Monday 8 April 2013

Favourite gear of the Winter #4 The best poles ever? Off on a mini adventure...

I got a pair of Black Diamond Compactor Poles before the winter and have been super pleased with them. The strength, durability and reliability of the flicklock design combined with a folding 'z pole' design that fits inside the smallest day sac. This makes them great for when climbing or wanting to take coils without a pair of ruddy great poles sticking up off of your pack.
I've looked at lighter models made of carbon fibre but knowing how I abuse kit wanted something a bit stronger AND the compactors come with a snow basket that has been essential several times this winter. A few friends have had issues with fitting the poles easily into bags but a moments care about packing and I've had no snags. AND they are short. So short that he only real issue with them has been fitting them down side straps of rucksacks- they are rarely long enough to fit under two straps. This means they fit into any of the bags I own- a real bonus for light mountaineering days out where I don't want anything sticking out on the outside of the bag. The are also as long as I could want being able to extend them out far enough for even steep downhills walking and letting me get extra push (nordic style) on touring skis.
I'm away on a hare-brained adventure for a couple of days. It reminds me of this famous advert for one of Shackleton's expeditions: 
The rucksack will be large, the walk in long, the route tricky IF its in condition. And Jamie B and the Frenchman for company. I question my own sanity at times....

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