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All Poles Are Not Created Equal

All Poles Are Not Created Equal

By Maureen Drummey
posted: 08/14/2001

They may not be the sexiest part of your ski setup, but these six sticks are worth a double take.

1 MORE THAN LOOKS It may look like the most girly pole in town, but Life-Link's Avalanche Lily ($100) is no airhead. Adjustable for skiing or trekking, it converts to a 74-inch avvy probe and also packs to 30 inches.

2 NEW ENGLAND-STYLE Scott's composite construction and ice tip grant the A-12 ($110) conviction on even cementlike surfaces. The contoured grip is anatomically engineered to give a...well, a glove-like fit.

3 SLEEK, BUT STRONG Goode's 10.4 ($85) might be just 10.4 mm thick, but it provides six times greater strength-to-weight ratio than an aluminum equivalent.Its two baskets are easily interchangeable for powder or packed conditions.

4 UPHILL OR DOWN Should you find yourself hoofing it, Black Diamond's Fixed Length Pole ($80) gives you extra purchase. The basket's downward-facing teeth bite the snow, while the dual-density grip means solid control when planting.

5 OVERDRIVE Doesn't it even look fast? K2's 5-speed ($100) is made with 10 strands of carbon, keeping it honest, light and dependable. Burnin' Yellow has a narrower grip for women, but the 5-speed comes in blue or silver for men.

6 SHAKE DON'T BREAK Salomon's Scream ($90) is disco-sleek and ready to boogie. The fiberglass/carbon composite offers strength and forgiveness. It won't sing I Will Survive, but no big loss.


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