So I've been skiing for many years and over the years I've had all sorts of ski poles. As it happens I don't have any right now, so for the last couple of years I've been using two adjustable hiking poles instead. Of course, that means they don't have any baskets.
I ski in the East, with only packed powder conditions.
So today when I got off the lift an instructor who happened to be nearby stopped me and told me that I really ought to get baskets on my ski poles. It was his nice way of telling me that I had to have baskets. That just got my dander up. I mean, I understand the purpose of baskets is to prevent the pole from digging too far into the snow. However, with hard pack those poles don't dig into the snow at all. Well, maybe 1/2 inch. But definitely not as deeply as would require baskets.
Anyway, I'd love to find an article somewhere that would state that baskets weren't absolutely necessary in hard pack conditions. That way I could print it off and keep it with me to show any other official of the mountain if they stop me.
Incidentally, I'm a skier who uses my poles mostly to set a pace for myself as I ski. Tapping the snow as I commit to a turn.