As guidebook authors logging up to 1,000 miles each summer, we began using Leki trekking poles way back when poles were a rarity on North American trails. Having never seen poles, other hikers frequently commented on them. Each assumed his quip was oh so witty. But it was almost verbatim what everyone else said: “Hey, you forgot your skis!” We tolerated this tedious sarcasm for years. But eventually the fatuous comments slowly decreased, while the number of other hikers using poles increased. It was as if we were observing the evolution of the hiker, from cretinous bipeds to astute quadrupeds. What a relief. We could stop wincing. And our faith in the intelligence of our fellow hikers was gradually restored. So thank you, Leki, for refining trekking poles into precision instruments and for popularizing them. You’ve made hiking easier, safer, and more enjoyable for all of us. And you’ve saved some poor fool—the guy who would have said “Hey, you forgot your skis!” once more than we could endure—from getting whacked with a trekking pole.