The Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe is a traditional mountneer's piolet that is built from innovative lightweight, aircraft aluminum alloy for high strength and reliable performance. This Black Diamond axe also features a one-piece stainless steel head with a large hole for a carbiner, and a pick engineered with a curve and teeth for secure self-arresting. Classic design and modern materials - a magical combination. Yukon Cornelius will for sure be trading up to the Black Diamond Raven.
A traditional axe for legendary ascents, the trusty Black Diamond Raven delivers quality you can feel.
The one piece investment cast stainless steel head of the Raven is formed for function and will not rust. Easy to hold and switch to self arrest mode, the Raven's strong design also includes a slightly larger adze than the Raven Pro for chopping steps in hard snow and ice. The Raven and uses a dual density grip that is flush with the shaft providing a better grip when ascending couloirs and allowing the shaft to penetrate hard snow easily. Both models come in five different sizes for custom fit.
• Pick`s curve and teeth engineered for secure self-arresting.
• Head: Head, Spike: stainless steel.
• Shaft: Aluminum.
• Weight Without Leash: 437 g, 15 oz (55 cm)
|Available Color(s):||Envy Green, Gray|
|Awards:||Past Award Winners|
|Best Use:||Glacier Travel|
|Head, Spike:||stainless steel|
|Material:||Stainless steel(Head, Spike); Aluminum (Shaft)|
|Materials:||Head: Stainless steel|
|Weight:||Stainless-steel head/aluminum shaft|
|Weight Without Leash:||437 g, 15 oz (55 cm)|
|Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe||$79.96 - $99.99|
|Black Diamond Raven Ultra Ice Axe||$87.96 - $109.95|
|Black Diamond Raven Grip Ice Axe||$71.99 - $95.95|
|Black Diamond Raven Mountaineering Axe||$63.96|
This is a great axe. The Black Diamond ice axe head design is the best for comfortable carrying. Blows the Grivel G1 out of the water in that regard. Besides that, what more is there really to discuss? It's strong, it's sturdy, it gets the job done. Don't let anyone fool you - this is an expedition axe that you could take on K2 if you wanted.
Why four stars and not five? Because for twenty dollars more you can move from a great axe to an elite one. The Raven Pro is great in all the same ways as the Raven, but significantly lighter. Some prefer a heftier axe, but I say get used to the lighter feel and appreciate the long-term advantages of a lighter axe
You will find the Raven and Raven Pro anywhere you find mountaineers doing their thing. You can't go wrong with the Raven, but you can do better.
I went round and round. 60cm or 65cm? I hate it when I am right between sizes. I was getting one for Rainier, so I went towards the longer. I have to say I am glad I went for the 65cm. I could see if was climbing steeper ascents I would have gone shorter. I couldn't see spending the extra for the Raven Pro. I think the biggest reason for not getting the Pro was the polished axe head. I could see myself getting a little light headed, seeing some frost on the shiny surface and having a Dumb and Dumber moment like Harry did on the ski lift.. "Oh look.. frost.." Then having to ask for a cup of warm water from passing climbers.. No thanks.
I guide out at a volunteer organization called TEAM Ascend Trek, and we take youth groups up mountains in Colorado, mostly the Sawatch Range, but we'll go anywhere the group wants to go. We have a set of 12 of these that have been around for over 5 years of hard use, and they still perform great. They work fine as a general ice axe, but are also sturdy enough that we carry them well into the summer when the snow is mostly gone to be used as a splint or cane if one of our campers gets hurt. Couldn't ask for more.
The axe is nothing special, its not super light or anything like that but it definitely works and is a perfect affordable option for mountaineering in many different situations. My next axe will probably be something like the Venom that is a little more technical and you can get a hammer on the back of it.
This is a great all around axe for glacier and snow/ice travel. I'd go with a more specialized tool for technical ice, but that's another story.