Black Diamond Z Poles Changed my World

Jay Smith crossing a steam in Indian using Black Diamond Z poles for balance

Kitty’s husband, Jay, using Kitty’s Black Diamond Z poles to cross a stream in India” ©Kitty Calhoun.

Back in the day,

as a young, pure minimalist climber, I scoffed at mountaineers using trekking poles.

“Why buy poles, much less carry them into the mountains, if I have strong legs?” I thought.

Then, during one particularly shameful trip to the mountains, my attitude towards poles changed quickly.

It all started on the approach

when a swollen stream barred our way to base camp. Rapidly melting snow almost completely submerged all the boulders with raging water. In high alpine terrain above tree-line, there were no tree branches to make into makeshift poles.  Sheepishly, I accepted my partner’s pole when she handed it back to me after crossing.

Later, high on the mountain while breaking trail through unconsolidated snow, I swallowed my pride again and used her pole to push up through each collapsing step.

But, the way down was what tipped me. Loaded with a full pack, my partner used her pole for support and balance to make light work of the tedious, quad-burning descent.

This made me so jealous, I got my own: Black Diamond Z Trekking poles.

Now I take my Z poles with me all the time. I take them on backcountry ice climbs, mountaineering trips, rock climbs with long approaches, long hikes and mountain runs.

My favorite Black Diamond Z poles are the Distance Z Trekking/Running Poles. I love these poles because they break down to fit in my duffle bag. They are light, durable and easily adjustable. They are also the most affordable of the Black Diamond Z poles. Even better, they’ve been upgraded with Slide Lock technology. Slide Lock Technology makes them easy to adjust and increases the strength of the joint support by 30%.

Now I smile at the young minimalists on the trail without poles. And, I wonder what they’ll experience before I see them back on the trail equipped with a new pair of Black Diamond trekking poles.

And, now, although I can’t support my local retail shop, I can still support Black Diamond.  Right now, they are offering free shipping on any order over $50.

1 reply
  1. Annie Hughes
    Annie Hughes says:

    In my 66th year of life, I never embark on any adventure or day trip without poles. I have great knees so it’s not that or any aging joint problem, but rather to avoid getting aging joints, tweaks, sprains, or tendonitis. Also they are valuable for unexpected trail conditions or high water. They can be useful in self rescue and wilderness first aid situations. Walking with poles maintains arm strength and avoids blood pooling in the hands during long days hiking.


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