Review: Black Diamond Traverse

They had a good run, those old Life-Link backcountry poles I picked up from the Huffine shop back in 2001. But it was finally time to upgrade, and I chose the Black Diamond Traverse.

Boy, what an improvement—they’re lighter, stronger, and get this: the adjustment lock actually works! No more twisting in vain and cursing in anger; one thumb-flip of the FlickLock mechanism and they open wide for adjustment; another and it’s snapped tight, slip-free, no matter how hard I reef on it. These poles feel as stout as my alpine setup, with ergonomic grips, oversized powder baskets, and sharp points for confidence and stability in icy conditions.

My favorite feature, though, is one I never would have thought of: a rubber grip below the handle, for choking up while side-hilling in the skin track. Nice touch, BD.

Available at Grizzly Outfitters. $90;