Want to measure the steepness of a ski slope before you ride on it? Use an inclinometer. They’re common enough and easy enough to use. Problem is, they also add another gear to stash that you need to carry around – something you may not want when enjoying the powder at the ski resort this winter. Seriously, no one wants to carry extra gear when they’re dashing downhill. The SnoWander PoleClinometer offers a simpler alternative.
Instead of having to carry another gear to measure the angle of a slope, it’s simply a sticker that you wrap around your ski pole, turning it into a functional line-of-sight measurement tool. Whether you want to measure steepness for planning out your run, bragging rights, or avalanche safety, this thing will help you accurately determine a slope’s angle without having to carry any extra equipment.
The SnoWander PoleClinometer is a sticker kit with three sizes of stickers designed for different pole diameters. Each sticker is printed with a graphical guide that you can use to determine the angle of a slope via line of sight, with avalanche-safe angles colored green (25 degrees and lower), low avalanche risk angles in yellow (30 degrees), and high avalanche risk angles colored red (35 degrees onwards). According to the outfit, you can use it to determine slope both from the side, which is the easiest application, and for sighting down from the top. Granted, using it to determine slope sighting down can be a little trickier, but you should be able to get the hang of it after a few times by comparing your measurements from the side and from the top. Suffice to say, it’s pretty impressive.
According to the outfit, the sticker will work with any straight, cylindrical, and uniform ski pole of any size. That means, you can’t use it on poles with bent shafts, non-uniform shafts (e.g. bamboo poles), and oddly-shaped cross-sections (e.g. teardrop, elliptical, tapered). If your pole falls in the compatible category, though, simply wrap the sticker around an unobstructed section of the upper shaft and you’re done – your pole can now double as a measuring tool that you can use on the fly.
The SnoWander PoleClinometer also comes with a wraparound ruler (basically, a tiny tape measure) that you can use to determine the diameter of your ski pole, so you can know exactly which of the three included stickers will work best with it, as well as a small bungee cord that you can attach to the end of your pole handle for easily dangling it from your hand when doing measurements. This is the second version of the sticker, by the way, so it’s been improved over the original crowdfunded product from 2016. Specifically, the stickers can now work with even the thickest ski poles in the market, while the protective shrink wrap that you had to apply separately from the original has also been eliminated. Instead, the stickers themselves come with a protective plastic layer integrated on top, so the print will be shielded from damage during heavy use without having to install anything else.
The updated SnoWander PoleClinometer is available now, priced at $14.99.