Ski poles don’t get alot of thought by most Mammoth Mountain skiers. They measure the height by placing the pole upside down, and then place their hand just below the basket. When in this position, your arm should be horizontal with the snow if the pole is the right height. But what features other that height are important when choosing ski poles specifically for skiing Mammoth Mountain?
I’ve found two other features that should be considered when buying ski poles for skiing Mammoth Mountain. First there is the strap that secures the ski pole to your hand. Most have the basic adjustments, but the Scott ski poles I have are adjustable with a velcro strap. It is that velcro strap that makes these ski poles easier to use. The velcro in the strap causes the ski pole strap to be more rigid and it forms a open loop that is much easier to get your hand into when exiting the chair lift. I can also instantaneously adjust the length of the strap to fit a larger down mitten, my regular size gloves, or a thinner fleece glove by simply adjusting the velcro flap.
I see others struggle to get their hands throught their closed straps. It takes more time and is alot more work. I like easy, so this loop feature makes it easier to put on my pole straps the 15+ times I put them on when skiing daily. Mammoth weather can dump several feet of snow at a time. So it is wise to be prepared for deep snow conditions as well as groomed.
The second thing to look for in a ski pole is the basket size. Small baskets are perfect for most conditions. But in deep Mammoth Mountain powder, small baskets are worthless when trying to traverse, push yourself, or get back up in deep powder. So I have a set of ski poles with the “old school” large baskets I use on deep powder days because there are somewhat hidden powder runs at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area that can only be accessed with a considerable traverse.
Who knew ski poles had so many features? I got the Scott ski poles with the velcro adjustment at REI. Scott is a leader in ski pole design and manufacturing, and a company you can trust to produce a consistently high quality product. I’ve skied Scott ski poles for 30 years, and I prefer them over other brands. I give these Scott ski poles a 9 out of 10 rating.
The ski poles I have for skiing Mammoth Mountain in deep powder I found at a closeout ski shop in Bishop called Value Sports. So I hope this post on ski poles lets you enjoy all the assetts ski poles have to offer members of Mammoth Ski Club. Come on up to ski Mammoth Mountain! The snow is fine, and the views are majestic!