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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Can you open your mind? A2.16 Pro Trailer, Mountian Pole!

All the pictures are courtesy of and stolen from the various web site and links.  My apologies for the blatant theft of the photos.  I hope the bog post generates some additional sales for all involved.  I think it is a very worthy concept.

Please pardon what might first seem a duplicate of the prior post.  But I thought the original idea was worthy of  more info/study and consideration.  I first saw these unique ski poles being used by a Guide in a trip report skiing in and around the Chamonix valley.

you can source them here:

"Necessity is the mother of invention",  Plato 400 BC
I suspect not every ones cup of tea.  But I like simple.  I really like simple if it allows you more options in the mountains.  For the most part I had ditched my wrist loops a while ago.  Seems like a hassle to take them on and off and easy enough to snag them unwantedly.   Always a hassle where to stash  your poles securely if you need to climb with both hands, use ice tools or rap.  Stashing a pole on steep terrain depends on the quality of the snow generally.  Not having a grip or a basket can make that much easier if required.  Just stick them in grip first.   Also good to check for the errant crack in the glacier, snow bridge or just the last rain layer in the snow pack with a quick poke or two.  Just having the multiple hand positions in any direction might well be the biggest advantage.  Side hill skin  tracks come to mind off hand.   Not the most obvious improvement on a ski pole but might be just the help with ski poles in the mountains most of us could use.

Offered in a 125cm and a 115cm version

I had a pair of 125cm Scott poles sitting here that I wasn't using.  Thought this would be a fun home work shop project.   Might as well see if all the ideas I mentioned previous make sense in the mountains this winter.  Or it is just another gimmick invented by those ever  pesky Chamonix Guides and Ski Instructors :-)

One pair of ski poles.  Length your decision.  I started with a new pair of 125cm poles and added 10cm to them.  Factory offerings ate 125cm and 115cm.  My guess is others sizes can had in Chamonix.  No clue if that is actually true however.

Wood dowel the same diameter or slightly bigger than the inside of your ski pole if you want to add length to the pole.

A full roll of bike handle bar tape. (half a box)

A role of Temflex 2155 rubber tape (Petzl ice tool grip tape)

Popped off the grips in short order.  Cut the dowel into two 20cm pieces.  Rounded the tip that will show  in a lathe with a file.  Hate to loose an eye from those sharp wooden edges :)  Not really required obviously.

Added some wood glue and pounded the dowels into the pole 10cm.
Wiped up the resulting mess of wood glue.

125cm poles are now 135cm poles

Covered the rounded wood end piece with some a "cross" of rubber tape leaving a little rubber knob for a little added security.  Wrapped the dowel section with rubber tape to get the same diameter as the pole. 

Bike bar tape on and ready to go on
Finished product..good to go.  I ended up adding two layers of bike tape and covered a full 70cm of the pole.  Grip diameter is 26mm on top with two layers of bar tape tapering to 22mm and a single layer of bar tape.

Picked a cool bike bar tape color to match the ski pole :)  Taped it up and finished with white electrical tape.  Presto!  Cool,  new,  very funky 135cm "mountaineering pole".  I'm rocking!  

Took all of an hour once I had all the parts in hand.

I don't see these being my everyday ski pole skiing here in the Cascades.  It will be  a pole I use in the BC however.  The more technical the ground the more likely I will take and use this pole.   I could see it as a very useful tool skiing  in an area like Chamonix.   If I were ski guiding again...I'd own a pair.     I'd have  bought a pair from  the inventor if they were available in North America.  2nd place is better than nothing at all was my thought.

Translation from the web site:

"Pole is a single tube with a long grip without leashes, specifically designed for all pedestrian activities: walking, trail, snowshoe etc.
Popular with free riders and the free stylers, ski monitors and ski instructors, including for education to children. 
Designed, tested, and manufactured in the valleys of the massif of Mont Blanc by a company with the ISO 14001 environmental certification. European Patent No. 2022546 A2.16 Pro trailer sticks are official partners of the Ecole Nationale de Ski and mountaineering (E.N.S.A.).  The National ski and mountaineering school relies, to carry out its missions, on a dense network of economic partners.
Ribbed handle: 70 cm
Synthetic red EVA foam midsole.
Diameter: 22 to 26 mm.  (FWIW mine came out at 22mm with one wrap of tape/26mm with two wraps, so I tapered mine @ 17" on a 27" (70cm)  grip surface.)
Soft and comfortable, in which fingers go slightly into material for have a good outfit without clenching.
To position naturally and freely his hands according to the gradient of the land and habits.
Better balance and better propulsion.
The hands are never in contact with the tube. Good behaviour, no cooling. Comfort.
One can easily run with sticks horizontally. The centre of gravity is covered by foam. Comfort.
You can easily block sticks under the arms without slipping to momentarily free both hands. Comfort and security.
You can quickly take 2 sticks in one hand for a handrail for example. The sticks remain supportive. Safety, comfort and freedom of movement.
Can let go sticks instantly in case a tip sticks in the soil or in case of fall. Security.
Sticks under the shoulder straps of the pack quickly to free both hands.  The poles do not slip. Security.

Lighter, stronger, more reliable, more homogeneous in its deformation,
Functional 100% and can rely on the descent.

Red, interchangeable, by simple screwing and unscrewing:
a small 38 mm for dry land, weight 6 g
a larger 80 mm for snow, weight approx. 17 g.

Tungsten carbide

7075 aluminium anodized.

A reflective tape for the safety of users at night.
Innovative and original design distinguish the PTO of everything that exists on the market.
Cheerful colors, grips, tips and washers are assorted.
Subsequently other colours are planned, black, orange, blue, etc. As well as special series with a marking on the foam.

-The PTO of 125 cm is suitable for people measuring more than 165 cm.
-Sticks lend themselves easily: no more problem of size.
-No vibration
-Size: 125 cm"


Anonymous said...

Hi Dane. Those poles are great. About two seasons ago, they were everywhere in Cham. Now you can still find them in the shops, and you see the odd guide, climber of skier heading up with them. I ordered a pair in 125 from the Montagne shop. They were light and comfortable, and had a much more secure and pleasing feel than the other lightweight options, like two or three section carbon poles. Unfortunately, they were too short for me. My understanding is that they only make the two lengths. Last time I was in Cham, I saw some other long, padded, single aluminum poles, but nothing as clean and simple as the A2.16. If they fit your body and use, they are great.

john said...

I don't know if I'm ready to expand my pole quiver too, but it's an interesting looking idea. How well do you think the bike tape will hold up to being hammered through some crusty snow.

Dane said...

Bike tape? Better durability than you might first think. A buddy of mine used it on his ice tools. Lasted a couple of seasons no problem. I wouldn't have believed it without seeing it first. With even a little care I suspect it will be fine on the poles and easily go a season or more. I am a big fan of the rubber tape. I am going on 4 or 5 years with my Nomic wrap. But it seemed too sticky to leave uncovered if I wanted to stick the poles under my pack straps. Fun to add some color to the project as well. If all else fails easy to rip off the tape, (its not as easy as you might think btw bar tape sticks to the rubber tape) pull the wood dowels and back to a pair of 125cm ski poles. No harm, no foul. Cost me $30 and an hour of time all in. Figured it would be something fun to try.

Anonymous said...

Black Crow, a Chamonix ski company already makes poles like this and they have been available for a couple of years nad are used by a couple of their sponsored skiers.
Nothing new here!

Dane said...

Black Crow was mentioned when I asked, "who made "this" pole?" I was the A2.15 pole I had posted a picture of. My impression was A2.16 was the original pole of this style. But I could easily be wrong. Nice that Black Crow has something similar and offers a wide range of sizes with the FURTIS pole. Not new in Europe obviously but something I had not seen in the US. May be others have.

brian p. harder said...

Funny, the "anonymous" comment sounded so dismissive. Likely a Euro and, as such, I would agree that it isn't Europe. But for Americans who've not been to the Alps, this is quite new and should be considered. I'm a convert.

Dane said...

Not seen all that often in Europe either from what I could tell. When people stop and take pictures of and quetion you about your choice in poles on the Haute Route at their guide's request...obviously not everyone has seen them.

das lauferei said...

The first time I've seen the A2.16 poles had been when I did the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. I was instantly smitten by their simplicity and variety of grip positions.

Still running with my Black Diamond Z-Poles, I'm going to get a pair of A2.16's soon.

Thanks for a great article, btw! :-)