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475 Black Diamond - Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles 2011-09-14

In '01 we bought Leki Titanium Poles. They were lightweight with shock absorbers and ergonomic grips. Through the years we learned to live with the poles' deficiencies: the clanging noises from the shocks, sweaty hands from the rubber grips, the self collapsing pole segments (that collapsed every time they were weighted), and the numerous bends we made from falling on the poles. Despite the list of shortcomings, they were still a great pair of poles. They truly saved us from injury on several occasions.

Before our trip began this summer ('11) we began shopping for new poles. We visited REI, we visited our local store, Cumberland Transit, and we visited gear sites such as EMS and Backcountry Gear. Poles are expensive and we wanted to find another couple of sets as good as the Titanium poles we were replacing.

Alpine Carbon Cork polesWe read and compared for weeks; but were still undecided. REI had the Black Diamond Z poles and we really liked them; but they didn't seem as strong as the conventional poles. Looking for even more information, we wanted to find a chart that would tell us which pole was best for each type of use. We knew that we were hard on poles and were concerned about bending or breaking them. Finally, we called Black Diamond and talked to a Customer Service person. The representative liked the Z poles; but thought the Alpine Carbon Cork poles would be a better fit for our intended purposes. We questioned the durability of the carbon fiber material; but he assured us the poles were tough.

We ordered the poles and have been delighted with their performance.

A few Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles notes ...

My poles weigh 16.6 ounces.

Fully collapsed, the poles are 24.5 inches long.

The poles were expensive (around $140); but they were cheaper than our old Leki's.

The finish on the poles is very slick.

The "flick lock" is easy to use and strong. We never had a pole collapse.

The poles are also easy to adjust while you are moving.

The collapsed poles are compact and easy to pack.

While hiking during the summer, we discussed whether we missed the shock absorber feature of the Leki's. We concluded that we liked the shocks; but they were not essential.

The cork grips are nice.

I did not like the wrist straps on the Alpine Carbon Cork poles. After trying to use them, I decided they were more strap than I needed. I took the straps off. It is odd for me to put my hands in the straps. I only hold the handles. The straps were therefore in the way; but I still needed a retaining cord for when I needed to tether the poles to my wrist. I added a cord loop to each pole. Amy liked and used her straps.

The trekking poles may also be used as backcountry ski poles.

Black Diamond has spare parts for all of your repairs or modifications.

After a summer's use, the poles did not show excessive wear.

When researching poles, we really liked the Black Diamond Z poles; but we were satisfied that the Alpine Carbon Cork was the right pole for us to use in the mountains.

Happy Alpine Carbon Cork trekking pole trails



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