Like a lot of essential back country ski gear, pole choice is nearly completely dictated by the popular brands seen at every gear store. In the US, Black Diamond seems to dominate the field with a variety of offerings. All them are adjustable and BD has developed numerous incarnations of the adjustment mechanism because, well, they often suck at some point. More on that later. In Europe, there are more options, some adjustable, some fixed. If you can break the spell of the former, you may be tempted by the latter.