The Black Diamond Raven Pro is the stripped-down version of the Raven, Black Diamond’s basic mountaineering ice axe. It is a stunning tool and has long been a favourite with Trail. The Pro version comes with a sleek, gripless shaft and a trimmed-down pick and adze. The balance is very much that of a walking axe and although it will happily chop steps and swing into névé it is not as good as its heavier-headed siblings. The head is well-contoured for the hand and carries well when used for walking. You get a straight shaft and a gently curved head. The adze and pick are perfectly shaped, and the attention to detail such as the bevelled pick and well-placed teeth are bang on. The only issue we have, and it’s a minor one, is the thin profile of the shaft. It does make plunging it into snow a tad easier but compromises the grip particularly if you have big hands. The Black Diamond Raven Pro’s 424g weight is excellent and will appeal to those wanting to trim down their load in both the UK and the Alps.
Materials 7075-T6 alloy shaft, cast stainless steel pick and spike
Sizes 55, 60, 65, 70,75cm
Weight 424g (65cm)
The Black Diamond Raven Pro is best for walking.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2012