I've been getting more and more comments on my lurk - that is, my single long pole used for telemark skiing. When skiing with one you pole-plant on the same side you normally would (downhill), turn around it, and then (optionally) drag the pole behind you in a low-brace position as you pass by it; it looks almost like paddling a kayak. I won't say it's easier or better than two poles - it's more of a solution looking for a problem - but it is a lot of fun and has some advantages in a very limited set of situations. It does look good, though, or at least it looks different. Kind of like telemark skiing, in general.
While one long pole is fun on the downhill on the uphill you really want two poles, whether skinning up yourself or waiting in lift lines. So I made my own take-apart lurk good for the up and the down. After a few iterations I came up with a design that's been pretty robust for 2 seasons and is actually pretty easy to put together. Here's a short description of how to make one.
For the tips I basically just cut the bottom 8 inches off of some old ski poles, and stuck them on the end of the hockey sticks. I cut the blade-end off the hockey stick so I was left with a hollow cross section, put the tips in, drilled 4 holes through everything, and fastened it with rivets. I had originally hoped to use 8 rivets (one from each side for all holes) but the rivets I had left a little too much material inside the ski pole. So I just alternated sides (really this also means I didn't need to drill clean through everything). So it doesn't fill with water/snow I covered the holes/rivets with regular epoxy, and moulded some epoxy putty in-place with my hands to seal the hollow cross section around the pole.
Once you've made your tips you want to ski around a bit to decide on how long to make it. You can make it shorter pretty easily, but it's difficult to make it longer. I'm 180 cm tall and made mine 122 cm from the end to the basket, 130 cm to the tip (per side - 260 cm total). You can temporarily "join" the lurk to be shorter to see how it feels by just overlapping the two sections and using some ski-straps.
You don't really need "grips" since the whole thing is a hockey stick, which is already a good shape to grab anywhere you like (and warm to the touch because it doesn't conduct heat well). I made the joint by cutting a piece of 1.25" sched 80 PVC pipe just a little longer than both "grips" (22 cm for me) and trapping some webbing under multiple wraps of tape at the bottom of the grips. I found the sched 80 pipe to be the correct diameter for a satisfying fit. To join it you just slide the tube over the end, it bottoms out against the tape, you stick in the other side, and buckle the webbing across it. Hopefully it's clear from the photos...
I later added some wrist straps using matching webbing. I just tucked them under the hockey stick end-cap, and added a small screw (remember to pre-drill!) to keep the cap from popping off. I also drilled some holes in the PVC pipe and tied a little piece of string through it so I can clip the tube to my water bottle carabiner when skiing uphill (and with the buckle between poles for storage). Probably I should drill some more holes in it, just to save weight, but haven't bothered yet. It's not like I bring my lurk with me on fast-and-light trips.
Overall weight for everything is just over a kilo. Some average ski poles from our pile of gear weigh just under 500 g for the pair... so these are certainly heavier, but are not obscenely heavy by any stretch.
Don't forget the camera mount!
River of Golden Dreams
Triple M Triathlon - Misty, McBride, Mamquam
Recent tips and thought
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Putting skis on a bike
Making a low DIN tech binding
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The bike canoe trailer
Making kids crampons
Digging a snowcave
Make a kid towing harness