Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Do it yourself: How to service Leki trekking poles.



I recently discovered that water from this past summer’s rainy season seeped inside my trekking poles and never dried. The remaining water began to work it’s corrosive magic on the inside of the poles and the adjustment barrels became challenging to unlock and lock.

The following is a guide for servicing Leki brand trekking poles so they’ll be in top condition the next time you head outdoors. This is also a great primer for troubleshooting your poles in case you run into a problem on the trail.

Why Leki? Well, I just happen to use their poles and I love them. It doesn’t mean that other brands aren’t just as good. Please note, not all manufacturers use the same adjustment systems, so this recipe may not work for everyone. However, many other brands do use similar systems, and virtually every trekking pole on the market can be taken apart and serviced.

Therefore, use this as an excuse to familiarize yourself with your own trekking poles, whether they’re Leki brand or not. It always pays to know how your equipment works.

You can also find more technical information diagrams and service information at the Leki website. Scroll down and click “Fix It On The Spot.”

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Required materials:
  • Trekking poles
  • Paper Towel or rag (For wiping moisture and corrosion)
  • Fine steel wool or brush (An old toothbrush works great)
  • Gnome
Step One:
Position your sticks.
I hope that your gnome will be more helpful than ours.


Step Two:
Pull your poles apart.
Loosen each section of your pole by turning. (The right section should spin toward you if positioned like the photo). Pull past the “Stop Max” line and give a quick pull. The section should pull out completely with the expanding system attached. Leki also calls the expander the ELS. (Easy Lock System). If you can’t find the expander then see the trouble shooting section below.




Step Three.
Unscrew the expander.
Turn toward you according to the photo. You’ll see the expander begin to separate. If you can't unscrew the expander then it's probably jammed. This is the number one reason that trekking poles don't tighten. You'll have to use a bit strength and finesse to get it loose. (Proceeding to step four and trying to muscle the orange piece often works).


Step Four.
Remove the expander.
Leave the little orange piece, and spin it up and down the screw to access all of the threads.




Step Five.
Clean.
Give each pole section a thorough rub-down with a rag to remove excess dirt. Be sure to wipe off any corrosion. Fine steel wool or an old toothbrush does a nice job of restoring the threads to their original shine.



Step Six.
Reassemble.
Snap the expander back in place and spin away from you to shrink the expander, but don’t over tighten. Reinsert the poles and adjust. The right section should spin away from you if positioned like the photo in Step Two.


Step Seven.
Repeat.
Proceed to the next section of pole. Our little friend has had enough of this. He’ll take a wooden stick any day.


Trouble shooting.

A. I can’t find the expander.
1. The expander fell off the screw head.
2. The expander is inside the shaft above it.
3. Push the section that won’t tighten all the way into the section above.
4. Trap the expander and twist the shaft in a tightening motion a few turns.

B. My poles won’t lock.
1. Pull the pole sections apart.
2. Locate the expander and hold with thumb and forefinger.
3. Spin shaft so that the expander opens wider and touches the aluminum wall of the section it is       going into.
4. Put shaft at desired length and continue to twist pole until resistance is met.

C. My poles won't turn or come apart at all. They are totally jammed.
1. Visit our blog post Help! My Leki trekking poles are stuck. How do I get them loose?

Please contact me if you run into trouble or have any questions. I’d love to hear from you.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Enjoy a taste of France! A recipe for the Kir and Kir Royale.


This year, add a bit of European style to your holiday gatherings. The Kir and Kir Royale are two of my favorite apéritifs, and many of our guests rave about them during our hiking tours in Europe.

"Cassis" means "blackcurrant" in French, and the subsequent liquor made from the blackcurrant berry is known as "crème de cassis." Generally accepted as a French cocktail, a Kir is made with crème de cassis and white wine. A Kir Royale is made with crème de cassis and Champagne.

Pronounced: Kir : keer
Kir Royale : keer / roy ahl

INGREDIENTS:
Crème de Cassis
White Wine (Preferably dry, and of the Burgundy region if possible)
Champagne

PREPARATION:
For a Kir, drop a dollop of crème de cassis to the bottom of a wine glass or champagne flute, then fill the rest with dry, white Burgundy wine. For a Kir Royale, use only a champagne flute. Add a dollop of crème de cassis to the bottom of the glass, then fill the flute with Champagne. The official recipe calls for one-third Cassis and two-thirds wine or champagne. However, the ratio of Cassis to wine depends entirely on personal preference. Many people prefer a smaller amount of Cassis. Experiment and have fun!

NOTES:
Add the Cassis first to ensure a more evenly mixed drink. Adding the wine first will result in a pleasing appearance, (a fine pink at the bottom of the glass shading up to a bright red at the top), but a very uneven flavor.

A votre santé!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The 2007 catalog is on its way!

Finally! The new 2007 catalog is in the mail and on its way. We added new photos and new tours, but happily, most of our prices remained the same as last year. (Insert cheers).

If our calculations are correct, then everybody on our mail list should receive our catalog by the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S. That’s just one week away, November 23rd, for our friends outside of the United States. If you don’t receive our brochure, but you believe that you should have, then please drop us a line. Likewise, please contact Ryder-Walker if you would like us to add your name to our mail list.

Cheers!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Village to Village Skiing in the Alps? Life simply doesn't get any better!



As many readers of this post will know, Ryder/Walker Alpine Adventures is known throughout the adventure travel industry as the "European Trekking Specialists". What many may not know is that our guides and some office staff occupy influential and highly respected positions in the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Schools, one of the preeminent institutions in the country.

We decided a few years ago to attempt to combine these two elements and see what the outcome would be. The result exceeded our wildest expectations. Clients last year from Winter Park, both expert skiers, offered us the following description of their experience. "You have changed the way we view skiing forever".

The concept marries our passion for skiing with our intimate knowledge of European mountain ranges, villages, hotels and services. We seek seldom traveled and little known terrain for our daily explorations. Often we find ourselves in quaint little inns and hostelries tucked away at the end of remote valleys where the proprietors are awaiting our arrival with fabulous local cuisine, hot teas, or Gluhwein for the intrepid. A taxi or a train may return us to the lift systems where we begin the adventure all over again, that afternoon skiing into a new village with superb accommodations and our luggage awaiting us.

This sister company of Ryder/Walker Alpine Adventures is Alpenglow Ski Safaris and to our knowledge is unique within the ski and travel industry. Our programs are suitable for skiers and snowboarders with adventurous spirits that are comfortable on Intermediate and above terrain at ski areas found in the US. Please visit us at www.alpenglowskisafaris.com to view inspiring images and learn more about what we have to offer you.