Apr 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm #1257861
24 minutes into my hike yesterday with my brand-new LT4's, I was ascending a steep incline in the Catskills. I was using the poles to support myself as I attempted another step when both feet slid out from under me. As I fell forward, I tried to toss the LT4's clear so as not to land on them. I was successful with the right hand pole; not so with the left, the tip must've been stuck in mud or a tree root and stayed in my hand. I heard a crack, looked down, and saw my nice new pole snapped cleanly across a conveniently placed rock 3.5" below the handgrip. No fault of the poles; my twice-as-heavy BD Alpine CF's would certainly have snapped with the torque I applied when I fell.
I kept going glumly, completing the last 12 miles of my hike with one pole.
I emailed GG this morning to see if they offer replacement shafts, though they don't advertise such on their website.
Anybody else break an LT4? If so, were you able to replace the shaft?Apr 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm #1599229
Honestly, seeing this gave me a really ugly feeling in my stomach…sorry to see this happen. I hope GG will be able to help you with a replacement section or pole. Goodluck!Apr 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm #1599230
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Ouch! Sorry to see hear about your LT4 misfortune. That is the singularly unfortunate thing about those sweet GG LT4 carbon poles, their too dang pretty for their intended purpose. Best of luck finding a replacement shaft.Apr 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm #1599232
Ouch! Sorry that happened.
I didn't check but I remember reading something about no warranties on these ultra lightweight poles. Perhaps GG mail you the appropriate section at a reasonable price. Can you let us know when you hear back from GG?Apr 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm #1599236
didn't check but I remember reading something about no warranties on these ultra lightweight poles.
I definitely don't expect a warranty replacement. I was all my fault, though an accident.
The only pole that could survive 175 lbs coming down on it from a standing height would be Travis' rebar poles, I imagine.
I appreciate the condolences. I was torn about replacing my BD poles, as I got them 2 years ago, 1 month before discovering BPL and the LT4s. I salivated over them for all that time, before finally breaking down and buying them as just about the last piece in my UL gear overhaul.
I'm just hoping GG have a spare shaft or two sitting around that they sell for whatever price they find fair. I had a really good experience dealing with Grant back when I bought my Gorilla, so I'm confident if it's possible, they'll make it happen. If not, I have some 'spare parts' for when I can afford to buy new ones.
I'm new to hiking on the East Coast, and I know people here use poles, but the trails here so far have been so rugged, with tree roots and rock traps hidden below leaf litter just looking to snap a UL pole like the LT4, I ended up carrying my remaining pole through a lot of the trickier sections.
I'm starting to wonder if I'm better off sticking more rugged poles(or at least cheaper ones)Apr 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm #1599239
I don't know what your length requirements are for hiking or for shelter support but…
If the lower portion is not split very far you might be able to salvage it by carefully cutting off the damaged portion and gluing on a new handle.
It looks like you'd loose about 8" to 10", which might be workable.
And, yep, sorry about the mishap, but glad you didn't end up in the ER. Carbon fiber on the outside is way cheaper than titanium on the inside.Apr 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm #1599246
>The only pole that could survive 175 lbs coming down on it from a standing height would be Travis' rebar poles, I imagine.
Hahahahaha! I remember that thread. Thanks for making me laugh today! Although, I ended up bending one of those. I had to pry a 1/2 ton boulder loose so I could roll it into a stream to aid in crossing without getting wet. Then I used it to pole vault over a canyon.
Anyways, back to reality…..sorry to hear about your pole!Apr 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm #1599247
Greg, thanks, that's really great idea. I'm not the most creative thinker, so you just made my day.
There's actually no split at all on the shaft; it was a totally clean break.
I just went and checked the what the max pole length would be on the broken pole, and it'd be 50" on the nose. I don't know how far into the handle the pole goes, but 50" is plenty for my shelters(Duomid in winter; only 1 pole required. BPL Nano for all else.)
For hiking, I usually set my poles between 44"-47" up to the full 50" on descent.
If GG can't sell me a replacement shaft, or I can't afford their price right away, replacing the handgrip would definitely work. I'm sure Grant would be happy to tell me how to remove the handle on the broken end so I can put it back on the other portion.
EDIT: I guess I should have read the LT4 manual on the GG website first, quote:
Should you break a section of a pole, you can call us at 512-374-0133 and we’ll sell you a
replacement pole or part. Replacement grips and baskets can be purchased from our website at
http://www.gossamergear.com.Apr 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm #1599250
Sad to hear. I don't have LT4 but have two other CF pairs. I've been really lucky. There have been a few times were I couldn't believe a pole did not snap. Don't get discouraged: snap happens to all of us in one way or another.
I wonder if Gorilla tape wrapped around a thin band of some material would be a workable repair.Apr 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm #1599251
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
As a former cross country ski racer I'm all too familiar with the fragility of carbon fiber poles when lateral force is placed on them.
That's why I use aluminum hiking poles instead of CF poles. Yes, I still use CF poles for XC touring because they are SO ephemerally light that they float out behind me as I fully extend my arm. Plus no energy is wasted bending a 'glass pole but instead the energy goes directly to the track with a CF pole.
EricApr 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm #1599252
Could you glue it back together with a sleeve over it? Like when a tent pole breaks, you can slide the metal repair sleeve over the break. Maybe find a metal tube that fits over the shaft snugly and secure it with whatever glue would adhere to those materials.Apr 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm #1599282
James, I broke my LT3 pole in similar fashion to yours about 6 months ago. The break was very clean, no splitters. I felt that I could repair it. I took a 4" long wooden dowel and sanded it down to fit snugly into the interior of the shaft (2" up and 2" down). I put liquid "super glue" on the dowel and quickly slipped the broken sections onto the dowel. I then took a piece of black electrical tape and put one wrap around the seam. The pole felt extremely stable after the repair and only increased the weight of the pole 0.2oz. I have used the poles on numerous trips since then with no worries. JohnApr 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm #1599284
"I then took a piece of black electrical tape and put one wrap around the seam."
Or you can use leukotape instead. Dual purpose!Apr 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm #1599331
I'm with Eric – those poles aren't worth the cost given the durability issues (not the first issue I have heard).Apr 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm #1599350
@paintplongoLocale: Hopefully on the Trail
That's why I use Leki's that are made of aluminum/Ti that don't snap like a twig.
I'm sorry it broke, but can't say I'm surpised. I saw many snapped carbon poles on the AT last year.Apr 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm #1599353
Oh, I don't know. Mine have been going strong for about a year now. I've used them to vault over water (putting all of my weight on them), they've broken my fall a few times, and I really use them hard when going uphill. Of course, I grip them rather loosely unless pushing uphill, so if they get stuck between rocks and such I let go long before they break. A learned habit, I guess. If mine break, I'll buy another pair in a heartbeat.Apr 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm #1599354
@paintplongoLocale: Hopefully on the Trail
Well I'm sure most of them don't snap that quickly, but I saw several that were clear breaks, which is obviously since they're brittle when pushed too far.
My Leki's may get slight bends in them if pushed too far, but are still quite useful when bent. I have the same pair from 2005 that have literally thousands of miles on them.
The best part is if I bend a section, Leki sends me a new one for free.Apr 18, 2010 at 8:09 pm #1599358
Doug – If mine break, I'll buy another pair in a heartbeat.
Wouldn't you just use your backup pair? :)Apr 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm #1599360
"Wouldn't you just use your backup pair? :)"
Dan, well, of course! But then I'd need a new backup pair……Apr 18, 2010 at 8:29 pm #1599365
I've had good experience with carbon fiber hiker poles thus far (both Ti Goat and LT4's) — as have many others.
But as with all UL gear — they have their place but they are not meant for all hikers or all types of hikes.
However, to just write off UL carbon fiber poles is akin to just writing off dyneema packs and silnylon tents.Apr 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm #1599367
@hoosierdaddyLocale: Western Washington
Last year while on the PCT, I tripped falling onto some large rocks, snapping one of my LT-4's in about the same spot that you did.
I contacted Grant at GG, wanting to purchase a replacement, telling it that it was entirely my fault that it broke. He said the first one is one him!!! Got a replacement in less than a week!Apr 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm #1599369
Just curious –
Where is the locking expander relative to these breaks?Apr 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm #1599371
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
I had the same experience last summer on the JMT that Steve mentioned – careless placement on my part levered the lower section of one of my LT4 over a rock. CRACK! The same stunt with my Lekis would have folded the lower secrtion like a piece of cardboard.
Glen replaced the broken section for free. As he said "the first one's on me; the rest you pay for.".
Send them back to GG, and remember the lesson learned.Apr 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm #1599381
Ben – 210d Dyneema Grid is stronger than regular 210d nylon so poor comparison.
The fact is, some of use do more than UL overnighters and most of my trips have me 150 miles in the bush – I can't afford a break. A bend I can deal with by bending back. Maybe not straight but usable.
Also, some of us are heavier than 160lbs – we need the strength.
Regardless, It the wrong material used in the wrong application in my opinion.Apr 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm #1599389
Right, I forget, we're talking about BC hiking. Sorry, Kutenay. :)
Kidding aside, these poles have their place, but they aren't for everyone or every occasion.
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