67330FR Black Diamond Trail Shock Jenn K.
- Jan 4, 2011Here is my FR for editing. Thank you in advance for the edits.
The HTML can be found here:
Bryce and Zion National Parks, Utah: The Trail Shock poles were used here on day and evening hikes for a total of 3 days of the trip. The temperatures ranged from the 50's F (11 C) to the mid 30's F (2 C). The weather was not ideal for hiking as it was windy, raining, hailing, and there was even some snow.
Mt. San Jacinto State Park, California: A one night backpacking trip, camping at an elevation around 9,000 ft (2,750 m) on the snow. The low temperature was in the 20's F (-7 C).
Southern California: Day hikes in Cleveland National Forest after the recent flooding. There was no precipitation on these hikes/outings, but there were many stream crossings. I also used the Trail Shock Poles on day and evening hikes in Limestone and Red Rock Canyon. The temperatures were in the mid 40's F (4 C) to the low 50's F (10 C).
Finally saw some sunshine in Bryce Canyon, Utah
Performance in the Field
Over the past three months the Trail Shock Poles were used in Southern Utah and Southern California. On my first outing with the Trail Shock Poles in Limestone Canyon I was fiddling with the height of the poles and the FlickLocks. The tension was perfect on the FlickLocks and I had no difficulty opening or closing them, even with my injured left thumb that is slowly recovering.
While in Utah the weather was not ideal. There was flash flooding, large amounts of rain, hail, wind, and some snow. That did not stop us from getting out and enjoying nature. However, the trails were icy and muddy. I was glad to have trekking poles with me on that trip as I was sliding on the trail. The Trail Shock poles preventing me from falling several times and they also helped me high step over rocks and mud without a loss of balance.
The Navajo Loop trail in Bryce Canyon was a complete mess. There was lots of mud and rocks were falling down. Lucky for me, I was the last person up the Wall Street trail that day; except for the forest service workers that were closing the trail at the bottom. I was surprised that when the Trail Shock Poles were placed in mud or when I had pressure on them to prevent myself from falling; they did not collapse. But, walking down the trail on the ice and the rocks I felt vibration. I was surprised to feel the vibration in the poles since I thought the Control Shock Technology would help alleviate it. However, I will say that there is less vibration than some of the other poles I have used. While hiking up and down the muddy trails, I was trying to feel the Control Shock Technology working. With a normal stride and amount of pressure on the poles I really could not feel any compression from the shock. When I pressed down hard when hiking over large fallen rocks or while preventing myself from sliding I could feel the shock compress slightly. When the shock compressed and pressure was let off, there was a gentle rebound. After my Utah trip the poles had mud caked on them, but it was easily cleaned off by using a cloth and some hot water.
I got to use the Trail Shock Poles in the snow, and honestly I could not feel any compression from the shock absorber. I used Black Diamond Snow Baskets (not included) on the poles for the trip to San Jacinto State Park and they helped prevent my poles from sinking into the snow. The snow baskets were easily interchanged with the existing small baskets. Threading both types of baskets on and off the poles was a breeze.
I found the grips to be comfortable and I really like the extension grips. The extension grip prevents me from having to adjust the poles while hiking up steep inclines. The grips are "grippy" and my hands felt secure (no sliding) while holding on to the poles with or without gloves. I found it just takes a few seconds to adjust the wrist straps to use the poles with or without gloves.
Things That Rock:
Ease of adjustment
Things That Are So-So:
This concludes my field reporting of the Black Diamond Contour Trail Shock Trekking Poles. Thank you Black Diamond and backpackgeartest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test the Trail Shock Poles. Check back in early March to see how these trekking poles are performing in the field.
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