Black Diamond Whippet self-arrest poles are an option.
To the OP: poles are handy to necessary in steep terrain and in deep, fresh snow, especially when breaking trail. And big baskets are a boon in new snow as well.
In spring, once snow's consolidated I can get away without them so long as it's relatively flat. But again, for stream crossing, snow bridges, skirting tree holes, that "third leg" can be the difference between getting through and getting hurt.