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Whether you’re walking, running or skiing, poles can be a major advantage to your speed and balance.

Tracks and Trails have teamed up with Leki who have given us four of their latest summer poles that offer something for all your summer mountain occasions.

1. Traveller Carbon - Nordic walking poles

The Traveller Carbon poles are designed for the Nordic walker. Featuring a quick release length adjuster, a glove-style strap system, and removable rubber pads covering the bottom, these poles are well designed to meet the rigors of Nordic walking.

Once deployed and fixed in place with a simple pull on each section, these poles feel extremely robust. Their carbon construction lends them a rigid feel, while remaining lightweight. Once you get used to how the glove system attaches and get the Velcro straps in the right position, you feel like the poles are an extension of your arm. The fit is very snug, like cross-country skiing poles should feel, and allows you to utilise the full range of motion while maximising your wrist/pole power and 'catch'.

With a simple thumb press of the button on top of the pole, you can release your hands from the poles, reattaching them by simply sliding the little rope attachment down the groove into the catch. On very hot days you may find the glove system makes your hands sweatier, but with a soft, breathable material with no seams inside, the risk of blistering is minimal.

Thanks to the removable rubber ‘paw’ covering the tips, you can use them with minimal noise on hard surfaces. However, this does also add to the weight which is less of an issue as it helps with increasing your workout effort!

We’re very impressed by these poles, and wouldn’t hesitate to choose them for our own Nordic walking workouts, or to recommend them for group use.

Find out more about Leki Traveller Carbon Poles

2. Micro Vario Carbon Strong – the ‘all-rounder’

If there’s one set of poles with the broadest appeal, it’s the Micro Varios. Featuring the same strong yet lightweight carbon construction as the Traveller above, they are also height adjustable, yet feature a simpler, quick adjust hand strap system, and well-designed shaft allowing for multiple hand positions. This allows for more versatility on varying mountain terrain.

The similar quick deployment system with solid joints works well for either hiking or running, and allows for rapid collapse and stowing in your bag. They are also light enough to keep extended and carry by your side if that’s your preference.

The one potential flaw with the quick-release catches is the small metal washers that could fall out if they become loose. The mechanism will still work, but would require further adjustment to ensure the pole doesn’t slip down under pressure. Something that we will certainly be feeding back to Leki. Despite this we highly rate these for their versatility when either trekking or running, and good compromise between features and weight.

Find out more about Leki Micro Vario Carbon poles

3. Light carbon folding pole

If weight is a major concern, and you are happy with a fixed length, the Micro RCM poles are the poles for you! With the same solid feeling carbon construction, these poles have been pared down to the essentials.

They have the same lightweight, simple strap system and grip range on the shaft, and the usual metal tips that provide solid, all-terrain traction. Being quick to deploy and stow without needing to worry about the height adjustment aspect, they can save you time and stress during changeovers at cols or summits in races or setting FKTs (fast known times!) or PBs.

The lightest of the range and coming in 5cm lengths from 110-135cm, they would be our choice for ultra races or multi-day trips to help with weight saving. Not the most robust of the series, so if you’re after something tougher but heavier, the last model could be a better bet.

Find out more about the Leki Micro RCM poles

4. Thermolite XL (Aluminium)

The 4x4s of the range and as tough as they come for hiking. The Thermolite XLs are slightly heavier (242g) due to the aluminium construction and thicker grip, but still feel easy to handle. This also makes them the most robust of the bunch, ideal for your trekking ambitions and a great choice for more remote areas.

They feature the light and simple strap system, ergonomic, cushioned grip with extension for multiple positions, and quick release length adjusters. They are non-folding, but shrink down to a handy size for stashing on the side of your bag.

Find out more Leki Thermolite XL poles

Thank you Leki for the excuse (as if we need one!) to get out in the hills playing with these.

We are already looking forward to receiving our winter batch for nordic skiing, snowshoeing and ski touring.

For an even more indepth Walking and Trekking Poles guide for 2018 (4500+ words!) You can check out this comprehensive guide written by Peter Bryd of professionalcamping.com

As a destination for nature and culture lovers, Switzerland offers an impressive choice of landscapes and traditions to enjoy. Whether hiking in the shadow of the Matterhorn, swimming in Lac Léman, or running beneath the Eiger, there’s something for everyone in this outdoor paradise.

Check out one of our guests films they made "Sweet Like Swiss Chocolate"for their take on this beautiful country.

Zermatt

It’s hard to rival the globally iconic status of that chocolate box 'Toblerone' mountain, the Matterhorn. Dominating the head of the Zermatt valley, this dramatic peak remains a popular challenge for mountaineers. It’s also a fantastic mountain biking, trekking and trail running area, with a well-marked trail network and access to a train and cable cars to accelerate your access to the higher itineraries, including to the Klein Matterhorn (Little Matterhorn) at 3883m.

Although don’t miss out on seeing close-up the lower alpine meadows with their abundant flowers and curious cows quietly looking on as it's the perfect location for some first class day hikes. It’s also the end of the classic Haute Route trek which begins in Chamonix, France and crosses the canton Valais to reach this quintessential Swiss mountain town.

Zermatt also provides an ideal base to relax, indulge and shop for those classic Swiss souvenirs - chocolate and Swiss Army knives of various kinds are in abundance here! Catering for most budgets and tastes, and being unusually 'car free' offers a feeling of escape from the pace of everyday life. Find out more to plan your visit with Zermatt tourism office.

Geneva

Many people fly into Geneva and hop straight on a transfer to their destination. Understandable if time is tight, yet there are some worthwhile places to visit either side of your trip. It's even possible with just 80 minutes to spare on your arrival to the airport to leave luggage and obtain a FREE travel card to make a quick visit.

With Lake Geneva (or Lac Lèman) the main feature, and the parallel panoramas of the Alps and the Jura either side of the city, it’s a prime spot to absorb the grandeur of the landscape and embark on further adventures in the mountains. A perfect place to enjoy all aspects is down at the Bains des Paquis: a community owned beach, restaurant and sauna (in the winter) located on a jetty stretching into the lake opposite the famous ‘jet d’eau’.

Geneva is spread out over several distinct districts, easily reached by public transport or using the free bikes (for up to 4 hours). The Paquis area near the main Cornavin train station offers department store shopping, quirky cafes and bars, hotels and the lake; Eaux-vives is the old town area with the Cathedral (great views from the top!) and narrow, cobbled streets lined with bars, cafes and restaurants; the student district of Plainpalais has the more reasonable and diverse range of eateries and bars and a large diamond shaped central area that hosts fares and has a flea-market most weekends; further out, Carouge retains a more traditional feel and has a lively outdoor scene in the summer, making it a pleasant place to stay.

Travelling by bike means you can enjoy getting a bit lost to discover some of the lesser known areas, or even head out to the vineyards and more rural areas in the vicinity. To help plan your visit to Geneva visit https://www.geneve.com/

Grindelwald

For a glimpse into the heart of the Swiss Alps, look no further than bucolic Grindelwald. Set among the high alpine pastures of the Bernese Oberland mountain range and overlooked by the imposing North Face of the Eiger, it’s an impressive village to arrive in.

Trekking, running, climbing and mountain biking are all well-catered for here, with further itineraries possible using the cable cars or Jungfraujoch railway. While not cheap, the full train experience that takes you through the Eiger up to the pass (joch) at 3466m is an incredible experience.

Multiple cafes and restaurants in the area offer local cuisine of Rösti (grated and fried potato), Käseschnitte (grilled cheese) and much more, and there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.

A short walk out of town soon immerses you in a picture-postcard setting of wild Alpine flowers, towering cliffs and immense views set to the soundtrack of the characteristic Swiss cow bell! Find out more on Grindelwald and visit My Switzerland.

What we offer ... check out our trekking and running guided tours to the Swiss Alps. Either based in or passing through Switzerland these trips all still have places available this summer.

· Tour des Combins 1-8 September 2018

· Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights 4-12 August 2018

· Classic Tour du Mont Blanc 29 July - 9 August 2018

· Family Tour du Mont Blanc28 July - 4 August & 8-25 August 2018

· Mont Blanc Ultra Trail (Running) 2-9 September 2018

· Haute Route Highlights 8 - 16 September 2018

· Classic Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt 1-12 August 2018 & 18-29 August 2018

· Tour de Monte Rosa 6-16 September 2018

Still need convincing? Here are 97 more ideas on the Best things to do in Switzerland.

If you would like more information on any aspect of these trips then please contact us for details.

 

10 reasons to go hiking 3 countries walking alpine trail running Alps Alta Via aosta apps for hikers apps for the outdoors Austrian Alpine Club autumn bare foot running BBC BBC radio ben arogundade Ben Lawers Berghaus Trail Team biathlon Birkebeiner Norway Cairngorms Cameron McNeish CCC Chablais Chablais Snowshoe chamonix Chamonix 10k chamonix adventure Chamonix Cross Chamonix Marathon chamonix snowshoe and ski chamonix trail running Chamonix walking Champex Chloë Lanthier x training Chamonix christmas cogne core work Creta de Vella cross country skiing cross country skiing in the alps cross country skiing in the obergoms cross country skiing italy cross country skiing italy weekend breaks Dolomites eRide Grip trainers Scott everest marathon everest trekking Exercise helps you sleep family holidays fells Finse First Time Snowshoers Flying Tandom france garmin forerunner GDPR Geilo Glaciers Glencoe Grand St Bernand Grand St Bernard Monastery green travel green travel company Grindelwald GTJ guardian travel list 2010 Haute Route High Atlas hiking Hospice IML italian ski weekend italy Julia Tregaskis-Allen Jura kenton cool Kilimanjaro kintail late winter holiday availabilty & merry christmas leki pole review Lindsay Cannon lizzy hawker Mallorca marathon Mark Stephen Matterhorn Mer de glace Mont Blanc mont blanc marathon Mont Blanc snowshoe week Montane Ambassador Morocco mountain marathon mountains multi activity weeks for families nordic ski nordic ski training nordic skiing nordic walking nordicfest norway Norway 2018 ski traverse Norway ski touring nutrition nutrition for skiing nutrition for winter activities outdoors Paragliding peak district Peru Trekking Photo: Vasaloppet Photography: wildlife Pole Test prepare for your winter holiday Privacy Policy pyrenees Radio Scotland rafting rebecca dent road biking rodellar routes des grandes alpes Rucksack Review 2018 Run Training Running Running or Walking Running Poles running spikes Scenic runs scotland scott sport running clothing scott trail running shoes skate ski SkiFit Skye skylines Snow snowshoe snowshoe alps snowshoeing South to North St Bernard stella magazine summer hiking walking summer hiking walking poles sustainable tourism swiss snowshoeing switzerland Taking Shaper Photos Tania Noakes telegraph Telemarking The Adventure Show The GR221 trek thermal baths Toubkal Tour de Matterhorn tour des dents du midi Tour du Mont Blanc Tracks and Trails trail des aiguilles rouge trail running trail running alps Training transjurassienne Triathlon Tuscany Uhuru Peak Trek ultra running Ultramarathons UTMB val ferret Verdon Gorge Vet 60 Vicheres Vicki Perry New York Marathon VO2 Max Walking Walking Poles wellbeing winter strength training winter trail running Zermatt

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