qm2PoleClinometer™ FAQs

Get answers here.


How can I get one?

Just click into the Get page to buy online, shipping anywhere in the world!

Will it work with my model of pole?

Most likely yes!  But you might check the fit page if you want to be 100% sure.


Will this keep me safe in the backcountry?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Only YOU can do that, with a combination of good education, good local knowledge, and good decision making.  Slope angle is only one piece of the puzzle.  Take a sanctioned Level 1 avalanche course to get started, and approach the backcountry conservatively.

How do I use it?

You’ll find detailed instructions on the use page.

How accurate is it?

If you take a little time with a measurement, you should be able to get a reading within about 2 degrees of actual slope angle.  For super quick “on the fly” measurements, probably within 5 degrees or so is more realistic.  Bottom line:  It’s at least as accurate as the average pocket inclinometer or inclinometer-equipped compass.

Will this replace the inclinometer I currently use?

If you want to measure slope angles in all conditions and scenarios, I’d recommend a 2nd device to supplement your PoleClinometer.  A mobile device app, or pocket inclinometer, or inclinometer-equipped compass is better suited to making very localized measurements (like surface slope angle in the immediate area of a snow pit), and won’t be affected by wind.  But PoleClinometer will work better for line-of-sight measurements.  And its real benefit is it’s so quick and easy, you’re going to use it much more often.  You can literally take measurements in the skintrack at a moment’s notice without even breaking stride.  In some ways you can think of using PoleClinometer as analogous to poking your pole handle into the snow periodically to get a feel for snowpack as you move through different terrain:  Lots of quick measurements as you move through the mountains add up to a better overall picture of where the risky terrain might be.

What about wind?

Wind is not your friend in this case.  PoleClinometer won’t work if the wind is blowing your pole around.  If you take a lot of slope readings from windy ridgetops, you’ll probably want a second form of inclinometer with you (see above).  But PoleClinometer will still be very handy for quick “on the go” slope angle readings when you’re not exposed to high winds.

What do the different colors mean?

PoleClinometer is color coded to help you quickly identify slope angles that are more prone to avalanche.  The color coding is described on the use page in detail.


Do I really need to mark up my pole with permanent marker?

Not really.  I’ve found I can get it aligned about as well just by eyeballing it when I’m careful and take my time lining it up.  And if you don’t get it on the first try, just peel the sticker off and try again.  Easy!  But if it’s aesthetics you’re concerned with, note that even “permanent” marker will easily wipe clean from a smooth pole shaft with a little alcohol.  That’s part of the reason your kit comes with two alcohol wipes!  Just be sure to catch it before you install the protective sleeve if it’s important to you.

How do I get the protective sleeve on?

If you have a fixed-length pole, remove the pole basket.  If you have an adjustable pole, remove the lower pole section(s).  Then you can slide the sleeve up the pole from the bottom.  If you can’t fit it over your adjustable pole’s locking mechanism, you can usually just slide the locking mechanism off.  Just remember what its orientation is so you can slide it back on the same way.

Does it have to be right below the handle, or can I install it farther down the pole?

It really should be as close to the handle as you can manage for two reasons:
1. Many poles begin to taper in the lower portions of the shaft, and PoleClinometer must be installed where there’s no taper.
2. To use PoleClinometer you MUST let your pole hang vertically from a loose grip at the top of the handle with PoleClinometer in your line of sight.  This gets very difficult when the sticker is placed far down the shaft from the handle.


What does it weigh?

Short answer:  Effectively nothing.  Long answer:  The sticker itself weighs about 0.6 grams (about 0.02 oz).  Along with the protective sleeve, the whole combination weighs about 3 grams (about 0.1 oz).  And that’s for the largest (18mm) size; the smaller sizes will weigh marginally less.  Weight-weenies rejoice!

What’s it made of?

The sticker is waterproof and UV-resistant custom printed vinyl.  Think bumper sticker.  The protective sleeve is crystal-clear PVC heat shrink tubing (also waterproof and UV-resistant).

How does it work?

Mathemagics!  There’s a bit of info on the geometry that makes PoleClinometer work on the about page.

What’s with the name?

PoleClinometer is a specific type of inclinometer (aka clinometer) that’s integral to the shaft of a ski pole.  The name is a bit of a mouthful, but it captures the function of the device.  Plus, it’s an easy word for Google to find.  🙂

Can my company sell/distribute/license/manufacture PoleClinometer?

Let’s talk!  Please contact me and tell me what you have in mind.



the ski pole inclinometer sticker