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Just got a set of Black-Diamond "Alpine Carbon Cork" sticks. My first, ever.
Did a brief 'shake-down' with them, and some old, familiar gear (like my clunker Fabiano boots) in preparation for some upcoming AT / Shenandoah N.P. hiking.
No mountains here, so I went to my local community park. Also, went to the local H.S. athletic field ... where I stepped / climbed the ball-field bleachers.
WOW !! Tough on the old quads and hamstrings, especially in those Fabianos.
Anyhow, I'm impressed with the sticks. I can navigate gnarly above-ground tree roots, small rocks, slippery slopes, etc. with greater confidence. Have seen where trekking-poles can improve walking / hiking efficiency by 15%. Definitely easier on the knees going downhill.
Still trying to determine a comfortable and convenient way to manage the wrist-straps, while maintaining good grip and control, and being able to access other gear items when I stop hiking for a few moments, and keep them on my wrists while doing so. I like the cork handles. These "Alpine Carbons" are stouter than the regular hiking-poles. Should be useful in other apps, while minimizing breakage, like 'pole-vaulting' small streams without getting feet wet. Very light ( carbon ... duh ... d'oh ). They collapse down into 1/3 full lengths, for handy stowing.
Anyone ?? Would welcome your comments.