Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking...

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:03 pm

Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking...

Postby bjpcolo » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:22 pm

So I'm about to pull the trigger on some Black Diamond Contour Elliptic poles, but I wanted to ask some questions before I do. I've learned a lot from the other posts here regarding trekking poles, and I'm aware that there's a very wide range of opinions. I'm wondering if I can use a set of high quality trekking poles year round, for skiing as well as hiking.

I've heard that the plastic ends of trekking poles make them less suited to snow sports that dedicated ski poles, which have metal ends. Has anyone had any experience with this? Does anyone know how the strength of a trekking pole would compare to a three-section backcountry ski pole?

I like the Contour Elliptic poles because they seem designed to be beefy. I like their foam handles, and I can't imagine using something like Black Diamond's plastic-handled Expedition poles on a warm day with bare hands.

Does anyone have experience using their trekking poles for ski mountaineering?

User avatar
Posts: 2337
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:57 am
Location: Here, Now

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby Dex » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:01 pm

Trekking poles have a metal tip - carbide if I remember correctly.

While the end the metal tip goes into is plastic and can flex some, I doubt that would have any affect in snow.
Montani Semper Liberi
"Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous." Barry Ritholtz

Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby bjpcolo » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:15 pm

Yes, I'm aware of the carbide tip. What I mean is the plastic end that holds the tip.

User avatar
Posts: 1779
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:54 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby Cruiser » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:38 pm

I'd take a pair of BD trekking poles any day over cheap adjustable skiing poles for bc skiing and touring. If we're talking about resort skiing though then I'd encourage you to just go grab a cheap pair of non-adjustable alloy poles so that you don't beat up the nice BD ones.
Where ever you are... There you are.

Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby bjpcolo » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks for your response! I would only use adjustables in a situation where I might actually need to adjust. So, no resort skiing for the trekking poles.

Interestingly enough, a rep from Black Diamond got back to me and recommended that I use ski poles instead of trekking poles if I only want to buy one pair. The only reason he gave was the metal ends vs plastic. Apparently plastic ends don't go in and out of the snow quite so well or something. I just can't bear the thought of humping it down some summer trail for miles with plastic grips.

Ugh someday I'll be rich and just buy two sets of poles.

User avatar
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Evergreen, CO

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby HuskyRunner » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:56 am

Have to agree about the foam grips being more comfortable in summer, still the BD plastic grips aren't too bad, only pair I have at the moment are the BD Traverse ski poles so that's what I've been using this year. Don't do much resort skiing anymore, mostly back country touring and skijoring with the dogs, in past years used BD trekking poles and can't say I've noticed any difficulty in getting the tips in and out of the snow.

What makes the distinction for me to use trekking over skiing is on trips that include some 3rd to 5th class terrain. Trekking typically collapse smaller making them better to stash on your pack whereas ski poles get in the way a bit, especially on low angle blocky stuff.

Had a pair of BD carbon fiber poles couple of years ago till I broke one. Wouldn't get them again because of price and they tend to vibrate and flex more than the aluminum poles, they are slightly warmer but not still not worth it.

Keep an eye on SteepandCheap, haven't seen poles lately but they'll be back again, think I picked up my Traverse poles for around $45 on S&C.
"I made up my mind not to care so much about the destination, and simply enjoy the journey." David Archuleta
"And if they get out there they see, son of a bitch, this is a beautiful planet." Jim Whittaker

User avatar
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:23 am
Location: Monument, Colorado

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby nomadelmundo » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:40 am

http://www.leki.com/838-e_290084.html (for trekking only, get this one)

expensive but lightest and east to pack in your rug sack (very compact)
Maxmius - What we do in life echoes in eternity.

Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:25 am

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby Jeff Eick » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:23 am

I've used the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Pole for just the purposes you describe for a few years now. During the winter months I use them for both back country and resort skiing (50-50 days combined). I also do some snowshoeing and winter 14ers. I use them at the resorts because I prefer the grip and feel even with gloves on. However, the lower shafts are thin enough that if you fall on them you'd risk bending them. The grips are so much better than plastic on the warmer days. The adjustability and reliability of the flick-lock design is superior to the twist lock in the cold. I've never has issues with them penetrating snow but do recall one spring hut trip with really warm snow conditions (the kind of day where snow sticks to the bottom of your skins) where snow clumped on the bottoms of the poles at below the baskets which was a nuisance. Owning these, I feel no need for a second set of adjustable poles. I would probably recommend ski poles for resort days, though. My 2 cents.

Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Using trekking poles for skiing, skiing poles for hiking

Postby mtnjim » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:45 am

It's possible to buy a lower ski pole shaft of the appropriate diameter to fit the upper section of the round-shaft BD trekking poles and eliminate the snow-sticking-to-the plastic and flexible-tip potential problems with the trekking pole tiips. Both 16 and 14cm diameters are available. You won't lose any length as the single lower shafts are the same as the extended two-piece lengths. They won't shorten as much, though.

The 14cm Traverse lower shaft fits the handle shaft of my Trail Ergo Cork. Don't see anything comparable in an elliptical shaft, though.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: David Massarano, fantaboy, osprey and 26 guests