Rainier or Denali, the Raven gets you there and back.
- Classic design idea for any mountaineering situation
- Flat head makes a more comfortable hand rest
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Share your thoughts
does the job
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
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.
Great Workhorse Axe
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
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.
Raven on Rainier
at cocuy colombia
This is a good ice axe. I went with a 70cm. Works good for general mountaineering.
Gets the job done!
Sturdy, solid axe. It will definitely hold up well and help you tackle many mountains.
Great piece, have brought this one on many ascents over the years, holds up well and is fairly lightweight. Very nice grip in cane mode. There are lighter and more technical options out there, but for an all around mountaineering axe it's hard to go wrong with this one.
I went up 5cm.
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.
Axe that gets it done
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
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.
Great but not the best option
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
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.
does the work
god ice axe for non technical climbs
Great lightweight tool
I like it better than the pro version, although it is heavier it feels better in my hand. It works very well for self arrest and self belays. You won't regret buying this axe.
Won't use anything else on snow/ice. Not to heavy and an excellent camp tool, as well. Carabiners fit in both holes (woohoo!!) making it a cinch to secure it to your pack.
Used on first outing, never a better investment
I got blown over the side of a steep hill recently and actually had my BD Raven out at the time. Self-arrest was quick, especially with 120 mph wind gusts blasting me down the hill further. Never made a better investment for ice safety, held up great!.
All around axe.
I love the BD raven because it is sleek, classic, and versitile. Every mountaineer should have this axe! I originally wanted the BD venom. but decided on this. It is better han the raven pro because the holes are big enough to accept a biener'.
Basic Ice Axe
This ice axe is quite good if you're going for some non-technical climbing/snow hiking. But that's it. If you're going to be doing any techincal stuff, there is a bunch of better axes. It's not the lightest you can get either. So if you're looking for an ice axe for alpine touring or a "just in case" one Camp Corsa Nanotech (for example) would be a lot better choice.