Hiking Half Dome? Use trekking poles

The subject of hiking poles comes up a lot. Specifically, what kind to get? Most people realize the value poles provide when coming down the Half Dome hike. They save your knees coming down. I do not do the hike –or any hike longer than an hour with hills – without them.

The best, name-brand poles can cost up to $150. Occasionally, I hear that the Big Box stores sell a line for $15-18. Costco for $25.  Hmmm.  That’s way cheaper than name poles. Hey, I can’t tell you what to spend your money on. Honest –  poles do help.

If the econo-poles work for you then you made a good purchase. I find that “you get what you pay for.” At $18 do you think they will last? Dunno. They ar often Asian-made with low grade steel that will rust out or fail when you need them most. Putting your body weight on them to break a fall is not a time to save a few bucks. Serious injury can occur. Many times I have slipped on loose gravel, and would have hit the deck if I didn’t have my poles to catch me.

 Leki is the market leader with Black Diamond, and a couple others also available. So what justifies the higher price? Here are some of the differences.

*  Guaranteed for life
*  Strong aluminum, carbon or titanium shafts
*  Spring loaded to dampen impact.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “In the velvet darkness, of the blackest night, burning bright. There’s a guiding star; no matter what or who you are.” – Rocky Horror Picture Show
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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One Response to Hiking Half Dome? Use trekking poles

  1. Dean says:

    I was a convert to poles back in 2011 when I used them for first time hiking Clouds Rest from the valley.

    Was able to use them like a bannister on the way up and to take the load off my knees on the way down. Leki for me worth every penny…rather than resting the next day I was hiking again.

    My tip is to sort out how you will stow your poles for scrambling sections or in the case of Half Dome, the cables. Check they will fit and stay secure in your pack before you go.

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