For Winter 2010 we’ve substantially improved our backcountry ski pole line up, adding new telescopic poles from Leki, Black Diamond and K2. here’s a brief roundup of what’s changed and why.
Our biggest step is that we have completely abandoned the twist-lock adjustment system on all our poles. Twist Lock poles have been around forever but we reckon the advantages of Flick Lock systems are sufficient to warrant making them a thing of the past. Flick Locks are easier to adjust with gloves on, less prone to freezing up and jamming and less likely to jam after a fall.† It seems that the manufacturers agreed with us as all the major pole brands are stocking variations on the flick-lock system this year.
Last year we took our first steps into Black Diamond’s ski range and were hugely impressed with what we found. Black Diamond’s poles proved especially popular thanks to their non-nonsense construction and flicklock adjustment.† We’ve added a new pole to the range this year in the Razor Carbon. This is a fantastic carbon/alu pole with great weight and rigidity.
As outlined above we’ve abandoned our old Leki twist-lock poles and are now stocking only their Speed Lock system. This is super-easy to adjust with gloves on and is a real improvement over our old stock.† The Aergon poles also feature Leki’s new Twister Basket system, a pivoting snow basket which prevents your poles catching in the snow on steep ground and provides extra stability on traverses.
New from K2 this year is the Lockjaw Carbon-Alu. This is a unique pole which is packed with features designed to help you stay safe in the backcountry by aiding snowpack analysis and it also turns into a backup avalanche probe should you drop your main one. This pole is great value at just £60.
So there you have it, that’s our pole range for this year, hope you find something you like!