Skimo Co

Les Batons d'Alain


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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
convert to ounces
201g [125]
225g [135]
Weight (pair) 402g [125]
450g [135]
Collapsed Length   N/A
Sections 1
Grip 70cm long extended foam
Basket & Tip 85mm powder baskets and 38mm mini baskets, carbide tip
Diameter 18mm just below the grip
Specs Verified Yes
Materials   7075 aluminum, EVA foam, polymer, carbide
Strap Sold separately
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

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Questions & Reviews

Question from nicholas j
What color is the 'dusk' color? If it's purple, I'd have to go with that over the flag francaise
Answer from nicholas j
never mind. the pic has been uploaded!
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Question from Ian
You guys getting more of the 125 cm length in stock? These look primetime!
Answer from Teddy Young
Hey Ian, thanks for reaching out! We likely won't see any more until the fall, but I've set up a notification so you'll get an email as soon as more arrive!
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dang3rtown (used product a few times)
I'm not sure these poles need anymore reviewing but what the heck, I'll throw my two cents in.

I picked these up because I'm sick of carbon poles and I'm sick of adjustable poles. Why adjust the length when you can just adjust your grip? I figure these are pretty affordable, why not give them a try?

Best. Poles. Ever.

They're much lighter than I thought they would be and the balance is really good. The grip is fantastic, I would compare it to the ESI grips for MTB. Just a nice and compressible foam that grips well even when wet. On my first tour with these I immediately adapted to just putting my hand wherever it felt natural. With the skinny top, flip them upside down and they eliminate a lot of the situation where I would have used the shaft of my ice axe.

They're so simple and versatile it's almost confusing at first.

There are two things I've had to get used to; the skinny top and the wide diameter shaft. As for the top, it's a lot smaller than I'm used to and it feels a bit awkward palming the top when I'm ascending or skating. With Dynafit, G3, etc. grips it feels like a mini cane handle I have and my hand struggles to find a secure grip in this position. It's also harder to flick my heel risers with these and I suspect it would be difficult to put a GoPro mount on as well if that's your thing.

As for the wider diameter shaft, this means it catches a LOT more wind. As tubes increase in diameter, they become far less aerodynamic. The first time I got hit by a gust of wind on top of a ridge I remembered this because I nearly lost them. Heads up, these things will sail on you if you're not careful.

I'm 5'8" and went with the 125cm and they're great although in retrospect, I should have gone with the 135cm length just to give me more options at no real expense or worry about fit. These are killer poles and you'll be glad you got them.
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Sam (used product regularly)
I love these poles and are one of my favorite pieces of gear. Being able to move your grip freely is a game changer. Super light, durable and just feels great in your hands. Plus they look really cool. I'm 5'7 and I'm happy with the 125cm length. I was worried they would be too long but they work fine. I originally ordered the 115cm length but they felt too short so I gave them to my wife who is 5'2 and she loves them. Shout out to Skimo Co for selling these!
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Question from Adrianna
Hi there! Will you be getting more of the multicolor (Rasta) poles anytime soon? Thanks!
Answer from Brett S
Thanks for your question, Adrianna. We are hoping to get more in, however, it isn't guaranteed we will this season. Please reach out to us at with what size you're after and we can sign you up to be notified when it is!
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Question from Hollie
What size would you recommend for me? I am 5’3” and do mostly resort and local glades but do make my way up to Mt Washington, NH every so often.
Answer from Julieana
Hey Hollie, I would recommend a 115cm length for you!
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Question from Gus

Could you tell me when you will be getting Les Batons d'Alain ski poles?
Answer from Patrick C

We are anxiously awaiting their arrival, but we do not have a definite date at this time. If you email us at we can set up a notification for you.
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Aaron O (used product regularly)
This was definitely a "what the heck" purchase but honestly these are the coolest new mountain tool I have used in the last 10 years. I am 5'9" and went with the 135s - I usually ski a long pole so this felt right on for me but others may prefer 125s. The immediate impression is that they are light and seemingly bomb proof. In use, one of the most interesting aspects of these poles is that one does tend to move the grip around during the descent, which was a new one for me (vs moving your hands around on the uphill) and really was kind of a game changer.

The one issue I will note is that the grips can get a little icy in certain conditions if you frequently put the poles in the snow upside down (for anchor, etc.), which is a great feature of this pole. So keep an eye on that.

But that is a niggle - these things are really a great tool for any season.
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miles randell (downright abused product)
Best ski touring/ski mountaineering poles I own. Variable grip for challenging terrain are easy. Lightweight. Warm and soft if you use them as a traction splint. Visible. They’re awesome. I added a small cordelette loop on each pommel for flipping heel lifts and they work really well!
Only downside was the carbide tip wore down quickly with summer mountain running, but I replaced them easily with BD tips and G3 baskets and I’ve had no issues since!
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Question from Sam F
Are you expecting to get any more 125cm poles this season?
Answer from Aaron O
I have the same question!
Answer from jbo
Hi Sam and Aaron, yes we are awaiting a delivery from Alain. I don't have a specific date yet, sorry!
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Ben (used product regularly)
I have always had a tendency to choke up on my poles when skiing and hiking. I've tried cycling bartape, athletic tape, and other measures to improve the grip but these poles are a huge improvement. When I first saw these I balked at the price, but they are such a pleasure to use I am very happy with the purchase and they are totally worth it.
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Justin G (used product a few times)
Just picked a set of these up. Used them for 2 decent tours (~3500ft) in the Tetons and a day at the resort . Clearly these are things I’ve been missing my whole life. I’m 5’9” and got the 125cm length, is perfect. Long enough for poling and skating out of approaches and exits, and plenty of grip for the steeps.
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David Miller (hasn't used product)
I suffer from carpal tunnel from skate ski wrist straps and it was impacting my work as a cartoonist of The Last Prophet Mohammed. Thankfully the Liberated French have come to my rescue with these strapless wonders. I can now enjoy the freedom of expression in the press and in the hills. Viva LA
Reply from jbo
This may be the best review on the site. It may also get us killed.
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Hayden (used product a few times)
To be completely honest, I was initially drawn to these poles because of all the hype that seems to surround them. In broken French that I asked Alain if he would send some to me in the states por favor, but unfortunately I found no success. Fast forward a couple yers and I see them pop up at my favorite ski shop, I just had to! But seriously these poles are really ergonomic and reasonably light (they seem quite durable as well). Shout out to for always bringing in the coolest niche-y ski gear. Get yourself a pair before they sell out!
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chris l (used product a few times)
I held off for a looong time from buying these poles... I really wanted them, but found other poles with similar grip stye for half the price.
I finally felt i could hold out no longer, after my G3 poles iced up on me on Mount Rainier, and OH BOY what a difference these poles make!

A buddy got a pair and after feeling how light these things actually are I pulled the trigger.
The foam grip is amazing, the finger grooves are far superior to the smooth or smaller grooved poles that i have been using.

I definitely recommend these poles.
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Question from Parker H
Any plans to sell singles to pair with my whippet?
Answer from Teddy Young
Thanks for reaching out, we are only selling these poles in pairs for the time being!
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Question from Cam
I've wanted these but concerned about sizing. I'm 6'1", am I am a 125cm or 135cm?
Answer from Teddy Young
Hey Cam, I might recommend the 135cm! Luckily, with the seemingly endless grip length, it's nearly impossible to go "too long".
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Question from Patrick T
I'm looking for 135cm but not super excited about the in-stock color options. What color combos are you expecting to receive this fall? Anything not pictured?
Answer from Brett S
Thanks for your question, Patrick. We should be receiving Red, Black, Brown, Grey, Italian Flag, French Flag, and Blue colorways in the 135cm length this upcoming fall. If you wish, we can sign you up to be notified when they arrive in stock. To do that, please give us a call or send us an email to Cheers!
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Question from Thomas Winkler
do you have the Alain de baton in the Blue/white/red? in 125cm. As shown on your picture. Thank you.
Answer from Cole P
Hey Thomas, we will be getting more Les Batons d'Alain this fall.
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Susan H (used product a few times)
After having mercilessly mocked Brian H all season for carrying jellybean-colored majorette batons, I came to the realization that I was just jealous and should probably try them before I continued to rag on them.

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.
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