Black Diamond Raven with Grip

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Raven with some really nice upgrades. The luxury model!

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $95


Raven with some really nice upgrades. The luxury model!


  • Lightweight
  • Good self-arrest
  • Extras
  • Excellent head design


  • A bit heavier than some (50 gms extra?)
  • ...but that can be a good thing


First there was the BD Raven, then the lighter Raven Pro, and the Raven Ultra. And now the Raven with some modern upgrades. While this isn't as hard core as the Raven Pro, this axe is a nice notch up in other areas. 

It comes with a slider leash and a comfortable dual-density handle, both helpful on a winter traverse. In my opinion, using an axe without a leash is kind of like driving a car without a seatbelt, since if you fall and lose the axe in the process, you're pretty much done. And when you're carrying the axe by the shaft, the softer handgrip stops your hand from freezing and provides a more secure grip.

I like the pick's curve and teeth, and when I tried out a few self-arrests, I found them to have excellent grip. Showed off a bit at an ice face by sinking the tip and hanging off it, just like an ice-climbing axe. I like the heavier adze for chopping steps or digging a hole. The hand grip is set flush with the shaft so it doesn't interfere with plunging, and you can get a solid grip when the footing's tricky. The head is also notched with a comfortable finger grips to make it easy to hang onto, and it has a moderate positive angle.

The shaft is aircraft-grade aluminum, and the head is investment-cast stainless steel, just like the other BD axes. Base weight is about 450 gms, and the additional weight of the leash would be nominal, so it's right in the mid-range of modern ice axes.

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Manufacturer's Description

Visit Black Diamond's Raven with Grip page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

Free Shipping. Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe with Grip FEATURES of the Black Diamond Raven with Grip Investment-cast, stainless steel head and spike Comfortable, dual-density molded grip Pick's curve and teeth engineered for secure self-arresting Equipped with Slider Leash CEN-certified SPECIFICATIONS of the Black Diamond Raven with Grip Head, Spike: stainless steel Shaft: Aluminum Grip: Dual-density The SPECS for 55 cm Weight: With Leash: 1 lb 2 oz / 505 g Length: 55 cm The SPECS for 60 cm Weight: With Leash: 1 lb 2 oz / 520 g Length: 60 cm The SPECS for 65 cm Weight: With Leash: 1 lb 3 oz / 535 g Length: 65 cm The SPECS for 70 cm Weight: With Leash: 1 lb 3 oz / 550 g Length: 70 cm The SPECS for 75 cm Weight: With Leash: 1 lb 4 oz / 565 g Length: 75 cm ALL CLIMBING SALES ARE FINAL.

- Moosejaw

The Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe with Grip takes our classic mountaineer's piolet and adds a lower grip and a Slider Leash for increased security and versatility. The aluminum shaft and investment-cast stainless steel head provide durable, classic functionality-whether you're plunging up a snowy chute or traversing a jagged crevasse field. The comfortable dual-density grip increases holding power for icy steps and short steep sections where you need to use the axe like a modern ice tool. Durable, aircraft-grade aluminum shaft. Investment-cast, one-piece stainless steel head with a large hole for a carabiner. Comfortable, dual-density molded grip. Pick's curve and teeth engineered for secure self-arresting. Equipped with Slider Leash. CEN-B certified. Shaft: Aluminum. Grip: Dual-density. Weight With Leash: 505 g or 1 lb 2 oz (55 cm). Head: Head, Spike: stainless steel. Color: Anodized Light Gray

- Tahoe Mountain Sports

Improving on one of the more popular ice axes of all time, Black Diamond gave the Raven a rubber bottom grip to increase comfort and security on steep terrain. Not only does the rubber provide better grip when you're swinging the Raven on 60-degree neve, it also insulates your hands from the metal shaft to eliminate chilled fingers. Of course, the Raven still has Black Diamond's ultra-comfortable hourglass-shaped head for more mellow terrain, and it comes with a Slider Leash.


A traditional mountaineering piolet, the Raven from Black Diamond has an investment cast stainless-steel head that's wasp-waisted, affording both great comfort and a good grip. The gently tapering picks curve and teeth are engineered for secure self arresting.

- Mountain Gear