View Full Version : Using hiking poles to ski Tucks...
04-01-2002, 01:49 AM
I'm wondering if I should ski Tucks with my collapsable hiking poles. I was going to bring a set of regular poles for the skiing, and use my hiking poles for the trek up, but if I can get away with it I'd rather just bring the hiking poles up and use them for the hike and skiing. Does anyone recomend this or has done this before. I'm not sure that they'd be as stable as rigid ski poles. Any input would be appreciated
04-08-2002, 03:50 PM
I use retractable snowshoe poles. I started this to save the tips of my composites but found they are not only more convenient as they can be adjusted to suit the degree of incline or packed easily for the initial hike up but they also are credited with saving my life. I also strap my skis to my person so they cannot leave me on the steep hike up. I will not be going up the headwall again without crampons. Two years back I hiked up Chute and was about to cross over the top of the rock "outcrop" to ski down centerwall when I lost my footing. The poles adjusted to their shortest length acted as an ice axe and I stopped short of tumbling 600' over those rocks. Just be sure you have them tight enough for the ski down.
05-29-2003, 04:12 PM
Poles can come in very handy when you are hiking up, aqnd especially when you are climbing the bowl (if you are climbing in soft snow). Definitely helps with balancing...
05-29-2003, 05:08 PM
I always bring my Life Link, adjustable ski poles/avy probe. Hiking poles, ski poles, and avy probe, if, Toni Matt forbid, I should ever need one.
06-05-2003, 01:48 PM
I always go backcountry skiing with regular, old adjustable Leki hiking poles. There are two draw-backs: (1) The hand grip is at a zero-degree angle to the pole, so it requires more wrist movement to flick the pole down-hill, getting you into your next turn (ski poles have a grip set at an angle to the pole itself); and (2) the baskets on hiking poles are pretty small, so if you're aggro with the pole plants in soft snow, you'll get yourself in trouble. The latter issue can be corrected by purchasing the over-sized baskets, but I haven't gotten around to it (and the small baskets encourage good pole technique).
Among the advantages are that you can shorten them up for carying on your pack, or for using as mini ice axes. And when skinning on a long traverse (not something you'll be doing at Tucks), you can shorten the up-hill pole and lengthen the down-hill pole for ease and comfort.
08-23-2003, 11:46 PM
FWIW, I'll add these new-found words of wisdom. After skiing some super steep and pretty firm couloirs at Las Lenas, I'm now getting whippets (and poles that will accomodate them) for similar conditions in the future. The other folks we were skiing with had them (and fortunately didn't need them) and we didn't. I took a fall in which I think they'd have made a big, big difference -- i.e., I would have been able to arrest a fall that I was not able to.
Here's my lesson: I can report that self-arrest with a skipole alone didn't happen on a pitch that was probably only 30 degrees, but which was stryofoam consistency. I stupidly fell over while literally standing still and began the slide on my back, head down. Despite immediately getting into proper self-arrest position, I was moving way too fast to self arrest with a ski pole. Fortunately, I knew that my runout was clean, so I continued to attempt self-arrest and just kept my knees bent (to avoid a nastly cartwheel or boot-cuff fracture).
Walked away with some real good road rash, but that's fine with me. I got very lucky. Had I taken the same fall in the upper part of the couloir we were skiing, I'd have been seriously injured or killed. A lesson learned very, very cheaply. We stuck to corn snow and powder for our steep skiing after that, and for me from now on, it's whippets or bust for the steep smooth terrain!
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