My son (16) has been skiing with the ski patrol at our local hill for the past 3 seasons - first as a "Ski Scout" and now as a junior patroller. Carrying bamboo, fencing, drills, tape and other gear around the hill often dictates leaving the ski poles behind. This has been great for his skiing ... he's very centered on his skis, great fore/aft balance, uses his edges well. But now it's like he's become allergic to using his poles. He refuses to bring them anywhere whether he's working or free skiing.
Our local hill is pretty small (240' of vertical) and when we head further north it's usually to moderate eastern terrain. I'm concerned that he's missing something by not using poles ... although I'm usually left scratching my head in terms of where, exactly, he would be better off with poles.
So I thought I would ask the collective wisdom of the board and find out if there's really a good reason to be using poles on inbound terrain.