Friday, March 11, 2011

Ultralight Trekking Poles

With all the rain spoiling the 2 feet of snow we recieved this week, this seems an a propos time to tout the merits of trekking poles. Especially in the deep, mushy snow we've got now a strong pair of lightweight poles can make all the difference between a twisted ankle or a wet faceplant. In a nut shell, having four points of contact with the ground provides better balance than two.

Maybe I just have poles on the brain because we've been stocking up on new ones in the past few weeks. Yesterday we opened our new Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-Poles for Trekking; these were one of only 14 picks for best gear of the year in Backpacker Magazine's 2011 Gear Guide! Here's what the testers said: "Get a grip on the best carbon poles we've ever tested." Using the same concept as the elastic shock cords in tent poles, these 3 section poles feature a coated inner cord with a push button release.

I'm curious about which poles I'll decide to bring on tomorrow's snowshoe to the top of Camel's Hump, but I'm pretty sure I won't be lucky enough to break out Black Diamond's new Z poles.

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