When volunteer ski patrollers are out on the hill, they need fast and easy access to critical trail information to respond quickly to emergencies. Ski Patrol is an app designed to provide life-saving information to first responders whether they are connected to a network or battling a snowstorm the field.
Ski Patrol provides critical trail information to first responders including trail maps and statuses, snow conditions, weather and avalanche forecasts, toboggan and mountain phone locations, radio codes, live cams and much more.
Gary Mayer, Creator of Ski Patrol: I’ve been an application developer for many years as well as a volunteer ski patroller. Ski Patrol is designed to meet the needs of ski patrollers. It’s a unique environment out there. There’s a lot of data that you need to know: we need to know lif status, trail status, where toboggans are stashed on the mountain, where each AED (defibrillator) device is, what the avalanche forecast is, we might need to contact a fellow patroller, etc. Some of this is real-time data, but there’s also a lot of static data that would be useful in an in-pocket reference, and what better place to store that information than your phone?
The idea for the app stemmed from a fellow patroller. One day a few years ago we were working and he approached me and said, “you know, we capture all this information for incidents, we have to make all these measurements about what happened, is there a way that we could record this in our phones?” I thought, maybe next year I could do that, so during the next offseason I got started.
I think the first pass I coded the backend three different times by hand. I started coding on a Linux-Java backend stack, coding everything myself, all the database tables, the CRUD access, the security, and had to go through all the user management profile, password reset by hand and I got so far into it and thought “I do not want to do this anymore by hand, there’s got to be something better.” So I started to research and came across mobile backend as a service and started evaluating different products.