Killing Trekking Poles

27Jul10_West_Glacier_IMG_0232I really love my Leki Makalu carbon trekking poles, but I have killed my second pair in four years.  I really believe that the first pair was defective, as it broke in a place where it should not have broken and there was very little pressure put on the pole at the time it broke.  I sent that pair back to REI, and they refunded my money (and I ordered another pair) without issue.  The breakage of this pair, however, was my fault, so I will not be sending them back. 

On to my Monday night hike.  Last night we left the house at 1730 for a late afternoon hike of the West Glacier Trail in Juneau, AK.  This trail is about 1.5 miles from our house, so we are usually there 4+ times per week.  Well, not this summer, but in previous summers anyway.  My ankles were somewhat sore from Saturdays and Sundays ankle twisting incidents, but nothing serious.  The trip up the trail took 1 hour 12 minutes, which is a nice speed.  West Glacier Trail is approximately 7 miles round trip, has a total ascent of 1338 feet where we stop. 

The trail is an easy trail with a few exceptions comprising mostly of slippery rocks and a couple of high steps.  There are drop offs, some very steep and high, but you are mostly surrounded by vegetation.  We arrived at what I call the “false” top when the sun had already gone behind Mt. McGinnis. 

The first picture is of the valley, and Mt. McGinnis on the right.  The second picture is of the Mendenhall Glacier, as is the third picture.

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We “observed nature” for a few minutes, and then strolled down the mountain.  I suppose I was not paying attention as to where I was placing my feet, so my left foot decided it was a good idea to step off the trail.  This caused my left foot to slip down the slope, and me to lunge forward and to the right so I would not fall off the trail and tumble down the mountain (again).  I did a fairly good job of staying on the trail, but my arm landed on my trekking pole, breaking it as seen in the first image.  A few scrapes on my right leg, both arms, and some neck pain was my punishment for not paying attention.  The rest of the hike went rather well.

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Like I said, I love(d) my Leki carbon poles.  I have another pair of aluminum Leki’s, which are OK, and I have a nice pair of Black Diamonds, which I do not like at all.  The Leki’s seemed to have a different vibration to them that I found not distracting, and that is different from other poles.  It also seemed that they were easier to swing forward than other poles.  So, I will probably use my other poles for the rest of the summer, and order another pair of carbon poles when winter arrives.

Today is a rest day, as I have work to do.  Tomorrow is either West Glacier again, or if it is clear, I was thinking of either doing Granite Creek to Mt. Juneau, or going up to Gold Ridge.  Or maybe, taking my bike to the Herbert Glacier – always a nice ride.

Weekly Totals:

Hiking mileage:  13.5

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