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Black Diamond Whippet pole
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Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Black Diamond Whippet pole on 02/15/2010 22:19:25 MST Print View

Any body use this pole.I'm taking a class on winter skills through winter Ned and he recommends this pole for self arrest.It will be used in conjunction with another hiking pole while snowshoeing and therefor always in my hand.What do you all think. Is it strong enough for self arrest? Should I just get a real ice axe.I'm not going to be on a glacier any time soon. Is the pick on this thing sharp and/or made out of metal?I weigh 230lbs and I want to stop if I'm sliding down a slippery slope.Anyone ever use one of these things. they seem pretty cool.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Black Diamond Whippet pole on 02/15/2010 22:34:21 MST Print View

It's legit. Ski mountaineers use them. And it's not a replacement for a real ice axe in some situations.

There are some obvious advantages to them though. Namely, as hikers who push the limits, we often are on snow slopes that carry slip potential. But many of those slopes aren't the type of situation for taking the ice axe off the pack. Another advantage is that the whippet is your self arrest tool, and you're still getting the stability from the trekking pole.

I think it's a smart move to have a real ice axe on your pack, even if you've got a whippet in tow. But whippets alone are pretty dang good. For me, their a key tool.

One serious concern though is impaling yourself with the pick. I trip over my trekking poles every once in a while. I'm not looking forward to getting the pick in my leg or chest!

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
... on 02/15/2010 22:56:50 MST Print View

its good, would not wear bulky mitts with it where I could louse grip on it but otherwise very good.
Only advantage my Raven has is the ability to plunge well (basket stops this).

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Black Diamond Whippet pole on 02/15/2010 23:03:51 MST Print View

Whippets are on sale at right now. No personal comments to add regarding them, just pointing it out.

Morgan Rucks
(rucksmtr) - F
... on 02/23/2010 17:45:54 MST Print View

josh, when you taking the class i would be into doing it with you.

Wyatt Hanks

Locale: Red Desert
self arrest poles on 02/25/2010 21:09:10 MST Print View

I just ordered a pair of Grivel Condor self arrest poles for ski mountaineering. They are slightly heavier and more expensive than the whippet (and much harder to find now that they aren't sold in the US), but the blade folds down and away when you're not using it and thus makes it the best of both worlds.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
self-arrest poles on 02/25/2010 21:19:11 MST Print View

What are you trying to accomplish?

If you are skiing, then you want ski poles. If you are going to be on very steep slopes, then you want ski pole handles with self arrest blades. If you are skiing when you start to slide, you don't have any time to get out a different tool, like a real ice axe.

If you are not skiing, then you are on foot. You may be using trekking poles for support, or maybe not. You may be walking with a real ice axe. If you are on foot when you start to slide, then you have only that trekking pole or that ice axe to stop yourself. An ordinary trekking pole is better than nothing, but not much better. A long-shafted ice axe would be best.

I remember a 2100-foot descent one time. It took only nine minutes with perfect use of a perfect ice axe.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Black Diamond Whippet pole on 02/25/2010 21:43:04 MST Print View

Whippet also on sale at Black Diamond's website for about $79 with free conus shipping:

Wyatt Hanks

Locale: Red Desert
ski/trekking on 02/26/2010 07:51:11 MST Print View

Wait, there's a difference between ski poles and trekking poles?

Remember that if you try to climb with self arrest poles (using them like an ice axe, it pulls you in closer to the slope and you'll be off balance. In this situation you want a real ice axe to keep you climbing more upright. Just get a camp corsa, its only 7 ounces.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
poles on 02/26/2010 08:23:06 MST Print View

"Wait, there's a difference between ski poles and trekking poles?"


Oddly enough, ski poles are intended for use on snow, and trekking poles are intended for use on dry ground.

For one thing, ski poles have a basket, and trekking poles typically have no basket or else a micro-basket at most. With X-C ski poles, your hand either relaxes from the grip or leaves the grip altogether on each stride. With trekking poles, your hand never relaxes.

Trekking poles are typically of a length from your elbow to the ground. X-C ski poles are typically from your armpit to the ground, although some are adjustable.