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A tool to take on any terrain.

The Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool delivers cutting-edge performance for ice, mixed, and alpine climbing thanks to an extremely versatile design that works with or without leashes. In addition to a detachable Fang for leashless security, the Viper includes a Strike pommel that screws into one of two shaft positions and allows easy matching for a variety of hand and glove sizes. Black Diamond built this ice tool with a hydro-formed shaft to increase stiffness and clearance while reducing overall weight. The Viper Ice Tool comes with either a micro-hammer or micro-adze to give you alpine-ready performance while maintaining a low profile for ultra-technical climbing.

  • Choke-up point allows easier matching on steep terrain
  • Clip-in point lets you use tethers on multi-pitch routes
  • Curved upper shaft provides extra clearance on bulges

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Solid All-Around Tool

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things are capable of anything, from 45 degree neve to steep water ice. I've used it on alpine climbs, WI5 waterfalls and steep mixed routes (on top-rope, I'm not a badass, sadly), and everything in between.

If you mostly climb in the alpine, check out the Quarks - less curve towards the bottom for easier plunging, and lighter. For mostly steep water ice or mixed, Z handle tools are great. But if you're doing a little of everything, you can't go wrong with these, and the price is killer (wait until they're 20% off).

5 5

Well Rounded Tools

Of all the tools I used last season, I finally pulled the trigger on these. As a ski mountaineer my needs are different than most, but these seem to hold the balance between all aspects extremely well.

Pommel-One of my bigger complaints about some all around tools is a weak fat plastic pommel for plunging on steep snow routes. The pommel on these is very similar to the quark and the X-All and the pick plunges into hard snow very well. While these have a bigger profile than the X-All, the curve of the tools matches better for my needs.

Hand Feel-The tools do feel heavier and slightly less balanced than the quark does. I noticed my wrists tended to get tired more quickly as a result. I have smaller hands and I did not experience any issues with my hand fitting in the grip, but several friends with larger hands did have issues.

Swing- Completely Natural. This is where I was really sold on these tools. In hero ice they stuck incredibly well, but in the cold hard ice they really shined. For me I felt there was a very natural smooth swing with a flick finish without thinking about it, almost a Goldilocks swing (not too hard, not too light, not too deep or shallow. I wasn't getting my tools stuck whatsoever, a big bonus for someone newer)

Is it sold in pairs?

Best Answer Responded on

These are individual ice tools. Hit me up directly if you have any questions.

Eric Watford
Expert Gearhead
Ext. 6069
Instagram: @ericwatford

4 5

Good, but not perfect

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

This is a great axe, but it has some flaws to it. I found that it takes quite a bit of technique to make it stick in the ice, but once you get use to it, it is great. I really liked this axe, but I still prefer the Petzls....

Great tool, just requires time to get use to

5 5

Solid Alpine Tool

If you want one tool for alpine, mixed, and ice, this is one of the best options out there. They have a nice balance, they deliver confident sticks, and they're durable as hell. I love how you can switch out the hammer or adze for a head blank to save weight. I'm looking forward to swinging my set into some ice over in Chamonix.

Solid Alpine Tool
4 5

I'll take quarks

These are great, but for only a little more cash, I can get the quarks and have a remarkably lighter setup.

These are bomber and have a great strike angle. The standard pick works well thick bullet-proof ice and holds up well to rock, too. If the quarks didn't exist, I'd be all over these.

I'll take quarks

Hydroforming Technology: The latest in Black Diamond ice tool construction.

We use hydroforming to make the shafts on our Viper and redesigned Fall 2009 Fusion ice tools. Watch this video of Climbing Hardgoods Manager Bill Belcourt as he explains the process and its advantages.

5 5

Killer tools

These tools are awesome. The swing takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of them they place great. They also clear bulges well. I have only climbed them leash less and use the new BD spinner leashes if i think dropping them will be an issue. Get after it!

5 5

Great tools

Bought these tools (hammer and adze)after having the opportunity to borrow a plethora of tools - these came to the top so I bought them. No knuckle bashing, lightweight, picks are easy to sink and don't have excess vibration, easy to remove, durable, and priced decent - even better when you can get them on sale. I bought the android leashes to go along with them - so far, they have only ever stayed in my pack and only came for a walk. Leashless is the way to go - very good product.

Great tools
4 5

Great Tool

This is a great tool. I used these (usually use CF Black Prophets w/leashes) on moderate water I and I was very pleased. The curve in the shaft makes sinking tools a breeze, they just fly right in. If there's a downside to the tools, it's that the pick is so easy to place it can be easy to over-sink them and make them difficult to remove. Once you learn to deal with that though, it means less energy spent all around.

5 5

I miss them.

I had a set stolen out of the back of a buddies pickup. I'll be purchasing another set before the summer ends. These are perfect for Ice, dry, mixed, anything really. They are light, versatile and work great leashless. I miss them. Plus they look mean strapped on your pack.

5 5


With or without leashes these are great tools. Durable and light. What else can I say they're solid.

Leading in the Daks (NY)

Leading in the Daks (NY)

These are the original vipers, from about 2003. Still running strong on orig picks. I upgraded with Shrike and Fang - something I believe comes standard on the new ones.

4 5

Single quiver ice tool

I've climbed on them for the past 4 seasons and stand by the performance. They're a bit heavy as Scott mentioned, but after 4 seasons I'm in better shape and the tools are still workhorses. If you only have 1 set of tools, this is a really good choice. You can play on long alpine routes with a mixture of snow and ice, but the tools are equally at home on vertical ice. With a good variety of picks, mixed pick, lazer, and titan, you can really customize the tool to the type of climbing you enjoy or plan on for any given weekend.

The android leash also provides some of the benefits of leashless climbing, ie easy screw placement and switching tools, without committing to leashless climbing. If you are interested in climbing with these tools leashless- save yourself the frustration and buy a leashless tool. With some add-ons they might look leashless, but they are a leashed tool- that's their strength.