Review: Leki Guide Pro V ski touring poles
Made for ambitious ski tourers, the Guide V collection of ski poles feature Leki’s innovative and lightweight Core Locking Device (CLD) folding pole technology.
There are three models, the part-carbon Guide Extreme V; a fully aluminium HTS 6.5 Guide Pro V; and a lightweight version, the Guide Lite V.
The new CLD folding pole technology works rather like a ballpoint pen. It also means that the poles fold down to a neat 42cm.
The poles also have a unique Trigger Vertical Strap, which has been redesigned for use by ski tourers. By removing the thumb strap, alpinists are given more freedom in grip variations.
For a combination of high resistance and low weight, the poles have an upper segment of carbon and a lower section of high-strength aluminium HTS 6.5.
Other features include a snow basket that allows for easier usage of the binding and heel lifter.
On test: Leki Guide Pro V ski touring poles
The poles were tested during a 12-day ski touring trip to northern Norway. Hubby G gives his thoughts.
The positives are that the poles feel really, really light yet they are still stiff and give confidence that they will not give way. I was surprised they were not fully carbon. This version is lightweight aluminium.
They feel lighter than my usual poles, a pair of fully carbon Black Diamonds.
I also like the colour of the poles. The hi-viz yellow detail meant that I could always spot my poles when they were thrown in the back of the car,or in a pile, with other people’s poles. It was also easy to spot them when I was out in the snowy mountains.
I like the ergo handle and how the grip extends so you can hold the poles lower down when you are on steeper or irregular terrain.
The insulated grip fits the hand really well is great for pushing off as you skin uphill.
The shape of the handle aids the swing while skiing along the flatter sections, too.
The Trigger 5 strap is similar to the other Leki running and trekking poles and includes a quick release system that always the strap to stay on your wrist while letting go of the pole. I like this system although the strap is bit of a faff with gloves on. Apparently you can buy gloves that attach directly to the handle so that might be a good idea, depending on the thickness and warmth of the gloves.
One other criticism is that the pole grip texture wrecked the grip on the palm side of my gloves. I found they stuck to each other so I recommend you use a smooth palmed glove with the grippy handle.
Some experts say that you should not have a ski touring pole attached to the hand or wrist because of the dangers of having a pole still attached to you if you get avalanched. However, I like to use the wrist strap for easier propelling uphill. It’s a matter of personal choice and how risky you feel the terrain is, I guess.
The snow basket has a long edge and short edge. The long edge is designed for clearing the skis or snow, while the short edge is made of slightly stiffer material and aids adjustment of the height of the heel lift on the ski bindings. I found both features helpful.
I also like the hooked edge on the snow basket for additional grip when skiing, if you take the time to align it with the hand. However, overall, I do prefer the hook on my Black Diamond poles for the heel lift adjusting. I just find it easier to use.
The Black Diamond poles have a feature in the handle that allows you to adjust the heel lift on the binding without bending over. So, there are fors and against. To use the handle for adjusting the heel lift you need to turn the pole upside down, while a heel lift adjustment in the snow basket is more readily useable.
There is plenty of pole length, from 110cm to 145cm and even at its outer limits the pole feels solid.
Being able to adjust the poles is useful for the ever-changing terrain of ski touring and also allows you to change the ski height when you are skinning up and skiing downhill. I prefer a shorter pole when skiing downhill.
The locking mech worked well and even when I was wearing my gloves.
Conclusion: Great lightweight but robust ski touring poles with some great features.
The Leki Guide Pro V poles launch this month priced. See Leki.