I'm an 46 year old advance skier who skis aggressive and likes powdery steeps. I try to stay away from most bumps. I probably ski double diamonds 60-70% of the time. I'm hoping my painful tendinitis/tennis elbow will go away without needing surgery. I stopped surfing and kiteboarding to give it a chance to heal. I thought my elbow would be unaffected skiing but I was wrong. I didn't fall and don't remember any hard pole plants but at the end of the day my elbow was hurting more than ever (interesting enough it didn't hurt while I was skiing- thank you! ). I have a few ski trips planned to Whistler and Mammoth and am debating whether to try to ski without poles at all or maybe shorten my telescopic poles so I don't ever pole plant but let the shortened poles assist me with the rythmic swing motion I'm used to. I'd appreciate any feedback from seasoned instructors on the best option for steeps.
I use adjustable poles. On groomers they're short enough that they don't touch and I notice no problems--on hard snow and at speed I think tapping the poles to snow interferes rather than helps. I can't advise re bumps and steeps as I do rely on the poles for that. I have had tennis elbow from poling too aggressivley and was forced to learn a lighter touch. I assume you use a forearm band for your elbow. During one particularly snowy season I got tennis elbow in both arms from shoveling and the bands got me through the season, as stopping shoveling was not an option.