As part of our committement to wilderness travel we work closely with a few different organizations. One of which locally, is the Whistler Mountain Mapping Initiative. (WMMI)
The aim of these maps is to provide a variety of users, be it the general public through to mountain operational staff with a purchasable third party high resolution GPS enabled map app for the mountains. These maps allow the user along with their hand held device to accurately find their position on either mountain within the mapped zone.
The high definition and detail of these maps allows many different user types to gain an intimate location knowledge and be able to plan their travel and destination requirements in real time on the mountains.
Our role with WMMI was one of consulting during the Mapping phase of their all new exceptional quality Whistler Blackcomb trail maps.
How did we become involved?
One of our jobs is working for Whistler Blackcomb as a winch snow cat operator for the Whistler Blackcomb grooming department. This allows us to have an intimate knowledge of both mountains and their operations. These operations alongside the grooming department are blended with patrol, avalanche control, lift operations, snowmaking and all other mountain operational departments. This intimate knowledge allowed us to consult with the WMMI and help add, edit and work on the accuracy and positioning of high level mapping details for the app.
The maps are incredibly detailed and show anything from:
- Contour lines with increments of 10metres.
- Pin dropping.
- Distance measuring.
- Zoom in to high resolution graphics.
- Run names.
- Lift tower numbers.
- Run ability designations.
- Patrol feature names.
- Grooming feature names.
- Zone names.
- Lift lines and names.
- Snowmaking facilities.
- Latitude / Longitude.
- Boundaries and sign lines.
- Other infrastructure etc etc.
Where To Buy
These maps are available publicly through their website and a free app on the Apple Website for iOS devices or via the Google Play website for Android devices:
How To Use The Maps
I love these maps, they're exceptionally well produced and easy to use once setup.
Opening the app and the correct map is simple within the app. But it is worth noting that you can view and browse the maps from any location globally, however it is only once you are within the mapping region that the GPS capabilities of the map app come alive. It's simply a case of travelling around and you will be able to follow your every move and determine your exact location on the map. (You must make sure that location services / GPS is enabled for the app within your device for this to work.)
If I was to have any criticism, it would be the installation process. Now WMMI has laid out some very clear instructions on their website, and in all honestly they are easy to follow.
However, it involves a couple of stages and must be done within wifi as it involves downloading a reasonable sized map file into the app once the map has been purchased online though their quick and easy purchasing system.
Perhaps in the future it will be possible to buy a dedicated WMMI app with the masp already installed within it, sign up for your account with WMMI to purchase access to the map and then, boom, its unlocked within the app.
The maps are created, owned and maintained by a local Whistler Blackcomb ski patroller who wanted to create some better and more detailed maps available to local mountain professionals and the general public.
At the time of writing there are three high definition maps available:
- Blackcomb Mountain Winter Ski Map
- Whistler Mountain Winter Ski Map
- Whistler Mountain Summer Bike Park Map
In development as we publish this article is the all new Spearhead Traverse map which will be available soon.
Visit their website for more information:
These are really great maps that service a large user group and are ideal for anyone working on the mountains in any condition, or for the recreational visitor to the mountain who wants a high definition GPS enabled map for a low cost. Excellent stuff.