observations on gear, adventure, and the world

Leki Khumbu Trecking Poles

From Doug at Coldthistle.com used without permission, but this is about the only thing the Khumbu's can't do.

Bottom-line: If you have one set of poles, and do lots of things that need poles, these are the poles to have.

I’ve been very very happy with these, and found them quite versitile. To illustrate:

Use one as a hiking stick.

Khumbu Packed

Use two for hiking moderately steep terrain and even snow up to the point that you should have axes.
Use the pair for hiking with a heavy pack on rough terrain.
Use the pair for skiing.

I picked them because:

(1)Anti-shock systems are a waste of weight.

Khumbu deployed

(2)twistlock systems have a hard time dependibly doing, well either
(3flip lock has its vulnerabilities (sand) but they are more depenable.
(4)They telescope small enough to pack away for hands-on-rock third classing.
(5) sturdy  durable shafts can handle body weight and large loads.

What?!? You have more than one pair of poles? Well then you can spend hours debating which pole is perfect for your next adventure!

Just to get you started here are a couple perspectives from some people who know stuff:

The Grizz from GrizzlyAdam.net:

Poles: Any pair will do. I skied for a long time with a cheap pair of non-adjustable poles. Ho-hum. Toward the end of last season I upgraded to an adjustable set. The difference was remarkable. Being able to telescope your pole-height for different climbing conditions is a nice perk. But really, any old set of poles will do. Especially if you are prone to losing stuff. And poles have a way of being dropped in the backcountry.

Brian Harder from GetStrongerGoLonger.com:

Anyway, in this game, weight is everything. This is relatively new ground in the ski mountaineering world, at least on this side of the pond. For sure, manufacturers like to talk about the weight of boots and skis but performance ultimately trumps all other considerations. And when you deviate from the obvious tools of skiing, little to no attention is paid to the heft of gear. One need only to venture onto any skin track in the mountains and witness the plenitude of ballistic nylon packs and baggy clothes to know that few are giving weight much of a consideration.

Think about something as basic as poles. I mean, do we really need poles that adjust? Who screws with that feature, anyway? Flick locks or any other version of these adjustable nuisances? Pah! Clever little things until they freeze or slip and do any thing else that dampens the spirit. But the real reason not to use them? Weight. My adjustable ski poles, half of which are carbon (not naming any brands here), tip the scale at 305 grams each. Compare that to my Dynafit Carbon race poles at 141 grams. Is there really a choice? That’s just shy of 6 ounces per hand per pole plant. Anyone out there not think that matters?

My nearly-a-doctor brother Caleb:

Recommends cheap carbon poles, light but inexpensive enough that you don’t mind loosing them. Let me note that when Caleb says “cheap” he really means “beg, borrow, or steal.”

So I’d say, get some light poles and get the Khumbu’s.

Features list from LEKI

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