I, like I suspect a fair number of people, have been through a number of hiking poles over the years. I think my first pair of hiking poles was the GGLT4’s. They caused me too much frustration, so I switched to the Komperdell Vario 4 poles. They were too flimsy so I switched to the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles. They are really heavy but they are the best trekking poles I have ever encountered. Along the way I tried switching away from using poles, and back to using them, and back to not using them.
I know some hikers that have to use them. I know other hikers that cannot use them. I know hikers that swear they refuse to hit the trail without them, and hikers that have hiked tens of thousands of miles and never used them. In the world of hiking they really are a HYOH piece of gear.
This past weekend myself and a few close friends went on some short hikes. This was my third time out on the trail using the Black Diamond “Alpine Carbon Cork” trekking poles. I have been on the quest for some more durable four season hiking poles, so earlier this year I sent an email out to a few long distance hikers I know, most of them triple crowners, asking what they thought the best four season hiking poles presently on the market are. Much to my surprise all of them that responded said the same thing, these Black Diamond “Alpine Carbon Cork” trekking poles. After doing some further online research about these poles I decided to order myself a pair and see how they would work.
I think it is important, from the very start, for me to say that it is just not fair to compare these hiking poles to the likes of the Gossamer Gear LT4 hiking poles or the Ruta Locura Carbon Fiber Yana Poles as neither of these poles are considered four season hiking poles. Yes they can, and have been used, within four seasons conditions but they are just not designed as four season hiking poles. In all ways the LT4’s and the Yana’s are night and day different in regards to weight and features. Where those two poles, and others in their weight categories, are all about getting hiking poles to be as light as possible, a pair of four season hiking poles are all about providing high shaft durability, easy to use while wearing gloves, and locking mechanisms that are at the very top end of locking systems. So by no means should this review be compared to my reviews of those other two sets of hiking poles. Continue reading “Short Term Review of the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles”→
I have to be honest to my readers… this whole “No Gear For 2012” is just soooo not going to happen for me! I do not want to get into whether it is a good thing or a bad thing – that is something only each of us as hikers can answer. I sort of think it is great that hikers are out there trying to commit themselves to it, but for me, it is just never going to happen.
With the exception of a few pieces of cold weather gear I could take my existing hiking gear setups and do almost any hike anywhere in the world. But the thing is, I just love checking out new gear and I so love supporting the outdoor cottage gear companies it would be hard for me. Even though I already have all the gear I could possible need, there are a few items out there that I still really want to buy. Some of them to make my hiking life better, some of them to simply try them and see if I like them enough to use, some of them to see how they perform against existing gear that I already have, and some of them because they are just down-right awesome looking. Continue reading “Yes-Gear For 2012!”→