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Trekking Poles #2

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    • rafe wrote:

      The blazes go right up the side of the cliff. The person in the photo still has poles in their hands. Hmm.
      [IMG:http://www.trailgallery.com/photos/14317/tj14317_052013_121310_737991.jpg]
      Yeah, I probably still had my poles in my hands too. So that was probably my problem, I was doing it all wrong. :rolleyes:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      rafe wrote:

      The blazes go right up the side of the cliff. The person in the photo still has poles in their hands. Hmm.
      [IMG:http://www.trailgallery.com/photos/14317/tj14317_052013_121310_737991.jpg]
      That looks the spot on Dragon's Tooth where the last time I climbed it, I came across a little snake. Luckily I did still have my hiking poles and I flicked the little bugger off the cliff with my pole.
      Now that is a good reason for hanging on to your poles. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • rafe wrote:

      The slope on the north side of Dragon's tooth, just before you reach the top, is one of the steepest you'll find on the AT. It doesn't last long. But this is one place where, if you have poles, you'll need to stash them.

      As I recall there's a short section where you're basically working your way up (or down) a cliff, using rebar anchored into the cliffside.
      I day hiked Dragonstooth. Had no poles and gloves. I had been warned. I was in peak hiking condition. Raced down it. Passed people by the dozens. One of my proudest days on the trail. This old phart showed up a lot of youngsters that day.
      :)
      Resident Australian, proving being a grumpy old man is not just an American trait.
    • Here are my DT pics. The first was at the beginning of the descent, looking back up the first scramble. Poles might still be useful here, but I do recall saying out loud "you've got to be kidding". The second pic is one of the climbs with ladders a little further down. Love the arrow blazes. I think I had ditched the poles by this point. I may have even taken off my pack and lowered it by hand at one point. Also, one knee was really bothering me after 4 days of hiking. I could stand on that leg but not take a step with it, so I essentially did this descent with one leg.



    • I always use poles for serious day hikes (if there's vertical involved) and any time I'm wearing a pack over, say, fifteen pounds or so.

      I think they're a strong net plus for "most" AT terrain, which more often than not is irregular, with rocks, roots, deadfall, gullies, stream crossings, whatever.

      If the terrain is extremely steep, to the point where I need hands to make my way up or down, then I put one or both of the poles away. If the terrain is extremely smooth (eg. roadwalk or "groomed" path) then I might put them away or carry them in one hand.

      If I'm descending and hit a short steep section where I need to use my hands, I often just throw my poles downhill. If I'm climbing, I may just let the poles dangle from my wrists until I get past the steep bit.

      I'm currently using a pair of Black Diamond flip-lock poles from REI. My ancient Lekis acquired one too many bends on the LT this summer, it was time to let them go.
    • I can't remember the exact figures but for the up and down of Dragonstooth I averaged over 3.5mph. It was the only time on the whole hike I actually ran. A steady jog on the easier parts of the downhill. I remember using my gloved hands against the rocks a few times and swinging down some rockfaces. I was rockin'.
      Resident Australian, proving being a grumpy old man is not just an American trait.
    • rafe wrote:

      The blazes go right up the side of the cliff. The person in the photo still has poles in their hands. Hmm.
      [IMG:http://www.trailgallery.com/photos/14317/tj14317_052013_121310_737991.jpg]
      hmmm, not sure I could do that with a full pack. It would definitely be a challenge.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • I've been day hiking without trekking poles this summer and have been surprised how easy it's been.
      I use my hands to push off of the ground when stepping up onto rocks or steepish places and it feels more stable and easier than using the poles to support my weight.

      Nevertheless, I finally bought a new pair of trekking poles today because of worry that a full pack will throw off my balance when climbing.

      My new poles are Black Diamond distance Z poles and they aren't green. They fold up compactly and have the flocklock adjuster. There's a model of the Z pole that is a fixed length but I decided on the adjustable one. I wanted cork handles also but had to compromise.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      rafe wrote:

      The blazes go right up the side of the cliff. The person in the photo still has poles in their hands. Hmm
      hmmm, not sure I could do that with a full pack. It would definitely be a challenge.
      That spot right there on Dragon's Tooth is where the snake stuck his head out of the crack where you put your hands and feet. That's where I extended my pole and flung his ass off the cliff. It's also where I almost wet my pants.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      TrafficJam wrote:

      rafe wrote:

      The blazes go right up the side of the cliff. The person in the photo still has poles in their hands. Hmm
      hmmm, not sure I could do that with a full pack. It would definitely be a challenge.
      That spot right there on Dragon's Tooth is where the snake stuck his head out of the crack where you put your hands and feet. That's where I extended my pole and flung his ass off the cliff. It's also where I almost wet my pants.
      I got to do it in the rain, "slip sliding away"! I thru the poles down or up the cliff as required and picked them back up when I got to them.
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      TrafficJam wrote:

      rafe wrote:

      The blazes go right up the side of the cliff. The person in the photo still has poles in their hands. Hmm
      hmmm, not sure I could do that with a full pack. It would definitely be a challenge.
      That spot right there on Dragon's Tooth is where the snake stuck his head out of the crack where you put your hands and feet. That's where I extended my pole and flung his ass off the cliff. It's also where I almost wet my pants.
      I had a friend who would call that "giving him flying lessons", but in most cases it was his girlfriend's cat.
    • My new poles arrived last week. After putting them together, I noticed that they easily pulled apart at the joints. I went hiking and the damn things kept detaching at the "speed cone deployment" joints. It was so frustrating and there was much cursing going on. They would get snagged on roots and plants or embedded in dirt and then pull apart...over and over. These things are definitely getting a bad review from me. How in the heck did they get 5 star reviews? They suck!

      Once, I got cell service, I watched a YouTube video on these crappy poles. Yeah, you guessed it, I was doing it wrong and failed to pull the top shaft down far enough to engage the locking mechanism.

      Once I figured it out, they worked great. :)

      My only complaint/concern is the sizing. I'm not quite 5'1" and the recommendation is to size up if you're on the edge between two sizes. I sized up and at their shortest length, they are close to chest level. I like that length but there's no room for a shorter adjustment. Thinking about exchanging them but they've obviously been used.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • I started with BD Alpine Ergo Cork poles. Very nice with lots of features, but I began to think I would like something lighter. After all you do lift and swing them with every step. So I then got the Fizan Compact poles. They are hard to find in the US. I think I got mine via Massdrop. They are ultralight aluminum poles. They have twist locks, which many people don't recommend, but their locking mechanism is internal and very simple, which makes it very reliable, durable, and easy to use. Now when I go back to my original poles, I really notice the extra weight.

      fizan.it/product/compact-green-2/?lang=en
    • odd man out wrote:

      I started with BD Alpine Ergo Cork poles. Very nice with lots of features, but I began to think I would like something lighter. After all you do lift and swing them with every step. So I then got the Fizan Compact poles. They are hard to find in the US. I think I got mine via Massdrop. They are ultralight aluminum poles. They have twist locks, which many people don't recommend, but their locking mechanism is internal and very simple, which makes it very reliable, durable, and easy to use. Now when I go back to my original poles, I really notice the extra weight.

      fizan.it/product/compact-green-2/?lang=en
      i guess ya get what ya pay for, but i started off with a walmart twist lock and then a pair of cascade twist locks from costco and they each had sudden catastrophic failures in the field which is quite concerting when it happens. i upgraded to a pair of flip lock lekkis on sale at rei and over time they tend to shorten at a rate that is unnoticeable until you realize your pole is a couple inches shorter than it should be. so ya adjust it and you'e good again for a long while.

      i never had any problems with the tree limb or one piece bamboo poles i used to use. well, except for the time i was playing pine cone baseball and the follow thru on my swing ended up hitting another tree. that was also a sudden catastrophic failure.
      2,000 miler
    • odd man out wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Now you got us wondering what you said. ?(
      upn reflection the post did meet the high standards that i hold myself to so i killed it. :)
      I assumed it was some witty retort to my use of Italian trekking Poles, such as the other alternative which would be to use Polish trekking Italians.
      nah, it wasn't near that good. had i thought of that i'd still be up there!
      2,000 miler