View Poll Results: Do you measure slope angles in the mountains?

Voters
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  • yes, frequently

    12 23.08%
  • yes, occasionally

    21 40.38%
  • yes, but rarely

    13 25.00%
  • no; I don't ski/ride/travel in uncontrolled avalanche terrain

    1 1.92%
  • no; I do ski/ride/travel in uncontrolled avalanche terrain, but I don't measure slope angles

    5 9.62%
  • I haven't really, but I might give it a try

    0 0%
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Results 1 to 25 of 42
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Burlington USA (just west of VT)
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    57

    Question Slope Angles — Do you measure 'em? How important are they?

    Just curious about common practice for slope angle measurements in avy terrain.

    If you're willing to answer a short survey (~3min total), follow this link...

    Backcountry Slope Angles Survey

    ...and you'll get 20% off a PoleClinometer kit (or few) for your time.

    Hope you'll share your thoughts on the subject in this thread too:
    • How important is slope angle in your everyday avalanche safety practice?
    • What are your favorite inclinometer devices/methods?
    • How good is your "eye" for slope angle, and do you occasionally verify your estimates against actual measurements?

    FWIW, my favorite devices are PoleClinometer and the Avalanche Inclinometer app. I don't measure slope angles a lot here in VT, but when I travel into more avalanche-prone terrain I take a lot of quick "line-of-sight" readings as I move through the mountains just to remind myself of what could slide, especially when avy forecasts are anything other than "low".

    Looking forward to hearing from those of you who spend more of your days in exposed avy terrain to learn about how you incorporate slope angle into your regular practice. Thanks for anything you care to share!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    473
    Nope dont measure shit. Why? Because all of Alpental is avalanche prone terrain.

    Sent from my H3223 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    82
    theodolite app ftw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    pdx
    Posts
    11,784
    it's always steeper than any measurement

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bottom feeding
    Posts
    7,013
    I don't measure slope now, cuz I'm super conservative on my recon missions. If I did some sort of hut trip or something w/ no guide, etc. Sure, I'd take a look to reconfirm my pussiness.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    203
    If I do, pole method w/emergency duct tape wrapped 2/3 up my pole. If horizontal pole is under tape, slope is <34*.

    Cheaper than a fancy sticker, and the duct tape can be used if you need it. Not that it isn't a cool idea.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    4,446
    absolutely, all the time, even during the summer. I don't necessarily make go/no-go decisions in the moment based on a slope angle measurement (I try to leave myself more margin of error than that) but it's always useful to know the angle for future reference. alpha angle too. plus it helps me hone in my ability to visually estimate slope angle.

    I have both a BCA clinometer and a couple of phone apps; I like the one built into the camera on the UAC app.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    In the swamp
    Posts
    6,366
    How do you all typically measure the slope when standing above it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    SLC
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    4,446
    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    How do you all typically measure the slope when standing above it?
    sight down it with a clinometer or one of the apps

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    6,044
    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    How do you all typically measure the slope when standing above it?
    I use an app called Dioptra.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    In the swamp
    Posts
    6,366
    I used to use the BCA app with that capability, but they did away with it, so I assumed it may have not been a reliable technique.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    2,856
    @isbd - thanks for pointing out Dioptra. Awesome app. I had previously been using "Clinometer" also an Android app.

    OP - this thread should be in the slide zone.

    ... Thom



    Sent from my LM-G710VM using Tapatalk
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    4,774
    I use a GPMS machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Burlington USA (just west of VT)
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    How do you all typically measure the slope when standing above it?
    Watch this video...

    ...skip to around the 32-second mark for the down-slope sighting method.

    Note that this video shows using the PoleClinometer slope meter specifically. But the first part of the sighting down-slope method ("first move yourself around 'til your line-of-sight matches the angle of the slope") is the same regardless of which device you're using. Note too that not all inclinometer devices are compatible with down-slope sighting (eg. the BCA one can't be used for sighting down slope unless you have a buddy to read the thing while you sight down the edge of it).

    As for phone apps, some use the camera for sighting down-slope, but I've never been a fan of that for a couple reasons (difficult to use in sun glare, and sometimes dubious accuracy). The best app I've seen is the Avalanche Inclinometer app, which speaks the slope reading while you sight down the edge of your phone ("like a gun sight") when measuring in down-slope mode. Or you can tap the screen to lock the reading while sighting the same way. Really slick.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    whistler
    Posts
    941
    those using a clinometer, do you take extra steps to account for the height of your eye, especially on shorter slopes?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    6,044
    Quote Originally Posted by grayson View Post
    Watch this video...

    ...skip to around the 32-second mark for the down-slope sighting method.

    Note that this video shows using the PoleClinometer slope meter specifically. But the first part of the sighting down-slope method ("first move yourself around 'til your line-of-sight matches the angle of the slope") is the same regardless of which device you're using. Note too that not all inclinometer devices are compatible with down-slope sighting (eg. the BCA one can't be used for sighting down slope unless you have a buddy to read the thing while you sight down the edge of it).

    As for phone apps, some use the camera for sighting down-slope, but I've never been a fan of that for a couple reasons (difficult to use in sun glare, and sometimes dubious accuracy). The best app I've seen is the Avalanche Inclinometer app, which speaks the slope reading while you sight down the edge of your phone ("like a gun sight") when measuring in down-slope mode. Or you can tap the screen to lock the reading while sighting the same way. Really slick.
    Have you tried Theodolite of Dioptra? Doesn't sound like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickel View Post
    those using a clinometer, do you take extra steps to account for the height of your eye, especially on shorter slopes?
    Yeah. The above video actually shows this well.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    180
    I have used and owned a Suunto Pm-5 for many years surveying and skiing. One year a ski partner and I had a competition going guessing slope angles. After a couple hundred challenges over a few years we found that we became very good at estimating slope angles. Then we quit because we both had the same answer. The Suunto is still in my ski bag, I'll have to re-start the competition to see how much our skills have degraded with non-use. Den

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bottom feeding
    Posts
    7,013

    Slope Angles — Do you measure 'em? How important are they?

    So you guys who use your phones for slope angle: I now keep my phone off because it can interfere with your transceiver even in airplane mode, so you guys pull out your phone, wait for it to boot up then hit the app for the inclinometer?

    Seems to me you guys keep your phones on, and if you do, why do you need slope angle? Because I only keep my phone on when I know there’s absolutely no danger of getting caught in an avalanche.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    5,511
    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    So you guys who use your phones for slope angle: I now keep my phone off because it can interfere with your transceiver even in airplane mode, so you guys pull out your phone, wait for it to boot up then hit the app for the inclinometer?

    Seems to me you guys keep your phones on, and if you do, why do you need slope angle? Because I only keep my phone on when I know there’s absolutely no danger of getting caught in an avalanche.
    Thanks for the virtue signaling. Best example I’ve seen here in a while.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bottom feeding
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    7,013

    Slope Angles — Do you measure 'em? How important are they?

    I knew I’d get a response like that, and I thought about not posting it, but I have been keeping my phone in airplane mode until recently and now I keep it off.

    Then I also thought, I don’t give a fuck, maybe somebody didn’t know this and now they’ll rethink it.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
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    5,511
    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    I knew I’d get a response like that, and I thought about not posting it, but I have been keeping my phone in airplane mode until recently and now I keep it off.

    Then I also thought, I don’t give a fuck, maybe somebody didn’t know this and now they’ll rethink it.
    I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying that delivery is everything

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying that delivery is everything
    Yes, I know.

    Hey everybody! I'm not going to edit my post, but I didn't mean anything other than: "Hey, remember to keep your phones off when using a tranceiver!"
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    4,446
    From what I have read and been told, phone interference with beacons occurs primarily with the beacon in search mode and is HIGHLY related to how close the devices are physically; at 10cm distance this interference may be significant, by ~50cm it's negligible. I suppose this could bite you if you were holding your phone and beacon in the same hand during a search but my arm is longer than 50cm and my phone stays in airplane mode in my pocket. I have practiced and do practice searching using my beacon with my phone off, fully on, and on but airplane mode; I have not seen a discernible difference in search effectiveness. So on the one hand, I've read some things about some devices interfering with some beacons in some circumstances; on the other hand, I have plenty of actual experience effectively performing beacon searches with my real every day bc kit, which includes my phone. Anecdotally, of all the people I've ever toured with, not one powers off their phone completely or has ever asked me to do so (or even mentioned doing so). So I don't worry too much about it, and phone app clinometers are nice.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    317
    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Yes, I know.

    Hey everybody! I'm not going to edit my post, but I didn't mean anything other than: "Hey, remember to keep your phones off when using a tranceiver!"
    AFAIK, the research indicates the beacon interference is primarily a concern if you are searching for a victim (turn it off if you go to search in a situation where low SNR is plausible). Best practice has phone 20 cm+ from beacon. Easily achieved with beacon in secure pant pocket, phone in chest pocket. Not faulting you for being more conservative, just pointing out the current understanding. I also think arguments could be made for a phone being on and accessible (e.g. GPS nav, slope meas, emergency phone calls, locating, etc).

    https://backcountryaccess.com/electr...your-beacon-2/

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    Slope Angles — Do you measure 'em? How important are they?

    OK, OK.
    And yes, with my wife and I and our transceivers and phones we could not find interference. Scared us a little though.
    I apologize.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

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