The Scope Bluetooth-enabled ski pole can help predict potential avalanches

For avid skiers, there is nothing more exciting than heading off the trail and into the backcountry. But along with the opportunity to ski untouched powder and explore remote slopes comes a few inherent dangers, not the least of which is the potential for avalanches. That danger is all but eliminated when you stay on the perfectly groomed trails of popular ski resorts, but venture into the wild and the possibility of triggering a slide becomes much more likely. To avoid these potential disasters, a company called Mountain Hub developed a new high-tech tool designed to keep skiers safe, even when they are venturing out into uncharted territory.

At first glance, the Scope ski poles look a lot like any other set you might see someone using on the hill. They are lightweight, durable, and built to perform well, even in deep powder. But, these ski poles have a few hidden secrets that make them an excellent choice for use in the backcountry as well. For instance, the poles have a hidden snowpack probe built right in and Bluetooth connectivity that connects them to your smartphone for real-time analysis of snow conditions too.

The Scope’s integrated snowpack probe is a modified version of Mountain Hub’s SP2, a device designed for snow safety professionals, including mountain guides and search and rescue teams. The SP2 is a dedicated probe that can sense changes in pressure in the snow and alert skiers, snowboarders, and mountaineers to potential danger. That same technology has been shrunk to fit inside a ski pole and thus the Scope was born.

Avalanches often occur when a sheet of thick, heavy snow sits on top of a layer that is lighter and less dense. This type of layering can cause the snow to become unstable, with any movement on the surface causing the entire section to shift and slide down the slope. Large avalanches can potentially bring hundreds of tons of debris raining down the side of a mountain, leaving a wave of destruction in its wake and burying skiers under thousands of pounds of rubble. Needless to say, an avalanche can be extremely dangerous, as the slides claim the lives of more than 150 people each year.

But by placing one of Mountain Hub’s snowpack probes into the snow, the device is able to detect the subtle changes in pressure that are not evident from the surface. The probes can then alert skiers which sections are prone to slides, allowing them avoid those areas and remain much safer in the backcountry as a result. In the case of the Scope ski poles, that information is displayed directly on your smartphone thanks to the Bluetooth connection and a custom app for iPhone and Android.

The Scope poles hold a lot of potential for skiers, many of which don’t carry a probe at all or may leave it at home on purpose rather than take another item with them when they head out to the backcountry. But with Mountain Hub’s design, the probe is with us at all times and ready to provide important safety information. Essentially, the company eliminated our excuses for not taking a probe with us.

Unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit longer to get our hands on this device. The Scope is expected to make its official debut at the Outdoor Retailer convention held in January in Salt Lake City and is not expected to go on sale until the fall of 2017 with an MSRP of $499. You can pre-order a set now, however, for $350.

Find out more at MountainHub.com.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Outdoors

Drink what nature provides with the best water purifiers

Looking for reliable water purification? Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are hiking or camping far from civilization. Check out our picks of the best water purifiers for your camp, backpack, or pocket.
Outdoors

Cyberfishing Smart Rod Sensor transforms normal fishing rods into data recorders

The Cyberfishing Smart Rod Sensor, on display at CES 2019, upgrades normal fishing rods into smarter versions of themselves. The device will work with a companion app to record data, including fishing hotspots and trophy fish details.
Emerging Tech

Where are they now? A look back at last year’s Top Tech of CES winners

What happened to the 14 prize-winning products we singled out as the coolest things we saw at last year's CES 2018? Join us as we take a look at what the past 12 months has meant for them.
Emerging Tech

You may soon be able to summon an autonomous wheelchair like an Uber

At CES 2019, autonomous wheelchair company Whill unveiled its vision for a world in which people can summon its wheelchairs by app, in locations such as museums, airports, and city centers.
Emerging Tech

Furrion’s luxurious smart yacht looks like the perfect vessel for a Bond villain

Forget smart watches and the like: when it comes to the biggest smart technology at CES 2019, the literal answer can be nothing other than the 78-foot, high-tech luxury smart yacht, Adonis.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Look forward to your morning commute with one of the best ebikes available

A proper ebike is perfect for commuting or a trek along the trailhead, with most offering pedal assistance and a long-range battery. As more brands offer their own take on this innovative way to get around, it's hard to distinguish the…
Outdoors

Here are all the best rain jackets on the market right now

From high-tech, lightweight shells to modern-looking, waterproof trench coats, check out our list of the best rain jackets built to keep you dry and looking stylish in any season.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Outdoors

Snooze soundly anywhere you lay your head with the best sleeping bags

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.
Outdoors

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Deals

REI drops prices on North Face and Columbia during its winter sale

Looking to shop top brands like North Face, Columbia, and more? REI is offering up to 50 percent off during a winter sale so you can save big on new jackets and hoodies. This deal will last until January 22, so take advantage on this huge…
Deals

The 10 best windproof umbrellas to help you weather the storm

The rains have come and they have no mercy. Can your current umbrella handle everything nature can throw at it? Here are 10 of the best windproof umbrella deals available now to help keep you safe and dry.