For security and speed on steep ice, technical mixed, or intimidating alpine terrain. `
- Carbon fiber shaft dampens your swing for more one-swing sticks
- Carbon fiber shaft doesn't chill your hand like aluminum
- Choke-up spur allows easier matching on steep terrain
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Share your thoughts
make anything work
Smooth swing on steep ice
The Cobras are a versatile ice tool excelling at steep ice and alpine routes.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I love these tools. They are SUPER durable yet light. Always stick super well with a light swing. You can't go wrong with Black Diamond.
Mixed Climbing at Pictured Rocks
Fun times in Ouray
Cobra Ice Tool
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
These have been out for a bit but they still rock. Light to swing and solid sticks. Easy to change the picks in the field. Hole in the spike clips well to a tether. Hole in the head allows you to clip them to your harness for raps or low angle walking.
Awesome stick, light weight, well balanced, I am ordering the head weights from blackdiamond.
I've owned Prophets, the previous Cobras, and the new Cobras. They are great for mixed and hooking; however, they are less than stellar on pure steep ice-- due in part to their lightweight. Their big curve helps protect the knuckles and makes hooking mushrooms a breeze. Greatly improved over the previous version is the grip, its much thinner and easier to hold. Also good are the fangs for matching.
On the downside, their lightweight can make it more difficult to get a good stick-- especially in really hard ice (and vertical). Adding the heaver adze or hammer doesn't help much since the weight is behind the pick which makes the head flop side to side if you are not dead center on your swing.
Finally, if you climb leash-less but have the leash attachment on the tool the webbing will wear fairly quickly (due to the metal part swinging up and down). I had to retire the leash attachment after 1 season, no big loss since I don't use it and probably not an issue if you actually use the leash.
Ultimately, they are great tools and many people love them (I Like them a lot).
So I realize that when you're spending...
So I realize that when you're spending $300, the extra $36 isn't that much, but are these any better than Petzl's Nomics? I hear BD pick quality isn't that high compared to Petzl, the Nomics have modularity, and there really isn't any weight savings. Thoughts?
Depends on what your doing with them. On ice they both work well, the nomics require a different swing, more wrist action to set the pick, while the cobras are more of a standard swing. For pure ice the cobras are the way to go, especially when its fresh. For mixed/drytooling or climbs that are hacked out already (like Vail or the ice park)the nomics might have the edge, but they both perform well on most every type of climb. It mostly comes down to how you use them. As for the picks, the new BD picks work great, they get stuck less and haven't broken any this season.
Keep in mind that the Cobras come with a "B" rated pick which is thinner than the "T" rated picks that the Petzl's come with which are thicker (in addition the shape is slightly different too). So when you hear that Petzl picks are more durable/better/whatever, you are comparing different rated picks. Get the "T" picks for your BD and you'll find them just as good. That being said the "B" rated picks go into ice better and typically don't get as stuck as the "T" picks
Carbon fiber being put to use.
with some many pieces of ice climbing gear simply clkned by the competitors, Quark or Nomic come to mind, the Cobra upped the game by adding a carbon fiber shaft. Tested in every mtn rnage and on hard ice as well as hard mixed. It is simply a great tool.
Had a chance to try these last year on a training day on ice and was hooked from the first swing and ended up getting them just recently. Weight is always and issue, in the pack but you like some for setting the tool, which these still have that feel. By no means am I an expert or pro but like to use high end equipment and these are as good as it gets. Using these mostly for mountaineering so the curve is not the best for plunging into snow, crabbing works well while ascending. I remove the hand clips yet carry them with me for times Ice will be encountered. Shaft is slippery so I added some skateboard grip tape on for grip after seeing a friend use it, good idea! Lightness means less fatigue!
Great great and great. This axe one of the best on the market. Its versatility is awesome. Its super stiff, yet light and has a great feel to it throw a leash on it and you'll feel as secure as possible.
light and fast
these are sweet tools, they are so light you can swing them all day with half of the pump, the handle angle seems to be perfect to me on steep and low angle ice and rock, the pinky locks come in very handy to help relieve your grip. the carbon is so nice dampening the bows although it takes away a bit of sensitivity. love these tools but they dont come cheep
some mixed climbing in montana
Do they include android leash or is it an...
Do they include android leash or is it an option?
You have to buy the leashes separate.
The best pure ice tool I have ever used. Light with a perfect swing weight. Just flick and go. The carbon shafts absorb any shock nicely. Just a joy to climb with. Great alpine tool since it is so light. I have climbed a bit of mixed with this tool and was perfectly happy with the performance, but if you are looking to send m10 and above you might want to look at the BD fusion.
I'm not exactly an ice ninja, but I do know that this is the best tool I have ever used. And it seems like this tool has a religious following for a good reason. They swing like a dream, with the right balance of heavy enough to get a good stick, but light enough to not tire your arms out over a long day, and you can mix climb pretty hard in them. The carbon fiber is AWESOME, and dampens the vibration to your hands. In technical terms this ice tool is the SHIZNIT!!!
If you can pony up the dough go with it. Takes just a flick of the wrist. Has an amazing swing with the majority of the weight in the head. Easy to control the depth of your sticks. Works well on pure ice and mixed. Modular heads and spike with attachmetn point for umbilicals are nice touches.
BD Cobra Tool
IF you want the tool that all the other ice climbing fools will drool over then this is it. The carbon fiber is such a sick material for the shaft. It absorbs and dampens all the vibration so you dont get as pumped when you though a sucky swing and it ricochets off. The picks as slick, I dry tool the hell out of them and then just hit em up with the ol file...good as new. Lastly these are durable, show me an ice climber that is gentle on equipment and ill tell you that your dreaming. These will hold up to all the abuse that can be tossed at em. They are pricy, but worth every penny.