Black Diamond Whippet
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:
Ease your mind, and maybe save your life on steep descents or icy boot packs with the time-tested Black Diamond Whippet ski pole. This self-arrest tool features a stainless steel pick embedded in the pole's grip, and an adjustable aluminum shaft. All aluminum construction 18 mm (0.71 in) upper tapers to a 16 mm (0.63 in) lower Stainless steel pick with canard wing built into a dual-density touring grip New FlickLock Pro is more durable and easier to use than ever Replaceable shaft and powder basket, please note the pick is not replaceable Adjustable; 97-140 cm (38 - 55 in) 4-inch (100 mm) Powder Basket Includes Black Diamond Pick Protector Sold individually
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.
The Black Diamond Whippet Self-Arrest pole features a chromoly pick built into the dual-density grip to keep a small slip from becoming a long slide on ski mountaineering trips. Two-piece lightweight aluminum shaft with FlickLock(R) Pro mechanism allows you to adjust the length from 97 - 140cm. FlickLock Pro mechanism is secure, fast and easy to use; new low-profile stainless-steel design improves clamping force and durability. Touring Series grip has a fluted interior to reduce weight. Grippy material located on the upper shaft below the actual hand grip lets you choke up on the pole while traversing steep terrain. Straps hang open for easy access; ladder-lock buckle is simple to manipulate with gloves on. Black Diamond Whippet Self-Arrest pole comes equipped with a 4 in. wide powder basket. Sold individually.
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.