Nick Baker
Dec 02, 2016

There’s really nothing quite like zooming down a ski run while carving through otherwise-immaculate powder, or taking in that crisp, chilled mountain air and the spectacular views of mountains and majestic evergreen conifers. It makes one feel alive! Top things off with a rustic lodge, glowing fireplace and your hot winter beverage of choice, and we can’t really see any reason to look forward to the warmer seasons.

Of course, not all is perfect in these winter wonderlands, particularly when it comes to cell service on the slopes. As any skier or snowboarder worth his or her weight in manufactured snow can tell you, cell service at ski resorts is about as reliable as the weatherman.

But you don’t have to take our word for it! Sensorly is a great resource for visualizing cell coverage provided by a given service carrier in a given area. In taking a look at a two popular ski destinations — Park City, Utah, and Vail, Colo.— and two of the nation’s largest service providers, it’s easy to see how limited cell coverage can be at your favorite ski spot.

Left image copyright: Sensorly; Right image from goTenna iOS app.
Left image copyright: Sensorly; Right image from goTenna iOS app.

The above images show one bunch of runs in Park City, with the left image illustrating Verizon 4G coverage areas on and around the runs, and the right showing the same area in the goTenna iOS app.

In the left image, the purple overlay represents signal strength — the darker the shade, the stronger the signal strength. As you can see, coverage is concentrated in areas immediately surrounding a main lift (illustrated by the dotted line), but the individual trails branching off to the south show no coverage at all.

Left image copyright: Sensorly; Right image from goTenna iOS app.
Left image copyright: Sensorly; Right image from goTenna iOS app.

Above is a visualization of AT&T Mobility 4G coverage on a group of trails in Vail. Coverage runs solely along the Mountain Top Express Lift #4, while nearby trails experience no coverage whatsoever.

goTenna’s location sharing features enable users to send and request locations, drop customizable pins, leave breadcrumb trails and more, all on free-to-download offline maps. Sharing a location with another user provides them with GPS coordinates and that user’s distance from those coordinates at any given point.

Additionally, the goTenna app allows for a feature called Auto Location Sharing, in which you can automatically send and/or receive location information with trusted contacts at regularly scheduled intervals, or receive location information automatically upon request.

Auto Location Sharing enables a goTenna user to have on-demand access to another user’s location. You can see timestamps for the time the location was recorded and the time the location was shared in the chat screen.

Say you’re grabbing a bite at the lodge, but a friend is still out on the slopes. With Auto Location Sharing enabled, neither the sender nor receiver are required to actively transmit location info. Instead, you are able to see your friend’s location on the mountain via automatic updates. Choose a meeting point, drop a pin, share it with those in your group, and find each other even when cell service is poor or nonexistent.

goTenna maps include detailed visual information for more than 120,000 U.S. and international ski trails, meaning you can utilize the device to stay connected with fellow skiers and snowboarders at just about any skiing destination in the world. Maps include trails of both the Alpine and Nordic varieties. Additionally, through the premium goTenna Plus app upgrade, users can access topographic information for those locations.

And here’s a pro tip: When using the goTenna app, be sure to download any maps before heading out to your destination — service in the area, or lack thereof, may not allow for downloads. 😉

Now get out there and shred the gnar, bruh!

To learn more about goTenna, please check out our FAQ page, or shoot us an email at!