Sunset over Buffalo Mountain and Gore Range
This photo shows Buffalo from Summit county. To the right lies Red Mountain, part of the Gore Range - and on the other side of the Gore Range lies Vail.
This season Vail Resorts introduces its EpicMix technology, a chip built into the season pass that measures the downhill feet skied at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge, plus Heavenly Valley in California.
The chip records and tracks all vertical, lift rides, and awards EpicMix pins for riders who accomplish certain goals - such as “Pow Hound”, “Outback”, etc. , EpicMix also can send data directly to your Facebook account (if you choose to enable this option).
Sunset, Tenmile Range on left, Buffalo on right
How does this work?
Radio scanners at the base of every lift, and RF chips in every season pass, enable EpicMix to track vertical feet skied.
When will it be ready?
They expect the website to be active by Christmas 2010. EpicMix has iPhone and Android apps for mobile access.
Skiers and boarders can opt in to EpicMix, opt in to sharing on Facebook, or can choose to not activate their EpicMix account.They can also choose to have the RF chip disabled at locations at each resort.
The Vail Daily reports mixed reactions - while some riders love to track their vertical, others hesitate to opt into what they perceive as “Big Brother” watching.
One advantage I see is that if a rider vanishes, the EpicMIx allows ski patrol and rescue to determine the last lift that person rode, which reduces the amount of terrain that must be searched.
And, if you don’t want to be followed, you can always ask to have the chip removed.
Objections come from people who may try to duck ropes to enter off limits terrain - however, the chip tracks lifts ridden, not which trails the users ride.
I personally probably won’t post to Facebook (unless I get some really awesome stats!), but will activate my account on the website, to satisfy my curiosity.
What do you think?
Will you activate your EpicMIx account?
Will you post your vertical feet to Facebook or Twitter?
I’d love to get your comments about yuor plans to use this new technology!