The trekking poles of yesteryear were pretty much glorified alpine ski poles, with no adjustability, shock absorption, or extra features. With the recent innovation in the world of trekking and fastpacking, however, the paradigm has flipped and now ski poles are taking their cues from the hiking world. Black Diamond's Alpine Carbon Cork WR poles mesh the two worlds together nicely with three-segment adjustability, swappable winter/summer tips, and an adapter on top of the handle to attach a Whippet or Alpine Whippet. The poles will shrink down small enough to stick on your pack for spring approaches on dry dirt, then expand up to 130cm for skinning up your objective. And when the snow melts away altogether and you're zipping around the high country in shorts, you can take the Alpine Carbon Cork poles with you for stability and impact protection while hiking, use it instead of a pole as part of your ultralight tent or tarp setup, and still attach a Whippet for booting across those lingering snowfields.
- Designed for dry-season hikes as well as winter exploits.
- Comes stock with a 38mm wide "trekking basket."
- For deep snow, add a 100mm powder basket for extra flotation.
- Swappable carbide and rubber tips allows versatility on the trail and the skintrack alike.
- Whippet-compatible for self-arrest usage, summer hikes across snowfields, or visits to the Chuting Gallery.
|Adjustable length at 61-130 cm (24-51 in)
Collapsed length at 63 cm (24.8 in)
|3-section 100% carbon fiber shaft
|Premium cork grip with soft touch ergonomic grip top and lined vari-width strap for better handling and security
|Basket & Tip
|Interchangeable carbide Tech Tips, 38mm Trekking Basket. Ski compatible ferrule will accept 100mm powder baskets for deep snow
|100% carbon fiber shaft
|Skimo Co Says
|Whippet ready grips
|Carbon fiber trekking pole and ready for Whippet attachments
|Compare to other Adjustable Ski Poles
Questions & Reviews
I would use it more heavily in the winter but would like something versatile enough for summer as well. I'm leaning towards this pole for the weight savings, is there any disadvantage to using the carbon cork pole as my daily driver in the winter? Are cork grips less suitable for snow? Or any other reason this would be better for spring touring but not winter?
The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork WR Pole is a great four season pole. Cork grips will work great during the winter months. Between the Expedition 3 and this pole, the primary difference is materials, as you eluded too. The Carbon in the Alpine will save a lot of weight, and is a stiffer material as compared with the Expedition 3.
One thing to mention, when carbon fails, it does so catastrophically, while aluminum may bend before breaking. In other words, an aluminum pole may allow you to limp out of the backcountry, while a carbon pole will require a few Voile Straps.
If you want a high performance 3 piece pole, I would go with the Alpine Cork Carbon. If you want a more budget friendly option, check out the Expedition 3.
The grip is super comfortable, either with or without gloves. The strap has some nicely detailed elements, and despite the Left<>Right label, works fine in either hand.
The weight is actually about two ounces lighter per pole than listed here (both according to my own measurements and the BD website). Although even lighter adjustable poles do exist, in return for such a small weight penalty, you’re gaining a max length that should be sufficient for skinning for all but very tall people, a minimum locked length that still allows good balance when booting up ~45-degree pitches, a foam extension below the grip for choking up, and minimal deflexion (especially as compared to many ultralight poles). Plus of course the Whippet compatibility.
What you don’t get are usable baskets for *any* type of snow. For spring and summer ski mountaineering baskets, I took some ancient BD 3/4 baskets and cut off the spokes, retaining the inner ring. Looks like you can do the same with the current BD Powder basket model.
What you also don’t get are any cost savings – definitely pricey! But especially when combined with the BD Alpine Whippet, this is such a perfect setup for spring and summer ski mountaineering, when you’re typically starting off with a dry hike, switching to skinning, then steeper skinning with ski crampons (lock in the Alpine Whippet), and finally some moderate-angle booting with boot crampons (with the Alpine Whippet as a reasonable substitute for an ice axe if you need only the self-arrest function, not self-belay).
Great question! Your order will indeed come with two poles.
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