Ski Snowbird

We are back from our skiing vacation in Utah. While we were skiing I took my trusty GPS along to track our paths along the slopes (and lifts). You can read my post from last week showing our skiing at Alta. We also did some skiing at Snowbird (just next door to Alta). Again, I took my GPS tracks from Snowbird and converted them using the free GPSVisualizer to a KML file so you can view them in Google Earth. Here are the tracks which are colorized by altitude. The high resolution photos in Google Earth are from summer time, so you just have to imagine the amazing snow (we had over 30 inches of fresh powder during our stay). The straight lines are our going up the slopes on ski lifts. If you zoom in, you can see my tracks as I came down the mountains. You can also see where I left my GPS on while eating at the Midgab restaurant. We made a run at Mineral Basin, which is a bowl on the back side of the mountain. Beautiful views from the top (when the clouds are clear).
GPSVisualizer also allows me to colorize the track by speed. With this file you can see how fast I skiied (top speed recorded was 58.8 kmh), and see how many times we stopped (red color are stops). (Note: the GPS would not pick up momentary speeds, so my actual top speed was probably quite often higher.) My daughters were testing my stamina on the slopes this year, so I needed some rest stops. I guess one or two of the stops were not intentional. 🙂 [NOTE: since the files above are the same tracks, you need to turn off one or the other to view each if you load both.]

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Art Steinmetz says:

    The colorization is beautiful. I haven’t played with GPS visualizer. Can it output a path rather than trackpoints? This way you can drive the tour. I took my Garmin Vista C along to Breckenrige in Jan. and when I directly imported the paths into GE I could ski them again!

  2. May I ask what model your GPS device is? I am desperately looking for a decent device for skiing.

  3. Hi Frank,
    I too love skiing, which was the trigger for me to build StarTraX – to re-live the blast of the run. I have taken the liberty of running your snowbird.kml file through StarTraX and have created a little video (.avi – enjoy in full screen) at
    Check out the offering at

  4. Yeah I love skiing too. Nice device for locating skiing spots. Good Job. Our technology is really amazing..

  5. Cool gadgets. Now a days GPS are totally useful specially when you having ski trip.

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