Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles – Black Diamond

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Alpine Carbon trekking poles, Black Diamond

Backcountry skiing is great for you in many ways– one little exception being your knees. Squeezing in as much skiing every season as I can ever since I can remember has beat up my knees a little bit. They still work great for many things, but on the rare occasions that I’m hiking down hill rather than skiing, they don’t feel super good. Consequently I’ve been using trekking poles on most of my summer trips to take some weight of the ol’ leg hinges.

I’ve simply used my ski poles as trekking poles in the past, but they don’t work quite as well as a dedicated trekking pole. The big ski pole baskets get tangled when you’re hiking through PNW jungle, and they usually don’t pack down quite as short as the hiking versions. Trekking poles are pretty basic, they simply need to be strong, lightweight, and comfy. As with all my other gear, that’s with a big emphasis on lightweight.

I decided to get the Alpine Carbon Cork poles from Black Diamond. They are the lightest cam locking trekking pole BD makes, with every section composed entirely of carbon fiber. The grips are comfy all-cork, with well designed straps. On some long days I have started several blisters on my hands, but the grips seemed to prevent that better than the “frictioney” foam ones I’ve tried in the past, and definitely better than ski-pole grips. Given the feather light weight, I was a little concerned about the Alpine Carbon durability, but they’ve held up to my bearing down on them hard on steep descents, and occasionally bashing them against rocks. Thumbs up.

Shop for ‘em.


4 Responses to “Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles – Black Diamond”

  1. Jonathan Shefftz June 20th, 2011 7:31 am

    Interesting, but on late-season trips with lots of hiking, isn’t that typically the terrain for which you want at least one pole to have a self-arrest grip, in which case one of your two poles has to be a ski pole, not a trekking pole?

  2. Jonathan Blum June 20th, 2011 11:49 am

    Hey Louie.

    I just finished doing a review for some other Black Diamond gear. I wonder, would you mind take a look and let me know if I got it right. I will be doing and updated view on this product as a video, and I’d be interested to hear your feedback on the business perspective of Black Diamond.

    Very interesting operation.


  3. Mike July 7th, 2011 9:46 am

    Just snapped one of these in the Wind Rivers last week. Guess they’re not meant for skiing.

  4. Lou July 7th, 2011 11:26 am

    Mike, define “skiing.” (grin)

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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