I finally took the Trail Blaze poles for a proper outing on Saturday – 12 miles or so over Kinder Scout…

I carried them on the pack for the first 2 or 3 miles – incredibly light and easy to stow – then tried them for ascending via Jacob’s Ladder – and reminded myself of the extra power a pair of poles can deliver!
After that they were used until we were back down to tarmac at the end of the trip, and they proved excellent, especially for rock hopping when the path back from Kinder Downfall took to the river channel.

Anyway, some observations:
– you notice a slight vibration from the sections as you place them at first, but soon become oblivious to it and learn to trust in their strength
– they flex noticeably more than traditional pole designs but again you soon forget about this and just use them!
– an interesting spring effect if you bury the tip in soft ground as you almost leave it behind, then the cord stretches, and then they retract back into your hand – odd but not a problem.

All of these are just comments, not criticisms, but they serve to highlight that in some respects the Trail Blazes are unlike any other pole I’ve used, while in the important respects they are just the same in that they do everything I’d want and expect from a pole!

So I’m proclaiming them a great success. As a part-time pole user I think they’ll see far more action than any of my more traditional poles – all of them are very good in their way but the Trail Blazes are strong enough, good enough, and simply so much smaller and lighter when they on my back rather than in my hands…
…Regards, and thanks again for helping me get my hands on an excellent product!

Matt
Head to the Hills Customer User Review