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Description

If you have an axe to grind when it comes to weight, the Raven Pro is for you.

The Raven Pro Ice Axe is the lightest, full-service piolet available, period. It has a super clean and simple design for the high-end user who refuses to sacrifice performance for less weight. The sleek and ergonomic head provides a sure grip and all-day comfort—this also makes for a fast, smooth hand rotation when going into self-arrest. Boot-axe belays are a snap too. The classically curved adze blasts ice, chops steps, and clears snow quickly and easily. Not just for the climber, the Raven Pro is a ski/snowboard-mountaineer's dream as well. At 11 ounces, you may think you forgot to bring it with 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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Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Good general axe

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this axe for basic ski mountaineering and so far have had no problems. I am 5’ 11” and bought the 65 cm length which I feel has been a good size. It is nice and light, and seems to be very durable, though I have only had to really use it a few times climbing up steep ice and snow fields. It is my first axe, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but I have not been disappointed or felt like there was anything else I needed. Overall I think this is a good value and would recommend it to my friends.

4 5

All Around Ski Mountaineers Axe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used the 50cm length over many many climbs in conjunction with a BD whippet. This is a great combination for anyone looking to start ski mountaineering. The shorter length for the axe will get you up and down more terrain, and the versatility of the shorter shaft will aid you in steeper terrain. The axe performs well enough on steep, short pitches of ice but not so much on vertical spots. However, when using this weapon where it is intended, it is great. It's light so I almost always take it with me in situations where I know I will be climbing but I'm not sure if it is completely necessary. I've used this axe for self-arrest purposes, anchor building / deadman and to belay as well. It works for glacier travel too. Can't beat it for the price, weight and durability.

All Around Ski Mountaineers Axe
4 5

Classic Axe for the Ski Mountaineer

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This has been my go-to axe for over three years. It's light, plunges well and is pretty minimalistic with its classic design. I love this axe. Since it's so light, I never hesitate to bring it with me on the climbs that I'm not certain if I'll need it or not. I have the 50cm length which is pretty versatile for steeper climbs. I'm 5'6''. I use this in conjunction with a BD whippet, which is obviously much more adjustable for flatter terrain. This is a pretty solid combo for anyone thinking about getting into ski mountaineering. The axe performs well enough on short, steeper ice and in variable situations however this is about as far as you can really push this thing. I love it for use where it's intended, steep snow and in some glacier travel where you may need to use it for belay and self-arrest. Great axe for the price too!

Classic Axe for the Ski Mountaineer

What Size Should I get?

Responded on

So for a versatile size, measure the distance between the tip of your middle finger while at your side and the malleolus of your ankle. This will provide the most versatile size for you.

If you intend to be on steeper terrain mostly, then you can use a shorter axe, if you are going to be on more moderate flatter terrain then a longer axe will suit you better.

You can call or email me directly. 801-736-6398, or bporreca@backcountry.com

4 5

Great but not often used anymore

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a great axe for low angle climbing, and was great when I just started mountaineering, but I don't use it often anymore (in no way is this a problem with the axe itself). The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars is because it's hard to get good sticks in ice (yes, it's a mountain axe, but it's harder than other mountain axes I've used), and feels more slick than many other options.

what size would you recommend for ski mountaineering. I'm 6ft 3. the ultra only goes to 60cm

Responded on

JB,

Sizing will depend on a few factors. There are two schools of thought for sizing axes:

1- Size the axe according to your height
2- Size the axe according to the intended terrain / objective

For the Raven Ultra, you'd want the 60cm only if you intend to do steeper terrain.

If you're not intending to do lots of technical / steep terrain then you could go with the Raven Pro but in a 70cm length.

Shoot me an email if you have more quesitons or want to talk more indepth.

Jared D.
Expert Gearhead
800.409.4502 ext 4055
jdowns@backcountry.com

5 5

Frighteningly light but well built

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Hasn't given me any trouble, easy to grip and well balanced. Do yourself a favor and buy a leash and protectors with it.

Frighteningly light but well built
This axe isn't just for climbing

This axe isn't just for climbing

I used my Raven Pro to chip a mound of ice away from the front door of our mountain house. Had a large melt/freeze/melt pile of ice blocking the front door and the Raven Pro made quick work of it.

5 5

Super light and sharp as a razor

This is my first ice axe and I was pleasantly surprised by just how light it is. I have no plans to climb with it (just plan to use it for self arrest and to chop foot holds on snow slopes while hiking) but I was impressed by how easily the axe would enter and securely grip in solid ice. This will be a standard item in my pack for hiking in Glacier NP until mid August each year when the snow finally retreats from the highest trails.

5 5

Excellent

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Super lightweight, hardly noticeable at all on your backpack and doesn't tire your arm while walking with it. Had the displeasure to have to use it for a self-arrest and I can safely say I wouldn't be writing this review had I not had it with me. Excellent tool, great quality, it won't disappoint.

Excellent
3 5

I question the need for this to exist

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

The Raven Pro is only 2.5 oz lighter than the Raven for the same length. Its not noticeably stronger, nor does it hold an edge better. It is shiny though. If you have the money to spend an extra 25% on all your gear to save a couple ounces then go for it. Otherwise it makes no sense. The regular Raven will do just fine for 95% of people's purposes. Drink a few less beers the night before hitting the mountain and you will save that weight without costing you anything. Most mountaineers have adequate grip strength to carry an extra 2.5 oz in their hands all day. Its 2.5 ounces...

5 5

Awesome axe

  • Gender: Male

Great lightweight general mountaineering axe. I'm 6'0 and went with the 70cm and it's perfect for me.

Awesome axe

I'm 6'5 and would be using this thing more...

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.

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Scott,

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.

5 5

So light!

  • 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...

Other than the weight, what is the difference between the Raven Pro and Ultra? Can they both be used for the same purposes?

Responded on

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

3 5

BD Raven Pro

  • 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.

Responded on

Why did you only give it 3 stars? Your review seems like a 5 star review.

5 5

Best Mountaineering Axe

  • 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.

5 5

The perfect simplicity

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.

Perfect.

4 5

Nice and light

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