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)||105, 115, 125, 135, 145|
|Weight (pair)||402g 
|Grip||70cm long extended foam|
|Basket & Tip||85mm powder baskets and 38mm mini baskets, carbide tip|
|Diameter||18mm just below the grip|
||7075 aluminum, EVA foam, polymer, carbide|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Steep skiing, mountain running|
|Notes||Infinite handle position|
|Bottom Line||Fixed length aluminum with limitless grip options|
|Compare to other Fixed Length Ski Poles|
Questions & Reviews
I went back and reread all the comments and reviews before posting again. Been lucking enough this winter to get some good skiing in. Even one trip using the Cobers ,for no other reason than they were handy. I have 14 pairs of poles going back decades sitting in my shop space. 6 of them adjustable. My choice in poles since I found the Les Batons is.....generally the Les Batons. I've not used an adjustable since. Even the Whippets seldom get used with the newest lwt axes. And I have been using ski crampons more. My only complaint on durability was on an early pair over 10 years ago now, when the foam slipped. Alain simply replaced them. These days Skimo Co. will sort you out faster than a return to Cham to get it done. I am still a big believer of going long on these poles. I had been using a pair of 125cm to track my time on a 1000', one mile skin track. As my fitness got better my times did as well. Switching to 135cm set of poles and then eventually to a 145cm set of poles, took big chucks out of my recorded times. Time reductions that were almost as big as switching to my old race boots and skis. My normal downhill pole is a 125cm. My preferred skimo pole is a 135. The 145 is an amazing ski mountaineering pole where I am doing more skinning than skiing. But it is a little unbalanced for my taste as a pure ski pole. That said if the 145 was all I used, I suspect I also be perfectly happy with that size. Straps? For the last decade I have not used straps on my Les Batons. But one dropped ski pole on the Haute Route and a 5-minute rescue, made the thought reoccurring when there are long skin tracks. Could have very easily just been a lost pole with 3 days yet on the tour. A strap makes a good support and allows you to use your arms on the uphill more effectively. I use 1" flat nylon tape with a simple overhand knot. And I stress the cap tightening the strap. No poles/caps broken to date. No bent poles. And thankfully no lost poles from dropping them in the wrong terrain.
I still have a good sized quiver of skis and boots that I use. And as I mentioned a lot of different ski poles available to me. Without a doubt I have some favorite gear and clothing for our crazy sport, just like everyone else. Given a choice outside pure downhill skiing, the Les Batons are still my skimo pole of choice by a fair margin. Trust your gut and buy them long.
I have used a lot of aluminum poles. These are only ones to ever break. Burly? Not so much.
Next, I went to the hardware store and bought a washer and lag screw and then threaded the lag screw into the the portion of the cap down in the aluminum shaft. I grabbed a decommissioned dyneema runner, girth hitched one end over the handle of a 45# kettle bell and looped the other end over the washer. With the tip of the pole pointed straight up and the runner taught, it took about a dozen hard yanks straight up (each of which lifted the kettlebell a bit), but the rest of the cap popped out (as shown). I was then able to pound on the replacement. (This method did not require clamping the aluminum shaft or risking deforming/denting it.)
FWIW, I've also had to replace a tip, and that was much easier in that it just required warming up the plastic and pulling the old one off.
One nice attention to detail is the opening in the cap so you can add a strap, but I've never done it.
Another plus is that I've never had a problem with the powder baskets. I carry an extra but kind of don't think I need to.
I concur with the flaws other reviewers have noted:
- Icing on grips when putting them in the snow. When booting, especially if you're using your poles for leverage (e.g., when wallowing), the grips ice up and it's kind of impossible to get the packed snow off if it's high moisture.
- Pole caps are very fragile. Poles should be able to take an impact when stuck upside down as a belay.
I got ninja black and am really happy I did so. I don't really like the funky colors. The poles already look dorky and mark you as a skimo nerd.
I have never had an issue with these flexing. They feel more than burly enough for me. 5'8" 155 lbs ish.
Kind of split on how I feel about these. Yeah, they're nice poles, but they're also $130. You can get 90-95% of the functionality with a normal aluminum pole and some self-sealing tape. On my resort poles ($10), I wrapped electrical wire with that tape and it's almost as good. That said, looking at other pole listings, somehow 130 bucks for a piece of aluminum is cheap in the ski touring pole market...
Please note one of my aliases is the thicccness with the quickness so my durability issues do stem from from skiing 1700-2000g skis (per ski, not a pair) and that I weigh 190. So I am very not skimo anymore.
Everyone knows why fixed grips are great so I'm going into specifically why these poles are an inferior design to the black crows furtis. (Shots fired).
1) absolute strength. Furtis is stiffer and doesn't flex into different shapes. They both flex, but the cham stick will bend. And you will have to bend it back. It's not fun.
2) cham sticks foam sux. If it gets moisture it will refreeze and it's a pain in the ass. Gripping ice isn't fun. I remedied with electrical tape, but it stinks to have to fix a new product.
3) the tip is epoxied on, not threaded (I'm talking the entire tip interface not the basket). It has come off on me multiple times, from factory, and after cleaning and reapplying a new tip with a boat load of epoxy and roughing the surface for better adherence. Skiing without a tip sucks. Having it happen multiple times sucks more. The fact it isn't threaded and cannot be fixed in the field is eggregious. Future designs should b threaded with loctite.
3) top caps also pop off and are not as streamlined as a furtis for plunging.
I've had the furtis since 2017 at least, just broke my first pair after hundreds of more days of use than my pair of cham sticks. Plus they are a carbon composite. What's more skimo than that?
Yes we do! Check out our Les Pieces D'Alain listing. We have a few different colors to choose from!
Also, I the grip material of the "champagne" color cork?
Sizing is definitely preferential with these poles. I would size you with the 135cm length. It will probably be slightly longer than your traditional alpine poles, but it will pay dividends on the way up. For the way down, just choke down!
The Champagne colorway is tan with something embedded in the foam that gives it a pattern. The texture is slightly different than the other pole color options.
We're the same height! I'd recommend a 125cm; if you're standing and your elbow is at 90 degrees with a comfortable grip on the pole, that's what I would recommend!
After dropping them a few times while skating on flats, I ended up making my own straps with some paracord. A lot cheaper than the straps sold alongside the poles, plus the length can be dialed in for your preference. Also if you really can't fathom paying this much for poles, a little bit of gorilla glue and foam bike handlebar tape on an old pair of aluminum poles will accomplish the same thing for a fraction of the price. Looks way better than the hockey tape trick as well. But if featherlight weight combined with durability is what you're after, batons can't be beat.
Personally, I find 5cm longer than normal poles to be plenty or else you're really choking up for the downs. I also would just do a vari adjust/grip option if you're looking for a pair to crush resort and backcountry - these are overkill at the resort (obviously).
Sure, there's a "these are in" stigma - but they're really good. Chamonix guides wouldn't be using them religiously if they weren't...
A lot of people have written that they are around my height and got the 135 and like them. Anybody have problems with them being too long????
Only bummer about these poles is that the tips do some to have the propensity to break when rotating dynafit heel pieces.
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