The reason for my new found affection is more than likely due to these carbon fiber poles. I am always seeking out products that can serve the widest range of uses and this may be one of the go-to's in the future. Upon first inspection I was wondering about the Eva-ion grip and especially the length of the grip surface which is an incredible 12.5" long allowing a great variety of grip options with out having to collapse the poles when traveling over widely varied terrain. During our testing we really tried to beat the heck out of the poles and although we couldn't find any gnarly mossy snot covered rock to try and slip and fall on we did cross a few creeks, climb up and down scree slopes, and run up and down sand dunes….oh yeah and we hiked a bit as well! I do wish that these poles, well all trekking poles had a built in mount for a camera so it could double as a monopod, I have no idea why all companies don't automatically feature them. Another thing I noticed after taking them to the Great Sand Dunes N.P. was that once the sand got into them it was a bear to try and get out, in fact it really managed to scar up the carbon poles where they nested together upon collapsing them, but hell this happens to anything with moving parts when you have this much fine sand around! If this should happen to you on one of your adventures gently separate the two sections of poles and rinse them out, let them dry thoroughly and nest them back together. All in all I think these are great poles that are light weight and perfect for any number of adventures, the Rock-Lock system is the best I've seen and the major thing I would want to see would be the mono-pod camera mount and perhaps a more collapsible version. So before you run out and snag a pair of trekking poles be sure and think about waiting until this fall for the official roll out of Easton's unstoppable force the CTR-65 Ion trekking poles.