Backcountry skiing is one of the most exhilarating ways to stay active during the winter months, providing a good test of skill for experienced skiers, as well as a healthy dose of exploration and adventure. Staying safe in the mountains isn’t always easy, however, and avalanches, hidden crevasses, and other obstacles can be a constant concern. But one company is hoping to change all that with a new product designed for backcountry skiers, guides, and search and rescue workers, allowing them to operate more safely in remote places.
The Scope Pole from Mountain Hub is a ski pole that has been specifically designed for backcountry skiing. At first glance, it looks like just about any other pole you might use in that pursuit, but this product has a few extra features that help to set it apart from the crowd. For example, the Scope was built to also serve as a snowpack probe, allowing users to quickly and easily test the powder around them without having to dig a snowpit.
How does it work exactly? The Scope actually has Bluetooth technology embedded in it that allows it to connect to a smartphone. Using a special app made for iOS and Android the data collected by the probe can be uploaded and quickly analyzed for any features that might be cause for concern. That information is then presented to the user so that they will know whether or not conditions are safe.
This ski pole/snow probe combo not only ensures that skiers have the tools they require to be safe when setting out for the backcountry, it also eliminates the need to carry yet another item with them when they go. In theory, the real time analysis of the snow data taken from the probe should also enhance safety further, alerting skiers when they should avoid certain areas of the mountain.
How well does the Scope Pole work? We’ll have to wait a little longer to find out. The device will make its debut next month at the Outdoor Retailer convention in Salt Lake City, where we hope to get a closer look at it. Unfortunately, it won’t be available for use this ski season, as it doesn’t go on sale until fall of 2017. You can, however, preorder one now.