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Be prepared for the only time you actually want to get arrested.

When ski touring in highly exposed terrain or extremely variable conditions, a simple edge slip can become a life-or-death slide in the blink of an eye, leaving no time to remove your pack and grope for your ice axe.  With the Black Diamond Whippet Self-Arrest Ski Pole, you no longer have to resort to carrying a ski pole in one hand and one ice axe in the other in these extreme situations.  An aggressive stainless steel pick embedded in the pole's grip allows for quick and effective self-arrests, and the two-piece construction with powder basket gives this pole versatile touring performance on the mellow approach.

  • Stainless steel pick embedded in the top of the grip
  • FlickLock Pro adjustability
  • Ergonomic handle
  • 100mm (4in) powder basket

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Here's what others have to say...


The one.

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

This is the one and only, best whippet to use on the market. It's strong, durable, compatible with other BD poles so you can interchange the shafts, and is actually quite helpful in a variety of different situations. Whether your climbing short pitches of steep, hard snow or ice and just want that extra bit of added protection in addition to your axe or tool, or you want something for self-arresting, I really like this whippet. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the carbon options. I prefer to have something that feels a little stronger, has a bit more weight behind it when you need to use it. And I like that. Many people gripe about using a whippet but I have found many usual situations when I've been stoked to have the added points of contact. It's just a matter of personal opinion.

The one.

does whippet pick come included with a sheath or any similar protection ? thanks

It wont include a sheath, it has a small plastic piece that goes over the point. The plastic piece utilizes an elastic band to wrap about the back end of the ski pole.

Bill Porreca



Great Price!

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

I'm not a fan of the handle and the metal going through it. On extremely cold expeditions you can feel the temperature difference between this and a trekking pole with a cork handle.


Extra security

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

A great tool to add a bit of security on icy skin tracks or to give you a fighting chance if you blow it in a no-fall zone.

Just remember, it's not an ice ax, so don't be stupid.


heinously heavy

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

i use a lot of black diamond equipment and never have felt compelled to write a review because most of their things are solid... i ordered this whippet to carry on easier climbs so i wouldnt always have to being the ice axe lets be serous with how heavy this thing is i can carry my raven pro axe and dynafit poles and its about the same weight and i have the peace of mind of a real axe i also own the black diamond aluminum adjustable poles i would expect the whippet to be a little heavier than the standard pole but its so much heavier i feel unbalanced when hiking all day and one pole is so much more i have tried to make my other pole heavier so that it doesnt feel too bad but its just insane to carry this broom stick... another reason i picked one of these up is my climbing partner has the black diamond whippet from a few years ago and the weight is acceptable between the regular pole vs the whippet over all not happy with this product

Is this the recalled or updated version?

I've noticed that nobody seems to have any concern about the potential danger of skiing with a large steel pick in your hands. Although these are recommended for backcountry only, I could see the extreme usefulness of these poles when skiing no-fall steeps in-bounds (wish I'd had one during a long, scary fall at Alyeska). However, skiing more moderate terrain with these seems dangerous, especially with other people around. Too bad BD does not offer a model with a removable pick that can be attached only when needed.

On a separate topic, when do you expect these poles to be back in stock? Is BD planning on issuing a new model for the 2014/15 season?

Best Answer

The whippet will remain unchanged, they do make it in a carbon version. I usually don't ski with this on moderate terrain. I just am using my regular Black Diamond poles without the pick on easier terrain. If I know I am getting into steeper terrain then I bring it along and swap out one of my regular poles. When I am in really steep terrain I forgo the whippet all together and just ski with a true mountaineering ice axe in my hand. If I fall Ill drop the pole and actually self arrest with the axe. Since they are only sold as one they are kind of an add on anyway. We are getting more in stock.

I've used a pick guard when using these in moderate terrain, and then take it off when things get more dangerous. I've used them in all kinds of terrain and taken falls, too, and never had an issue with gouging, with or without the pick guard.

Mt. Rainier Sharing of Tools

Mt. Rainier Sharing of Tools

Even the Rangers on Mt. Rainier love the Whippets. The great thing is that when climbing a pair can be shared with your buddy. These poles rule......enough said..

Don't expect to rely on the Whippets alone when on Rainier, they're a great assist to your ice axe while on less steep slopes.


More useful than expected

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

I was a bit skeptical as to whether this would be a useful piece of gear, but it pretty immediately became part of my standard backcountry kit. That said, I usually just take one whippet and one regular pole.


Great Safety Tool For The Steeps

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

Love Black Diamond tools and added this recently to my arsenal, now if I can just keep them as all my buds love em also. Easy fliplocks that stay locked and baskets that don't fall off. I've used similar self arrest poles from the early years but having a stainless steel pick versus the old hard plastic of years ago is just a no brainer. I do wish that the pick or handles were removable allowing multiple use. They're great for for skiing those steep couloirs during icy or spring corn.

Once BD adds removable picks I'd give it 5 stars.


Ba da da da duh

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

Before you ski that couloir,

you must whippet,

Before that cornice comes off,

you must whippet,

Go forward,

Move ahead,

Try to detect it,

It's not too late,

To whippet good!

In the backcountry, the difference between having a great time and being heli-vac'd to the hospital may lie with your ability to self arrest a fall. The whippet is an amazing tool for those who wander out to ski steep lines in exposed areas.

Make sure you practice your self arrest before heading out!

You must Whippet!

Has anyone hiked with these poles? I know...

Has anyone hiked with these poles? I know they say ski but I like the self-arrest feature in a trekking pole. If not, what are the chances of a carbon fibre pole breaking while trying to self-arrest? Don't think there is any snow on my upcoming trip to Patagonia but I would like the added security.

Best Answer

I have heard of people hiking with them, although they are not intended for hiking, they will still give you the added security and make for a nice trekking tool when the going gets tough in snowy conditions.

The great thing about carbon is that it doesn't bend like aluminum does. Carbon is able to withstand multiple impacts within a bend or break. I trust carbon totally.

I use the Whippet for hiking and snowshoeing all the time during winter and spring conditions. Just a basic trekking pole with an axe attached! It's always with me on basic mountain climbs and on approach climbs before the actual ice axe comes into play. I have the older aluminum two piece. I cut down the lower section with a simple pipe cutter so the whole pole extends to trekking pole length, and then collapses down small enough to not resemble a ham radio antenna strapped to my pack! Really one of my favorite pieces of functional equipment and I don't ski.

Whippet Good

Whippet Good

Born from steep descents in the Alps, the self arrest ski pole has been refined by Black Diamond in the form of the Whippet. Durable, dependable, versatile, the Whippet is a standard piece of equipment for myself and many of my friend when steep skiing and technical terrain is possible. In my experience the BD fliplock design has been reliable, and I have never had a problem with the Whippet or any BD pole failing.

The Whippet should not be expected to replace an axe when necessary. However, it is extremely convenient to have the climbing and self arrest capabilities of the Whippet when skiing, and for less technical climbing.

Photo: The Fabrikant puts the Whippet to good use making turns on a few inches of snow over blue ice, down in the high Andes of Argentina.

Is there a cover for the spike because i'm...

Is there a cover for the spike because i'm afraid if i'm skiing inbounds people might get a bit intimidated by it.

Best Answer


The Whippet is specifically designed for steep ski mountaineering where you need the security of an ice axe but the functionality of a trekking pole. It would be out of place and a potential hazard for in-bounds skiing. With that said, BD has the pick protector to make packing your gear safe from the sharp edge. Check it out:

As Micah mentioned, a Whippet isn't really appropriate for inbounds skiing (it could do some damage in a fall even if you wrap it up). That said, it does come with the tip protector linked above, so you don't need to buy that in addition.