The BCA Slope Meter or more accurately Inclinometer will tell you the gradient of a slope up to 60°. It takes the guess work out of slope gradient assessment.
The Meter contains a ball bearing suspended in oil that gravity always keeps at the lowest point of the meter. Place your ski pole running down the slope you wish to measure and then lay the slope meter on the ski pole to measure gradient, this way you get a more accurate reading. The most dangerous angles of slope are marked in red on the graduated scale.
The Slope Meter now comes with a built in compass that allows you to workout which way the snow field is facing.
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Handy little slope meter. Light, small, easily fits in a pocket, simple to use and read. Useful for developing judgement on slope angles for avalanche awareness - shows that "eyeballing" angles can be significantly off actual angles. Good to use in conjunction with checking slope angles and route planning on a topo map or website (e.g. Avanet has a slope angle overlay).
The inclinometer was bought for a recent avalanche course and preformed well in measuring slope angles. It was mostly used when doing a snow profile when static and using other pieces of kit. In hindsight, I would have purchased an inclinometer that remains fixed to my ski pole so I could measure slope angles on the move much easier.
The compass did not appear to be too reliable and I would not rely on this alone.
I was looking for an inclinometer and a few friends have the, "Pieps" digital one that fits on a pole, the BCA one is very compact and is easily stored in a jacket pocket and has a great little hole that's big enough for your thumb and forefinger to fit in. Easy to read with the ball bearing as a measure and in a lot better than using your iphone. Great piece of kit.
The Slope Meter measures slopes to a reasonable accuracy (+/- 2 degrees), much better than the estimating angles from ski poles. It fits easily into a pocket and will not break should you land on it when falling off piste. The red/ orange markings are a useful reminder of the most dangerous slope angles. It should be noted that a bubble within the glass tube can prevent the black pointer from moving, this is easily rectified by holding the instrument vertical. This is a useful piece of kit for ski touring. Buying the Slope Meter, Crystal Card and Temperature probe was cheaper than buying the snow study kit.
This was purchased after a 4 minute argument with a vastly more qualified mountain guide, stupid me! I used the old and bold two ski pole method of guessing a slopes angle and getting it wrong by 9 degrees! Gulp. The Bergfuhrer then produced one of these from his pocket and proceeded to belittle me in the fatherly way they do.
Feather-weight, very accurate and nigh-on indestructible. I was a little peeved that my wife told me she had one of them on her iTouch which is a free application, but £30 and bomb proof beats £200 and fragile every day. Oh and on a personal note always listen to your mountain guide!!
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