Trekking Poles….

It has been suggested that I get some Trekking poles for when I do the GR20.

I tried some out many years ago but only for a short time as I just did not like them.

Its a mental thing with me as I like to have my hands free to keep my balance when needed.

I tried clip in shoes on my mountain bike for along time but I never got on with them either, I fell off my bike so many times , a good laugh for people with me but very sore for me.

So now I am wondering should I get some poles, maybe I would like just one but would two be better ??

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8 thoughts on “Trekking Poles….

  1. sally

    Foxy …not long now till your off on your coast to coast walk……hope all goes well.

    JR Thanks for visiting my blog, and leaving a comment , looks like I will be getting some poles although I am still not quite convinced !!

  2. JR

    Hi Sally,

    It seems the consensus is trekking poles! I will whole heartedly agree.

    My wife and I have done a lot of hiking, and for me the poles are invaluable.
    Your knees will thank you and yes, while traversing that stream, you’ll have a better chance of staying dry!

    all the best…

  3. Foxy

    Hi Sally, I’ve the Leki Poles and deciding whatever to take the one or two poles. Pros & cons, with 2 poles better walking balance, with 1 pole better swing. Also with 2 poles, tricky on ascent and descent inwhich case better on the flat. Looks like it’s 1 pole for the Coast to Coast, less weight.

  4. sally

    Great info Lay thank you very much…looks like i will be getting some poles with carbide tips. Ready to try out in Les Gets on 18th May.

  5. Lay

    Sally, the vast majority of people we met on the GR20 were using poles. I guess it comes down to personal preference but I would say they are worth their weight on this route in particular.

    I used mine for 90% of it – stowing them on my pack for the Cirque de la Solitude scramble and on wobbly suspension bridges when I needed to grip the cable handrails. On occassions they were passed up or down to a partner on short rocky steps to keep the hands free to scramble. To me there are two main benefits from the use of poles:

    1. Reducing the load bearing (they claim up to 30%) on the knees on long downhill sections for example the four hour descent to Vizzavona – and for this to work you really need two poles.

    2. Stability – mountain goats have four legs for a reason – we unfortunately have only two and a high centre of gravity especially with a pack. For me poles come into their own when you’re on moderate slopes (30 degrees) – for example the sloping Spasimata Slabs can be greasy and are unprotected without a cable for the most part – in the dry you can simply trust your boots to “stick” to the rock – but given the drop if you slip you may find poles give you extra confidence. Given the low angle of the slope here the hands option will see you on all fours! (Not elegant but s

    They do take some getting used to on rough terrain and you have to be particularly careful with your pole placement on boulder fields – I would advise that you take your hands out of the wrist loops on such terrain as a stumble can result in a broken wrist and not just a bent pole!

    It may be worth taking some zinc-oxide tape in your first aid kit as with constant use you may develop blisters on your fingers – I get a hot spot on the top joint of my index finger and a bit of tape can stop that developing into a blister.

    For the record I use Leki Ultralite Titanium poles and Ali has Black Diamond expedition aluminium ones which have a neat flex lock mechanism. Carbon fibre are lighter still but more prone to snap rather than flex – or so I understand. (I have no experience of them)

    Apologies for the length of this comment but I thought you would appreciate the info (but its only one man’s perspective)…

  6. Ellee

    I never know if I prefer a stick or not. But Geoff is the expert, if he says you need them, then I suggest you go along with it, though it will feel strange for a while.

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