The temperature on my watch reads a fiery 28° Celsius. It’s 7:30am on Wednesday 17th July, and the town of Les Houches, France is just starting to wake up to a fresh batch of hikers undertaking the Tour Du Mont Blanc. The route covers 170km and includes 10,000m of ascent, circumnavigating the Mont Blanc Massif – a very fitting environment to truly test the Leki Khumbu Lite Trekking Poles.
The TMB is one of the finest walks in the world. Crossing the high mountain passes of France, the technical and rugged terrain of Italy, and the beautifully decorated alpine meadows of Switzerland, the Leki Khumbu’s prove a very effective, essential and trust-worthy piece of kit.
An Absolute All-rounder
Through a combination of product research and brand recognition, I was sure that the Leki Khumbu Lite Trekking Poles would perform at the right level, for a great price. They boast a comfortable grip, optimal length adjustment and a lightweight shaft – giving me an all-round, comfortable and reliable experience.
How They Handle
In the alps, the mid-afternoon rays of the sun can beam down with intensity. This, combined with relentless climbs and a fast pace proves quite the battleground, leading to sweaty palms and a distinct lack of energy.
Being exposed to these conditions, one of the main features of the poles that really stood out, was the Aergon CorTec grip. Unlike many of my fellow hikers, my hands stayed blister-free, comfortable and well molded to the handle.
After three days of hiking through France, I had finally crossed over into Italy via the Col de la Seigne. The technicality of this region drastically increased, as did the performance of the poles, helping me maintain a strong posture and consistent technique.
The Speed Lock adjustment system kept me moving fast over the changeable terrain. For the downhills, I could easily collapse the poles, and for the ascents they extended just as swiftly.
Precision & Protection
As pastures grow greener and flowers bloom, there’s still evidence of harsher wintery conditions up high in the mountains – on this occasion, at the Fenêtre d’Arpette (2665m) in Switzerland.
After a tough slog from the refuge at the foot of the valley, I finally started to see the top. As I ascended higher, the trail morphed from rough technical trail to smooth snow. Luckily for me, I had the effective protection of the Trekking Basket at the base of the poles to give me all the confidence I needed to reach the summit and protect me against sinking in.
An Experience to Last
My final steps of the TMB brought me back into France via the beautiful balcony trails above Chamonix. Lac Blanc proved the highlight of this particular section and encompassed the surreal views of the entire trip.
After 8 days of intense hiking, my poles had really started to thrive with the opportunity to support my body in its now fatigued state. As I climbed down into the bustling of Chamonix made up of trail runners, hikers and mountaineers, I noticed a similarity – every man, woman (but not dog) had trekking poles.
There’s no doubt that these supportive, adaptive and useful items are a very advantageous piece of kit to use in the mountains, and something every hiker should have as part of their inventory.
About the Author
Dan's passion is the great outdoors. A real gear geek, you'll find him scaling hiking trails home and abroad, sprinting along off-road routes or capturing amazing outdoor vistas on his camera. Never one to pass up a challenge, he's completed the Welsh 3000s and is currently halfway through summiting the Wainwrights.