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Slope Angle Article.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Interesting article about slope angle.

https://thepowdercloud.com/learn/avalanche-education/steep-enough-to-slide/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quite a good article, but most people think slopes they look down are steeper than they are, rather than less steep. They say calculate the steepness of a slope on your map but don't explain how. I have never seen an inclinometer except in photos. Have you known anyone who skis with one?

PS, Hi everyone, I have not been on snow heads for ages.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
snowball wrote:
Quite a good article, but most people think slopes they look down are steeper than they are, rather than less steep. They say calculate the steepness of a slope on your map but don't explain how. I have never seen an inclinometer except in photos. Have you known anyone who skis with one?

PS, Hi everyone, I have not been on snow heads for ages.


Hi Snowball,

Welcome back.

Steepness from the map's gradient lines, a friend has a plastic tool that tells him how steep it is.
http://geokov.com/education/slope-gradient-topographic.aspx

Some digital maps even use a colour scale to show steepness.
http://blog.hillmap.com/2013/04/three-ways-to-look-at-slope-of-terrain.html

IMHO measuring the slope is not the best method - "yes it's too steep we shouldn't be here. Embarassed "
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Hi DB, yes, personally I go by how it looks almost all the time, but I have been skiing off piste for a very long time. However looking at a map first (where you are not very familiar with the route) can be a good idea. Assuming a 1:25,000 scale, knowing the number of contour lines per cm (or 5mm) that implies a particular slope is worth knowing, and then just getting familiar with how that looks on a map.
That digital map looks good. How many off-piste ski areas does it cover? I must confess I am so old-fashioned I still have an old non-smart mobile. I keep thinking I should get a smart phone but it is so rare to be in a situation I actually need it. Perhaps this might be the occasion.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
snowball wrote:
Quite a good article, but most people think slopes they look down are steeper than they are, rather than less steep. They say calculate the steepness of a slope on your map but don't explain how. I have never seen an inclinometer except in photos. Have you known anyone who skis with one?

PS, Hi everyone, I have not been on snow heads for ages.


The iPhone has an inclinometer in the "measure" app.

Of course, this then opens a relative risk debate... easier to use the inclinometer if your phone is turned on, rather than having to boot it up, but having your phone turned on reduces transceiver effectiveness...
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snowball wrote:
Hi DB, yes, personally I go by how it looks almost all the time, but I have been skiing off piste for a very long time. However looking at a map first (where you are not very familiar with the route) can be a good idea. Assuming a 1:25,000 scale, knowing the number of contour lines per cm (or 5mm) that implies a particular slope is worth knowing, and then just getting familiar with how that looks on a map.
That digital map looks good. How many off-piste ski areas does it cover? I must confess I am so old-fashioned I still have an old non-smart mobile. I keep thinking I should get a smart phone but it is so rare to be in a situation I actually need it. Perhaps this might be the occasion.


That was just one example of a digital map app but it's for the USA. There are various other mapping apps that have that feauture, I'll try to find one for European ski resorts.


There are also other ways to measure slope angles with poles etc

http://youtube.com/v/ENuNP_RZs2c


http://youtube.com/v/Ns1rFg3ZoH8


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 24-11-20 12:37; edited 2 times in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well, given that I would first have to buy an iPhone, that sounds interesting, though I am not sure how easy they are to use.
I tend to keep my ordinary non-smart mobile switched on but in my furthest pocket from my transceiver. Most used to regain contact after losing touch with a group member (eg tree skiing) or if guide goes round a corner to check out a slope.
On a map, for example, 12.5 contour lines per cm is a 45º slope. Work out the others for yourself (I don't have a Tangents table to hand).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yes, once on a slope you can measure easily with sticks (I once marked the different angles on one of my poles). However you are already committed by then so not much use except to educate your eye.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Sorry, I got that contour thing wrong: 1:25,000 maps normally have 10m contour lines, not 20. So if 1cm = 250m, that's 25 contours per cm for 45º!! Except Italy. Italian maps are useless for accurate route finding - contour lines at 25m intervals, I remember right.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@jbob, the link to pwodercloud led me to a great educational article on "Cherry Bowl" incident

https://www.avalanche.ca/cherry-bowl/#/intro
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Looks like they did many things right at the top (checked the avi report, asked the locals, dug a pit etc) but then things changed lower down because of the weather. Not sure why 3 were burried - did they all ski the slope at the same time? did the avalanche trigger above them? was there no safe space to stand and one triggered the avi onto the others?

Cherry Bowl - Group Dynamics from Avalanche Canada
https://vimeo.com/215433311


Looks like the second group triggered the slide while walking on the ridge above onto the first group and then rescued them.

https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/261442-Cherry-Bowl-(Shames-BC)-multiple-burial-no-fatalies-March-17-2013


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 24-11-20 15:06; edited 4 times in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I’ve just watched the movie on Amundson. There’s a scene where they are talking about luck.
You plan, train, and equipe well and its good luck. Poor planning, equipment and training and its bad luck.
I think it was Arnold Palmer. Who said the more I practice the luckier I get.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@jbob, sure it was Gary Player
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Mother hucker, thanks.

The more I have to remember the more I forget.
Thats mine!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Some more info on slope angle, also shows the slope angle tool.
https://www.splitboarding.eu/en/splitboard-news/slope-angle-maps-introduction


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Tue 24-11-20 17:28; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Have you known anyone who skis with one?


Yes. I have one on my compass. I taught myself to eyeball slope angle by guessing the angle of a given slope and then measuring it afterwards. I got quite good at it. But it is one of those things you can only really do when you are skiing 100 days a year. Now I work for a pension fund, have two kids and ski 10 days at best.

I keep meaning to buy a Faraday bag for the phone but have yet to get round to it. Resolves the issue with turning the thing off and on to use the camera/navigation apps etc.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person



This app is standard on my iphone.

I have never used it in anger.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@gorilla,

The faraday bag is a great call. Does it stop interference. Presumably it also stops the phone working while in the bag. I have to say for me by far the most important bit of safety kit I carry is my phone. Stops me getting lost and gets me a helicopter if i need one.
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@gorilla,

The faraday bag is a great call. Does it stop interference. Presumably it also stops the phone working while in the bag. I have to say for me by far the most important bit of safety kit I carry is my phone. Stops me getting lost and gets me a helicopter if i need one.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@jbob, there's a description of how it all works here.

https://www.alpine-guides.com/faraday-pouches-a-solution-for-electronic-shielding-whilst-off-piste-skiing/
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@gorilla, thanks for sharing that article - really interesting. I knew about the problem with phones but was flummoxed last year why my Barryvox s wasn’t working as it ought...turned to be the new smart watch. Hmmmm. Not so smart perhaps.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
There is also the mammut safety app which has the facility to measure slope angle and has some other functions/advice. I was made aware of it by a UK mountain leader.

https://mammut-safety-app.en.aptoide.com/app

It would be useful to get the input of an experienced mountain guide / offpiste ski instructor on the real usefulness of this type of app. Obviously it needs to be combined with knowledge and experience.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've got a few customers that have the Slope Angle Halo gizmo which was recommended to them by a Norwegian guide they use:
https://outdoorsmagic.com/article/slope-angel-halo-avalanche-safety-device-preview/
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I have the Pieps slope angle gizmo attached to my pole (it also gives temperature). See if you can find one at a discount, otherwise they are expensive.

As mentioned you usually over estimate the slope angle Very Happy

https://www.pieps.com/en/product/pieps-30degplus-xt
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
DB, that card with contour-packing at different steepness looks good. You could easily make your own but that would be more durable. Any idea where you can buy them?

Cherry bowl stuff was good. The woman talking about breathing in powdered snow in the avalanche got it right but didn't expand on it. When I was in one (but thankfully only partially buried) I found I couldn't breathe when it all stopped sliding. Had to cough up a plug of ice before I could breathe again slightly (and I was winded). Very, very scary for half a minute, but I can't imagine how scary it would be to be fully buried (I'm a bit claustrophobic anyway).
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowball wrote:
DB, that card with contour-packing at different steepness looks good. You could easily make your own but that would be more durable. Any idea where you can buy them?


A friend of mine has one. Not sure where he got it but probably from a bookstore which sells maps.
We normally use a ski-touring atlas to pick out a suitable tour (based on avalanche conditions and aspect). Many tours have different variations when it comes to the descent. It's a useful tool that can be quickly used with a map to determine which descents to stay away from (e.g. over 30 Deg C with a high avi level) without having to physically approach the slope (which can be time consuming and dangerous).

I want to get one myself so will let you know where you can pick one up if I do.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@snowball, I knew someone who was buried who said she couldn’t even blink her eyes, thankfully she was skiing with some piste patrollers who had her out very quickly.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Fatmap have a feature where maps can be shown with a custom overlay which show either all the gradients or specifically ones that would make a slope avalanche prone.
Here are a couple of examples of the overlays applied to Le Tour in Chamonix.
The function is most helpful at the planning stage.

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@snowball, a decent Mammut retailer will likely have them - Mammut do credit card sized plastic cards with contour/ steepness guides. I’ve definitely got them in Zermatt, Verbier, Chamonix.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jbob, Fatmap is good - so too is White Risk app, from the SLF but it includes French and Austrian topomaps as well as Swiss, with skitouring routes overlays and steepness colouring.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The DAV (Deutsche Alpin verein i.e. German Mountaineering Club) offer a snowcard for €15 to check the avalanche risk, but of course it's all in german not sure if anyone offers something similar English that you can buy.

https://www.alpenverein.de/bergsport/sicherheit/winter/snowcard/wie-funktioniert-die-dav-snowcard_aid_34413.html

There's also a Planzeiger again from the DAV
https://www.amazon.de/Planzeiger-Hilfsmittel-für-topografische-Karten/dp/3937530657/ref=pd_sbs_200_1/259-8074293-1747342?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=3937530657&pd_rd_r=2fac6189-d10a-4e10-8724-1da78ed19ab7&pd_rd_w=HEIeu&pd_rd_wg=bgwZo&pf_rd_p=17269923-e95e-42b2-b8e1-f208b58f5815&pf_rd_r=BY8Y6GJ00KK0X6P6RYDA&psc=1&refRID=BY8Y6GJ00KK0X6P6RYDA&tag=amz07b-21


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 25-11-20 12:48; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person



This is the range of overlays on FATMAP.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've got an inclinometer on my Android phone... You can get it free from the app store and it's called galaxy bubble level.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
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Thanks @DB and @Inboard, and others.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I tend to use the inclinometer on my phone quite a lot but I've used is less recently because I found that I could dial-in my eye quite effectively with practice. The other reassuring thing (as others have said) is that I tend to err on the side of overestimating steepness which give a bit of leeway.

Obviously all that is good if you can see a slope before you ski it. If you can't then you really need to look at a proper map with contours BEFORE set off.
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Swiss Topo provide the best tour planning map. All terrain at or above 30 degs is shaded pink.
Many of the digital mapping systems also employ this highlight system.
So at the pre - tour planning stage areas of steepness which could be problematic are immediately identified.
Out on the mountain the ski poles can always be used to check any local steepenings!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
For me slope angle is a game of two halves. Planning, the selection of the route or more generally agreeing the max angle for the day without a re-agreement. During the day, micro planning exact up or down a particular slope.

A couple of years back while out with a Snowheads and another lad we planned to do a little day tour but with the caveat as the conditions were a bit loaded we would have a good look at one steeper up hill section before proceeding. When we looked at it, firstly there was no track in and there was a bit of a roll over that looked sketchy. The opinions were 2 yes and 1 no, so it was a no. Interestingly the plan B was a steep gulley 40+ but this had already purged so was safe, and we had a good decent. I was pleased as plan C would have been a skin out.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Rogerdodger wrote:
Swiss Topo provide the best tour planning map. All terrain at or above 30 degs is shaded pink.
Many of the digital mapping systems also employ this highlight system.
So at the pre - tour planning stage areas of steepness which could be problematic are immediately identified.
Out on the mountain the ski poles can always be used to check any local steepenings!


I agree.

Link.

https://map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=en&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo.pixelkarte-farbe
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
DB wrote:
snowball wrote:
DB, that card with contour-packing at different steepness looks good. You could easily make your own but that would be more durable. Any idea where you can buy them?


A friend of mine has one. Not sure where he got it but probably from a bookstore which sells maps.
We normally use a ski-touring atlas to pick out a suitable tour (based on avalanche conditions and aspect). Many tours have different variations when it comes to the descent. It's a useful tool that can be quickly used with a map to determine which descents to stay away from (e.g. over 30 Deg C with a high avi level) without having to physically approach the slope (which can be time consuming and dangerous).

I want to get one myself so will let you know where you can pick one up if I do.


This is what you need:
https://shavenraspberry.com/shop/reference-cards/navigators-slope-angle-tool/
Got one a year or two back!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Many years ago I remember Martin Epp (who appeared to effortlessly ski breakable crust as though it was an easy red run) suggesting holding a ski pole parallel to the slope you are considering skiing and estimate how much of a ski pole length the far end drops from the horizontal:
More than 1 pole drop = steep ...
1 pole drop = 45 degrees
0.5 pole drop = 27 degrees
Be wary of slabs for anything greater than half a pole drop.
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