Skiing is the quintessential lifestyle activity….and we LOVE IT!
If you’ve had the privilege of skiing and riding in your youth, odds are you’re an addict for life. The mountain life is the perfect mix of serenity and sex appeal! Warren Miller knew it, and we know it. We’re in!
Unfortunately Houston, we have a problem. You see the industry has been trucking along at the status quo for decades and is currently experiencing a flatline. The population of aging skiers is greater than the influx of new enthusiast. In short the industry is in dire need of a facelift. In fact the last time anything truly game-changing happened to the industry was when Jake Burton brought us snowboarding back in the late 1970s.
Well we going to push a new level of excitement onto the mountain.
What is our motivation?
Anyone that’s been bitten by bug can share powder stories infinitum, and we are no different. We are on a course to change the industry…or better yet, save the industry. There are plenty of monumental reasons for change…how about a growing population of inactive youth, or prices so high as to deter incoming new enthusiasts, and then there is independent ski areas falling into darkness due to the big white elephant in the room, global warming. We have set out to build a platform that not only solves very real challenges, but facilitates a conversation for improvement.
What got us started?
It was actually an article published by Wired back in December of 2012 that helped us find the path. A writer named Roberto Baldwin was working for Wired and put out the article entitled “Skiing needs a Surfline”. Created back in 1985 by Jerry Arnold, Surfline was a pay-per-call surf-report phone line. Basically he paid a whole bunch of surf loving fanatics (one of the other true lifestyle sports) to phone in their local surf breaks to the main office every morning at dawn. Shortly after launch it was a big success with like 6000 calls a day in its first month. Today Surfline is the world’s largest provider of surf reports, live coastal cameras, streaming webcasts, surf forecasting, photo, video, news etc.. Surfline is a great example of a sharing community wanting to improve the lifestyle they love.
Roberto shared his opinion on how webcams that watch skiers dismount the lift would not offer much about current current run conditions, and went on to explain that a sharing model like Surfline was needed to bring the snow rider and ski industry together. His opinion was that the current disconnect between ski areas meant that the only way to unite skiers and riders was through the innovation of a third-party company..so in an effort to unite our love of snow and the alpine lifestyle that is the road we’re taking.
What makes our model unique?
Surf spots around the globe have a very “Locals Only” mentality, which is similar to the community pride we’ve seen in and around ski areas; every year Powder Magazine has the “Ski Town Throwdown” which is a great example of that community pride and willingness to band together for a local cause. Everyone votes in the hopes of propelling their local area into stardom, which is a great example of community pride; much like the Final Four bracket for Alpine Communities.
Along those lines we had to find a way to engineer a platform that allows for collaboration by all, yet maintains a unique local, geographically-bound aspect, keeping each ski area, each member, very much a part of the local community they engage. This is how the Basecamp model comes into play. Basecamp is the alpine community where you and yours get the bulk of you runs. The ski hill where you know the name of the run before you get there; to us that’s Basecamp.
What’s our Mantra?
Well we actually have 3 tenets that we live by
Tools-Not-Toys – We consider cold fingers every step of the way and we want every interaction on the mobile to be useful and purposeful. You won’t find pins, badges, challenges or global leaderboards.
Safe, not scary – The “extreme” rhetoric needs to be tampered. Our focus is on safety, introducing new skiers, families, guest frequency, and data analysis.
Mutually Exclusive Solidarity – Only by working together to engineer and implement universal solutions can the ski industry evolve while still retaining the distinctive qualities of independent ski areas.
Also, no licensed content, which is why you find any standard weather forecasting (there are plenty of forecasting apps out there to choose from). Instead what you will find geographically-verified real-time crowd-sourced ski and snow conditions. At the top of a ski area the weather changes within minutes, not hours, so we wanted a feature to provide real-time conditions from our proactive friends and neighbors actually on the hill.
In our opinion all of those snow reports found at the ski area website should actually be coming from Ski Patrol; after all aren’t they the ones that have actually had the proper training? We’re gonna try and help make that happen.
How can I get involved?
Love where your heads at! Drop us a line and we’ll talk.