The Black Diamond Raven Grip is a hugely popular walking and mountaineering axe and bridges the gap between being a pure walking axe and a basic climbing tool. The Raven Grip features a single piece cast head unit designed to be comfortable in the hand when plunging the axe and for self arrest. At the base of the shaft the tube tapers to allow for a plastic and rubber grip handle which sits flush with the shaft. This provides the extra grip you need to take the axes onto steeper terrain.
A popular pairing for low grade Scottish winter routes is one short technical axe and a walking axe for the approach: this is a perfect situation for the Raven Grip, offering solid self arresting and trekking performance but capable enough to use on the climb itself. Also useful for those who want an axe for low grade climbing is the included Slider Leash, an excellent basic leash which is easily operated and adjusted with gloves on and quick to release if needs be. The Raven Grip is a brilliant tool for winter walking, alpine mountaineering and ski tourers and mountaineers.
Black Diamond Raven Grip Features
•Investment-Cast, one piece stainless steel head
•Comfortable, dual density moulded grip
•Pick’s curve and teeth engineered for self arresting
•Equipped with slider leash
Having used walking axes from most of the major brands for winter walking and scrambling in Scotland (up to grade II ground) the Raven Grip is definitely my personal favourite. The biggest advantage of it for me is the comfort of the head-unit when you’re carrying the axe just-in-case. With every other axe I’ve used, when you’re carrying it in the self-arrest grip your fingers are uncomfortably wrapped around the shaft so often you end up holding the axes in another, less safe, way just to give your fingers a bit of a break. With the Raven your hand forms a much more comfortable grip around the moulded portion at the top of the shaft. The leash and grip come into their own on short rocky sections and feel reassuringly secure. If had to pick one axe to use for walking, low grade climbing and mountaineering this would definitely be it.