Trekking Pole Guide

Did you know that we carry trekking poles? We are always surprised about how few climbers use trekking poles when heading into the alpine. It's easy to forget how much weight you will be dragging around on your next alpine adventure; a rope, rack, shoes, harness, helmet, snacks, and hydration always end up weighing WAY more than you want them to! Trekking poles are a fantastic way to help distribute all that load more evenly across your muscles and joints. I know what you are thinking, "Trekking poles?! Aren't those for old people??". It doesn't matter how old you are, any steep descent on loose rock with 40lbs of crap strapped to your back will do a number on your knees.

Trekking poles aren't just great for climbing adventures, they rock for trail runs, hikes, and snow activities like splitboard or snowshoe tours. Let's take a dive into fitting and feature differences!

We currently only carry Black Diamond's line of poles, so the poles we feature are theirs. This information applies to every brand of pole, so we tried to make this as helpful as possible!


As with most technical equipment, fit is the most important aspect when choosing a pair of trekking poles. Ideally, you want your elbows to form a 90º angle when standing with your poles on flat ground. Most poles fit a range of sizes, so pick the size that you fit in the middle of. It can be nice to shorten your poles when going uphill and lengthen them when coming back down.


Trekking poles are typically made of either carbon or aluminum. Click around to explore the pros and cons to both!


Most of what separates different trekking poles come down to these 4 features. Click on each category to learn more!