SALT LAKE CITY — Avalanche disasters in Utah could become less frequent thanks to a new iOS app.
The Utah Avalanche Center's website is a goldmine of information about backcountry conditions. But the center's director, Bruce Tremper, said the app launched this week is even better.
"When we started designing it, I realized we could put all of my bookmarks that I've got on my webpage in one spot," he said.
The app includes new features, like a screen that provides emergency numbers based on the phone's GPS location.
Provo-based developer Garafa built the app. Company president John Lund said it's even useful off the grid.
The app will pull all that information in for the whole day and cache it.
"The app will pull all that information in for the whole day and cache it," he explained.
Donations covered the development costs.
The center's website said the app consolidates the avalanche, weather, road and slope information needed for critical decision-making, including:
- Daily avalanche advisories for 7 regions around the state
- Daily field observations from a small army of volunteer observers as well as the UAC staff
- Road conditions including avalanche closures, road travel restrictions, and canyon road webcams
- Mountain weather information including current conditions, forecasts, satellite loops, radar, and mountain weather cams
- Emergency contacts and your GPS location for a fast rescue response
- A slope evaluation tool using your camera, containing your GPS location, steepness, aspect, elevation, time, and date
- Ability to photograph a slope watermarked with GPS location, steepness, aspect, elevation, time, and date and share that photo
- An email form to share your observations with the Utah Avalanche Center
- A list of contacts for more information