I've been making a concerted effort to lighten the load I carry up the mountain.
As the photo above (on the way to Summit lake in the Eastern Sierras last year) shows, I use a wooden staff. It's a piece of White Alder I picked up in the Sonoma Valley mountains about 15 years ago.
WEIGHT REDUCTION: OUNCE BY OUNCE
Weight reduction ... whether human or a backpack is all about ounces. I'm 80 pounds lighter than I was 15 years ago and my pack is about 10 pounds lighter than last year.
As part of lightening the load I haul up a mountain, I considered using an aluminum or titanium staff. I'm not much for the ski-pole type of trekking poles, one in each hand. So I looked for a trekking staff.
My White Alder staff weighs 1lb, 14 oz.
CARBON FIBER TEMPTING
I have to admit that I was tempted by carbon-fiber poles weighing in at 9 ounces (and about $90). That would be a savings of 1 lb, 5 oz -- substantial!
Two things dissuaded me from making the switch.
Item 1: Last year, lightning chased me off the 14,000+ summit of California's second-tallest mountain. See: Climbing Mt. Langley: Slow Ascent, Lightning Descent
Item 2: Carbon fiber composites are an excellent conductor of electricity.
Plus, they all have substantial metal components. Given that I was chased off Mt. Langley with the hair on my arms standing on end thanks to static electricity from approaching lightning, I think there's a good chance a carbon fiber trekking staff might have been all that it would have taken to turn me into toast.
Because I spend a lot of time high-altitude climbing and backpacking I think I will stick with White Alder and its additional weight. And its warm feel and the memories of where it's been.