Black Diamond Whippet
The Whippet will give you added security in places…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $54 (2 years ago)
The Whippet will give you added security in places where falling will have dire consequences. You have to know how to self-arrest for it to be useful. I recommend it for anyone that has ever wished they had, or actually had, an ice axe in their hand while skiing.
- Added security on hard snow
- Easy to grip with hand on top of the pole
- Heavier than a regular pole
- Only 2-section collapsable
I started skiing with a Whippet two seasons ago and I really like it. I don't have crampons for my skis so this gives me a nice sense of security when skiing on hard snow. I've had a few unexpected falls/slides where I couldn't stop if I wanted to but each time there were no bad consequences. When skiing above cliffs or other hazards you don't want to fall into, the Whippet could make the difference between a good day and a bad day. Having a pick as part of your pole is far superior to trying to carry an ice axe with a pole or stowing the pole and just using the ice axe.
While I haven't had to use it yet, to "save" me, it has saved me from elevation loss on the skintrack when I've slipped and slid down. Rather than having to reclimb 20+ metres, I lost less than 3 metres.
I've also found it useful for hooking trees on heinously steep skin tracks. I also think it could be useful to help me get out of a tree well if there were other trees close enough.
I'm not too concerned about skiing with a sharp object in my hand. I could see that in a bad fall, I might let go of it and it could end up pointing up at me but as long as I'm holding it, I think it's unlikely to damage to me. For it to be effective, you have to use the wrist strap so you'll have to weigh that against the risk of being caught in an avalanche and not being able to ditch your pole(s).
I don't carry it on days when I know the snow will be soft for the whole tour or if I don't think I'll be exposed to terrain where falling is not an option. It is not a replacement for an ice axe in many situations.
It is only a 2 section telescoping pole so it doesn't collapse very short for strapping to a pack.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Black Diamond Whippet Self Arrest Pole is a must have for backcountry skiers and snowboarders in steep terrain. A whippet is a ski pole ice axe combo that gives you the ability to self arrest if you take a slide. Chromoly pick canard wing built into a dual-density grip for excellent traction in the snow. FlickLock mechanism provides 43 cm of adjustability so you can quickly and easily match the height of your poles to the terrain, even while wearing gloves. All aluminum keeps these poles light yet sturdy. The Black Diamond 3/4 basket gives great float without snagging or catching as you move. Sold individually - pair with one of your other Black Diamond Poles or carry two Black Diamond Whippets| Don't let a simple fall be the end of your season, or worse. The Black Diamond Whippet is perfect for steep-line descents and ski mountaineering when every move counts. Color: BD Orange. Series: Efficient. Material: Aluminum. 2 Sections: 18 mm (0.71) Upper, 16 mm (0.63) Lower. Usable Length: 97-140 cm or 38-55 in. 3/4 Baskets. Weight: 430 g, 15 oz. Sold Individually
- Tahoe Mountain Sports
For steep, icy bootpacks and added self-arrest security on mega-steep, no-fall terrain, the time-tested Black Diamond Whippet is the ultimate ski mountaineering tool. The Whippet features a stainless steel pick embedded in the pole's grip that can help keep minor slips from turning into slides for life. The FlickLock Pro grip offers quick adjustability and security. These are sold individually.
- Mountain Gear
The legendary two-section Black Diamond Whippet ski pole offers proven security and self-arrest capability when steep, no-fall ski descents are on the menu.
When ski touring in highly exposed terrain or extremely variable conditions, a simple edge slip can become a life-or-death slide in the blink of an eye, leaving no time to remove your pack and grope for your ice axe. With the Black Diamond Whippet Self-Arrest Ski Pole, you no longer have to resort to carrying a ski pole in one hand and one ice axe in the other in these extreme situations. An aggressive stainless steel pick embedded in the pole's grip allows for quick and effective self-arrests, and the two-piece construction with powder basket gives this pole versatile touring performance on the mellow approach.