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The best of both worlds.
- Ideal counterpart to your ice axe on a mountaineering trip
- The interchangeable, classically curved pick is designed to provide solid placements while ice climbing as well as to self-arrest securely
- The Venom's slight bend at the top of the shaft increases vertical performance without sacrificing the ability to plant the shaft in the snow
- Replaceable pick can be re-sharpened after each trip
- An ideal alpine leash, the Lockdown, is included with this versatile axe
- Item #BLD0826
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This is definitely a quiver axe. For those looking for a standard Piolet to use as a walking cane on glaciers this probably isn't the best option as it is a little bit heavier and will only help you balance on the steepest of terrain. But for ski mountaineering and general steep ascents this tool works great! The bend in the shaft definitely makes it more friendly in technical terrain. For sure not a full on ice tool but could help you get through some sticky terrain. In terms of weight I am happy with where it comes in at as it helps drive in snow pickets quickly and efficiently. I'd recommend for those looking to expand their ice axe quiver to something for more technical climbs.
Heavier than a piolet but more useful
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This axe isn't useful as a cane. Unless you're much, much shorter, you're not going to be leaning on it as you climb anything but the steepest slopes. It's a utility axe. It'll serve as a self-arrest mechanism, as an anchor, as a means of creating anchors or hammering them in (if you have the hammer). But it's just not quite going to reach the ground on a climb. That's not what I bought if for though. I have a 74cm piolet. I wanted this to do the above and have a different resource for the occasions when it is dictated (e.g., there isn't a guide doing all th work for me).
It is a heavier tool, but the tradeoff in utility is worth it. And the replaceable pick means it'll pass down to your kids and their kids.
Hybrid tool FTW!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I really like this tool. It works great for small mixed climbs and is light enough that it there is a chance i'll need two tools i'll grab this one. The only reason I didn't give it five starts is because I think it needs a finger grib like the Petzl Sum'Tec. Other then that this is my go to hybrid tool. I would recommend it for anyone seeking a hybrid tool
Nice little tool to have on some steeper routes, but nothing overly technical. Not too heavy, but sturdy. Does everything I need it to do.
Kip Garre using two BD Venoms
Kip using Venoms in Antarctica.
Black Diamond Venom Hammer
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Not aways my first choice to bring on a trip but definitely good to add to the quiver. nice for snow routes where you consider not bringing an axe but might need to pound something or if you run into a slight bulge of ice. Not something I would particularly want to climb serious ice with but there are climbers out there way better than I who easily could. Grip is nice, leash works well, and the picks are easy enough to change if you have the tool though I prefer the bolt heads on the cobras for tightening in the field.
Jake Norton shows us his favorite ice ax
from Whittaker Mountaineering
Topping out on the Chevy
Kim Havell about to top out on the Chevy Couloir on the way to skiing the Grand Teton, which she climbed using Venom ice tools.
Great tool does it all
Perfect Alpine Axe.
This thing rocks! I was looking for an axe that I could use for self arrest but would also work well on some semi steep ice/snow, and the venom does the trick. Seriously, you can't go wrong having this tool with ya.
Good but heavy
Like many have said before. When you have a pair they really add up in weight department. Other than the weight this is a sold tool.
Just what I wanted
I thought this must somehow suck because it's so much cheaper than many others in its class but it doesn't. It's sharp, aggressive and a valuable tool. I bought this as a compliment to my long ax for more classic alpine climbing and used it on Mt. Hood's Old Chute yesterday. I would have been significantly less happy without it. I am 6' and I got the 50c which feels plenty long for what I want it for.
Mixed tools, mixed climbing
If you want a tool that can be used for a bit of mountaineering as well as some steeper ice, the black diamond venom is it!! Perfect versatile ice tool when you need one that can do many different things. Id recommend it to any alpine climber.
This has been my go to axe when engaged in steep glacier travel and light mountaineering. It can work for a bit of easy vertical but certainly not what it was designed for. Also use this bad boy on ski tours over icy terrain as I do not (yet) have a whippet.
Kip Garre sporting two Venoms
Kip Garre checking out a calving ice fall in Antarctica while wearing two Venom Ice Axes on his backpack.
What Size Should I get?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
How well does this axe work on pure ice...
How well does this axe work on pure ice (WI???)? Could I use it for alpine ice one day, then recreational ice climbing the next?
I am looking for an all around tool that doesn't empty my pockets.
If you're planning to an even amount of both look for something a bit more technical than the Venom. I have used it for both alpine travel and ice climbing. It will do both for sure, its not the most ideal for long bouts of ice climbing though. For that I would suggest a technical tool.
I have used the Venom and one of my petzl quarks combo before with pleasant results. Hope this helped!
Thanks Reid! I ended up shelling out the dough for the quarks, and I am glad that I did. The quarks work right in the range I wanted.
Those are an awesome tool. Having a ice axe is good for glaciers, I just got a BD Raven for that. Cheap and sturdy. Cheers!
can this hammer knock in some Pitons???...
can this hammer knock in some Pitons??? or do i need the black diamond hammer?
This hammer can put pitons in...but, the black diamond hammer would be MUCH easier to use.
Hey All, Building my backcountry ski kit...
Building my backcountry ski kit a bit deeper this year. I am 6 ft and need some recs on sizing an ice axe. Any reccomendations please would be a big help. Thanks
I'm 5 ft 11 in and I use a 65 or 70. In general, you want an ice axe that, when you hold it at your side with your arm straight, stops a little bit above your ankle. If you plan on going up steep slopes, you'll want the axe to be a few cm shorter than that. This only applies if you're going to use the axe as a cane.
If you plan on using it on very steep slopes where you're going to swing it over your head, you'll want a significantly shorter tool. The standard length for technical tools is closer to 50 cm. If that's what you plan on doing, a 57 cm Venom might serve you pretty well.
I just bought a 50cm Venom hammer as a second tool to my 65cm Raven for north Cascades ski mountaineering and climbing. I'm shorter than you but my reasoning is that I'll be skinning with poles on anything under ~45 degrees and if it gets to the point that I want an axe it's to plunge up to the pick on steep faces. I don't need anything approaching cane length for that. When I have some more money I'll replace my Raven with a Venom adze.
Is the hammer suitable for driving in snow...
Is the hammer suitable for driving in snow pickets?
Yes, the hammer is designed for driving pickets and pitons. Get after it!
I'm interesting in using this axe to climb...
I'm interesting in using this axe to climb alpine routes like N Ridge of Baker and N Face Shuksan and I'm 6'-2" tall.
1. What length shaft would you recommend for an axe with a hammer?
2. Would you recommend getting the same length Venom w/Adze or would it be just a good to use the 58cm Grivel Air Tech Racing axe I currently own for a second axe on these climbs?
I would use the 50cm BD hammer for steep plunging, daggering, and steep ice and the Grivel Air Tech as your main piolet.
Any thoughts on how the tech pick does for...
Any thoughts on how the tech pick does for self arrest?
Probably too "catchy" and the classic would be better.
What size? For general mountaineering I...
What size? For general mountaineering I use a 65 cm Raven but don't know what length to get for the Venom. The 50 would be useless for any of the lower angle snow fields that are common in New England, so it's 57 or 64. Which one? (I'm 5'10")
If you are just walking up snowfields with it, then the raven is more than enough axe. You would want to use this one for slightly more technical adventures, and having it a little bit shorter would be more beneficial. You already have a 65, so get yourself a quiver going and go with the 57.
Does this tool come with a leash?
Does this tool come with a leash?
Yes it does come with a leash. It's a fairly long leash at that!
Trying to decide between this tool and the...
Trying to decide between this tool and the petzl aztarex. I would be using it for mainly mountaineering, glacier approaches, and some alpine climbing. Anyone have time on both tools?