Black Diamond Raven Pro (2014)

The Black Diamond Raven Pro’s curvaceous profile and the polished finish of the cast stainless steel head are instantly appealing. It’s also pretty lightweight at 467g (size 75cm), so you won’t mind carrying this on your pack or in your hand all day. The head has a gentle curve, making it ideal for self arrest and cutting steps, although the pick and adze are both slightly shorter than on some models, which is an advantage on ice but means you may have to work harder when there is snow cover to cut through to reach ice beneath. The axe lacks a rubber grip on the shaft or a leash, which some users may prefer as it makes this a neater tool to use, but you may want to consider adding these items, which of course increases cost and weight. The balance is slightly lighter in the head than some other axes, which makes it great for walking, but you might prefer a heavier head when cutting steps or using the spike. The Black Diamond Raven Pro is rated as basic, which means it isn’t designed to be used for roped belays. But when used for glacier walking or hill and mountain walking, it’s a great option if you want to save a few grams.

Classification basic (B)
Materials 7075-T6 alloy shaft, cast stainless steel pick and spike
Sizes 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75cm
Weight 467g(75cm)
Website www.blackdiamondequipment.com

 

Verdict

The Black Diamond Raven Pro was voted best for mountains and glaciers in this test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2014