/ walking poles
Currently using aluminium BD compactors and very happy with them. A little heavier but totally indistructable.
Also impressed with a friends BD carbon ultralite poles which basically weigh nothing. Probably dead easy to snap, but I would get a pair for weight sensitive use eg. Alpine approach, carried on climb, walk off other side.
I've had two pairs of twistlock poles break on me, not counting the times they slipped, wouldn't untighten, etc. Two of my mates have had the same happen to them.
My BD's have been spot-on in all conditons.
BD carbon ultralights. Pony up the 100 quid & look like a dick on the hill.
Cos I'm worth it.
(or my arthritic knees and feets are)
z section flick-locs. never go back to telescopic. & they are carbon so kinda super tuff despite being lite.
Leki Makalu Tour - at least 10 years old and working fine with no bends and they have seen lots of use. Virtually no paint left on the bottom sections at all. Understand the how the locking mechanism works and you'll never have problems. The screw threads collect oxidation and just needs wire brushing. The alloy pole section and stainless steel screw thread causes a chemical reaction and the threads get cruddy and won't lock. Easy fix:
I have the wrist straps removed on mine, don't like the thought of a long fall with metal sticks attached to me. If I was going to renew my poles now I'd prob go for the grivel trail:
So what do you use the poles for, having removed the functional component?
I've had plenty of versions of both, and don't really mind either anymore if they are good quality. I've had flicklocks get encased in ice and it took about 15 minutes with a swiss army knife and then breathing on them to get them workable again. My skiing poles are Leki Makalus and are nearly 20 years old now, have never slipped, have never jammed and I don't do anything to them like Blanchie is suggesting.
BD or Leki, and it seems you won't go far wrong.
Whatever you do, don't get Trekmates ones! I broke a pair in a couple of days of starting to use them. They seem to use alu tubing with the strength of a small dead stick. A 10 quid tesco pair have been WAY better than that.
> So what do you use the poles for, having removed the functional component?
not sure I understand what you are asking? They are used as walking poles obviously, the straps do nothing other than keep them attached to you. If you don't use the straps it makes no difference to the function of the pole if they are removed
> not sure I understand what you are asking? They are used as walking poles obviously, the straps do nothing other than keep them attached to you. If you don't use the straps it makes no difference to the function of the pole if they are removed
If used properly the straps take the weight through your wrists rather than having to grip so their much more comfortable and efficient.
To be fair I dont use the wrist straps on short bits of terrain when I think a fall is likely or I need a free hand.
BD z poles for me. It's a must for me that poles fold down and fit inside my bag.
Depends how you use them I guess. If you use them XC skiing style (for forward propulsion) the straps are very important as you notice if you look at a fancy XC pole (skinny little handle, big, complex glove like strap). But of course hiking, particularly on rough ground you might actually hold over the top of the pole or grip grip ice tool style in which case the strap might be loose and not doing much.
As I said, really happy with mine. Only slight annoyance is the excess wrist strap webbing is a pain to tuck under the loop with big gloves on once it's been adjusted, but hardly a major problem.
I can see frozen flicklocks being a problem, but when they have frozen on me, a good banging seems to have sorted them out. A friend has an original pair from a few years ago which are still going strong. The current version is a bit heavier and beefier than the first model.
If you wanted lighter use poles, definitly the ultralite carbons. If weight wasn't an issue, I would probably go for an even stronger z lock like the expedition version (don't recall the name off the top of my head).
Anything with a flicklock mechanism seems so much more reliable and less prone to seizing up at inopportune moments. Plus anything with a schock absorber is a total gimmik (IMO)
Mountain King Trail Blazers.
Just dont lean on them too much ;)
I've got a pair of the Leki micro sticks. I really like them. They're light, quick to set up and small enough to fit inside my pack.
I used to have a pair of twist lock poles but they were quite often difficult to lock securely. This may be because I didn't look after them very well.
I've found Lidl's own brand poles to work well. They're fairly light, well made and seem very similar to more expensive poles. If you've not used poles before, it might be worth borrowing a pair to try out to see if you get on with them - some people don't like using them.
I've used Lekis and BDs. I bought the latter because I made the fatal mistake of putting silicone spray on the mechanism of the Lekis; I thought the BD flicklock was a much better mechanism - even barring basic errors.
I used mine to propel me on level ground and like crutches on descents. You can certainly go much quicker and take a lot of weight of your knees if you use them properly. Unfortunately, I bent one of my BDs when it got jammed between two rocks and I had my whole weight on it while I was descending rather briskly.
With that experience in mind, if I was replacing them, I wouldn't go near carbon. Pacerpoles look good...
Using the wrist strap correctly spreads the load through a large part of your body.
Even more useless is using a stave or shepherds crook, hewn from a tree !! A crook is for catching sheep. It's not a walking aid.
I like the BD Distance FL's. Aluminum Z-pole folding down to about 15 inches, weight about a pound, 20 cm of adjustability with one flick-lock, carbide or hard-rubber tips.
A little sturdier than the carbon versions and of course a bit heavier, though still pretty damn light. They don't have the option of using winter baskets. If that matters, BD makes a mountain version with appears to be the same except for the addition of interchangeable baskets.
Exped z-locks with the straps cut off.
Flick locks I find are far less liable to jamming.
Carbon poles are so much lighter.
I really like these http://www.sportsdirect.com/karrimor-x-lite-carbon-walking-poles-784103
The slight bird's beak shape on the head actually makes it easier to hold onto the top of the pole if you need a longer reach at some point on a descent.
Price is very good, too.
Elsewhere on the site
Nikwax’s uncompromising environmental ethos has once again been recognised and rewarded by a trusted authority in... Read more
Skiing Baffin’s couloirs has been on my to do list ever since I saw Andrew McLean and Brad Barlage’s inspirational... Read more
Hot Aches Productions premiered their latest film Redemption: The James Pearson Story at Kendal Mountain Festival on... Read more
2012 saw the release of the beautiful first volume of definitive Yorkshire Gritstone climbing, produced by the YMC with Robin... Read more
Atom Series: Synthetic insulated mid layers AR: All-Round. Significantly warmer and more protective than a fleece hoody, this... Read more