Home Axes and Crampons Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe – Best Buy

Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe – Best Buy

 

 

 

£80 www.eu.blackdiamondequipment.com

Available in five different lengths from 55-75cm, the Raven is a straight shafted mountaineering axe that is well-suited to the kind of adventures most winter walkers will want to enjoy in the hills. That’s not to belittle what the Raven is capable of: that straightness makes it ideal for balance and support whilst walking, and burying it deep in the snow when necessary is a simple straight plunge. The contouring of the head fits the hand perfectly when held this way, whilst the excellent grip at the handle end transmits total control when held in the opposing fashion. Its arrow-like straightness also make tucking it under your rucksack strap and against your back a swift, simple process. The removeable leash is a lovely thing, but I’ve rarely used it, preferring instead the ease of transfer from hand to hand, whilst the pick and adze are both superbly wrought for cutting and gripping. The 505g aluminium build isn’t as elegant in swing as a lighter, curved model, but they’re built for different tasks.

VERDICT: A top-notch walkers’ tool with a classical look. A superb lifetime buy.

BEST FOR: Winter walkers.

Review by Dan Aspel @mountainmeeple