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)||402g 
|Grip||70cm long extended foam|
|Basket & Tip||85mm Powder baskets and 38mm mini baskets|
||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
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.
The plastic tip is a weak point of these poles though. I caught them on a ski edge my first day out and sheared it off where the metal pole ends. Thankfully after reaching out, both Skimo Co and Alain himself were willing and able to help me get back out. Would recommend again and again.
These poles are incredible. I love how light, simple, elegant they are. Fine engineering IMO. It isn't overthought-out. I use these for every type of mission and the poles attach to the pack just fine if they need to be stowed with skis.
My favorite feature is for early cold mornings Dec/Jan dawn patrols. The poles are just so much warmer when moving.
Great question! I typically grip the pole at my normal pole height. It can feel a bit odd at first, but it's easy to get used to. Plus, having the poles sized a bit longer than normal allows for the shuffling of hands up higher on steeps & flats.
When I think of French culture, I think of three things. Croissants, cheap (but good) red wine and now Les Batons d'Alain. You may be saying to yourself "Will, a ski pole is not a culture commodity". But I must beg to differ. This pole embodies the tradition of steep skiing, having been forged in the steep & deep valley of Chamonix, you can almost taste the cafe au lait as you jump turn your way back to the bakery.
I've used these as my one & only pole this year and have #noragrets. They're light, simple, and well designed. Usually, with a single shaft pole, you'll have to worry a bit about strength when using them in anchors, but I have not found this to be the case. The poles also slot in quite nicely behind your backpack.
I'm 6' and sized my poles to be 135cm.
As a temporary(but adjustable) solution, you may be able to girth hitch or clove hitch some material around the foam grip itself, à la SCOTT RC Pro poles.
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