Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe

January 27, 2009

Mountaineering brings on the fatigue. There is no doubt about that. When your cranking 50lbs. of gear in steel shanked boots the last thing your mind needs is heavy clunky gear. The Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe has been by my side for years and it's going to take a yeti on steroids to pry it from my white knuckle grip. My first axe was the raven from about 7 years ago and the pick was hard to grip. It was very boxy and didn't feel good at all. The Pro is vastly different. The head fits nicely between your fingers as if BD came to your house and molded your hand. The Pro doesn't have a rubber grip and I don't think it's necessary, unless you don't use gloves then by all means get the grip. In any piece of gear your always going to find something lighter. The deal with ice axes is when they hollow out the shaft that means you have a hole at the bottom of your axe. The idea of buying a axe 3oz. lighter and then possibly picking up 3oz. of snow at 12,000 feet kinda screws with my head. And at that point in the climb my head needs a vacation. I like the Raven Pro because at 13.5oz (60cm) you get a dominate beefy axe that isn't the tank of the pick line-up or the most spendy. For a straight shaft it feels good in the hand and for self arrests it is easy to maneuver (Practice also has a little to do with it). When your pounding a fluke into the snow, it's all work and no play with the Pro; solid. Ice Axe Sizing Make sure when your sizing an axe to consider the fact your going to be wearing crampons while using the axe. It's ok if the axe feels a little short. I am 5'7" and use a 60cm axe and at first it felt too short but when your reaching up in the snow and trucking you don't want to be lugging a long pole up the hill. BUY NOW: The Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe at

No items found.