God, I know we're all bored to death waiting for the first BIG snowfall, but you all disapoint me. I read the post, and frankly thought it a provacative question that at least deserved an honest straight forward answer ... why do I think that you may ask, I'll tell you. I have skied for years now, self taught, and no-one ever told me not to use the straps in the trees until this year - actually by reading someone's wise post regarding this very same subject on Epic, go figure, so I didn't know, wish I had, but did not. Secondly, I have always used the staps as follows, I simply put my hand through it and grabbed the pole, until my 23 year old son told me different last year. Sometimes perhaps the mundane or elementary questions are asked in earnest, and deserve earnest answers. Afer all, isn't that a HUGE benefit of this forum, and attracting others to it that might otherwise say ... screw it! Enough of the rant, I must be hungry.