The Chamonix ski mountaineering pole. Coming to us from across the pond and made in the shadow of the great and icy Mont Blanc, these unorthodox ski poles offer many small yet meaningful solutions to many small yet meaningful problems ski mountaineers face in the mountains. Made by mountain guide Alain Desez, the 18mm aluminum poles feature long ribbed foam grips which extend nearly halfway down each pole. Alain's Sticks are durable and allow you to grip anywhere along the top half of each pole without slipping. Also, no wrist straps! Straps can make ordinary falls rather dangerous and can make activating your airbag difficult in the event of an avalanche. Without them, you can more easily plunge the tops of the poles into snow. Proven by Chamoniard mountain guides on steep north faces and by American ski alpinists on routes like Foraker's Archangel Ridge, the highest level of pole design is now available to the powder-hunting, couloir-dropping, European-flag-loving masses.
- 18mm 7075 anodized aluminum makes up the shaft for great strength.
- The pommels (the plastic caps on the top) have a strap attachment point.
- Reflective strips adorn these poles for improved visibility at night.
- Includes easily swappable powder and piste baskets.
- Tungsten carbide tips are slightly flexible.
- Comes in lots of fun grip colors.
|Lengths (cm)||115, 125, 135|
|Weight (pair)||424g 
|Grip||70cm long extended foam|
|Basket & Tip||85mm Powder baskets and 38mm mini baskets|
|Materials||7075 aluminum, EVA foam, polymer, carbide|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Steep skiing, mountain running|
|Notes||Infinite handle position|
|Bottom Line||Burly, basic ski poles with limitless grip options.|
|Compare to other Fixed Length Ski Poles|
Questions & Reviews
do you have the Alain de baton in the Blue/white/red? in 125cm. As shown on your picture. Thank you.
The poles I replaced were BD traverse adjustables from 2010 (the orange ones with the rubber choke grip that you still see everywhere). I stuck with them as long as I did out of a pragmatic belief that if something isn't broken, don't fix it. My BD poles took me to some great places, but the almost 200g weight savings was hard to ignore and the Skimo restock of the pink color seemed like a sign that it was time to try something different.
While determining what size to purchase, I set my BDs to 115 and 125cm and took them for a few tours at each length. I opted for the smaller size in part because I tend to palm the top of the grip while skinning and the shorter length just felt more comfortable. When skiing downhill, I grab them somewhere in the vicinity of a 105-110 cm pole (my usual touring length) and I haven't been bothered by the excess material above my hands. For reference, I am 160 cm tall.
I knew I would appreciate the lighter weight and bright colors of the batons, but what I didn't expect was to find them so freeing to ski with: no more fussing with hand placement or grabbing the cold metal shaft of the BD's. I can adjust my grip on the fly without even thinking about it. That is something I never knew I would want to do, but now that I can, I don't want to go back to the old way! Yes, the top of the grip is a little rough on the palms if you are skiing sans gloves, but no more so than the BD grips. I have small hands, so your experience may vary in that regard.
Bonus: apparently this year's 115 cm size is coming with neon pink baskets and tips instead of the gray. Fab-u-lous!
TL;dr: you know you want a pair, just do it.
Also wondering if these come with straps, or if not, are they able to take straps somehow?
Do you ship to Norway?
I’m looking for this pole in 135cm.
AS far AS I can see - you only have this length in brown. Com you please send me a picture!
See here for more than anyone needs to know on this style of pole :)
I'm guessing the tip is not replaceable? Also, do you have spare baskets for these? Might be time to just get another pair...
Highlights: Lightweight even after 10+ miles, durable, strong and comfortable to place between pack and back during on-the-fly stowage, hands stay warm during colder hikes without gloves during carry sections because the foam extends to the middle balance point of the poles (read: no cold aluminum to grab), the two different baskets are super easy to swap on/off, and neon tip/top color is easy to spot (even in low-light conditions—see photo).
Considerations: If you're used to palming the top of a traditional pole frequently (BD adjustable, for instance), the shape of these is slightly less ergonomic by comparison. That can make them somewhat uncomfortable in that orientation during gloveless wear. But, I find that I rarely use that "top" hand position because I sized up 5cm from my usual pole length (I'm not from a nordic background, so I wasn't super, super long) and my hands move around a lot more than they used to.
Other thoughts: I haven't made straps to put into the slots on the top caps, but I plan to create some like Brian H. did (and so nicely explained/depicted on his site) for long flat sections where the hand loop would be useful. The powder baskets seem really flexible, so I don't think they'll get in the way of good pole plants while descending firm steeps.
They are at their best putting them between your shoulder straps/blades like a piolet: strapped and adjustable poles always hang up, these don't. I did put powder baskets on mine, the little discs seem like they are for summer. I've never heard of anyone breaking them, which is a plus if you've ever broken a pole (or a few).
They will stick in the snow either end down (little known plus). I will admit a friend once loaned me a Whippet on a tricky descent instead of one of these and I was grateful, but that could hold for any pole. And Brian H can clearly ski things I can't look at with them, so they work for those at that end of the spectrum too. I have enjoyed them for everything from ski mountaineering to casual punting around the woods. It makes the question of where to put your hands irrelevant: you grab them and go.
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