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Slope angles are wrong, Avalanche conditions are wrong


Original Post
Spencer Parkin · · Bountiful · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 446

The average and max slope angles being reported by PowderProject are wrong.  See for example...

https://www.powderproject.com/trail/7001392/rectangle-run

The max slope angle is reported as 24 degrees.  This is dead wrong.  The end of this run rolls over to almost 38 degrees--prime for slide.

Also, the avalanche risk report on this page is completely wrong.  It says "low," and has always said that the entire season, despite the danger rating going up as high as "high" according to the UAC website.  PowderProject may want to check their usage of the UAC website's web API.  Here's a link...

https://utahavalanchecenter.org/docs/api/forecast

If these bugs aren't fixed, people will be less likely to take PowderProject seriously.

Jacob Winey · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 1,058

I think that online mapping data isn't complete enough to give very accurate estimates of slope angle. Really, it's always going to be up to the person on the slope to judge it and make decisions based on what they observe, not what they read online.

Spencer Parkin · · Bountiful · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 446
Jacob Winey wrote: I think that online mapping data isn't complete enough to give very accurate estimates of slope angle. Really, it's always going to be up to the person on the slope to judge it and make decisions based on what they observe, not what they read online.

Well, of course.  No one would argue with that.  You must make your own field observations.  But as a planning tool, PowderProject is not helping by providing faulty slope-angle data.  Either provide accurate data, or don't provide it at all.  This is especially true of the avalanche forecast info.

And by the way, there is mapping software for the web that does give fairly accurate slope-angle data (e.g., Cesium.)
Patrick Hardy · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

Hey Spencer,

Thanks for bringing this up.

As far as the slope is concerned for Rectangle Run, it looks like the angle we calculated accurately reflects the line drawn on our topo (532ft descent in about 1/4mile should be about 40%). Sounds like the topo may not reflect a steep section on the line that you have seen. We are using the industry leading mapping services (mapbox + cesium) so, unfortunately, there may be little we can do about this.

It does look like we may have an issue with our avalanche forecasts for Utah, as I'm seeing that many are out of date. We will look into this ASAP and try to get the issue resolved.

Thanks again!
Patrick

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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