Black Diamond Viper
Price Paid: $200
Great ice tool for pure ice climbing. Even with the add on features (fang, ...), it's not as good as the new specialized tools for dry tooling. And, with their curved shafts, they lose some of their usefulness in alpine settings. You can get by with your Vipers just about anywhere; but they're really in their element on pure waterfall ice.
They have a nice weight/heft to them. Not too light, not too heavy. The shape gives really good clearance over bulges. The handle is nicely shaped (hourglass shape gives you great control of the direction of your placement). BD picks are as good as any of the other top picks on the market. I find I get great sticks with my Vipers but sometimes find them a bit hard to pull out. Probably more an issue with my technique than a problem with the tool.
Vipers work well both with a full arm swing or with a wrist-flick. The Viper Android leashes are awesome once you get used to them. They have one bad flaw though: the length is such that once you get them adjusted perfectly for climbing in them, they are not long enough to allow you to put your hand on top of the head of the tool. Awkward... But, all in all, for waterfall ice, you can't go wrong with these tools. Plus, they've held up really well now after three winters of moderate use.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Key Features of the Black Diamond Viper Ice AdzeHydroformed shaftModular head designShaft CEN-T certifiedBlack Diamond Viper Ice AdzeEnjoy climbing at its most extreme with the Black Diamond Viper Ice Adze. The Black Diamond Viper Ice Adze is a technical, all-terrain tool that is ideal as a daily driver for ice and alpine climbing. It is equipped with cutting-edge features that will have you swinging into ice with such an amazing ease. It features an incredibly stiff and light hydroformed shaft that reduces weight, all while maintaining excellent clearance and balance. It is also equipped with Viper Fang and Strike that cradle your hand while climbing without a leash. Another great feature is the Chromoly-steel laser pick with a thin taper and low-volume tip that enables easy penetration with a low displacement of ice. Moreover, the stainless-steel head and 7075 aluminum shaft work hand in hand to deliver durable power on ice and mixed routes, as well as ensure superb balance. A Thermoplastic urethane grip, on the other hand, ensures a strong grip while you're wearing gloves. A must-have tool for mixed climbing, waterfall ice, and drytool classics, this always gets the job done.
The Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool delivers cutting-edge performance for ice, mixed, and alpine climbing thanks to an extremely versatile design that works with or without leashes. In addition to a detachable Fang for leashless security, the Viper includes a Strike pommel that screws into one of two shaft positions and allows easy matching for a variety of hand and glove sizes. Black Diamond built this ice tool with a hydro-formed shaft to increase stiffness and clearance while reducing overall weight. The Viper Ice Tool comes with either a micro-hammer or micro-adze to give you alpine-ready performance while maintaining a low profile for ultra-technical climbing.
Free Shipping. Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool DECENT FEATURES of the Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool Hydroformed shaft for clearance, weight savings and strength Laser pick, Viper Strike and Fang included, modular head design Shaft CEN-T certified, patented Pick is CEN-B The SPECS of the Black Diamond Viper Ice Tool Lenght: 50 cm Head: Stainless steel Pick: Chromoly steel Shaft: Aluminum Grip: TPU The SPECS for Hammer Weight: 1 lb 6 oz / 625 g The SPECS for Adze Weight: 1 lb 7 oz / 655 g ALL CLIMBING SALES ARE FINAL.
A technical, all-terrain ice tool, the Viper is built with a hydroformed shaft to increase stiffness and reduce weight, while maintaining exceptional clearance and balance. PRODUCT FEATURES: Hydroformed shaft for clearance, weight savings and strength Laser pick, Viper Strike and Fang included, modular head design Shaft CEN-T certified, patented Pick is CEN-B Weight: 1 lb 7 oz (Adze) Length: 50 cm Head: Stainless steel Pick: Chromoly steel Shaft: Aluminum Grip: TPU More Details: BD Vipers are excellent axes that will take you almost anywhere. If you're just getting started and want to future-proof yourself against all those exciting icy challenges the next few years will bring, choose Vipers. If you're looking to upgrade from an old pair of leashed tools, choose Vipers. If you want a serious axe to take you into technical ice Vipers are definitely amongst the best options available. They're light and feel good in the hand, and grab hold of the ice like it's a long lost childhood friend.
- Appalachian Outdoors