Ice axe leash

3:54 p.m. on September 27, 2010 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

I just recently purchased a Black Diamond Raven Ultra ice axe, and it doesn't come with a leash.

Any particular recommendations for this purchase, or will any Black Diamond leash do.

7:31 p.m. on September 29, 2010 (EDT)
7,216 reviewer rep
2,316 forum posts

i'm sure buying a commercial leash is easier. for what it's worth, i have never used a commercial leash. i make my own out 3/4 or 1 inch webbing. there are websites that explain how to do this, what knots work best. My favorite reference, Mountaineering, Freedom in the Hills (Part 4) concerns snow travel and has some basic information.

or, try this, and have someone with good experience check your work:

Mark one end of the webbing using a piece of electrical tape or with a permanent marker, just to distinguish the ends and make these instructions easier to follow. Approximately 16 inches from the marked end, tie an overhand knot in the webbing. We'll refer to the length between the knot and the marked end as "below the overhand knot" and the length between the knot and the unmarked end as "above the overhand knot". Using the marked end as the tag end, tie half of a double fishermen's knot above the overhand knot. Tie the unmarked end to the round hole in the adze end of the ice axe head with a bowline knot. Adjusting the length of the tag end of the bowline knot allows you to adjust the length of the wrist leash. Generally, the length of the wrist leash is adjusted in the bowline knot, by controlling the length of rope between the bowline knot and the overhand knot. The shorter this length, the shorter the leash. It's a matter of personal preference how long you want to make this length. However, a length of 4 to 8 inches is generally acceptable, and provides enough length for you to easily adjust your grip on the axe and to let it hang out of the way from your wrist when not holding on to it to perform other tasks. Generally, the diameter of the wrist loop is adjustable by controlling the distance between the overhand knot and the half double fisherman's knot. Try to fine tune this length initially to accomodate the diameter of your wrist and associated clothing and handwear. Then, in the field, if you desire a smaller diameter wrist hole on the leash, simply move the overhand knot towards the half double fisherman's knot.

11:57 p.m. on September 29, 2010 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

thanks for the info lead. That sure seems like a neat process, but I'm not all that interested in making my own, and I don't have a ton of time to take on the project of learning that new skill - I'd have to read up on it, buy the materials, and try to make it, probably making mistakes and having to redo it.

I'll just look into a universal commercial leash, but eventually that skill of making my own would be great.

February 20, 2020
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