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How steep is:

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Pali at ABasin? 40 degs?
post #2 of 40
It's pretty steep... I would guess in the 35 - 40 range. Someone on here actually knows how to calculate that.. do a search. I can't remember, but it involved mapping software.
post #3 of 40
I think it's Powder that does the calculations.
post #4 of 40
22 degrees (41% grade) which personally surprises me - I thought it was more like 30-35 myself.


Edit: my bad - that's actually the stats for the lift itself, not the run. Unfortunately there aren't stats available at that site for the run.
post #5 of 40
Defining steepness is not that exact. I think what people are interested in is the steepness of the steepest "sustained" pitch, not the average steepness (which in many cases includes a run-out). The definitiion if "sustained" is what provides enough wiggle-room for flame wars. Obviously the back side of one mogul is not long enough. But what is?

You can get an approximate steepness from topographic maps, but the fine-scale detail won't be there. And snow accumulation changes things sometimes (at the limit, think cornices).

In my opinion, the three valid, accurate ways to measure are:
a) stop and meaure it with an inclinometer or using a ski-pole protractor. But even then, how many different spots do you measure? At the one that looks steepest?
b) photos with true verticals (e.g. trees) for comparison. This relys on a competent and honest photographer, since it is easy to compose deceptive photos. But I have taken such pictures for my own curiosity where I was careful to get square to the surface and the trees and I think they were pretty accurate.
c) analyze GPS logs. As always with GPS, you need to exclude wild points and do some averaging over a span of several points to get accurate results. (That is, the speed or slope computed from adjacent log points is not reliable by itself). The averaging is a good thing, though, since it goes back to the "sustained" thing.

For my own preferences, the "sustained" window is pretty short -- basically long enough to feel it, maybe two or three turns. Others may wish to follow a different philosophy.
(If you think about it, you'll see that a longer window will give a smaller slope.)

My impression of the skistats site was that it was a nice starting point and general overview, but not an authoritative reference.
post #6 of 40

Slope Angle per Horiziontal Ski Pole(s)

post #7 of 40
That's good stuff Alpinord. I remember reading about that method quite some time ago, but never saw a diagram like that. Thanks.
post #8 of 40
according to another post link about the avalanche at A-Basin first Alley at step part is approx 36%

from breckviews post on mogul hall and oats thread:

quote "According to the Accident Review for the avalanche at A-Basin , First Alley, which is right next to, and has a similar pitch as the steeper part of Pali is 33-36 degrees. That's pretty much the impression that I had.


The Pali Lift itself rises 1329' and is 3520' long. So the average pitch from the top to bottom of the lift is 22.18 degrees. (If my trig is right...)" quote
post #9 of 40
Great…yet again have mdf and Alpinord remind me of my gaper posting status.

DefJef; what is behind the question? Pali lift or what it serves up? Are you comparing with another run?
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
I was curious about how steep the steepest part is for comparison's sake. I've been on things a bit steeper, but now I think I can appreciate how steep 55 degs. is a lot more...holy s:
post #11 of 40
Got it...

at my age the pitch service off of Pali is goodnuf
post #12 of 40
If you look at the topo maps on the avalanche sites, Pali can't be more then 40%. Right next to first alley is the steepest from my perspective so 36% maybe up to 40% for a short while.

Does anybody know what Rambo is at Crested Butte? I have a pic of the bottom through my skis and you can't see the run. yikes - I think it is around 50%.
post #13 of 40
Since it seems slope percent and slope angle are frequently confused, slope percent is (rise/run x 100) and slope angle (=Inverse Tangent (rise/run)) or degrees.
A 45 degree slope is a 100% slope. (100/100)*100) =100% x INV TAN =45 degrees
A borderline intermediate/diamond slope that falls 30 feet in 100 feet of run is 30% or 16.7 degrees.
post #14 of 40
I simplified, reworded and updated previous image.

An easy way to convert to an approximate angle is to multiple the vertical pole (or other increment) by 100 & divide by 2.


For a 1.0 pole horizontal (run)
0.6 vertical pole (rise) x 100 = 60
60/2 = approx. 30°

The vertical pole increment x 100 is equal to the slope percentage.

post #15 of 40
Sorry, I am now corrected. I was looking for a degree sign on my keyboard. I meant degrees and not percentage. I willl be more accurate in the future. Thanks for the info.
post #16 of 40
Two tools -

Once before someone posted a picture of a card with tick marks that were matched to standard topo map scales. You just lined up two contour lines to the ticks and read off the slope. A cool toy.

The www.gpsvisualizer.com site (which I've mentioned before) will draw maps from your GPS logs with topo maps or aerial photos or ... as background. One of the color-coding choices for your path is slope (in percent grade rather than degeres, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.)

I think someone else mentioned actually drawing lines on his ski poles to literally make a ski pole protractor.
post #17 of 40
Here's a Map Tool that works on 7.5' maps and for GPS locations for UTM or Lat long coordinate systems.

post #18 of 40
Alpinord...no attachment...

Sorry, I blinked...it is there!
post #19 of 40
depending on the snow, Rambo is around 50-55. fun stuff!
post #20 of 40
It looked steep. An Adaptive skier was going down when I was there. Quite amazing. Then he fell about half way and it was scary to watch. He was OK at the bottom and got back up and skied away. I then choose to ski away as well and leave that trail for another day.
post #21 of 40
I've passed on rambo many times. It takes a while for it to get into shape for skiing, but when it has good cover it's a fantastic steep run. Unfortunately it gets skied out pretty quick from people getting in over their heads and having to slide down it. The bottom half almost always has deep snow though, so falls are not quite as dangerous as they seem.
post #22 of 40
Herers a link to video of adaptive skiers at Crested Butte extreme limits. Check it out, it's pretty cool.

post #23 of 40
You could always just try using a plain old inclinometer. This would eliminate all the pages of charts, topo maps, trig, and geometric ski pole voodoo. Of course, that's a lot less interesting and far more accurate.
post #24 of 40

Alternative steepness gauge

Instead of caring about steepness by degrees or percentages, how about something like:

PL=Power Lounging
SW=Sleep Walk
BD=Ballroom Dancing
FS=Fun in the Sun
WC=Worked and Challenged
TS=Tight & Steep
SS=Scared S@#!less
CD=Cheat Death
FF=Free Fall

One can definitely get lost in the numbers versus the personal experience in human terms and high revs on the fun meter or pucker meter. :

NoodlerThat's good stuff Alpinord. I remember reading about that method quite some time ago, but never saw a diagram like that. Thanks.
Glad it helps. It's easy for a quick and dirty gauge and you can mark your poles with rubber bands (or not) and calculate later if you want (or you forgot your clinometer).
post #25 of 40
Are we talking about an African Swallow or European Swallow.. Laden or unladen?
post #26 of 40
Below is a link to an old thread wherein I explained how to measure ski slopes and includes a measurement of Pavalacini. For the main 1360 feet of vertical it averaged 51% grade that is 27 degrees, with a peak steepness near the top of 71% grade.

post #27 of 40
Looks Steep to me.....
post #28 of 40
It doesn't seem as steep once you drop in. Also, by then you are committed, so you might as well enjoy it.
post #29 of 40
That ain't steep - THIS is STEEP! (DOA at Blackcomb - starting from the v-notch just to the right of the summit).
post #30 of 40
If ya want to end your quest for an acurate answer go to MEC and buy an inclometer card, jump into the slope, lay your pole down and measure the slope angle for youself.
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