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powder poles Any suggestions?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I use a set of leki poles with the trigger system for everything - on piste , off piste etc

I want to buy a set of poles in the sales for off piste, now i'm not a back country hiker but do ski some off piste routes .I don't know wether i need to buy a pole with a powder basket or a set of the adjustable poles like the black diamonds .Having never used an adjustable i would think i'd probably set them incorrectly- how do you decide on the length to set them?
post #2 of 19
Adjustable length poles are not needed for off-piste, but are frequently used in backcountry. The ability to change the length of the pole makes some uphill hiking easier and of course allows the poles to be stowed if you opt to use an ice axe. For the downhill run, the pole length is usually set to a normal length for down hill skiing. I suggest you simply buy the 3-inch powder baskets for your Leki poles and use those for soft conditions, and switch back for firmer snow or racing. I leave the larger baskets on my poles all the time.

I ski with a 51 inch pole and will set adjustable poles a bit longer for skinning. Other than that, I don't see much benefit in having adjustable poles; in fact I lost the lower shaft on a one in deep snow once and had to finish with a half-length pole with no tip or basket.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks Cirque rider

i'll just get the big baskets as i'm not much of a hiker !
post #4 of 19
fwiw, and just to throw in an often unheard opinion, I hate big baskets. I understand that people like them for traversing in pow, etc. But the extra swing weight you get from a big basket fully loaded with snow when you take it out of the snow pisses me off. Every time you pick it out of the snow, it's got a big 'ol clump of snow hanging there. I hate 'em. I find myself always shaking that snow off the top of the basket.

For traversing in pow, learn to angle the tail of your ski uphill (or- upsnow), so your side-step forces you to move forward as you apply weight to the ski.

Big baskets are a pain in the ass, imo. And that's just imo.

I mainly ski pow. Your standard aluminum Scott with the racing grip has been my favorite pole for like 20 years.

technology in pole development has got to be the biggest crock-of-crap that the ski industry ever produces.

If you ever bend an aluminum adjustable pole, its adjustability will greatly decrease, no matter how straight you can bend it back. For verticle hiking, where a shorter pole is desired, just grip it below the grip and move on with your life.

Snowboarders, however, can benefit from adjustable poles for their stow-away capability.

Have I vented my POLE frustration here enough yet?

On a side note; don't ever buy those wing-shaped Smith poles that are supposed to be aerdodynamic during their front-swing. They honestly fly away. stupid. And carbon poles vibrate more than my wife's warm-up rigs.

The best poles ever made are basic aluminum stock, racing rubber/pistol grip that sticks to leather gloves, and small 2" diameter solid-patterned baskets that don't tear at all the weak spots. those star/snowflake patterned things tear super easily.

For thrills, wrap a few layers of hockey tape below your grip for a second/vertical hiking grip. This tape can also be removed in emergencies to seal up any pant or glove tears, etc.

When you're done, use more hockey tape to wrap your strap at it's desired length. How often do you have to adjust adjustable straps, anyway? I hate pole straps flapping away at my cuff.

Okay, rant off.
post #5 of 19
You don't need adjustable poles unless you're skinning. Even then a lot of people don't use them. I've got BD adjustable probe poles, but I've never used the adjustment at resorts. Roll a nice wad of duct tape about 5" below the grip on on of your poles and use that for a handle when on side-step traverses - it's cheaper than shelling out for flick-locks and sooner or later you'll need the duct tape anyway.

I also agree that huge powder baskets are pretty worthless. They still sink in when skinning or traversing and they provide absolutely no advantage while actually skiing.
post #6 of 19
From Leki:



the deep powder basket. 4.5 inches across. Fitted to all my CF poles including Scott, Kerma and Karbon (which are all still lighter than the Series 4 Aluminum Scotts with disc basket). Flexible shaft connection so that 4.5 inches across is always parallel to the snow surface. No clumping, none, ever (the flexible webbing acts similarly to crampon anti-balling plates). Folds away for airline travel.

While skiing: advantage jump turns. While digging out of tree wells: it's what's in your hand whilst the shovel is on your back. While less experienced skiers pick themselves up in pow: advantage putting ski back on.

IMO, of course. except for the weights.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
Have I vented my POLE frustration here enough yet?

On a side note; don't ever buy those wing-shaped Smith poles that are supposed to be aerdodynamic during their front-swing. They honestly fly away. stupid. And carbon poles vibrate more than my wife's warm-up rigs.
So your wife uses a vibrating warm up rig and you have a lot of pole frustration........ I feel your pain brotha!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
You don't need adjustable poles unless you're skinning. Even then a lot of people don't use them. I've got BD adjustable probe poles, but I've never used the adjustment at resorts. Roll a nice wad of duct tape about 5" below the grip on on of your poles and use that for a handle when on side-step traverses - it's cheaper than shelling out for flick-locks and sooner or later you'll need the duct tape anyway.

I also agree that huge powder baskets are pretty worthless. They still sink in when skinning or traversing and they provide absolutely no advantage while actually skiing.
That's interesting what you say about powder baskets being useless- the main reason i was interested in Powder baskets or back country poles is that i suffered alot trying to side step with skis on at 10500ft in spring off piste snow. The pole kept sinking down and i thought there has to be a better way !
post #9 of 19
I've tried the super gigantic Leki baskets above and they do sink slightly less than a standard snowflake basket, but they still sink. Plus they are super heavy. I'm no swing-wieght weenie, but they are very noticably heavier than normal baskets.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
well i doubt the extra baskets cost much so i'll give them a go - report back nect Jan and tell you if they worked ! lol
post #11 of 19
Of course a wide basket will still sink in powder. It's a wide basket, not a gigantic floating device...but it will sink less. Riding off-piste and BC touring I would never go back to a tiny comp basket again. In some situations the added support can be absolutely crucial, traversing or skiing in technical exposed terrain.

If the added swing weight is so bad, maybe some guys need to work out more :P Seriously, it doesn't bother me, I suppose it's a getting used to it. If you change back and forth the differences might be more obvious. I never change them back, and will go with big powder baskets ( as shown here: http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.p...30&postcount=5 ) even if I'm in for a full day of groomers.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
cheers Torrfin

think i'll be trying your way - can't quite get my head around the "swing weight" problem how much can a few ounces effect ?
post #13 of 19
Really big baskets catch a lot of air, and make swinging the pole more difficult at higher speeds. It can be a very noticeable difference. I really don't think its so much the weight as the drag. Like I said above I replaced the 2-inch baskets on my poles with 3-inch (moderate size) disks that work pretty good in soft snow for me. They are on small diameter carbon poles, so swing weight is still very good and air resistance is low. Lets face it, we aren't talking about bamboo sticks with large metal rings joined by leather basket straps. I think those would get a lot of attention though.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
i skied off piste with a 72 year old german woman at Gargellen at Easter.You jest about Bamboo sticks Cirquerider but her poles were so old with the biggest baskets you ever did see! aLso her boots were of the "star wars stormtrooper" variety and skis straight skinny and long.But her technique was superb and fitness level best in the group - she showed us that it's not all about the equipment
post #15 of 19
I just found a pair of bamboo poles in my Mom's basement. Big baskets with a metal ring attached to the pole with leather straps. Made by some Norsk company. They kick ass. Anybody wanna buy my BD flicklocks? Anybody here like beer?
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
can't quite get my head around the "swing weight" problem how much can a few ounces effect ?
the basket itself isn't the issue, it's the snow that remains piled on top of it that gets heavy.

You want them for more support in deep snow right? Well, that support comes from the resistance the basket provides, as you know. But the drawback is that you get that same resistance when pulling it out of the snow too. It sucks. and it's slow. Especially if you are flying on the surface on a pair of fatties. Just mho.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
the basket itself isn't the issue, it's the snow that remains piled on top of it that gets heavy.

You want them for more support in deep snow right? Well, that support comes from the resistance the basket provides, as you know. But the drawback is that you get that same resistance when pulling it out of the snow too. It sucks. and it's slow. Especially if you are flying on the surface on a pair of fatties. Just mho.
It's supposed to be a pole touch and not a support system.I got slalom baskets on my Lekis and rarely feel the need to get any support from the basket. Getting on your feet after a fall maybe but you can cross your poles and use that for support to get up and put yourself upright.

It ain't the baskets it's the basketeer
post #18 of 19
exactly...

(although big baskets still suck)
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
. Getting on your feet after a fall maybe but you can cross your poles and use that for support to get up and put yourself upright.
Even with the giant Leki baskets you can't just stand yourself up in deep powder using just the pole. Even crossing poles is pretty ineffectual most times. Thankfully, when I do fall in deep powder it's usually because I was going mach 3 and my skis are nowhere to be found, so I just stand up.

These Norsk poles I found look like they'd have very little drag - there's just a metal ring and two leather straps. There's not even enough there to open a beer bottle.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › powder poles Any suggestions?