Photography by Phil Krening
Founded in 1922 as a manufacturer of skiing and hiking poles made from hazelnut wood, Komperdell has been a leading figure in the outdoor industry since its inception nearly a century ago. Utilizing its backyard—the Austrian Alps—as its testing ground, Komperdell recognizes the varied terrain, conditions and challenges inherent to exploring mountainous terrain.
In the world of freeskiing and freeriding, having reliable, lightweight, adjustable poles is a necessity for safe and efficient backcountry travel. Skinning uphill with the right set of poles not only conserves energy in your legs, it encourages longer, more meaningful strides. On the downhill, correctly weighted and balanced poles can, simply, enhance your fundamentals and make you a better skier.
At FREESKIER, we covet gear that helps us perform at our best. Below, we’ve outlined two of our favorite touring-centric poles from the expert makers at Komperdell. If you find yourself the type who prefers a fat shaft, look no further than the Fatso series; the tacky, oversized grips will keep you confident in the gnarliest terrain. For those seeking a lighter, more versatile choice, read up on the Carbon C2 Ultralight, which balances optimal weight and strength.
While girthy in size, the Fatso is unbelievably light. This pole has a polyurethane grip that is soft, won’t slip and is 43 centimeters in length, ideal for choking up when touring across a slope or booting up a couloir. A high-density aluminum (read: light, durable) locking system allows for quick and easy adjustments and the poles pack down to a manageable 109 centimeters in length.
Carbon C2 Ultralight
These ultra-lightweight, height-adjustable carbon poles are ideal for long treks; they’re designed for ambitious alpinists. The lightest pole in Komperdell’s touring collection, the Carbon C2 Ultralight is unique because of the special carbon fiber-wrapping technique used in its construction. Combined with a thermo-isolating grip, which is tacky to avoid slippage, you’ll be hustin’ deep into the backcountry with ease.