It is common knowledge that walking poles are a great way to protect the knees and back when hiking. Weight can be transferred through the arms to the poles which offloads and shifts the center of mass away from tired joints. Walking poles are especially useful when hiking downhill with a heavy pack. The Black Diamond Whippet is a well constructed hiking pole, plus it features a miniature ice axe head in the handle. This pole was originally designed for backcountry skiers on steep descents, but we have found the Whippet to be equally as useful in sheep country. Whether it comes in handy stopping a slide after a fall or gives you that extra reach when climbing a cliff during a stalk the Whippet will always have your back.