|Aluminum shaft. Head:||Hammer/Adze Spike|
|Weight With Leash:||528 g, 1 lb 3 oz (Hammer, 50 cm)|
|Black Diamond Venom Ice Axe||$149.95 - $149.99|
|Black Diamond Cobra Ice Axe W/ADZE||$335.95|
I think the only tool that compares to the BD Venom for technical alpine climbs or for high altitude mountaineering, is the Petzl Aztarex- mainly because nothing compares with these two tools for their lighter weight. But during such climbs- especially those with long sections of steep snow- the Venom excels over the Aztarex for a few reasons, but one in particular: it plunges well. The Venom also climbs through technical sections and mixed terrain with great balance and feel- even on vertical and bullet-hard ice- but MOST importantly it climbs securely in steep snow due to a smooth grip/shaft transition and a sharp spike, which is key for self-belay and anchoring. Other tools with molded handles and finger supports do not plunge well, and the Aztarex has a hollow, open shaft which fills up with snow. I've tried and compared many tools from all major brands, and for weight, durability, climbing versatility, leash, and interchangeable picks, nothing currently on the market compares with Venom for alpine climbing. Make sure to buy the Tech Picks, unless you intend to climb only snow- and then you should go for an even lighter tool than the Venom.For climbs with longer hard technical sections or difficult mixed climbing, I prefer the Black Diamond Cobra.
Used these on my last trip. Length really depends on what conditions you're in, I had 57's and wish I had the 50's just for better plunging in not so deep snow. Also shorter length would help on steeper slopes for using the pick. My first time using something other than ice specific axes. These are very light and felt better using a leash with them than not. The step up with these compared to a snow tool is the slight bend and the fact that you can replace the pick. I would say light ice use/more snow use. Tools have changed so much since my last experience it was fun to give them a go, nice tool!
I bought the venom axe in both the adze and hammer, and so far they are amazing! Ive used them on more technical terrain and the adze axe as more of a mountaineering tool, and they perform very well. The adze axe is quite difficult to use on vertical ice, but its obviously not made for that, however it does perform amazingly when self arresting. these axes also are great on up to 45 degree ice. I would definately recommend this tool to any alpine climber.
I use this as my primary ice axe and its amazing whenever I hit some hard snow or ice. I used to use a raven pro, but have replaced it with this after some less than pleasant experiences with ice. If you're looking for an ice axe that will work okay on ice/ hard snow, this is it. However glissading with it is a little scary. Be wary.
This thing rocks! I was looking for an axe that I could use for self arrest but would also work well on some semi steep ice/snow, and the venom does the trick. Seriously, you can't go wrong having this tool with ya.
Adze with a tech pick. Love it, beat the living daylights out of it and it's still good to go. Fairly light but still tough.
This tool makes a good set of tools for general mountaineering where you might encounter steep snow and frozen snow and can still handle low angle water ice if needed. The later being more difficult due to the leashes more than anything else. If they made a leashless kit like the one on the bd vipers, that would be great.