The Black Diamond Raven Ultra is designed for ‘fast and light’ ski mountaineering and easy alpine and snow ascents… or winter fell running, which is what I’ve been using mine for recently!
The Raven Ultra is a B rated axe. This means it’s meant for ‘general mountaineering’ situations, rather than technical climbing, that involves ice or mixed. However, the construction is well ahead of most other B rated tools, as demonstrated by the steel, investment cast head/adze. It has good robust quality to it. The head/adze design also has a nice ergonomic feel; it simply feels more comfortable and natural in the hand than many other lightweight axes.
The axe comes without a rubberised grip that may not be to some peoples taste. However, this keeps the weight down and there are plenty of other light axes available from Black Diamond (and other brands) with a rubberised grip.
At circa 350g it’s very lightweight. In fact there are very few axes that even come close. For me, I chose the Raven Ultra because of the fantastic build quality, attention to detail and superb finish that the axe has.
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