Now that I’ve moved to Denver, I’ve grown quite fond of tracking my outdoor activities to keep track of just how awesome my life has become. Consider it the natural product of being a geogeek who spent the first thirty-plus years of his life in areas that didn’t allow for constant outdoor fun. Let’s face it, Missouri and Oklahoma don’t offer much in the way of palatable outdoor activity in the winter, and summers can be a bit — how you say — unbearably hot.
What originally spurred my interest in Denver was how much it felt like home due to all of my family’s Christmas ski trips to Summit County while I was growing up. My first visit here — which was also my first Christmas — was at the age of four months. While everyone else correlates Christmas with family, gifts, and egg nog, I have always associated it with the mountains. They’ve always felt like home. Every Christmas from 4 months until I left for college, spent in Summit County. Since breaking that holiday tradition in the late 1990s, I’d been sure to take a break from the plains at least once a year, with the last ten years of ski trips dubbed, “Pickles Family Reunion,” as I brought all of my closest friends along for the ride. You can see what I’m getting at here: clearly, this move to Denver was strictly unrelated to skiing.
As I’ve grown older and nerdier, I’ve tried to capture my ski days for posterity. I need data to reflect upon to say, “hey, yeah, that was a good time.” Something to help pass the time at the office while I daydream about the best times ever. Perhaps I should step away from the PC a bit more but, alas, I am what I am. As any of my Facebook friends can attest, for the past two seasons Vail’s EpicMix has served well for this stat-tracking purpose (as shown here). For being provided to me free of additional cost, it is fairly robust, albeit limited. The RFID-driven system follows your lift pass as you board the ski lifts around any of Vail’s resorts and keeps track of the vertical feet traversed during your day. Granted, you can only see which lifts you have taken. To capture individual runs would be a monumental task, one which would most definitely take EpicMix out of the free price point. This is the major limitation of the system, but again, for a free system you cannot complain. In addition to the raw vertical foot tracker, there’s a social aspect of EpicMix and the whole thing is very heavily influenced by online gaming networks, with pins awarded for certain milestones and events. I’ve definitely been an achievement-whore more than a few times. Again, apologies for the EpicMix spam in your newsfeed, guys. You’re troopers.
It’s been a good run, EpicMix, but it’s time for me to move on. It’s not you. Heck, it’s not even me. It’s someone else. Her name is Ski Tracks for iPhone.