I wrote this post on the 10th of January this year, and I can finally stick it up as Mountain King have gone public here. After six months use the skinny poles survived the abuse of many trail miles, the accidental application of my full body weight, being lobbed over scrambling sections and having some mild curvature installed into them…
I’m looking forward to getting to grips with a production pair.
I see I’ve also been outed for testing the poles on one of Bobs podcasts from Friedrichshafen. Jump over to the Outdoors Station and check out his extensive coverage of all the new stuff for the next year.
Those ultra thin poles you might have see me using and have garnered much interest are an exciting development prototype from British company Mountain King.
The Trail Blaze poles are 10mm thick, they’re 1250mm long when assembled for use, pack to 320mm and weigh around 100g each in this prototype form.That’s light indeed.
Originally designed for adventure racing, I think they’ll find their home with anybody who goes lightweight in the outdoors and doesn’t have to spend all day propping themselves and their huge 20kg+ pack up on a pair of trekking poles.
On the trail and and on the mountains they’re ideal. The kinda nordic walking-esque style you adopt, ie pole placement to your rear and the slight flex make them smooth, comfortable and easy to use with a natural gait. None of the usual haphazard clac clak click cluk we’re used to hearing in concert with laboured breathing.
Carrying them on your pack for the scrambling sections isn’t exactly an ordeal at that weight and packed size. They also assemble and break down for stowing in a flasht.
You do have to adjust your approach to pole use a little, but that’s easy to do.
I’ve got them on exclusive long term test and they’re looking very good. I’ll keep you posted.