Touring poles – what makes them special
what makes them special
High quality ski touring poles share many characteristics of good alpine poles. These include an ergonomic grip, an adjustable strap that ideally triggers in the event of a crash and can thus prevent a “ski thumb”. Furthermore, a stable, light shaft, the length of which is adapted to the rider. The length is easy to determine: Place the touring pole in normal grip position approx. 40 cm in front and approx. 10 cm to the side of the body, then the arm should be at a 90° angle. Since the tip normally sinks into the snow, allow for an additional 5 cm. For ski touring you need a large basket which will not sink in in loose and deep snow. Particularly when going uphill and in technically demanding passages, there is sometimes a lot of pressure on the pole. Of course, the size of the basket does not play such a big role on piste ski tours. We recommend using ski touring poles with adjustable length, which can be adapted to the terrain, especially when traversing.
In addition, many ski tourers find it pleasant if the poles are about 5-10 cm longer when ascending than when descending. One-piece poles made of extra light material score points especially in racing and fitness touring with low weight. Touring poles have a rubber coating underneath the grip, which makes non-slip gripping possible even in these areas. On steep crossings, such an anti-slip coating is worth its weight (as with the Völkl Touristick, for example). Finally, it should also be mentioned that ski tourers sometimes go without the strap. Studies have shown that the pole with basket acts like an anchor and people with their hands in the loops were found buried deeper in an avalanche. (Link to “Why you should use your touring poles without a loop”)