View Full Version : Will Ski Poles Work ???

07-27-2011, 09:26
I am planning a 2 week section hike this fall and as I age, my knees seem to be getting older faster than the rest of my body. I've never used treking poles but the concept seems more appealing as I read this thread. My question is what length of pole works best for level travel. Is it dictated by a 90 degree bend at the elbow? I ski both downhill and telemark (longer poles) and have numerous sets of old poles that might work. The obvious issue that I see is that they will not collapse. I would assume that I would want to remove the baskets and perhaps cover the sharp points. Any thoughts???

07-27-2011, 09:41
I would think ski poles would work just fine. I've had people tell me "Hey, you lost your skis".
A 90 degree angle is what I use. I don't use the rubber covers on my points because I like the way the tips dig in. Never used ski poles so I'm not sure how sharp the tips are. Do love the extra support they give to my knees.

Rocket Jones
07-27-2011, 11:35
A friend showed up on a recent trip with ski poles. They worked fine for him, even though they were a little long.

SGT Rock
07-27-2011, 11:36
I've been hiking with ski poles for a while now. They don't collapse on you when you lest expected like trekking poles sometimes do.

07-27-2011, 13:29
Lots of hikers using ski poles....and you can get them at a thrift store for almost nothing.

07-27-2011, 14:07
Forgot my Leki's on a western hike and picke up some ski poles (or snow shoe?) poles to hike with that were cheap.
Worked fine except for the baskets. The ski poles had large multi-lobed baskets that caught on trailside grasses. Cut the baskets off and then I was fine.

07-27-2011, 14:21
We found hiking poles are easier on the arms than ski poles. I have used both, and prefer the hiking poles I picked up at Target because of the springs.

07-27-2011, 22:10
They're fine, I hiked with them for 10 years until my son found a pair of old Nordi Trek old walking poles, I've had those for hundreds of mles & they don't collapes now either : O ). B U & Have a Super Hike!

07-27-2011, 22:26
That's what I use, got several pair I bought at a Thrift Store. Most I paid was $5.00 per pair. Just cut off the basket and cut pole to fit your size! Works for me and they store on my Osprey pack (special lashes for them) when not needed.

07-28-2011, 14:57
I used old bamboo cross country ski poles. They are great and very durable. There is a picture in my gallery.

07-29-2011, 14:11
Simpler, lighter, stronger ... best when they are two to four inches shorter than your downhill ski poles.

Stats 2012
07-29-2011, 22:38
Ski poles have worked fine for me, and I don't mind the askance looks I get. However, I switched to Leki Ergo Cork collapsible poles for my thru because I figure they would make those hitch-hikes into town easier. And when you have to make a hand-over-hand climb the collapsible poles store nicely in your pack.

Jack Tarlin
07-30-2011, 00:18
Ski poles will certainly help, tho I suspect actual trekking poles, especially top of the line ones, with interior shocks, etc. will work better.

That being said, and since this is a thread about poles, I just want to say a quick hello and a big thank you to Chris Hall, a great friend of the hiking community, who just this week ended a 25-year career as the Southeastern representative for Leki. Many of you got your first stix ever from Chris, or perhaps learned how to properly use the ones you had. I know of literally hundreds of thru-hikers who met Chris early in their hikes (very frequently at Neels Gap) and who benefitted from his kindness, advice, patience, and expertise. I'm sure there are hundreds of Whiteblazers who've had their stix cleaned or expertly repaired for free by Chris and his great crew at Trail Days over the years. In any case, the thru-hiker world has had fewer better friends, and Leki was very lucky to have him for so long!
Best of luck Chris with all your future endeavors!!

Spirit Walker
07-30-2011, 12:51
We used to use ski poles all the time. The only reason we switched to Lekis was we started hiking far from home and collapsible poles are easier to take on an airplane.