Bryony Grimes takes a look at the apps taking centre stage in the New Year

The lifts are on, the seasonnaires are out and the mountains are beckoning. Where to? Espace Killy, of course. Shortly after Tignes officially switched on its lifts for December, I hopped over the channel to get a glimpse of what the season has on offer, and to suss out which apps are a slope-side must for 2017/18.

Tignes was on top form, show-casing some of its institutions to early season guests: Mark Warner’s tastefully refurbished, Savoie-esque L’Aiguille Percée opened its doors for visitors to revel in its memorable views and gondola proximity. Le Loop was already stealing the show as the burger spot, while Val d’Isère’s famous face la Folie Douce was in full swing, establishing itself once more as the après place to be.  But, pockets of powder and bluebird conditions aside, the Espace Killy was welcoming me with a mission in mind - to indulge in the new piste gadgets of today.

In addition to the following 5 chart-toppers, it wasn’t hard to see how easily tech fits into alpine landscapes. From ZeatVIP’s futuristic, eco-efficient Tesla X transfer service, to (enviously) spotting DJI’s new compact, versatile Mavic Pro drone hovering over the Grande Motte, the evolution of the skiing experience was happening before my eyes. The worlds of snow sports and smart tech are merging and creators are looking to enhance the future of skiing and snowboarding with digital ingenuity - the best of which, both complex and simple, is compiled below:

Skadi: star of the snow

One to watch. Affectionately referred to as Pokémon Go for the slopes, digital adventure assistant Skadi is on track to revolutionise how we spend our time on the snow. Thanks to its multifunctional gaming nature, Skadi combines resort-wide crystal hunting and audio guided sat-nav capability to enhance the skiing experience and make sure everyone makes it to the meeting spot on time to compare stats.

On the slopes: Skadi proved a success in Tignes. Audibly navigating me from the peak of the Grande Motte glacier down to the Tovière just in time for the last lift of the day, Skadi coped with premature run and lift closures to deliver me home in time for a pre-dinner nap… Coincidentally, all while picking up a cool 10 crystals when I stumbled upon and Ibex.

SkiLynx: the snowsports social network

If you’re taking a transatlantic trip this season, then SkiLynx is a must. Party members appear in real time on comprehensive mountain maps, accompanied by details on how to reach them – so no one slips off the radar. Connected by pre-set chat options on a phone or watch, a lunch time reunion is a quick tap away, permitting even the biggest and most dysfunctional group to always stay in touch.

On the slopes: The developers of SkiLynx are yet to incorporate maps for European resorts, so testing this one in Tignes was off the cards. However, the list for North America is extensive and Apple Watch capability smooth. I’ll definitely be using this one across the pond.

Avanet: a safety crowdsourcing community

For backcountry skiers, boarders and professional guides alike, the Avanet database relies on GPS to alert users to off-piste hazards and unexpectedly tough conditions. Using geo-tags, travellers can add personal observations, photo/audio notes, and log safe touring routes, helping to ensure that all intrepid explorers keep safe and shredding this season.

On the slopes: It’s still early days for Avanet in the Espace Killy, and a big percentage of the online database contains information from summer mountaineers in Tignes, but the potential is great. Nonetheless, I checked out some notes added by those who have already made it out: ice slide by La Daille averted.

Red Panic Button: one step ahead

Simple, but potentially life-saving. Whether it be a critical situation or an overconfident faux-pas, this app can be programmed to send out a Twitter distress call and contact your most reliable group members via e-mail or phone in a matter of emergency. Transmitting your location through GPS tracking with just a bop of the big red button, this could prove invaluable in the unlikely event of an accident.

On the slopes: Thankfully no unsuspecting friends were required to rescue me from an overzealous session in the Gattalu snow park, although I did carry out a test from the comfort of my hotel room. It’s two main functions performed well: location accurate, message sent.

SkiFit: pre-season prep

The first few runs of the season can quickly become bittersweet when waking up to stiff legs and sore thighs. SkiFit is one step ahead, offering up instructional work out videos led by physiotherapist Neil Maclean-Martin to help prevent those early season aches and pains. No specialist equipment is required to make the most of this ski-specific fitness tool, instead the 60 minute sessions focus on building core strength and avoiding injury.

On the slopes: Even for the fairly active off-season skier such as myself, the first trip back to the snow will always take its toll. Heeding Neil’s advice, I tried out a week of phase 1, mixing it in with my established gym schedule. After an icy day in the valley a few hibernating muscles twinged, but Thursday morning was a relatively pain free affair.