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Black Diamond Raven Ultra
    Black Diamond Raven Ultra
    Purchase Black Diamond Raven Ultra
    • Black Diamond Raven Ultra

    • £76.50 (RRP:£85.00, Save 10%)

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    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

    Black Diamond Raven Ultra Review
    Verified Buyer

    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.

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    Black Diamond Raven Ultra Review
    Verified Buyer

    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.

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    Black Diamond Raven Ultra Review
    Verified Buyer

    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.

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    Black Diamond Raven Ultra Review
    Danny McShane
    Verified Buyer
    This is a really neat axe. It is as light as the specs say, but manages to feel reassuringly heftier in use and penetrates and cuts like an ice axe should. I think this is due to getting the balance of the steel head on the lightweight shaft right (I have a 60cm one). The polished head is compact and I initially thought the pick was short, but the tip is 132mm out from the shaft. The teeth keep a 4mm thickness virtually to the tip. For comparison this pick is as long as and thicker than my Mountain Technology Walking axe. The adze is small at 45mm wide with a cut out to save weight, but I've had smaller and it still cuts (it has good corners to bite in harder snow or ice, unlike, say, a Camp Nanotech). The head is comfortable to grip - 12mm wide at the widest point above the shaft, and subtly rounded and shaped in all the right places. After 12 hours (or 3 days) you really appreciate these details.When I was looking around I noticed that Black Diamond have quite a range of detailed changes to the head designs on these axes - secondary stuff like differently shaped adze cutouts (diamond or triangle), double or single holes in the head casting at the top of the shaft, milled out pick cross section or smoothly profiled ... I asked BD for a list of options but heard nothing back. This particular axe has the options I wanted (triangle, two holes, smooth profile)In use the shaft penetrates well into late season neve -the steel insert is really quite sharp (and I'm not entirely sure how I'll protect it for carriage - though the 12mm hole means something will clip or tie on for next time). The shaft is 'cut' the right way round for maximum bite in piolet canne with the pick away from the slope.The shaft is slim, perhaps a little slimmer than usual, and it is featureless as far as grip is concerned. I might look out for a bit of grip tape for it, though. Once I had added a simple sling there was no problem with holding on.I'd just like a little more indexing to prevent turning in my hand when things are really icy.This is a fully functional ice axe that seems built to last and very well thought out. It's beautifully made and will just take its place and do the job without any fuss. If you fall for a particular head shape, just check that it's the one currently available.Downside? Only the slim featureless grip -but that's also a plus for a lot of folk and easily remedied. I think it's better to have the option to do what you want than live with an overly bulky grip -and you can read all this as a plus if you have dainty digits. BD prices sting a bit too, but I forgot about that on the first day out (I just pretended to myself I'd filled the tank with diesel one more time).
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