Elevator Pitches are written by the company and edited for space and clarity. They do not express the opinions of SNEWS or its editors.
Ride the elevator with Grayson King, founder of PoleClinometer.
It all started when I took an avalanche safety course. In the course, I learned that avalanches are much more likely to occur at certain slope angles. I also learned about inclinometers, the tool used to measure slope angles. I remember thinking "I’m pretty unlikely to dig this out my pocket that frequently while moving around in the mountains. I wish there was something on my ski pole."
Then, I found an online article detailing how to create an inclinometer just by printing out a diagram on copy paper. The problem, I realized, was that it only worked on a flat plane. When you put it around a cylindrical pole shaft, it didn’t actually work, but I thought I could make one that would.
I dug into the math, drawing on my background as an electrical engineer. A few weeks after setting my mind to the task, I emerged with a ski pole inclinometer prototype. Now, my creating has turned into a full sticker kit complete with add-ons, like a loop for dangling your ski pole and a protective sleeve to keep it in good shape for the long haul, but that initial prototype was just a paper printout taped to a ski pole.
I was playing with the first prototype and realized you could use it to sight down a slope. Up until that time I had only been thinking about sighting across a slope. That was the moment I said this is pretty freaking cool. I’ve got to do something with this. I patented it and named it PoleClinometer.
PoleClinometer kits are now available for $14.99 through Garage Grown Gear. Who knew 0.02 ounces could save your life?
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