You know I love this most essential of ski mountaineering tools, the Whippet, manufactured by Black Diamond Equipment. Long ago, I penned two different homages, with such creative titles as, A Dozen Uses for the Black Diamond Whippet Self-Arrest Ski Pole, as well as, Another Dozen Uses…
I don’t bring them out on low-angle, high avalanche danger days, but I do use them on any sort of steep ski missions, including steep powder days. That’s because the scope of their utilization is infinitely wider than mere self-arresting. Check the links above for 24 other simple uses.
Not only do I ski with these tools regularly, but I’ve recommended them to many ski partners as well, partners who’ve paid heed and picked up one or two for their own good. And they still ski with them; once you get used to having a Whippet in hand, it’s hard to go steep skiing without them. In fact, so many partners ski with them that I’ve taken to painting mine, both because I appreciate a different color, and because it makes it easier to grab my own out of the group gear pile.
The point is, this is gear I use. It’s gear I usually trust, from a brand, Black Diamond Equipment, who usually manufactures bomber gear. This ski pole is gear I recommend to friends. But the new batch of Whippets (with stainless steel picks) appears to be plagued with a manufacturing defect, or the stainless in use is not as durable as other metal options. For all of my use, as well as that of my partners and friends, I’ve never seen (nor heard about) a Whippet pick failure.
That changed recently when Continue reading ‘Black Diamond Whippet Ski Pole Defects?’