A device for measuring slope angles.

Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center

An inclinometer is the most cost-effective safety device you can own. Inclinometers are used to measure slope angle, and thus, are an excellent tool for identifying avalanche terrain. An easy way to check your slope angle is to lay a ski pole or avalanche probe parallel with the fall line of the slope, and place your inclinometer along the straight edge to get a reading. Some compasses have inclinometers that allow you to sight a slope angle while looking up or down the slope. There are also smartphone apps that measure slope angles and inclinometers that integrate into beacons or ski poles.

There are a number of smart phone apps with inclinometers. Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center

A simple inclinometer on a ski pole. Credit: PoleClinometer