort App I’ve Ever Used

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  • February 17th, 2014
  • Gregg Blanchard

The first time I skied Snowbasin I nearly missed one of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen from lift-served skiing simply because I kept turning one way instead of another.

If I had known, I would have gone that way on every single run. As I finally got hands-on with Copper Mountain’s new Sherpa app, that’s what I kept thinking about…those moments that “if I had only known.”

It’s amazing how small pieces of the ski experience are quickly becoming the highlight of the day. And that’s exactly why I love this app.

The Gist
Using Sherpa is basically a three-step process.

  1. Get your phone out and put an earbud in one ear.
  2. Open the Sherpa app and press the Sherpa button.
  3. Put your phone back in your pocket and go skiing.

Then, as you ski, Sherpa helps you make the most of your day. It teaches you about the run you’re on (like who it was named after), gives you advice on where to eat as you walk through the village, safety tips like when to raise bar on the lift or terrain openings. All of this is spoken through your ear buds and accompanied by a card in the app, and more

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It doesn’t talk non-stop (I think I got 3 tips on a longer run), it doesn’t reveal locals’ secrets, it simply helps you make the most of what’s around you. And if you miss a tip, they’re all there waiting for you in a simple, clean feed.

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Best App Ever?
But that’s the surface. The principles behind are even better. A month or so ago I laid out my idea for the resort app that I’d build. At the core was the idea that I’d build something that gave people a reason to use it rather than wait for someone to come up with an reason on their own.

And, even more, I’d make that the blatantly obvious, core functionality of the app with everything else secondary. I must have been subconsciously thinking about Sherpa as I wrote it because that’s exactly what it does.

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Sherpa gives you a reason to open and use the app. It gives you a reason to download and try the app. But if a need arises that a traditional menu can help with there’s that too.

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I Loved It
Like someone pulling over to offer help with your flat tire, even if you don’t need help the act alone brightens your day. That’s how I felt with this app, I didn’t use all the tips, but the lack of if-I-had-knowns made my day noticeably better.

With geo-tagging not limited to snow-covered surfaces, the possibilities are pretty fun to think about.

I can’t wait to see where this technology goes. A huge thank you to Dwight for letting me stop by and a big congrats to the Copper marketing team on an awesome app.


 

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  • Jon Slaughter

    Can you listen to music too? Will the tips just pop in over the music you are listening to? Or are you just hearing silence until the tip comes in?

    Sounds like a great app either way.

    • http://www.slopefillers.com/ Gregg Blanchard

      If you can’t right now, I think it’s coming. I don’t listen to music when I ride so it was just silence (like I was hoping), but I’m pretty sure that feature exists on one platform and is coming soon on the other…just can’t remember the timing or which was which.

    • Dwight Eppinger

      Yes you can, your music will fade out as the Sherpa voice fades in. On iPhone we have it working with iTunes and a new release shortly will add functionality with Spotify, Amazon etc.. Android music is fully supported right now.