The Black Diamond Raven Ultra is a superlight ski-touring and alpine axe. The Raven Ultra takes the design of the popular Raven walking axes and then strips off every ounce of weight to give a tool which weighs in at just 348g.
The shaft is constructed from a single piece of aluminium tubing plugged and reinforced at the bottom end to improve performance when plunging in softer snow. The head is a one piece stainless steel casting which allows for a low profile connection to the shaft letting your fingers sit more comfortably when holding the head than on many axes. This makes a big difference to the feel of the axe in your hand, especially when spending hour after hour plunging in softer snow. The investment casting and heat treatment applied to the head of this axe ensure that for a tool this light the Raven Ultra is surprisingly durable.
The Raven Ultra is in many ways a fusion of the best features of the amazingly light but poorly performing aluminium ski touring axes which are great unless you actually want to use them and the more substantial and durable walking axes - it is perfect for glacier travel, ski touring and light alpinism or as a back-up axe for high altitude via-ferrata and early season alpine rock climbing.
Black Diamond Raven Ultra Features
- Climbs moderate alpine ice and snow
- Head designed with an aggressive pick and large carabiner hole
- Unique angled spike penetrates hard snow
- CEN-B certified
Customer Reviews of Black Diamond Raven Ultra
A good quality, lightweight alpine ice axe.
Used for self arrests, emergency anchor point, and for general glacier travel.
Plus points: Reasonable price, robust and simple design, capable.
Negative points: Easy to scuff coating (purely cosmetic problem though) and a shaft point that fills and ices up easily.
This is a great little light weight axe. Used it on the Haute Route and it was perfect for moderately strenuous climbs. In practice slides it stopped me without a problem.
I'm new to ski touring and decided that I needed a lightweight but robust ice axe, just in case, for Scottish Conditions. After a lot of research I settled on the Raven Ultra, ordering the 50cm version so that it will fit comfortably in my backpack, and it looks great in the flesh. From the web-page I was a little unsure about the sturdiness of wedge shaped bottom of the shaft, but on arrival it looks plenty sturdy enough for use when touring with a metal insert to reinforce it. Whilst it doesn't have a grip section on the shaft the anodised finish feels fine in the dry, only use in the hills will show how it fairs in the wet. It feels comfortable in the hand and nicely balanced despite its lightweight nature. Overall, it looks ideal for what I need, well made and I look forward to getting out on the hills and using it (hopefully not to often!) in practice.