Every winter I always go for a week of pure powder without the family. For the last six years it has been with some friends by bus to Val d’Isère, with all the peaks and high altitude. The ski area is vast with almost endless possibilities where you can effortlessly reach many good runs directly from the lift or after a short hike. The place is perfect for putting the poles to a tougher test.
We ski as much as we can, from morning to late afternoon, apart from the French lunch. We ride in varied terrain, in bad weather and worse weather, in stiff wind and packed snow, and in sun and champagne powder. And all the time, my bamboo ski poles feel really good.
Suddenly a friend crashes into me and one of my sticks. The pole bends dramatically under my friend’s weight, and I let go of the grip. “Crap it cracked!” was my first thought. But when my friend gets up, the pole is on the ground, sorry the snow, completely unaffected and without the slightest hint of damage. Not on my friend either, fortunately, but that probably would not have been the case if I’d had an aluminum pole. If so, my friend would’ve had a sore hip, and the stick would’ve been broken, bent like a party straw and trashed for good.