11.30.2013

Ode to the Ski Poles


Backcountry still-life, Beehive Basin
Skis long gone, poles remain



Like many avid skiers in Bozeman, I try to extend my ski season as long as possible each year.  With skiing working its way into my life most months of the year, it is little wonder that ski gear takes up a good bit of space in my garage and closets. Much time is spent researching and talking about gear with friends, and it is with pleasure I dream of the newest, lightest backcountry binding, sing the praises of my favorite pair of skis, find the perfect pack that I intend to have forever. The list goes on and on.



At the same time, certain pieces of gear are essential to the backcountry ski experience but seldom do I excitedly purchase them or rave about them to my ski partners. Thus is the life of the ski pole.  While it is certainly possible to ski without poles, epic days in the backcountry always happen with poles in hand.



I had never given thought to my ski poles until recently. As I got them out of the garage for the first ski tour of the year, I realized that I have become attached to them. If I lost them, I’d be bummed. The aforementioned poles are a pair of mismatched Black Diamonds about seven or eight years old. The green one came first followed by the orange one a year later.