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Variable Length Poles

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Reading the thread about "pole length" reminds me that I have been meaning to ask this group about variable length poles--you know, like the backcountry skiers use. Although as a general rule I like to keep the poles on the short side, to keep myself out of the backseat, I sometimes wish I could add a little length to my poles, especially when I am skiing steeps. When skiing the likes of Lenin chute at Big Sky or the Cirque at Snowbird (or the ledge of the same name at Jackson), I have occasionally come up a little short with the pole plant. Doing an "air plant" on slopes like this can really wreck your day! Is the variable length pole a solution?
JW
post #2 of 25
I routinely use my black diamond (BD) variable length poles at the resort for both Tele and Alpine skiing and they work great. I bought them for backcountry (includes an avalanche probe) and was in the process of shopping for some conventional poles and it dawned on me the adjustables could be used for backcountry, resort tele and resort alpine.

My experience is that at the resort that I set them up at one length for tele or alpine and leave them for the day.

I will caution you that an adjustable pole is prone to collapse when in use if you dont keep it "tuned". The BD poles I have are the flip lock, rather than the old screw type. I like the new BD design better. Periodically they have loosened up and I have had them collapse on the slopes- but its simple to tighten the screw for the lock mechanism and they hold up just fine. Im fairly big - 200 lbs and they handle might weight. I recommend checking them before you go out, and/or bringing along a swiss army knife to adjust lock mechanism if they start to slip.
post #3 of 25
Also, one tends to use a certain pole length for hardpack, moguls, then powder. Shorter for bumps, but you definately appreciate longer for big pow. It keeps you up and your face out of the fluff.

Anybody else have any feedback on other models of adjustables since I'm in the market myself?
post #4 of 25
I use a Leki adjustable every day. I seldom adjust them during a ski day (at least, not on purpose!), but I have played with different lengths and tend to set mine between standard lengths (51"). I have also use Goode's, with the more statically adjustable length, and did a similar thing there.
post #5 of 25
I have Goode Adjustables and tend to keep them on the short side, about 47".
post #6 of 25
Yeah, Phil, but not everyone does 360s in the bumps, either...
post #7 of 25
What are we doing, responding to a 2001 thread? Anyway, the drawback to adjustible poles for me was when I lost the lower shaft in deep pow this past winter. Since losing the lower third of my poles, I decided to use a fixed length for most resort skiing and only use the adjustibles for AT.

I really should go back and look for it.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
What are we doing, responding to a 2001 thread?
Hey! Someone used the blasted search function instead of starting a new thread! We need to be grateful for this rare treat!

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Yeah, Phil, but not everyone does 360s in the bumps, either...
I got lucky.

Yeah, kudos to using the search button. I do use adjustables, but it was not by choice. When I ordered my poles from my rep, bhe sent them vs. the regular poles. I do find if I plant too hard especially in the bumps, they do slide a bit. I find myself checking and correcting the length through the course of the day.
post #10 of 25
Sorry about reactivating the thread. I did the search and only two threads came up, and i mistakenly responded. Anyway, I was actually looking for feed back on the different brands of adjustables.
post #11 of 25
Ullr rips, we're grateful you did this. Really!

I have used both the Goodes and the Leki. They both let you adjust to a length that you find suits your skiing, but only the Lekis are adjustable without tools and a bit of work (the Goode's require a hex wrench, then rotating the handle and re-tightening the set screw). However, the Leki's have slid on me multiple times. A couple of times I was concerned that I wasn't going to be able to get them to snug up again, but I did... It took some manipulation, however (pushing them all the way short, then starting to snug, then adjusting to length and finishing). I really need to send them back to Leki for a check-up.
post #12 of 25
Goode does offer the "quick adjust system", pictured HERE. These are the ones I have and I am not crazy about them.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Goode does offer the "quick adjust system", pictured HERE. These are the ones I have and I am not crazy about them.
How does it work? The Leki I have is here, and is a twist-snug system (like a plumbing joint, twist to snug, twist to loosen). It's nice that it's half-and-half (carbon and aluminum), but the system seems to need some work in my experience (YMMV).
post #14 of 25
Black Diamond's ones I find very heavy to swing and much clunkier in adjustment than the Lekis.

REI sells Leki parts (expanders, tips, baskets, etc.) almost year-round to support the trekking pole line.

Lifelink is pretty good and light (I like the Variant) and you can get avalanche probes and a claw, much like BD's. You'll have to hunt for them, though.

EDIT: Telemark Pyrenees has pole weights for easy comparison.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
How does it work? The Leki I have is here, and is a twist-snug system (like a plumming joint, twist to snug, twist to loosen). It's nice that it's half-and-half (carbon and aluminum), but the system seems to need some work in my experience (YMMV).
Twist and snug here too. I do find after a day of hard pole plants, I do need to readjust them. I notice this particularly in the east and after skiing bumps.
post #16 of 25
Just got a pair of Atomic AFT adjustables (twist lock). The only time I had any slippage was after giving a snow boarding friend a tow on a couple of traverses & then less than 5mm.
post #17 of 25
Thanks gang. I'll be looking to buy in september when I get back to Utah.
post #18 of 25
I hate to bring this up again. I just saw a quick review in the October '05 Skiing gear guide issue spotlighting the Indigo Mojo adjustable pole. Anyone have any experience with these?
post #19 of 25
ok, i'll officially extend this thread out past 9 years (is that a record?).  it seems the only downside to variable-length poles (other than cost) is that they can slip over time.  since the most recent comments are now over four years old, does anybody have experience with the newer Lekis or Goodes?  have they improved the systems, and do they still slip?  thanks!
post #20 of 25
Still using the Atomic AFT's and they are still good.  I've stopped towing snowboarders so previously mentioned issue has not occurred again.

Set timer to bump again is a few years.
post #21 of 25
 I have two different versions of the Leki adjustment mechanisms and although the twist to lock version did slip some on me early on they've been solid lately (past season through now).  Note that I don't change the lengths anymore - set 'em and forget 'em - YMMV.
post #22 of 25
are there markings along the shaft of the Lekis so you can easily reset the pole to a "known good" position after messing with it?  and do they have interchangeable baskets?  thanks!
post #23 of 25
 The answers are yes and yes.
post #24 of 25

 I really like my Black Diamond carbon fiber adjustable probe poles with the flip lock mechanism.  I don't advocate using probe poles as probes as they are too short and generally too problematic under pressure.  Get a real probe that is long enough to do the job for real.  I do use the probe poles for cutting rutchblocks and such with my snow saw.  The flip lock mechanism is fast, easy, and positive.

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 The answers are yes and yes.

thanks.  you're now officially more responsive than Leki support staff.  ;)
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