You can stay ahead of winter storms with the Granite Peak Titanium Watch, which has a digital barometric pressure gauge and a weather forecasting feature. And if you ever end up in a whiteout, the digital compass will point you in the right direction.
Weather Thou Goest We’re not suggesting ski areas inflate their snow totals; we’re just saying we, too, have wondered where last night’s reported foot of fresh pow fell, because we sure didn’t find it. Using real-time forecasts from AccuWeather, the portable Bushnell WeatherFX ($130) displays seven-day forecasts, current ambient and wind-chill temperatures, percentage of open terrain, number of lifts running and snow conditions —from powder to loose granular—for 300 ski resorts in North America.
Got any YouTube junkies in your family? With the Exilim EX-S10’s YouTube Best Shot Capture Mode, they can record their on-snow heroics during the day and post them on the online video-sharing network for friends and relatives—and the rest of the world— to see that night.
Girls geek out, too. They want to know how much vertical they skied—and how quickly—just as much as the guys do. Finally someone took notice. With a barometer-controlled altimeter and 12-hour weather forecasting function, Highgear’s Axio Mini ($125) is technical enough for a man but small, light and stylish enough for a woman.
The ease of the iPod-like touch-bevel makes the GPS-enabled Forerunner 405 a snap—or rather, a scroll—to use. It responds to your touch, even if you’re wearing gloves. Off the hill, use it to train. Set up a run with a virtual partner, then download and analyze distance, speed and heart rate data.
All who wander might not be lost, but knowing your location is never a bad idea, either. That’s a cinch with Garmin’s Oregon 550t GPS unit ($600). The key to this high-end handheld is its big color touch-screen. It’s easy to read in direct sunlight and allows for quick toggling between functions, which include compass, altitude, trip calculator and preloaded topo maps. The detailed maps allow you to precisely pinpoint where you are. And with a built-in camera that geo-tags each photo, you can now indisputably prove where you’ve been
Raxstars is a new, elegantly simple, single-pair car-top ski carrier that fits in a glove compartment and can be installed on cars with factory-rack crossbars in seconds—with no tools. For serious skiers who get to the mountain frequently, it won’t take the place of a car-top box. But one or two Raxstars might be nice to have as an auxiliary system for when the box is full. And for occasional skiers who might live in the suburbs and don’t have a box or rack, it’s a great low-cost solution that gets your gear out of the car’s interior for the long ride to the mountains.