Like walking/hiking poles? Have you used those before? How well did they work?
Yes, hiking poles. I've never used them in competition, but I've never run a race with back-to-back 3,000-foot passes, either. I have used them hiking and found that they really help at walking speed. Not so much because they make you faster (they don't) but because it takes all the strain off your lower back, which is a vulnerable area for me.
The difference is most notable on uphills. Instead of getting into a bent over position that can degrade into pushing on your knees with your hands, you stay upright with hips properly forward over your feet. On level ground, the difference is a lot more subtle, but still positive when walking.
The question, of course, is: how big of a hit are you taking to your running? Based on this one data point, I'd say it depends on how well you're running. I had no trouble with them today, but I can imagine getting tired of carrying them after 24 hours. I think my original plan of picking up the poles at Twin Lakes just before the double crossing of Hope Pass is still the way to go, but if I decide I'm really comfortable with them, I might pick them up an aid station earlier and have them for Mt. Elbert. Whether I keep them after 60 will be a game-day call. I'm currently thinking I will, but it will all depend on how I feel after Hope.
I used a single pole in South Dakota for worlds and in VA for the Stokesville rogaine. I wasn't running for either, but having a third point of contact prevented falls at each.
also, poles assist in sleep-walking! i swear i got several decent minutes of sleep while trekking w poles in Belize on night 2.