If you have an axe to grind when it comes to weight, the Raven Pro is for you.
- Durable 7075-T6 aluminum shaft, 17-4 investment cast stainless steel head and spike
- Classic design ideal for all mountaineering situation
- Flat head for a more comfortable hand rest
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Share your thoughts
I'm 6'5 and would be using this thing more like a walking stick on some long hauls. Feel like I'd need it more on the steeper terrain but not ice climbing. Distance from my knuckles to my ankle is 72cm. Should I go with a 70cm or a 75cm? Any advice would be appreciated.
thanks Phil - will go w/ the 70cm
The 70cm is the better choice because the shorter swing/plant requires less energy, and even that 2cm difference seems to just feel a whole lot better. Definitely not for ice climbing at all- steeps and glacier travel, yes, just not vertical ice. The proper measurement is from your finger tips as your arms hang at your sides to the floor.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I couldn't believe how light this thing is.
I didn't think there was any way the head and spike are steel, but they are!
I just wish the biner hole in the head was a tiny bit bigger. I also wish it came with the spike/pick/adze caps instead of having to buy them separately.
Other than the weight, what is the difference between the Raven Pro and Ultra? Can they both be used for the same purposes?
There isn't much besides the weight. The pick end is shaped differently to reduce weight. Only if you're counting grams would you need the ultra
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Comfortable to hold onto. Lighter than most of the other full on mountaineering axes available. Can pound in a picket without destroying the axe. Most at home on long snow walks and glacier walks. Mine has seen lots of action on the standard routes up the PNW volcanos. Get a long one so you can use it like a pole. I got rid of the leash on day 1. The axe attaches well to all my packs with various systems. The top can be sharpened if you bash up a little too much rock. Buy it if you like walking on glaciers and don't expect to hit much vertical ice.
- Gender: Male
For my purposes of general mountaineering with or without crampons, this thing is more than enough. It's lightweight, chops pretty well, and is a good anchor. The Raven looks beautiful too. Most importantly, it's comfortable to hold.
I'm 6'1, 165 lbs and I have the 70 cm version. The 75 cm version would also do just fine.
Probably the best do-it-all ultralight ice axe.
It's great for self-arresting, improvising snow anchors and boot-axe belays due to it's direct shaft.
Take it for just-in-case snow/icy approaches - it's light and won't pull you down.
Climb a steep snow - it easily handles really steep snow slopes (depending on your skills for sure).
Climb an alpine ice - paired with an ice tool (e.g. Petzl Sum'Tec 43) it brings you up (again, it depends on your skills and do not oversize it - longer the shaft, harder to climb steep and/or icy slope).
Adze is good for cleaning snow and chopping steps.
Just picked this up for a ski mountaineering clinic. It was nice and light to carry around and worked well during crevasse rescue, self arrest and general training on the glacier/ in the mountains
just wondering if the lack of rivets holding the head/adaze to the shaft has bothered anyone?
No. Out of all the ice axes (not tools) and piolets out there they are probably 50/50 when it comes to rivets in the head. Some have them and some don't. For a piolet (non aggressive tool) you don't really need them. You see rivets on tools like this when the shaft is bent, leading to a more aggressive tool used for vertical-ish ice. Make sense? Hope this helps.
What more can you ask for? does everything that I've ever wanted it to and weighs less than my friends BD Raven. Very durable just like everything else I have from Black Diamond.
I had one for a few years it was a great . Coming down a mountain last year a she beast ran into me and tried dragging me down a hill ! after helping up
the large she beast and returning to the trial I found out she snagged my axe! So she freak or beast I am having to buy a new axe to replace the one you tore out of my pack after I almost ran over your huge clumsy a** .
Love this axe. Keeping in mind it's my first... it's lightweight enough that I'll be inclined to take it just about everywhere, yet rugged enough to keep me from sailing down the mountain. Would buy again in a heartbeat.
You need it for moderate/steep snow climbs and other types of travel. Fairly light, but rugged and really helps on the steeper sections. I haven't used it for glissading or self-arrest, but confident in the piece of gear.
You need an ice axe for certain type of activities. Go with a proven company in Black Diamond and a product that tons of people have.
Make sure to add an ice axe protector and a leash.
I've used this with MicroSpikes solo hiking the snowier/icier sections of the early-season PCT in southern California and with crampons in a wee bit of mountaineering here in BC. I'm 5'10" and got the 70cm because that's what they're now recommending for everyone in the latest edition of Mountaineering: the Freedom of the Hills. This is just one of the best tools of any sort I've ever used; it does what it's supposed to, over and over and over again: no drama. I moved here from back east where you don't need this sort of equipment, and it's been a real confidence booster on the knottier terrain out here.
Great ax! I've used mine to replace an old heavy I found online a few years ago. Lightweight, good looks, form and function are at a maximum here. I even take mine out to bars and pick up chicks! Less expensive than a Rolex and feels real secure when climbing tall blondes.
This is an extremely light tool. I've used it a couple of times on the mountain, and a few times in different mountaineering classes for self arrest training. Worked perfect for me! Spend the extra money for the Raven Pro... The weight savings is worth it in the end. Remember, you'll be carrying it for hours on end. Another great BD product.
This axe is as close to perfect as they come. I've compared it to other piolets from Petzl, CAMP, Grivel, and REI, and it just beats them all. It's incredibly light, the head is comfortable to hold when climbing, and the head cuts into ice and holds as well as anything. My only qualm is that the brushed aluminum handle doesn't grip super well, so if you don't have a leash, it's worth making one out of some parachute cord, or buying a grip to put on the handle. All in all, it's a well balanced axe, and for the money, I wouldn't buy anything else.
It worked perfect for ascending glaciar Pan De Azucar, El Cocuy, Colombia (5100m) and as an anchor in very hard snow, which it broke with no difficulty. The back shovel is also very good for working in the anchor. For the price is the best you can find, and even better than other that have a higher price. I totally recomend it for glaciar tavel. I dont use it for ice climb so i cant say how well it works for technical climb, but for the shape i dont think it could be the best option for that, but for the angle of the axe and how well it goes through snow and ice, I think is better that someone that has used it for ice climb give an opinion.
This is extremely comfortable to hold onto while on glaciers. I was at first hesitant to get the 70cm, but boy do I feel secure when this bites into the ice/snow. Lightweight, durable, and comfortable to hold onto. Great ice axe from Black Diamond.