For the last two years, Black Diamond Carbon Cork trekking poles (Company Link) have gone with me over 2000 miles. I broke one 2 years ago crossing Elliot Creek, Mt Hood Timberline Trail (REI replaced that one as it was brand new). They are light enough, the cork handles are great imho. I have used them from North Cascades to Crater Lake in rain, snow, hot weather and freezing rain. I also crossed 10 miles of 3-6 feet of snowpack on OR PCT in mid-July 2022. For me and my fast-hiking style, good trekking poles are essential gear.

Company’s description: “Our 100% carbon fiber trekking pole built to withstand four-season alpine terrain now features our newly redesigned FlickLock® Pro adjustable technology, which is lighter, more ergonomic and easier to use. The Carbon Cork’s namesake grip has also been updated with a soft touch grip top to provide a comfy feel, and the new solution strap draws from our innovative harness technology for a more secure fit.”

Mid-season this year, with a bottom of foot blister due to sand and ash working thru mesh-upper trail runner, I bent the tip on the left pole (the one with the extra duct tape); actually used as a crutch for 75 miles in some rocky scree on Mt Jefferson / 3 Finger Jack on to Mt Washington.

One would think that the bend wasn’t a big deal … but, it acted like a corkscrew when planted in the ground spinning my wrist a small distance – not painful, but not right either. Fixing it was necessary – or buying new.

Two trips to different REI stores (where purchased) to get advice about fixing helped none! In fact, I was told that they could not be repaired and I should just buy new ones. That did not sit right, so a quick trip to the Black Diamond website solved the issue. They have a full section of “Spare Parts” (LInk). The specific part was listed as $14.99 with $12.00 of shipping – beats the snot out of another $200 for new poles.

Black Diamond carbon replacement part

I now have 2 straight poles and a spare replacement part if one breaks (I also have a spare middle part that was found (aluminum) on trail.

Summary: I love these poles. They served me well and now that both are straight, and ready for another 1000+ mile season next year. I try to keep them extended to maintain the lock adjustments, and have only adjusted them 1x at the end of year 1. Like most gear, it’s personal. It needs to be felt, handled and ideally used on the trail before ‘keeping’. I recommend these to at least try … On the negative side, it was very disappointing that REI folks did not have sufficient knowledge to help here, and left me to my own devices.

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