March 23, 2021
How many times is there no street sign and you can’t tell your buddy what corner you are on? Or you are at a concert or outdoor event and you have agreed to connect with others at the place that serves sandwiches only to discover there are 4 such places?! Or worse – you are in an emergency situation, panicked and having trouble describing where you are. Enter what3words.
Bear with us – this will relate to skiing!
One lazy hazy summer afternoon we were reading the WSJ (yes, we occasionally do that) and ran across an article about what3words. It was love at first sight. They describe it best – “We divided the world into 3 metre squares and gave each square a unique combination of three words. It’s the easiest way to find and share exact locations.” Back to the concert and the sandwich place. With the what3words app you can tell your friends what the three words are for your exact location and they can follow directions to that spot using the app.
Unless you haven’t had enough coffee today, the relevance of this technology to skiing should be obvious. You and your friends are both mid mountain but separated. Using what3words allows you to connect without having to ski to the bottom of some lift you didn’t want to go to anyway. Or, more importantly, you are trying to describe to the Ski Patrol exactly where you are. You get the idea.
So…we are heartened to see what3words seep into the ski world. Telluride Patrol are using what3words and encouraging skiers to use it (Telluride/Safety/what3words). Snow-Forecast (snow-forecast.com or snow-forecast app) provides forecasts, maps and general info for over 3,000 ski areas. Included in its location services now are the what3words location. Would you rather try to tell someone your latitude and longitude or just give them 3 words?
And perhaps its best use is for the backcountry. Our northern neighbors have recognized this as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (why do they have all the cool names?) is using what3words to locate the lost or injured. The really cool aspect of their use of the system is that the lost/injured don’t even need to have the app. If one calls into the 911 system they will be given a link to click on that will tell the RCMP exactly where they are located – RCMP/what3words
We are convinced that what3words should be used in the ski industry so spread the word. After you thank them for all they do, tell your local ski patrol about it. And if you want a cup of coffee at our place in Alta you can find us at: glory.isolated.insulation.