Where is the locking expander relative to these breaks?
I just checked on mine, and by setting the good pole at about where I think I had it set Saturday, it looks as if the top of the locking mechanism was ~5"-6" below the break.
I saw many snapped carbon poles on the AT last year.
This is why, as I hiked on and ruminated over the break, I wondered about the suitability of UL CF hiking poles on trails as rocky and tree-rooted as I'm discovering East coast trails are vs where I've hiked in the past; Sierra Nevada, Grand Canyon and Pacific Northwest. Of course, if I'd read the manual(which hadn't occurred to me beforehand; I mean, they're trekking poles) I would've read:
We feel they are an appropriate balance between
weight and strength for people who are extremely committed to having the lightest weight
equipment. With that commitment comes the responsibility to potentially replace the poles more
often than heavier poles. Testing has confirmed that the poles, like any, are prone to breakage if
the tip gets lodged between rocks and you lever them forward. For this reason, we recommend
keeping the trekking baskets installed at all times, just to help prevent the tip from getting in tight
spots where breakage is likely.
My trekking basket were not in use when I broke the pole. Perhaps had I used them, the pole tip wouldn't have been stuck and I would've been able to drop the pole as I was able to with the right hand one.
When I took the poles out of the tube the first time and hefted them, my first thought was, "Wow, these are light" and my 2nd was "Man, I'm gonna have to be careful with these." As much as I'd like to believe GG and Tigoat have invented a magical process by which they can make CF poles that weigh half as much as my Black Diamond CF poles yet remain as strong, I know that's not possible. (Noting, again that this particular fall would've broken those poles and bent an aluminum pole likely beyond bend backable-ness)
I managed to complete my hike with the remaining pole with no problem, and I did lever it between rocks and roots a couple times(those baskets are on the poles and staying there for good from now on).
It's a lesson to practice more mindful hiking. My mind was wandering, I was walking without thought; if I'd stopped for a second, I'd have seen there was a route 5 feet to the right that was less steep and used that. Or I might've considered how slick they slope might be, and that there could be a slimy rock hidden under the leaf litter where I'd loose my footing.
I wasn't in the moment, focused on what I was doing; I was thinking about making miles, how far I could get and how fast.
Later in the hike, I was walking along, thinking about my lost pole and not where I was putting my feet; I managed to put my foot in a rock trap and as I stepped forward I levered my right leg again another rock. I was going slow, so I stopped with nothing more than an "ouch" but I had a brief flash of a snapped fibula, alone, out in the backcountry, late in the day, when the weather was likely going from bad to worse, keeping any other hikers that might find me at home. That would've been a lot worse situation than a broken LT4, and just as preventable by just being mindful of what I'm doing when I'm doing it rather than having my mind elsewhere.