Rated 5 out of 5 by 7
Rated 5 out of 5 by Paul An Essential Part of My Quiver
I've owned a lot of axes over the years. I bought a pair of these for several reasons:
1. They're light and also functional enough for big mountain expeditioneering where i anticipate a bit of serious technical ice climbing and lots of glacier travel and steep snow, rock and ice climbing.
2. I can take novices out for 'a bit of the old thrash and dangle' and they can use these axes on steep ice without having to struggle with heavier axes.
These axes are an essential part of my ice axe quiver.
January 14, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5
by Will A reliable piece of gear
If you are looking for a technical piolet then look no further. I have used the Venom on hard class 4 climbs as well as on routes when I am instructing, and it has yet to fail me in any way. The bent shaft makes for a more effective alpine crawl, and with 2 you can climb wI 2-3, all while not changing the piolet's great plunge characteristics. So bottom line, if you are looking for a more aggressive piolet, I would recommend the Venom.
August 16, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5
by Michael Perfect for its intended terrain
On steep snow and semi technical to technical couloir climbing these axes excel. I have been using them for ski / splitboard mountaineering and have found one or both versions of these in my pack are great to have around in rugged terrain. Especially appreciate the handle grip and the ability to replace the picks, which is well worth the investment.
April 22, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Coby Trustworthy!
The slightly curved head allows for more solid placements on ice than a traditional piolet. Those solid placements, in turn, provide me with more confidence. I found the Venom to be slightly heavier but that extra weight allows it to sink into the ice with one swing. It plunges well on steep snow too! Like one of the other reviewers, I took the leash off as soon as I got it and would only use it with leash if climbing much steeper ice. I have used it on long snow gullies and have used it to climb short sections of WI2 ice. Excellent product, I highly recommend it!
April 21, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Brendyn Great Hybrid Mountaineering Axe
Very solid product. Use mainly for mountaineering and moderately steep ascents, just stay away from those vetical walls. Plunges well and rubberized grip does not catch or tear on hardened snow surfaces, which I was worried about prior to use.
Definitely prefer the negative curved axe that comes standard to the hammer based option. I have both the adze and hammer axes now equipped with the negative curve picks and am very pleased with the final product.
The lockdown leash is a nice gesture included with the product, but ultimately unnecessary unless ascending vertical walls, in which case you should be purchasing another axe if that is your main objective. As with any leash they get in the way very quickly.
I am 5'11" and purchased the 50cm axes which fall about 2.5" above my ankle. I prefer the axe at this length for steeper slopes when plunging because I do not have to relieve the axe as far from the snow each time.
Make sure to keep oiled when not in use. Best way to maintain longevity. Otherwise, as with most products from Black Diamond this is a fantastic cross-over.
February 18, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Alexandre Perfect for alpine adventures
The venom is the perfect pilolet for alpine adventures. It has all the advantages of a classic piolet (a wee bit heavier) and it is agressive enought to climb with it climbing.
I did some Water Ice climibing with it and it is perfect to climb down and up any crevasses or terminal crevasses that block your path.
My expedition partners have the same some when we arrive at an unexpected technical part, one of us takes the two tools and climb.
The use of leashes helps a lot for technical climbing.
November 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5
by Mark Unbeatable
I have used these axes for several years having climbed [amongst several routes] the North Face of the Eiger , North Face of Peutry Blanche North Face of Doites North Face of Verte.
Then I even lent the axe to my 14 year old daughter when she became the youngest person ever to make the traverse of Mt Blanc via the Tacul /Mt Maudit. Basically they are good for everything alpine.
September 22, 2014