Ran into a hiker this past weekend who had some seriously distressed carbon poles. I asked him about it and he noted that he had cached them before a summit attempt since he didn't need poles on that particular hike and when he came back to retrieve them they were covered with tons of marmot teeth marks. He was still using them and I have the same ones and love them. I doubt marmots would have the same appetite for aluminum poles - have you ever accidentally chewed on aluminum foil?